The League of Nations

Satisfactory Essays
The League of Nations

After the First World War most countries were determined to avoid any

further conflicts and were willing to do anything. From this, the idea

of collective security was formed and the League of Nations was set up

including the countries who did not want war. However, the rise of

Fascism showed the weakness of the League, so instead a new policy was

formed. The idea of appeasement was that to avoid war Fascism powers

must be pacified. This policy was mainly established out of fear of

war and the weakness of the British army as it was thought that

appeasement could buy time to re-arm. This essay will assess the

reasons behind appeasement to ascertain whether it was the most

appropriate policy at this time, or if in practice, was only

encouraging Hitler to make further demands.

The League of Nations was set up after the Versailles Peace Conference

by the American president Woodrow Wilson, who believed that collective

security was the way to stop war. He felt it was the main powers duty

to maintain peace after the Great War, and that by acting together,

they could control any aggression and settle disputes. It was on these

beliefs that the League of Nations was founded. Forty two nations

joined immediately, but since America refused to join the League had

no power and was doomed before it had even started. The Manchurian

Crisis provided a test of worth for the League, but it proved weak and

eventually died after Abyssinia in 1935.

The break down of the League of Nations showed how difficult

aggression was to control. Instead a new policy was to form. The

failure of collective security was one of the main reasons for the

development of appeasement. Appeasement was defined by Professor Keith

Robbins as “a disposition to avoid conflict by judicious concession

and negotiation”. He also pointed out that the difficulty lay in

deciding when concessions were well-judged and reasonable and what

these concessions should be. The assumptions behind Hitler were that
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