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Li Chun Ho (Alvin Li) History Revision: League of Nations Past papers.

November 2003: (a) How did the League of Nations hope to prevent future wars between nations?[5] The League of Nations, an organization planned by Woodrow Wilson, of the US president, wanted it to be able to preserve long-term peace between nations. This organization would prevent future wars by using a method, collective security. This term meant that when one member state was being attacked, all of the other members would go to her aid by cutting off all financial and trade links with the attacker to discourage the attack and to also prevent the continuity of the war. Collective security had 4 main forms; the reduction of armaments, the use of trade ban, the pressure of world opinion, and also the use of armed force, in which the organization tried to prevent doing so. Because it did not have its own army, the LON would have to ask its member countries to provide their army and money to be involved in an issue to help stop an attack or invasion by the attacker. When a member country is attacked, they will bring their issue to the assembly and ask for the advice and verdict of the LON. The League of Nations allowed every member to have one vote in the assembly and encouraged everyone to be involved in preserving world peace. (b) Why did the League of Nations fail to restrict the aggression of Japan in the 1930s? The League of Nations failed to stop the aggression of Japan in the 1930s, due to many reasons. One of the reasons that contributed to the LON failure is that the Japanese army was one of the most independent armies from its government. It could act very independently by itself without risking any consequences from its ruling government. In this case, the Kwantung Japanese army was responsible for this aggression which conquered Manchuria, the Chinese province, by February 1932. The LON was unable to stop the army because when the Japanese government was unable to control its own army. The aggression of Japan was not interfered by LONs actions and efforts because of the position of Japan on the map. It was extremely far away from the LONs headquarters based in Geneva, Switzerland. Therefore, it took the committee that was in charge of this incident, the Lytton Commission of Inquiry, led by Lord Lytton, a very long time to travel to Japan, especially by boat. They went in December 1931, and took them nearly a year, (Oct 1932) to report back on what happened. However, the Japanese army had long already defeated the Manchurian province of China and renamed it as Manchukuo. This delay contributed to the failure of the LON and the fact that all decisions taken had to be unanimous, meaning everyone must agree, this has also slowed down the process of the LON. The League of Nations did not impose any economic or military sanctions against Japan as they felt that she was important for Asian security. Due to the strong army Japan had, the LON believed that it might be useful one day for the purpose of collective security or other related process that can help the LON. Therefore, they did not want to upset the Japanese too much. During the Manchurian crisis of 1931-1932, the world was still in the terrible first stages of the Great Depression of the American Wall Street Crash in 1929. This made to be very concerned of their own citizens and their economy. Because of this, many member countries were reluctant to further be involved in trade bans because it will further weaken the already unstable situation of their economy. The governments focused on issues at home, rather than in some faraway places. The

Li Chun Ho (Alvin Li) History Revision: League of Nations Past papers. economic crisis has no doubt undermined the League of Nations and further more weakened the structure of the LON. The Manchurian crisis has shown the internal weaknesses of the League of Nations. Mussolini, the Italian leader, followed the footsteps of Japan and attacked the Abyssinia as he knew that it was very unlikely the LON will stop Italian aggression when it failed to stop the Japanese aggression in China in 1931-2. (c) How far was the League of Nations a failure? Explain your answer.[8] We can agree to some extent that the League of Nations has been a failure overall due to its structure. Because of the fact that all decisions had to be unanimous, meaning all members must agree before establishing a decision, this had considerably slowed down the progress of the LON when dealing with incidents that threaten world peace, i.e. the Manchurian Crisis 1931-1932, and the Abyssinian crisis 1935-1936, and has caused the opponent to have defeated the victim due to the slow actions of the LON. The League of Nations has been quite a failure, when we note down its hesitation to use its full power on countries that were threatening others. The fact that the two great powerful countries, Britain and France, did not help promotes the use of collective security, but instead used the policy of appeasement. In another way, this showed that the two countries only cared for themselves. For example, Britain was not keen on the LON because it was upset that America was unable to join the organization because the US Senate did not allow US to join (the Senate was dominated by Republicans, who believed in the American foreign policy of isolationism, meaning that the Americans would try not to interfere with the affairs in Europe.) This decreased the morale of the British. Furthermore, she was already happy with her British Empire and saw no reason to support collective security. In addition, most British did not like the Treaty of Versailles, and therefore caused them to not to have a good impression on the League of Nations. The League of Nations was also a failure possibly because it was too idealistic. The four strongest member countries, who were also the four permanent members of the council of the LON, had all betrayed the organization in some way. Japan had betrayed the LON by invading Manchuria in 19312, while the Italians had ruthlessly defeated Abyssinia in 1935-1936 during the Abyssinian crisis. The French had occupied the Ruhr using its armies in 1923 when the Germans refused to continue the payment of the reparations bill totaling 6600 million pounds to France. In addition, the British abandoned the LON policy of collective security and instead adopted their own method of Appeasement; Chamberlain gave in to nearly all of the demands Germany had made. The League of Nations was furthermore a failure because many countries did not want to support its policy of trade bans after the 1929 Wall Street Crash, the Great Depression. Member countries did not want to further weaken their economies by imposing trade bans on other countries. Imposing trade bans meant that they would sell fewer goods to other nations, meaning a less income to the countrys economy and financial situation. This deeply undermined the LON. However, we can also partially disagree to the fact that the League of Nations was a failure, as it has also made some achievements worth noting. For example, the League of Nations has been somewhat quite successful during the 1920s. It was known as the roaring twenties, as the economy has been fairly well until the crash in 1929. For example, in 1920, the LON had successfully solved the dispute between Finland and Sweden over the Aaland Islands at the Gulf of Bothnia. They were

Li Chun Ho (Alvin Li) History Revision: League of Nations Past papers. islands they contained virtually no resources, they lawfully belong to Finland, however most of the population were Swedish. Eventually, the League of Nations decided the islands belonged to Finland. Both countries agreed to the final decision of the LON and the dispute was successfully solved by the League of Nations. Another successful incident involved the dispute between Bulgaria and Greece in 1925. Because of the fact they had a common border line between each other, there were fires shot between the sentries on the border. This caused one Greek soldier to be killed. As a result, Bulgaria invaded Greece. This issue was brought to the attention of the League of Nations to decide what to do. Eventually, the LON demanded Greece to withdraw its army from Bulgaria, and she was asked to pay a reparations bill totaling to 45,000 pounds. This agreement was established between the two countries, and the tension was brought to an end. Therefore as a result, we can see the LON as being a success in terms of solving tensions and small fights between countries with a relatively small army. However, to a bigger extent, the League of Nations can be seen as a failure as it was unable to stop powerful countries from dominating other nations, and its internal policies of collective security was proved to be useless and ineffective. November 2004 (a) What were the aims of the League of Nations?[5] The aims of the League of Nations were to preserve long-term peace, reduce the armaments of all the countries in the world, and to protect the independence of countries. The LON aimed to solve disputes and preserve world peace by using a method called collective security. Collective security was the action taken when one attacker attacks another member country. In this case, all of the other member countries will go to the victims aid by cutting off all financial and trade links with the attacker to dissuade them from continuing their act of violence. Collective security came in with four main terms; the use of trade ban, pressure of world opinion, the reduction of armaments, and the use of armed force where necessary. The League of Nations had various agencies, organizations and commissions that aimed at improving the lives of people at all classes of society. For example, the International Labor organization aimed at improving workers conditions, sufficient wages, and have successfully persuade several countries to adopt the 48 working hours per week. The Health Organization aimed at encouraging healthcare schemes and educated people of being hygienic. It tried to eradicate Malaria and Leprosy, and was very successful in preventing a wide spread epidemic of typhus to be spread into Europe which originated from the USSR. (b) Why did the League of Nations have some successes during the 1920s?[7] The League of Nations had some amount of successes during the 1920s because they were able to solve disputes and arguments with small nations. They were able to bring about a fair decision in which both sides agreed on and were satisfied about. We can say that the LON had success in the 1920s because most of the problems solved in that time period were belonged to countries that had a small army, a small government, and were those who obeyed the verdict of the LON and played with the game. In other words, they would agree to the decisions reached by the assembly and council of the LON.

Li Chun Ho (Alvin Li) History Revision: League of Nations Past papers. For example, the League of Nations successfully resolved the dispute between Bulgaria and Greece in 1925. The two countries had the same common border; therefore there were some gunfights between the opposite sentries. This resulted in the death of a Greek soldier. As a result, Greece retaliated by invading Bulgaria with her army. This issue was sent to the LON for their advice. The League of Nations concluded that Greece should leave Bulgaria alone and also had to pay a reparations bill of 45,000 pounds to Bulgaria for the damage done. Several similar incidents to this were common in the 1920s, and had allowed the League of Nations to have a fairly good impression. (c) How far can the failure of the League of Nations in the 1930s be blamed on the Great Depression? The failure of the League of Nations in the 1930s can be blamed on the Great Depression 1929 to some extent. Because of the American Wall Street Crash in 1929, many countries were economically unstable, and therefore governments were more concerned about their own countries and citizens rather than some issues in faraway places. The economic crisis has undermined the power of collective security, because many member countries were reluctant to impose trade ban on the attacker countries, fearing this will further weaken and deteriorate the poor financial position of the League of Nations. For example, Japan did not receive any military or economic sanctions in 1931-2 when it invaded the Chinese province of Manchuria, and successfully defeated the province by February 1932. We can also blame the Great Depression which caused the League of Nations to fail in the 1930s. Because of the fact many of the countries were in a poor, desperate financial situation, this has caused countries to use violence in order to conquer other small nations to make use of their natural resources. For example, Italy was not in a good financial position in the 1930s, therefore he resorted to the use of his armed forces and violence to defeat Abyssinia. Therefore, we can see that many countries have adopted the use of violence in order to assist their own economy. By taking land, they can gain more natural resources and material over there. However, we cannot fully justify that the Great Depression is fully responsible for the failure of the League of Nations. In order for collective security to work, Britain and France had to work together towards collective security. However, both of them were not too keen on collective security. France was more concerned of getting her reparations back than assisting other countries through collective security, while Britain had lost morale in the LON because America was not allowed to be a member of the LON. In addition, Britain saw no point in assisting the collective security policy because it was already happy with its British empire. This led to appeasement, instead of using collective security methods and trade bans. The failure of appeasement led to the start of the World War two, as Chamberlain originally believed that Hitlers demands were reasonable.