The history of the League of Nations includes a variety of individuals, including not only the delegates, but also individuals who worked in the Secretariat, with the Permanent Court of International Justice and the International Labor Organization. It also included individuals who worked on various committees, boards, commissions, and advisory bodies. This included not only politicians and diplomats, but also scientists, artists, academics, and experts in almost every field of endeavor. Many prime ministers and foreign ministers were delegates to the League and involved in its activities.
While the United States was not a member, many Americans were associated with the League. Assemblies In September of each year, an Assembly of all the member states would meet in Geneva. Each member state had one vote. Extraordinary sessions could be called to deal with urgent matters. The President was elected at the first meeting of the session, and held office for the duration of the session. The decisions of the Assembly had to be voted unanimously, except where the Covenant of the Peace Treaties provided otherwise.
As a general principle decisions on questions of procedure were voted by majority, or in some cases by a two-thirds majority. The Assembly dealt with such matters as the budget, the admission of new members, all matters affecting world peace, making amendments to the Covenant, and electing non-permanent members to the Council. Each member country was represented by a delegation to the Assembly, including not more than three delegates and substitutes. Councils The Council met on the third Monday in January, the second Monday in May, and just before and after the Assembly in September.
The Council was originally composed of four permanent members, the British Empire, France, Italy and Japan, and four non-permanent members to be elected every year by a majority of the Assembly. The first non-permanent members appointed by the Peace Conference and named in the Covenant were Belgium, Brazil, Greece and Spain. With the approval of the majority of the Assembly, the Council was able to appoint new permanent and non-permanent members. In September 1926, Germany was admitted to the League of Nations and given a permanent seat on the Council.
At the same time the number of non-permanent seats, already increased to six in 1922, was again increased to nine. The period of office was changed to three years. A tenth non-permanent seat was created for three years in 1933, and in 1936 this seat was continued in existence for another three years and an eleventh non-permanent seat created for three years until 1939. The permanent members of the Council fluctuated significantly during the 1930’s and the collapse of the Versailles system.
The Japanese stopped sending representatives to Council sessions in February 1933 and the Germans followed suit in October 1933. The League established a permanent seat for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in September 1934, but the Italians withdrew from Council meetings in 1937. In response to the Soviet invasion of Finland, the League expelled the Soviet Union from the Assembly and Council in December 1939. Any member of the League not represented on the Council was invited to send a representative to sit on it at any meetings at which matters especially affecting it were being discussed.
A similar invitation could be extended to states not members of the League. Some individuals served on just a few councils, while others sat on numerous ones. Commissions and Committees The Commission and Committee System of the League was very complex. In addition to the principal organ of the League, they performed most of the essential functions of the League. To classify them is almost impossible. They could be grouped by function or their legal status, i. e. whether their existence was based upon the Covenant, Council, Assembly, or international convention.
Conferences Numerous conferences were held under the auspices of the League. Often they were held to draft common policies or procedures in areas such as economics, health, and disarmament. In 1931 a special procedure for conferences was convened for the purpose of drafting international conventions. Secretariat The Secretariat was a permanent organ composed of the Secretary-General and a number ofofficials selected from among all the member countries as well as the United States. The other officials were appointed by the Secretary-General with the approval of the Council.
The Secretariat developed over time into a unique form of international administrative service that performed all kinds of functions through its general and special sections. Delegations There were sixty official member nations that participated in the activities of the League of Nations. The delegation from each country could include three delegates and three substitutes. Some countries also set up permanent delegations. Some consisted of a single official and others included a sizeable staff, including secretaries, experts, press secretaries, attaches, etc.
Some countries also had sections in their foreign offices for League affairs. Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ) The Permanent Court of International Justice was created by an international treaty. It was drafted in 1920 by a committee appointed by the Council of the League. It was revised in 1929 and again in 1936. The judges were elected by the Council and the Assembly of the League for a term of nine years. When the League was dissolved, the Court was superseded by the International Court of Justice. International Labor Organization (ILO) Bureau International du Travail (BIT).
The ILO/BIT was created in 1919 as an autonomous organization. It worked closely with the League of Nations from the beginning. Its aim was to improve labor conditions through international action. Membership of the League carried with it membership of the organization. In 1946 the organization became a specialized agency of the United Nations. Various This category includes photos of various groups of individuals, including journalists, the Museum of the League of Nations, the Palais Wilson, the Palais de Nations, as well as photos of other buildings associated with the League and the Radio Nations. Successes and Failures.
The League quickly proved its value by settling the Swedish-Finnish dispute over the Aland Islands (1920–21), guaranteeing the security of Albania (1921), rescuing Austria from economic disaster, settling the division of Upper Silesia (1922), and preventing the outbreak of war in the Balkans between Greece and Bulgaria (1925). In addition, the League extended considerable aid to refugees; it helped to suppress white slave and opium traffic; it did pioneering work in surveys of health; it extended financial aid to needy states; and it furthered international cooperation in labor relations and many other fields.
The problem of bringing its political influence to bear, especially on the great powers, soon made itself felt. Poland refused to abide by the League decision in the Vilnius dispute, and the League was forced to stand by powerlessly in the face of the French occupation of the Ruhr (1923) and Italy’s occupation of Kerkira (1923). Failure to take action over the Japanese invasion of Manchuria (1931) was a blow to the League’s prestige, especially when followed by Japan’s withdrawal from the League (1933).
Another serious failure was the inability of the League to stop the Chaco War (1932–35; see under Gran Chaco) between Bolivia and Paraguay. In 1935 the League completed its successful 15-year administration of the Saar territory (see Saarland) by conducting a plebiscite under the supervision of an international military force. But even this success was not sufficient to offset the failure of theDisarmament Conference, Germany’s withdrawal from the League (1933), and Italy’s successful attack on Ethiopia in defiance of the League’s economic sanctions (1935).
In 1936, Adolf Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland and denounced the Treaty of Versailles; in 1938 he seized Austria. Faced by threats to international peace from all sides—the Spanish civil war, Japan’s resumption of war against China (1937), and finally the appeasement of Hitler at Munich (1938)—the League collapsed. German claims on Danzig (see Gdansk), where the League commissioner had been reduced to impotence, led to the outbreak of World War II. The last important act of the League came in Dec. , 1939, when it expelled the USSR for its attack on Finland.
In 1940 the League secretariat in Geneva was reduced to a skeleton staff; some of the technical services were removed to the United States and Canada. The allied International Labor Organization continued to function and eventually became affiliated with the United Nations. In 1946 the League dissolved itself, and its services and real estate (notably the Palais des Nations in Geneva) were transferred to the United Nations. The League’s chief success lay in providing the first pattern of permanent international organization, a pattern on which much of the United Nations was modeled.
Its failures were due as much to the indifference of the great powers, which preferred to reserve important matters for their own decisions, as to weaknesses of organization. America Pulls Out Perhaps the greatest weakness of the League was that, when Wilson got back home to the United States, the American Senate refused to join the League. Americans did not want to get dragged into other countries’ problems. This damaged the League a lot. It did not have access to the prestige, influence, wealth or military power of the United States.
It was forced to rely on Britain and France, who had both been weakened by the First World War. Britain and France were the main members, helped by Italy and Japan; they were quite powerful countries. A critical weakness was that the most powerful countries in the world were not members. The Russians refused to join – they were Communists and hated Britain and France. Germany was not allowed to join. Without these three big powers, the League was weak. The Organisation of the League 1.
Assembly (the League’s main meeting – all members met once a year. Decisions had to be unanimous.) 2. Council (a small group of the more important nations – inc. Britain, France, Italy & Japan – met 4–5 times a year). 3. Agencies (committees of the League): • Permanent Court of International Justice. • Health. • International Labour Organisation. • Slavery • Refugees • Mandates Commission (looked after former German colonies). 4. Secretariat (was supposed to organise the League). League of nations- Resolving territorial disputes 1. Aland Islands 2. Upper Silesia 3. Albania 4. Memel 5. Hatay 6. Mosul 7. Vilnius 8. Colombia and Peru 9. Saar.
Read the story and ANSWER THE QUESTIONS. 1. How many countries joined the League of Nations in 1919? 42 |How many members did the League have in the 1930s? 60 | |Name three powerful countries which were not members of the League. USA, USSR, Germany | |Why was Russia not a member of the League? A Communist country, hated Britain and France | |Why was Germany not a member of the League? Not allowed to join by the Treaty of Versailles | |Who were the four main members of the League? Britain, France, Italy, Japan | |What four powers did the League have to enforce its decisions?
Explain them. | |[pic] | |Covenant | | | |[pic] | |Condemnation | | | |[pic] | |Arbitration | | | |[pic] | |Sanctions | | | |What did the League NOT have which made it hard for it to enforce its decisions? An army | |What were the eight main parts of the League’s organisation? Secretariat, Council, Assembly, Court of | |International Justice, Health Committee, International Labour Organisation, Refugees Commission, Mandates | |Commission, Slavery Commission | |How many times a year did the League’s ‘Assembly’ meet? once a year | |How many times a year did the ‘Council’ meet?
4-5 times a year, and when necessary | |What did the ‘Court of International Justice’ do? settled small disputes | |What did the ‘Health Committee’ of the League do? tried to improve the health of the people of the world | |What did the ‘Slavery Committee’ of the League do? Tried to free all slaves | |What did the ‘Refugee Committee’ of the League do? tried to get refugees home, or into camps | |What was the job of the Secretariat’? To organise the work of the committees, and liaise between them | |Which two countries were involved in the Corfu dispute of 1923? Italy and Greece | |Who was the leader of Italy?
Mussolini | |Which two countries were involved in the Bulgaria incident of 1925? Bulgaria and Greece | |How many prisoners of war did the League get home? Half a million | |In which country did the League set up a refugee camp? Turkey | |Which two diseases did the League try to destroy? leprosy and malaria | |How did the League try to say no to drugs? Closed down 4 Swiss drugs companies | |How many slaves did the League set free? 200,000 | |Which two countries did the League send economics experts to? Austria and Hungary | |What did the Kellogg-Briand Pact promise in 1928?
To abolish war | |How did Britain and France make Germany pay reparations in 1921? Invaded the Ruhr | |What did the League try to arrange at its disarmament conference? All nations to reduce their weapons | |Why did the Disarmament Conference of 1931 fail? Hitler demanded equality with the other countries | |Which country broke the Treaty of Versailles by attacking Russia in 1920? Poland | |What did the League’s ‘International Labour Organisation’ try to do? 48-hour week | |Which country invaded Manchuria in 1931? Japan | |What was the ‘economic depression’ of the 1930s?
| |Wall Street (the US Stock Market) crashed | |USA called in loans | |Factories closed down | |People out of work/ starved | | | |Why didn’t France and Britain try to force Japan to leave Manchuria? Did not want to go to war | |Which country did Italy invade in 1935? Abyssinia | |What did Britain and France secretly agree with Italy? to let Italy have Abyssinia | |What effect did the League’s failures in Manchuria and Abyssinia have? Destroyed confidence in it, Many | |countries left | |List seven reasons the League failed. | |Weak | |America | |Structure/ organization | |Dictators | |Unsuccessful | |Members | |Big Bullies’ |.