The leagues main aims were to settle international disputes and so prevent war from ever breaking out again. Also to Improve people’s lives and Jobs – Encourage co-operation in trade/ Economic and social agencies. , Disarmament and Enforce the Treaty of Versailles.
Next we will see if the league succeeded to attempt these aimsThe leagues commissions and comities in the leagues early years had much success in solving international problems. The refuge organization solved the problems of thousands of prisoners of war marooned in Russia in the end of the war; about half a million were returned home. In 1933 help was also given to thousands of fleeing from Nazi persecution in Germany. Also the health organisation/committee was successful in investigating the course of epidemics and reducing leprosy, yellow fever, malaria and typhus in Russia which endangered the rest of the world.
An international highway code and universal shipping signals were agreed. And an slave labour was abolished as well as the use of dangerous chemicals.The League solved a number of minor international disputes and excelled at economic and social work, such as helping thousands of refugees and former prisoners of war to find their way home again. This made it clear that there were international problems witch requested international solutions.
There were a number of border disputes witch did succeed, mostly in the 1920’s, for example here are some:1921, Upper Silesia is an area between Poland and Germany, both Poland and Germany was determent for this area. This area was a very important industrial area. The league held an plebiscite about who should have Upper Silesia. The population voted 700000 to 400000 for Germany.
So what ever the league decided it would fail to make many people happy. The league gave Germany half of the land and population and Poland received most of the industry. Neither side was completely satisfied but the league did its best as it could and handled the complicated situation well. Both countries accepted the decision of the league and sax the league as an authority and help.
Another successful boarder dispute is the Aaland Islands in 1921; this is an island in the Baltic sea between Sweden and Finland. Both country’s wanted this island and was ready to fight for it. The league was invited to decide who the islands should belong to. The leagues decide on Finland.
Sweden however accepted this and did not challenge the authority. The league had successfully kept peace in this situation.The Greece and Bulgarian dispute 1925; the after the Treaty of Neuilly, the boarder between Greece remained a source of tension between the two nations. The Greeks invaded Bulgaria after a number of violent incidents and did not pull back after war.
This could have turned into a major conflict but the league criticised and contempt this so at last Greece withdrew its troops. The league had once again diplomatically solved a big problem.These countries were kind and willing to except the leagues authority and decision making. Other countries leaders were not, for example the failures are outlined below:Disarmament Commission – this committee made no progress in persuading the member states to reduce armaments, though all had agreed to do so when they agreed to the agreement of the League of Nations.
Political disputes- Vilna 1920, Following the peace treaty after the war the new boarders of Europe created a number of disputes. The new state of Lithuania included an area known as Vilna. This area was claimed to be both Lithuania and Poland. The majority of people living in Vilna were Polish and when polish forces refused to leave after a war between Russia and Poland in 1920, the community looked towards the league for help.
But the league could no nothing taking action against Poland, because they required an army, and they didn’t have one. And the individual members of the league refused to commit sections of their own forces to such an idea “witch would not benefit themselves” There were attempts to resolve the repute diplomatically, but it was to on use and in 1923 Poland occupied Vilna. The leagues passive response sent a clear message around the world and set a precedent future.Corfu (1923) Five Italians working for the league in Greece were killed.
Mussolini demanded compensation from the Greek government. When the Greek government refuses, Mussolini attacked and occupied the island of Corfu. This was a perfect opportunity for the league to fulfill their policy.Italy was a prominent member of the league and a great power of the league.
The powers in the Security Council refused to condemn it; instead they put pressure on Greece to meet Mussolini’s demands. And in the end Greece apologized publicly and played the compensation. The whole thing was a disaster, it demonstrated around the world that when the league was confronted by a powerful leader or nation acting with aggression there was little they could do to uphold the very principals on witch it was found.Although the idea of the League was an excellent and noble idea of the pessimist Wilson, it was hopelessly damaged from the beginning by the non contribution by the United States.
And when Britain and France that could of tried to fill the gap in of witch America is missing they did not show full commitment to the league of nations and cares only for their own nation and interests. And the league was helpless when powerful leaders showed aggression, because of no army, witch the members should have contributed with. The leagues main aims became to be more of a failure then a success.