- Introduction – purpose and mandate of league of nations.
- Mention about the initial success.
- Write the causes of failure.
Post-World War I, League of Nation came into existence with the dual objective of maintaining peace through ‘collective security’ and encouraging ‘international cooperation’ to solve socio-economic problems of the world.
In theory, it was a good idea and did have some initial successes like it helped to solve refugee problems, former prisoners of war issues and establishment of International Labour Organisation (ILO) etc. but eventually with global economic depression of 1929, problems like unemployment, falling living standards, extreme right-wing governments etc. became a regular feature. And League of nations proved to be a toothless organization.
Decline of League of Nations due to following contradictions:
- Mandate System: It was an attempt to stop the cycle of war and fighting over conquered land by appropriating the land of the collapsed Ottoman Empire and the colonies of Germany to a larger and established state. In practice, it formally accepted the theory of colonialism.
- The treaty of Versailles: League was supposed to defend this which in itself was far from perfect.
- Important countries like US, USSR and Germany were not part of it.
- It had no army of its own.
- Unable to act quickly due procedural delays (absolute consensus was required).
- Failure of appeasement policy.
- Clash of economic interests.
- National minorities clause of peace settlement of 1919-20.
League had the stated mandate of preventing any war from ever breaking out again. But the occurrence of WWII itself proved its ineffectiveness. However, it can be credited with delaying the war, if not preventing it altogether.