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The League of Nations: Functions and Causes of Failure

The League of Nations: Functions and Causes of Failure

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Published by Dr. Afroz Alam

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Published by: Dr. Afroz Alam on Sep 24, 2010
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 THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS: FUNCTIONS ANDCAUSES OF FAILURE
Prepared by
DR. AFROZ ALAM 
 
 ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF POLITICS NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, ORISSA E-MAIL: afrozalam2@gmail.com  afroz@nluo.ac.in 
 
 
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The League of Nations: Functions and Causes of Failure
Structure
3.0 Objectives3.1 Introduction3.2 Founding of the League of Nations3.3 The Covenant of the League of Nations3.4 The Structure of the League of Nations3.4.1 The Assembly3.4.2 The Council3.4.3 The Secretariat3.4.4 Other bodies3.4.5 The Mandate System3.4.6 The Permanent Court of International Justice3.5 The Successes of the League of Nations3.6 General Weaknesses of the League of Nations:3.7 Specific Failures of the League of Nations:3.8 Demise and Legacy of the League of Nations:3.9 Let Us Sum Up3.10 Some Useful Books
3.0 Objectives:
We intend to discuss in this chapter the foundation of the League of Nations and its organs and theirfunctions. We also focussed upon its specific successes and failures. After going through this chapter youwill be able to:
 
know the underlying debates and controversies regarding the formation of an internationalorganisation after World War II
 
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enhance your knowledge about the various conferences that created a basis for the present United
 
learn the relative successes and massive failures of the League of Nations
 
contemplate the significance of the League after its demise
3.1 Introduction:
Born with the will of the victors of the First World War to avoid a repeat of a devastating war, the Leagueof Nations represents an important milestone in the direction of achieving the age old global communityaspiration of a global body. It was the first significant institution with a clear objective to maintainuniversal peace within the framework of the fundamental principles of the Pact accepted by its Members: todevelop cooperation among nations and to guarantee them peace and security. The League’s goals includeddisarmament, preventing war through collective security, settling disputes between countries throughnegotiation diplomacy and improving global welfare. The diplomatic philosophy behind the Leaguerepresented a fundamental shift in thought from the preceding hundred years. After a number of notablesuccesses and some early failures in the 1920s, the League ultimately proved incapable of preventingaggression by the Axis Powers in the 1930s. The onset of the Second World War suggested that the Leaguehad failed in its primary purpose — to avoid any future world war. In spite of its political failure, the legacyof the League of Nations at the same time appears clearly in a number of principles stated by the Charterand in the competencies and experiences developed in the area of technical cooperation: the majority of thespecialized institutions of the United Nations system can in fact be considered the legacy of the workinitiated by the League of Nations.
3.2 Founding of the League of Nations:
It was during the World War I, numerous groups stared organising to look after the way to maintain peaceand prevent future wars. Initially the effort was confined only to the private initiative which later gotreceived the official support. For example, the League to Enforce Peace founded in 1915 in the UnitedStates (US), former President William Howard Taft as the important leader of this movement. A year later,President Woodrow Wilson addressed a meeting of the League to Enforce Peace, and gradually he came toendorse many of its principles. By January 1917, Wilson, in an address to the US Senate, advocated a“League for Peace” backed by superior collective force.However, the idea of the actual League of Nations appears to have originated with British ForeignSecretary Edward Grey, and it was enthusiastically adopted by Wilson and his advisor Colonel Edward M.House as a means of avoiding bloodshed like that of World War I. In 1918, a little more than a hundredyears after the foundation of the first peace societies in the United States and England (and with the supportof both countries’ Leagues to Enforce Peace), the idea of a “League of Nations” took form with the pledge

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The league of nations had clear roles to play but it seems unfortunate that was not provided with much necessary resources to carryout its mandate.
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