Why did the League fail in its aim to keep peace? M Cliffe St Thomas More Downloaded from www.SchoolHistory.co.uk
Organisation • Unanimous decisions impractical • Did not meet often enough • Took too long to make decisions
Membership • Important nations absent: • USA never joined • Germany joined 1926 but left 1933 • Japan left in 1933 • Italy in 1937
Sanctions • Economic sanctions not effective, particularly with absence of USA. • No army - individual countries reluctant to commit troops
Treaty of Versailles • League bound to uphold the terms of the Treaty. • Treaty seen increasingly as unfair
The will to make it work • Idealism after WW1 soon disappeared • Britain and France not best suited to lead the League. Acted against the League (Hoare-Laval Pact) • Depression allowed aggressive individuals to gain support at home e.g. Hitler, Mussolini • League seemed powerless to react.
Once USA pulled out Britain and France were not strong enough themselves. Depression altered political climate - it was nobody’s fault No organisation could have stopped aggressive individuals such as Hitler and Mussolini. Were put in a position of defending a peace settlement that many saw as unfair. In defence of the League
Manchurian crisis - the League should have resisted Japan Members did not keep to the rules. When challenged they just left the League e.g. Japan, Germany and Italy No strong leadership Too slow to make decisions All main members guilty of secret alliances Aggressive individuals weren’t dealt with Against the League