Sidebar content in here.
Strenghts and Weaknesses of the League of Nations
All of the leaders who signed the Covenant in 1919 had experienced the war and wanted to avoid any repetition.
At the beginning there was a great deal of good will to make the League work. The idea of ‘Collective Security’ was also very sound.
Russia was not allowed to join after the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917.
The USA did not join, even though the League was Woodrow Wilson's idea. Congress voted against membership.
Americans believed that the United States would be drawn into internal conflicts in other countries. Most people in the United States wanted to concentrate on domestic issues.
Germany was not allowed to join, but did become a member in 1926.
Italy broke the Covenant in 1923 when Mussolini occupied Corfu, which was owned by Greece. He was forced to back down but no sanctions were applied. A Permanent Council Member had been allowed to escape when it had broken the Covenant.
The League soon came to be seen as a club for the victors of the First World War and was mostly European.
Sir Eric Drummond, the Secretary-General, was a representative of one of the Permanent Members of the Council and this made countries outside Europe believe that the League was pro-European.
The League had no army; it had to rely on member countries declaring war on countries that broke the Covenant.
|©2005 Nick Hardcastle. All Rights Reserved|