Aims of the League of Nations:. Discourage aggression from any nation. Encourage countries to cooperate, especially in business and trade. Improve living and working conditions of people in all parts of the world. Weapons at the LONs disposal.
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Aims of the League of Nations: • Discourage aggression from any nation. • Encourage countries to cooperate, especially in business and trade. • Improve living and working conditions of people in all parts of the world.
Weapons at the LONs disposal • Moral condemnation – could decide which country was aggressor and blame it. Could condemn aggressor and tell it to stop what it was doing. • Econ and financial sanctions • Military force – Collective Security
LON in the 1920’s Success or failure? SUCCESSES: • 1921 upper Silica – border between Germany and Poland. Both Germans and poles lived there and both countries wanted control because of the rich iron and steel industry. League organised plebiscite (vote) to decide who should get the region and acted on the results. 1/3 went to Poland and 2/3 went to Germany. Both countries accepted decision and war avoided.
SUCCESSES: • 1921 Aaland Islands – midway between Finland and Sweden and both countries wanted control and were threatening each other. LON decided that Islands should remain under Finnish control but rights of Swedish minorities should be protected. Sweden agreed.
These successes involve small countries and have often been forgotten. • 1925 Bulgaria. Greece invaded after Greek troops had been killed in border clashes. Bulgaria appealed to the LON. LON appealed to countries to stop fighting which they did. LON sent a commission to investigate. Greeks told to leave Bulgaria and forced to pay compensation.
LON in the 1920’s Success or failure? SUCCESSES: Repatriated 400, 000 WWI prisoners. Refugees – Crisis in Turkey 1922, LON housed hundreds of thousands in camps and wiped out cholera, small pox and dysentery. Health Committee worked hard to defeat leprosy. Reduced cases of yellow fever and malaria. Organised a successful rescue plan for the Austrian economy. Commissions successful fighting against drug trafficking and slavery. LON helped Germany sign Locarno Treaty 1925. Germany accepted borders of TOV and promised to stick within them. Kellogg - Briand Pact 1928 65 countries signed up and promised not to use force to settle disputes.
FAILURES: • 1920 Poland invaded Vilna. A Lithuania city which had a mostly polish population. LON unable to do anything. France supported Poland’s claim to Vilna in return for Poland promising to support France against future Germany. Britain did nothing as saw countries and insignificant and too far away. Didn’t want to sent own troops. LON failure.
FAILURES: • 1923 Italy invaded Corfu. Italian soldiers in working for LON in Corfu. Soldiers attacked and Killed (not sure who by). Mussolini blamed the Greeks and called for reparations and for the murders to be handed over. Greeks denied any part and Italy invaded Corfu. LON suggested it pay compensation and try to find murderers. Mussolini not happy and managed to persuade some LON members that Greece was in the wrong and should pay before he removed his troops. LON gave in to Big country.
FAILURES: • Disarmament LON unable to get countries to agree on clear disarmament treaty. At Washington Conference 1921 Japan, Britain, US and France agreed to limit the size of navies. But disarmament never got any further than that. Another conference was held in 1926 but took 5 years to reach a draft agreement and in 1933 it was rejected by Germany.
Failures • Structural weaknesses – permanent members of council each had veto (one could stop all). • No USA • One rule for big countries like Italy and another for small ones like Greece (see Corfu and Bulgaria).