How successful was the League of Nations in the 1920s?
The League of nations had a few successes, but also had many failures.
The League was made up of - the Council - who were a small group of permanent members (Japan, Italy, Britain and France) who had Vetos (which meant they could stop all actions even if everyone else agreed) and also some temporary members (who were re-elected every 3 years) and didn’t have a veto - The assembly - who recommended action to the Council and voted on: new members, deciding temporary members to the Council, and what to do with the budget (all decisions being made unanimously) - the Court of International Justice - who’s job it was to settle any border disputes fairly and peacefully, however they couldn’t actually enforce these ideas - the Secretariat - the administrative part of the League, who kept records, prepared reports, etc. - the International Labour Organisation - worked towards improving working conditions around the world, yet they couldn’t make the ideas happen - and many different committees and commissions. When there was an argument or disagreement, the League wanted to resolve disputes through co-operation, however if this did not work, the League would use powers to settle the disagreement, these being - Moral Condemnation - the League would decide who was the ‘aggressor’ and command it to stop taking further action. - Sanctions - Members of the League would refuse to trade with the ‘aggressor’ - and Military Force - countries who were members of the LoN could use their armed forces to against the ‘aggressor’.
The League succeeded in creating a better world. It had many committees that worked towards many different important issues in society, such as health and working conditions. The League achieved many successful outcomes, especially for refugees after WW1. 400,000 refugees were returned home, also housing thousands in camps in Turkey, as well as stopping cholera, smallpox and dysentery spreading within those camps. Slavery was also a major success, as 200,000 slaves were freed from Sierra Leone. The LoN also organised multiple raids against slave owners and traders in Burma, challenged the use of forced labour and miraculously brought the death rate of African workers from 50% to 4%. The Health committee managed to defeat leprosy and campaigned towards eliminating mosquitos which carried malaria, which was a huge success, other countries such as the USSR asked for health advice from the League. Although the League improved working conditions by banning poisonous lead paint and limiting child working hours, the League failed in reducing work hours, as only a small minority agreed to reduce work to a 48 hour week and an 8 hour day, meaning that workers still worked for extremely long hours for many days a week.
Disarmament on the other hand, was a complete failure. Although it was one of the key aims of the league, disarmament took little action, as all permanent members agreed...