League of Nations

League of Nations

The League of Nations was an international body that was formed during the end of the First World War to oversee and maintain world peace.

[1] However, the organization during its tenure experienced its successes and failures in equal measure.

One of the strengths of the League of Nations involved resolving the Aaland Island crisis in 1921.

[2] Although the island belonged to Finland, the natives demanded that Sweden governs them. As a result, the ownership of the island came up for contention as neither country could agree. The league intervened and ruled that Finland retain the island but should never be armed- a decision that still stands till today.

The strength of the League of Nations was demonstrated by its participation in settling a dispute in Upper Silesia.  The Treaty of Versailles had permitted the people of Upper Silesia to conduct a referendum to decide whether to be under the rule of Weimer Germany or Poland

[3] Germany won the vote by a fine margin, and this led to riots. The league convened and later deliberated that the territory is shared between Germany and Poland.

The major weakness of the League of Nations was that it lacked the backing of the three most powerful countries which were not members (USA, Russia, and Germany)

[4] The absence of these superpowers meant that the league was too weak to resolve disputes that involved other bigger nations that were under the rule of dictators such as Italy

Another weakness of the League of Nations was because decisions in the Assembly had to be passed by unanimous vote which made it very hard to reach agreements. Often, the decisions were over-ruled by lack of sufficient support, and this led to delays in resolving major disputes that arose during its reign.

The League of Nations stood no chance in the face of rising Nationalism and dictatorship. The tyrants that had arisen incited their subjects that their nation was superior to others and hence had every right to invade and take over other territories with disregard to principles of international law. The rise of dictators such Adolf Hitler and Mussolini further compounded the challenges facing the league, and hence it stood no chance of survival

[1] Mann, Michael. “The role of nationalism in the two world wars.” Nationalism and War (2013): 172-960

[2] Turchin, Peter. “Warfare and the evolution of social complexity: A multilevel-selection approach.” Structure and Dynamics 4, no. 3 (2010).

[3] IBid

[4] Hewitson, Mark. Germany and the causes of the First World War. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014.

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