How successful was the League of Nations?
When World War One ended in 1917 most of Europe was left in destruction, crisis and confusion, which created the need for a conference to be held to sort out problems like punishing Germany, drawing new boarders, and preventing future wars. Three most powerful countries, the United States, United Kingdom and France, controlled the Peace Conference, which was held in Versailles in 1919. The president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson had his own agenda during the peace conference. Wilson wanted to create the League of Nations and believed that it would prevent future wars. During the peace conference Wilson pushed the idea of collective security; the idea that an attack on one was an attack on all. The League of Nations, and the features it possesses and the peace making goals it pursued, indeed it sounded promising. During the early years of the League of Nations’s experience, there were high hopes that the organisation could prevent future wars and bring about stability and peace to the nations. Did the League of Nations prevent future wars and bring about peace? Was the League of Nations a failure? How successful was the League of Nations? In order to answer to the questions, a couple of things are needed; A very brief history which is provided above, the features, the goals, the successes and the failures of the League of Nations, when all is said and done, a clear conclusion will be provided wether it was successful or not.
Before analyzing wether the League of Nations was successful or not, first the reader must understand what the features are of the League of Nations. And a brief infromation is needed about the League of Nations aims.
After a long and bloody World War One, people’s hatred towards war became the motivation to look for a way to prevent future conflicts. Here, the League of Nations was born with an attempt to construct a peaceful global order and to insure war never break out again. The League could do three things, these were known as sactions. It could call on the states in conflict to sit down and discuss and solve the problem in an orderly and peaceful manner. If one country was considered to be the offender, the league could apply sanctions on that particular country by giving the aggressor a warning that it would need to leave another nations territory or suffer the consequences. If the states in conflict failed to listen to the League, then the League could apply economic sanctions. And if this failed, the League could apply physical santions, which means that military force could be used against the aggressor. Although there were some people who did not believe that the international cooperation was the right method to prevent future conflict. The majority of citizens and leaders came to a conclusion during the world War One, that a League of Nations must be set up without any delay and they were confinced that it could prevent future conflict as a whole if not, then at least future military conflict alone (Bennett, 2002: 27) (Walters, 1969: 4).
The League experienced at least thirty disputes in the first years of its existence, and most of these conflicts were as peacefuly as it can get resolved. The reason why it was successful, it had to do with the fact that the League had to deal with small or middle powers in most of the situations and to the large powers that agreed to work together and stop the risk of war (Bennett, 2002). A successfully handled potential conflict was resolved in 1925, which gave the League a confidence boost. It was a Greek-Bulgarian border conflict; this began when Bulgaria was invaded by Greek troops after a shooting incident near the border, which was brought to the council’s attention by the Bulgarian government. The League requested a cease fire and a withdrawal of troops from Bulgarian territory, and the request met within three days, the request it self came from the council president, Brian of France....
References: * Armstrong, D. & Lloyd, L. & Redmond, J. (2004). International Organisation: In World Politics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan
* Armstrong, D. & Lloyd, L. & Redmond, J. (1996). From Versailles to Maastricht: International Organisation in the Twentieth Centry. London: Macmillan Press LTD
* Barros, J. (1968). The Aaland Islands Question: Its Settlement by the League of Nations. New Haven, CN: Yale University Press
* Barros, J. (1970). The League of Nations and the Great Powers: The Greek-Bulgarian Incident of 1925. London: Oxford University Press
* Bennett, L. & Oliver, J.K. (2002). International Organizations: Principles and Issues. New Jersey: Pearson education
* Walters, F.P. (1969). A History of: The League of Nations. London: Oxford University Press
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