20th Century World History
April 30, 2018
Why did the League of Nations fail in the 1930’s?
In 1919, when the League of Nations was first created. One of its main objectives was to
ensure lasting peace. Despite several successes throughout the 1920’s, they failed to maintain this
goal in the 1930’s. This lead to a loss of credibility, the collapse of the League, and lastly resulting
in World War 2. There are many different reasons to why the League of Nations was not able to
maintain the success level which was achieved during the 1920’s, but a specific few which set the
league up for failure.
The first event which was a major reason for the League’s downfall was the Manchurian
crisis. In 1931, the Japanese Army in Korea, decided that they were going take over the land to the
North of the Korean Peninsula (Walsh 246). This area had already seen lots of investment by
Japanese businessmen. There was a railway built with Japanese money called the South
Manchurian Railway, but there were also Japanese owned farms, mines and factories in Manchuria.
In September 1931, the railway was damaged near a place called Mukden, and the Army claimed
the damage was Chinese sabotage (Walsh 246). Before the government in Tokyo could stop them,
the army invaded Manchuria using the Mukden incident as an excuse, and put a puppet
government in charge of the new country that they called Manchukuo. The Chinese government
protested this, but the League’s weaknesses all came together at once which allowed the Japanese
to get away with it. Therefore leaving China in the dust, without any support. The reason why the
League was incapable of providing any support was because they were too slow making decisions
and they had no power to force countries to obey. Consequently, leading the League of Nations to
The next failure by the League of Nations was one which also failed throughout the
1920’s, Disarmament. It started to fail when Germany became angered on the fact that they had
been disarmed while other nations had not been. The League finally took notice in 1932 when they
held the Disarmament...