The League of Nations, famously abbreviated as LN was an intergovernmental organization that was founded on tenth January 1920. It was as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that brought to an end the World War I. It was an organization formed with the aim of maintaining World Peace just as the UN was formed in 1945 to maintain worldwide peace. Some of its primary goals included maintaining peace through collaboration with the various governments, settling disputes between nations, and arbitration whenever there was a conflict between different nations. Other issues that it aimed at delving into included labor organizations, fair treatment of immigrants, global health, drug trafficking, protection of minorities, and protection of prisoners of war. By 1935, the LN had fifty-eight members. Thai m of the paper is to address the League of Nations from the perspective of liberalism and assessing whether it was successful in its endeavors.
In my opinion through the information that I gathered from various online and scholarly journals, the League of Nations was not successful in bringing about sustained peace across the globe. This was due to various shortcomings that it had for the time it existed. First, the LN did not have its own armed forces. It thereby relied on the Great powers across Europe for military support. Overreliance on the Great Powers meant that it did not have authority in enforcing its resolutions and maintaining economic sanctions in the regions that it deemed fit to do so. This gradually meant that it could not have any authority over the Great powers. Great Powers had immense control over the League of Nations since the organization depended on these nations for support and military power. This meant that the League of Nations could not solve the problems in areas where the Great Powers were the protagonists.
There were also numerous loopholes in the League’s Covenant that meant that war was inevitable during the 1930s and the 1940s. Many historians and politicians suggest that the Covenant and its loopholes gradually led to the start of World War II. An example of such a loophole was in Article 11 of the League’s Covenant. The article stated that when one of the Nations within the League was at war with another member, then the LN had no moral or legal obligation to intervene in the war (Wilson 536). This means that its failure to participate in arguments and wars between member states would slowly see member states start to fight against each other. Another issue that led to its failure was the lack of funding. Most of the member states were hesitant to contribute funds and other military personnel and weaponry to the LN. This meant that its authority was not enhanced over the life of the LN.
Its little number of members also meant that the funds collected could not allow the League of Nations to pursue the objectives that were intended during its establishment. Some of the most influential members of the League of Nations were France and Britain. On many occasions, these two nations would ignore the authority that the League of Nations had. An example that did not please Britain and France was when the League of Nations tried to appease Hitler. Britain and France were against these ideas and this subsequently led to the start of World War II in 1939. There were also numerous conflicts against other member states that slowly led to some of the member states leaving the League of Nations. In 1932, Japan conquered Manchuria. The actions by Japan agitated China and the League of Nations decided to support China. The action by the LN led Japan into leaving the League of Nations.
As member states started to leave the LN, its authority over the countries in Europe and some parts of Asia started to diminish by a significant rate. Another incidence of conflict in the League of Nations was when Italy invaded Abyssinia in 1935. After the invasion, the LN condemned the actions of Italy. However, it was later realized that France and Britain were in negotiations so as to give Abyssinia to Italy (Bendiner 65). The League of Nations also failed since it was unable to reach its goal of disarmament. The goal was aimed at reducing the conflicts that existed in the member states. This goal meant that nations could produce weapons the way they wanted and this gradually escalated into conflict in the years that followed.
Another aspect that led to the failure of the League of Nations was when member states started to defy the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles suggested that no member states could create unions or unite to create a block. This took place when Germany claimed that iot was uniting with Austria. The move was rejected by the LN although it had no authority to stop the union. In 1939, the fascists won the Spanish Civil War. This led Spain into leaving the League of Nations and this led to World War II. The failures of the League of Nations led to the creation of the United Nations immediately after the end of World War II.
In conclusion, the United Nations was founded to accomplish the goals that the League of Nations was unable to achieve during its life. The United Nations inherited most of the departments that had been created by the LN. Since then, the United Nations made sure that it had authority over the Great Powers and also developed its own military force that is made up of a collection of the various servicemen and servicewomen from its member states. The success that has been witnessed by the United Nations is proof that the mistakes of the League of Nations were too expensive since they did not deter the incidence of another World War. Today, international cooperation and world peace has been enhanced by a significant extent with the United Nations even placing sanctions on countries that do not respect the agreements that were set up in 1945. An example of such a country is North Korea.
Bendiner, Elmer. A Time for Angels: The Tragicomic History of the League of Nations. New
York: Knopf, 2009.
Wilson, Peter. “Leonard Woolf, The League Of Nations And Peace Between The Wars.”
Political Quarterly 86.4 (2015): 532-539. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.