Revision – League of Nations



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Revision – League of Nations

For ‘a’ questions revise the parts of the League, what the League could/could not do, successes (Aaland islands, Greece-Bulgaria, Upper Silesia) and failures (Corfu) in the 20s and M.R.S. H.I.

For ‘b’ questions revise why the membership of the League was as it was and why there were success/failures.
Finally, for ‘c’ questions revise arguments for and against the League being a complete failure and one reason being the main reason for failure.


  1. Examine the following 5 mark ‘a’ questions taken from past papers –
    a. What were the roles of (i) the Assembly and (ii) the Mandates Commission in the League of Nations? (Nov ’11)

  1. What methods were available to the League to settle disputes between countries? (Nov ’10)

  1. Describe two successes the League of Nations had in solving disputes in the 1920s. (Nov ’11)

  1. Describe events in Corfu in 1923. (Nov ’11)

  1. Describe the humanitarian work of the League of Nations in the 20’s. (Nov’ 08)


WRITTEN TASK – Draw spider-diagram answers showing at least 6 points in answer to each of the questions above. You’ll be expected to show these diagrams in your next lesson.

  1. Examine the following 7 mark ‘b’ questions and level 2 answers

b. Why did some major powers not join the League of Nations? (Nov ’10)

LEVEL 2 ANSWER POINTS

GERMANY - not allowed.

USSR - not invited.

USA - did not want to get involved in European affairs.
b. Why was the League of Nations weak from the start? (Nov ’11)

LEVEL 2 ANSWER POINTS

STRUCTURE & MEMBERSHIP


  • The League had no army.

  • Defeated nations, such as Germany, were not invited to join.

  • Decisions had to be unanimous.

  • The USSR was not allowed to join.

BRITISH & FRENCH SELF-INTEREST

USA ABSENCE

The USA was not a member.


b. Why did the League of Nations have some successes in the first ten years of its existence? (Nov ’11)
LEVEL 2 ANSWER POINTS – (learn 3 A’s)

ACCEPTANCE
‘Because its decisions were accepted by between smaller countries.’

Note: Candidates may describe the successes without any indication of why it was a success. This may include the Aaland Islands, Greek-Bulgarian War and Upper Silesia.


b. Why was the League unable to stop Italian aggression against Corfu in 1923? (Nov’ 11)

LEVEL 2 ANSWER POINTS



  • FEARFUL - The League feared a powerful nation.

  • WEAK - Britain and France were not strong enough.

  • IGNORED – Mussolini worked behind the League’s back.



WRITTEN TASK – for each question write out a card with the level 2 points on one side and a level 3 sentence on the other for each point.


  1. The following are the most important 8 mark ‘C’ questions for this unit –


Was the League a complete failure?

Why did the League of Nations fail?
These key questions could be written in different ways, such as…..

‘The lack of an army was the main reason for the League’s failure in Manchuria.’ How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (Nov’10)


‘The League of Nations failed because of Britain and France.’ How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (Nov ‘11)

‘The League of Nations failed because of the absence of the USA.’ How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (Nov ’11)

‘How far can the World Depression be blamed for the failure of the League? Explain your answer. (Nov ’08)


WRITTEN TASK –
Copy out and Complete the following tables with as many points as you can think of –

Success and Failure of the League –



Successes

Failures

Aaland Islands = (expand with detail)

Upper Silesia =

Greece Bulgaria border dispute =

MRS HI =



Corfu =

Vilna =


Abyssinia =

Reasons the League failed -

Evidence the League was ‘doomed from the start’ because of its structure and membership…



Evidence the League failed because the USA wasn’t a member…



Evidence the League failed because it didn’t have an army….



Evidence the League failed because of the Great Depression…



Evidence the League failed because of Britain and France’s self interest…



Markscheme Answers!


a. What were the roles of (i) the Assembly and (ii) the Mandates Commission in the League of Nations? (Nov ’11)

  • ‘The Assembly could recommend action to the Council.’

  • ‘It could vote on admitting new members.’

  • ‘It could vote on appointing temporary members of the Council.’

  • ‘It voted on the budget.’

  • ‘It discussed other ideas put forward by the Council.’

  • ‘The Mandates Commission supervised the mandates set up to look after Germany’s former colonies.’

  • ‘It made sure countries, like France and Britain, acted in the interests of the people of the mandated territory, not in their own interests.’


a. What methods were available to the League to settle disputes between countries? (Nov ’10)

A. Aggression was discouraged.

B. By encouraging co-operation through business and trade.

C. Improving living and working conditions throughout the world.

D. By encouraging nations to disarm.

There was collective security.


CONDEMN - The League could exert pressure on the guilty country, bringing world opinion against it.

SANCTION - Economic sanctions could be applied.

FORCE - As a last resort, military action could be used against an aggressive nation.
The League could use the International Court of Justice.

The League was responsible for the operation of the Treaties so could use what was written in the treaties as guidance for settling disputes.


a. Describe two successes the League of Nations had in solving disputes in the 1920s. (Nov ’11)

AALAND ISLANDE – FINLAND & SWEDEN - ‘It resolved the dispute in 1921 between Sweden and Finland over the Aaland Islands by deciding they were to go to Finland. Sweden accepted and war was avoided.’

UPPER SILESIA – POLAND & GERMANY - ‘In 1921 it helped to arrange a plebiscite in Upper Silesia after both Poland and Germany had claimed the land. After the result, the League decided to partition the area. Both accepted the League’s decision.’

BORDER DISPUTE – GREECE & BULGARIA - ‘In 1925, the Greeks invaded Bulgaria because of a border dispute. The League condemned the Greek action and forced them to withdraw. The League fined Greece.’
a. Describe events in Corfu in 1923. (Nov ’11)

In August five Italian surveyors who were working for the League of Nations in mapping the border between Greece and Albania were killed on the Greek side of the border.

Mussolini demanded compensation from the Greek government.

Mussolini bombarded and occupied Corfu because the Greeks refused to pay compensation.


a. Describe the humanitarian work of the League of Nations in the 1920s. (Nov ’08)

Name the MRS HI agencies and say something about what each one did -

‘The League did tremendous work in getting refugees into camps and former prisoners of war back to their homelands. About 400,000 prisoners were returned to their homes.’

‘The League acted quickly to deal with cholera, smallpox and dysentery in Turkish refugee camps.’

‘The ILO banned poisonous white lead from paint.’

‘The ILO reduced the hours of work for children and recommended a 48 hour week for adults.’

‘The Health Committee worked hard to defeat leprosy and reduce cases of malaria.’

‘The League dealt with shipping lanes and introduced an international highway code.’

‘The League blacklisted four large companies involved in the illegal drug trade.’

‘It freed 200,000 slaves in Sierra Leone and reduced the death rate on the Tanganyika railway.’



b. Why did some major powers not join the League of Nations? (Nov ’10)

LEVEL 3


GERMANY - as a defeated nation in the War, was not allowed to enter the League. It had to prove that it could be responsible. It was allowed to join in 1926.

USSR - was not invited to join because it was a Communist country, although it was allowed to join in 1934.

USA –


  • Many in the USA thought the casualties among US troops were very high for the short time they had been in the War and they didn’t want further loss of American lives helping the League.

  • Congress voted against it in 1919 and, when Wilson returned it to Congress in 1920, it was defeated again.

  • Wilson, who suggested the League, was a Democrat and his opponents, the Republicans, opposed the US entry into the League and made it an election issue.

  • Warren Harding, a Republican and who became President, wanted the USA to ‘return to normalcy’.

  • He wanted the USA out of European affairs and he wanted full trade, not hindered by the League’s economic sanctions.


b Why was the League of Nations weak from the start? (Nov ’11)

LEVEL 3 = LEVEL 2 STUFF +

The Americans were really the only nation with the resources or the influence to make the League work. The League’s trade sanctions would be useless if countries could still trade with the USA.
b. Why did the League of Nations have some successes in the first ten years of its existence? (Nov ’08 & 11)
LEVEL 3

AVOID WAR ‘Countries wanted it to work as war had just ended and countries did not want more hostility.’

ACCEPTANCE ‘Countries were willing to accept the League’s decision. This happened in the Finland and Sweden dispute over the Aaland Islands and in the Greek-Bulgarian border dispute.’

‘Most of the disputes in this period involved smaller nations, who accepted the authority of the League, and countries such as Germany and Japan were not yet powerful.’



ASSURANCE ‘Early successes of the League gave nations assurance or confidence that the organisation would be able to keep the peace and settle disputes.’


b. Why was the League unable to stop Italian aggression against Corfu in 1923? (Nov ’11)

LEVEL 3


FEARFUL - Italy was a great power willing to use force and, as the League did not have an army, it backed down.

Members of the League, especially Britain and France, feared another war and therefore did not want to use force. They allowed the dispute to be settled outside the League.



WEAK - The Council of the League wanted to condemn Italy’s actions but France and Britain did not want to upset Mussolini and would not permit it. This put pressure on the Greeks to accept Mussolini’s demands.

IGNORED - Behind the scenes, Mussolini worked on the Conference of Ambassadors and persuaded it to change the League’s ruling.


Notes for your ‘c’ answers…
SUCCESSES AND FAILURES OF THE LEAGUE =

Successes of the Leagues

Failures of the Leagues

  • It had success over the Aaland Islands.

  • The Drugs Committee was successful. The League’s Health Committee was successful. They worked to defeat the dreaded disease leprosy and began a global campaign to exterminate mosquitoes, thus greatly reducing cases of malaria and yellow fever.

  • It failed over Corfu.

  • It failed over Abyssinia.

  • The League failed over Vilna. It was quite clear that Poland was the aggressor because they took control of Vilna, the capital of the new state of Lithuania. The French did not want to upset Poland because they were a potential ally against Germany and Britain was not prepared to act alone. The Poles kept Vilna because the League did nothing.




WHY THE LEAGUE FAILED =
The League of Nations was always going to fail because of its General Structure and Membership

  • ‘Not all nations were members. If armed force or meaningful sanctions were to be imposed all nations were needed.’

  • ‘The League was slow to take action. All decisions in the Assembly and the Council had to be unanimous. The League’s slowness is highlighted by the length of time the Lytton Commission took to report upon the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. By the time the report was published Japan had completed the invasion.’

  • ‘The League was very Eurocentric in its attitudes. Asia seemed very distant to many League members. It did not consider an Asian crisis as vital to the countries in Europe. So when Japan invaded Manchuria little was done quickly’

  • ‘Throughout its short history, the League was lacking many of the big powers at one time or another, apart from the USA. Both Germany and the USSR were late joining and then Japan, Germany and Italy withdrew.’

The League of Nations failed because the USA wasn’t a member.



  • ‘It was difficult to apply economic sanctions when the USA was not a member of the League. The USA could continue trading with the offending country, making the sanctions almost meaningless.’

  • ‘The League had been suggested by President Wilson, but the USA did not join and this undermined the League. The USA was the richest and most powerful country in the world and was obviously very influential, which the League was to miss.’

The League of Nations failed because it didn’t have an army



  • ‘The League had no armed forces of its own, relying on collective security. This meant inaction as members were not prepared to use force.’

  • ‘It would have been difficult for France and Britain to raise forces to travel to the East (Japanese invasion of Manchuria) to impose the will of the League. They could easily lose military action.’

The League of Nations failed because of the Depression.



  • ‘The Depression brought increased unemployment and many turned to extreme political parties. They did not believe in democracy and cared only for themselves. They ignored the authority of the League.’

  • ‘These extreme parties were prepared to use armed force and aggression to achieve their ends.’

  • ‘Countries were affected financially and sought to improve conditions by invading other countries. This happened in Manchuria.’

The League of Nations failed because of Britain and France’s contribution



  • ‘Britain and France were reluctant to send troops to deal with far away problems, such as in Manchuria.’

  • ‘Britain and France tried desperately to find a solution to the Abyssinian Crisis. This involved the Hoare-Laval Pact, which was leaked to the press, and showed that they were not willing to take tough action.’

  • ‘The League was dominated by France and Britain and, therefore, they must take responsibility for the League’s inability to solve the problems.’



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