The Successes And Failures Of The League Of Nations In The 1920S


This isn't really an essay, its just a summary of the actions of the League of Nations that might come in handy if you have no notes.
The Successes and Failures of the
League of Nations in the 1920s
Extracts from the Covenant of the League:
To promote international co-operation and to achieved international peace and security:
-by the acceptance of obligations not to resort to war
-by the prescription of open, just and honourable relations between nations.
-by the firm establishment of international law as the rule of conduct between governments.
-by the maintenance of justice and a scrupulous respect for all treaty obligations in the dealings of organised people with one another.
Successes and Failures of the League
Vilna (1920)- Both Lithuania and Poland claimed Vilna, but it was given to Lithuania even though it had a majority Polish population. In 1920, Poland occupied Vilna, and refused to leave. This was definitely one league member showing aggression against another, the League didn't want to get involved. The League wanted to leave Poland alone as it was a strong barrier between Germany and communist Russia. In 1923, the League of Nations confirmed Poland's occupation of Vilna
Verdict on the League: Weak and useless.
The Aaland Islands (1921)- These islands are situated about halfway between Norway and Sweden. Both had made a claim for tem and were ready to fight, but they invited the League to make a judgement on the dispute. The League decided that the islands should go to Finland, and Sweden accepted this.
Verdict on the League: A satisfactory outcome, but only because the nations in the dispute were willing to accept the League's authority.
Upper Silesia (1921)- This was a plebiscite area defined by the League. Germany and Poland were both determined to get it as it was very important for industry. In the plebiscite people voted in favour of Germany 700,000 to 480,000. The League partitioned the area, the Germans got over half the land and population, where Poland got most of the industry. Germany was not pleased with this, but both countries accepted.
Verdict on the League: A messy compromise, but whatever the League decided would have displeased someone. In difficult circumstances, it did as well as it could.
Economic collapse in Austria and Hungary (1922-3)- After the war, Austria and Hungary's economies were in crisis, and with the burden of reparations it seemed they would simply collapse. The League arranged loans for the two countries and in effect, took over the economic management of the two countries. With this help, both Austria and Hungary were able to begin economic recovery.
Verdict on the League: The League's action was prompt and effective.
Corfu (1923)- In August 1923, five Italian surveyors mapping the Greek-Albanian frontier were shot dead on the Greek side of the border. When Greece didn't pay compensation, Mussolini invaded Corfu, an island off the Greek coast. This was completely against the principles of the League, of which it the Italians were a big part. The Council wanted to condemn Italy, but the great powers would not allow it, instead, pressure was put on Greece to apologise and pay up.
Verdict on the League: A disaster ? confronted by a great power willing to use force, the league backed down.
The Greek-Bulgarian dispute (1925)- After the Treaty of Neuilly, the border between Greece and Bulgaria remained a source of tension. After a number of violent incidents, Greece invaded Bulgaria in October 1925. The League condemned the Greek action and pressurised them to withdraw, which they did.
Verdict on the League: Successful action brought a return to peace ? exactly what the League was for. But cynics suggested that the League was only willing to take firm action when no great powers were involved.