Though the League of Nations prevented the out break of war among some nations, it had many failures as well. It’s biggest failure was containing all the world’s major powers. The first issue they faced was that the country whose president came up with the idea of the League of Nations, refused to join. The prestige of the League of Nations was greatly effected because America was one of the most powerful states. Another weakness of the league was that Germany was not allowed to join because they were the reason the war started.
Due to Article 10 and the limitations on armaments, which the senators objected, and the inability to compromise on the deadlock between the President’s beliefs and the Senators, led to the failure to ratify the Treaty of Versailles. These factors lead the senate to their decision, which left the world vulnerable for another war and the eventual demise of the League of Nations. The Fourteen Points were one of Wilson’s major accomplishments while he held office. Wilson introduced this theory on what he believed were successful measures in not only preventing Germany from beginning a war again, but to prevent all wars. After all World War One was the war to end all wars.
This brings to light that the effective response to aggression is collective security, and not appeasement. World War II broke up the western European front due to the League of Nations. The League of Nations was simply not able to respond in a timely manner in response to the aggressors. Cited in the “World War Two – Causes” packet, the League of Nations was not able to act quickly because they only met a total of four times in one year. Also, the entire League had to agree on a topic.
If the League of Nations failed in its primary responsibility, it was because nations failed to transition to the Wilsonian principle of collective security. The default position of “realpolitik” and balance of power politics, which meant alliance systems – sprang back the moment nations perceived themselves as threatened. From the outset, the seeds of the League’s failure were sewn by its association with the Treaty of Versailles, membership and structural faults, lack of an army and the continuous relapse of powerful nations into old paradigms in the 1920’s. Although this decade tainted the image and authority of the League, the 1930’s dictated its ultimate breakdown. The 1930’s were a time of global emergency as nations shifted... ... middle of paper ... ..., a detrimental blow to the League’s authority and image.
Any aggressive countries would be sanctioned by all the League's members and would be attacked as a last resort. As America didn't join the league, it failed pretty quickly, as it had no real structure or power. One of the policies the British followed was appeasement. The aim of appeasement was to avoid war with powers such as Japan, Italy and Germany by giving in to some of their reasonable demands. The policy was based on the League of Nations dealing with any countries, which were too powerful, but as the League of Nations failed, so did the ... ... middle of paper ... ...horrors.
Wilson needed the approval of his congress and in America the idea of the League was not popular at all. To many Americans plans for the League of Nations suggested that America was promising to send its troops to settle every little conflict around the world. Others ... ... middle of paper ... ...world in the years following the Wall Street Crash in 1929 also weakened the League. At this time of crisis the League had trouble imposing sanctions. The Depression also caused great dictators such as Hitler to come to power.
This resentment for the treaty eventually led to the start of World War two when Hitler came to power and defied the treaty. Although if the League of Nations had stepped in earlier, Hitler could have been easily stopped. Many countries were affected by the Treaty of Versailles, but the effectiveness of the Treaty was diminished after the United States Congress voted against President Woodrow Wilson and did not sign the treaty. Had the United States signed the Treaty of Versailles, and in turn participated in the League of Nations, World War two could have been avoided. On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdenand, of Austria-Hungary, was assassinated by a Serbian group called the Blackhand.
Italians thought that their tremendous losses and contribution during the war were not rewarded. In 1920 the Italian government tried unsuccessfully to occupy Fiume. This was a blow to the national pride. As the major defeated country, on the other hand, Germany was heavily punished with the Treaty of Versailles. She was never invited to join the Paris Peace Con... ... middle of paper ... ...romised a massive rearmament programme could get the Reichswehr goodwill.
This gave the impression that the League was for the 'winners' of WWI, with Britain and France part of the inner council, and kept the German people bitter and still wanting revenge. Another weakness of the League was that it did not have an army of its own, and that if it wanted an army to stand up to a troublesome country, it must raise an army from member countries. This became ineffective, as many member countries were very unwilling to raise an army and physically challenge a country, as they were afraid that it
In “The war to end all wars”, Germany also did not take into calculation the ‘Domino Effect’ of the alliances between France, Russia and Britain. Because Germany had made such a bitter enemy of France, it decided to protect itself by making alliances with other countries in Europe. Germany formed an alliance with Austria-Hungary and Italy known as the Triple Alliance. To the keep the ‘Balance of Power’ in Europe, France allied itself with Great Britain and Russia; known as the Triple Entente. Both allies swore to help their allies if their countries were attacked.