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Copy of The League of Nations and the United Nations
Transcript of Copy of The League of Nations and the United Nations
Why did the League of Nations failed?
"It is not enough just to win the war. We must win it in such a way as to keep the future peace of the world."
Woodrow Wilson (1918)
Concrete Historical Examples
But What About the United Nations?
1. Creation of the Economic and Social Council
2. Creation of a military force, the Blue Helmets
3. Creation of new specialized inter-governmental agencies
4. Creation of the Trusteeship Council and the "Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories"
1. The Secretary General has more power and leadership
2. The UN Charter is considered to be more precise than the
3. Each organ has its own specific responsibilities
4. Unanimity in the Assembly is no longer needed, a 2/3 majority is now required. Only the decisions of the five permanent members of the Security Council must be unanimous.
5. The UN modified one of the main objectives of the League by adding that peace and security could be maintained "by the pacific settlement of dispute and the taking of enforcement measures"
This modification can be explained by the social and historical context of the time.
The League was created right after the end of the war when the main focus was on maintaining the peace.
The concept of the UN was created during WWII when leaders may have realized they may have to rely on enforcement measures to ensure peace and collective security.
2. Japan's Invasion of China, 1931
Japan invaded Manchuria (China) in 1931 to expand its territory and improve its economic situation
The League took a year to complete an inquiry before taking a decision
In 1933, they ordered Japan to leave Manchuria
Japan decided to leave the League instead.
1. Delay between the beginning of the conflict and the League's intervention
2. Great Powers (Britain and France) wanted to avoid a military conflict
3. League members could not agree on possible sanctions or interventions
for respective reasons
3. Italy's Invasion of Abyssinia (Ethiopia), 1935
Italy wanted to invade Abyssinia
The League offered Mussolini a part of Abyssinia's territory
Mussolini ignored the League's offer and started the invasion
1. Offering a part of Abyssinia's territory can be seen as going against
the League's goals.
2. France and Britain secretly agreed Abyssinia should be italian
3. The League's sanctions did nothing to stop Mussolini.
In the decision-making process, each member had the tendency to favor its own interests before achieving the League's goals.
Failure of Disarmament
France and Britain's invasion of Germany in 1921
Loss of Japan in 1933
3. Military or Economic Actions
No official military forces, relied on the members' willingness to use their military power
Not all Great Powers were members (i.g. USA and USSR), which reduced the League's access to military power
Similar situation when talking about economic actions
"Consequence": The League was powerless to stop Hitler when he started breaking the Treaty of Versailles, the main transgression being the invasion of Austria in 1938
2. Self-Centred States
Flaws of the League
And how the United Nations tried to correct the situation...
League of Nations (1919-1946)
Created in 1919 during the Paris Peace Conference
42 founding members, 24 remained until 1946
Based on Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points (President of the United States)
United States refused to join, USSR was kicked out
mprove People's Lives and Jobs
nforce the Treaty of Versailles
Assembly, Council, Agencies (committees of the League) and Secretariat
1. The Dysfunction of the League
Unclear responsibilities between each main organs
Could make recommendations only, and not binding resolutions
These recommendations could be rejected by any member
Mostly all decisions had to be unanimous
Unanimous voting indirectly gave veto power
"The League died in 1935. One day it was a powerful body imposing sanctions, the next day it was a useless fraud, everybody running away from it as quickly as possible. Hitler watched."
AJP Taylor, 1966
1. Conflict between Italy and Greece, 1923
death of Italian soldiers in Greece working for the League
Mussolini invaded and occupied the island of Corfu, Greece
Weak intervention from the League
1. Members did not agree if the League should intervene or not in this
2. France feared for its position in the League (France's Occupation of the
The League failed because:
Alston, Philip and Ryan Goodman.
International Human Rights - The Successor to International Human Rights in Context: Law, Politics and Morals
. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Print.
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Clare, John D.,
The League of Nations
. Modern World History GCSE Revision Site. Web. 16 January 2014.
Goodrich, Leland M. "From League of Nations to United Nations"
. Feb. 1947: 3-21. Print.
The United Nations, Peace Operations and the Cold War
. United States: Pearson, 2011. Print.
Townshend, Charles. "The League of Nations and the United Nations."
. 17 February 2011. Web.
Modifications and Improvements