The League Of Nations Was A Great Force For Peace In The 1920’s
In this essay, I am going to look at the successes and failures of the League of Nations (LofN) in its struggle for peace throughout the 1920’s. The LofN was the ‘brain child’ of American president Woodrow Wilson. The four other main powers (Britain, France, Japan and Italy) joined along with approximately 60 other countries from around the world. The U.S.A then abandoned its ‘child’ as to social and economic unrest led to a more isolationist foreign policy. Yet the other four main countries continued to support the LofN and formed the council, consisting to the ‘most powerful countries’. The LofN was set up to enforce peace in Europe and the world. It created various mechanisms (tariffs and sanctions) to punish and to reward nations in the name of peace. They would have great success and great failure.
The League was involved in many of boarder disputes, which could have led to war. The LofN was successful in the Aaland Islands incident in 1921. These islands are nearly of equal distance between Finland and Sweden. They had traditionally belonged to Finland but most of the islanders wanted to be governed by Sweden. Neither Sweden nor Finland could come to a decision as to who owned the islands and in 1921 they asked the LofN to adjudicate. The League’s decision was that they should remain Finish, but that no weapons should ever be kept there. Both countries accepted the LofN’s decision. This sent out many positive signs at the time to the world.
A failure of the 1920's was the Vilna incident of 1920. Poland and Lithuania were two new states created by the Treaty of Versailles, made out of (mainly) Germanys previous land. Vilna was made the capital city of Lithuania, but its population was mainly Polish, and in 1920 the Polish Army took control of it. Lithuania appealed for help. This was the first crucial ‘test case’ for the LofN. Both countries were members of the League. Poland was...
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