Some History classes ago, we made an essay on the League of Nations in the 1920s. This is mine:
How far was the League of Nations a failure? Explain your answer.
In the following essay I am going to analyse how far was the League of Nations a failure.
On the one hand, the League was much of a failure as there were many issues she was not able to tackle well at all. A clear example are some border disputes in which she was unfair or did not act, such as in Vilna or Corfu. What happened in the Vilna conflict was that Poland took over Vilna, which was Lithuania’s capital, and when Lithuania appealed to the League for help nobody was ready to act. What happened in Corfu was that when a group of italians (led by Tellini) were sorting out the frontier between Greece and Albania, they got killed. As Mussolini, who was an Italian general, thought the Greeks had killed his soldiers, he threw a bomb on the Greek island of Corfu. Although the League condemned him for that he went to the Council of Ambassadors, the ruling was changed just for him, and the Greeks had to apologise and pay compensations.
Another issue on which the League was unsuccessful was in making countries disarm. This was a total failure as countries didn’t disarm because they did not want to. The only one who disarmed was Germany, who did so just because she was imposed to do so by the Treaty of Versailles. Anyways, some other countries countries limited the size of their navy, but that was not the kind of disarmament the League was meant to achieve.
Furthermore, the League had to face a huge problem which was that USA had not joined. USA was a really powerful country, so everyone wanted to trade with her and everyone believed whatever she said. When she did not join, she showed off some bad points of the League, and kind of showed she knew everything that was going to happen as the republican president who was ruling back in those times, stated he did not want to get his country involved in European affairs because there was going to be a conflict.
On the other hand, the League of Nations accomplished some successes as well. A clear example were some border conflicts in which she prevented war, such as the one with the Aaland Islands and Upper Silesia. What happened with the Aaland Islands was that when both Finland and Sweden were threatening to go to war in order to get the Aaland Islands, the League stated that the islands should belong to Finland and Sweden accepted it. What happened in Upper Silesia was that when Germany and Poland wanted the Upper Silesian region, the League organized a plebiscite and the land was divided in a way in which they were not really happy. However, agresion was discouraged and the League was respected, therefore, it was a success for the League.
Another great success for the League was that she accomplished the aim which consisted in international cooperation for business and trade. She accomplished it as Germany, France and Britain started trading again, which also reduced the tension left from the war.
Furthermore, the League did a great work on the social aspect as she improved the working living and conditions, the medicine, the transport and the social issues. She improved the living conditions by returning thousands of refugees and former prisoners to their homeland by giving them a special document called the Nansen Passport. Moreover, she improved the working conditions by banning some kind of white paint as it had a poisonous substance which was bad for the workers, she also reduced the working hours for kids and adults and created a better working environment. The League also improved the medicine by doing research on infectious diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever and leprosy, and therefore creating vaccines and medicines. Moreover, the League started a campaign to exterminate mosquitoes as many of them transmitted serious illnesses. Furthermore, she also did some great work related to transport as she created shipping lanes and an international code for highway users. Finally, the social issues she solved were related, mainly, to slavery and drug trade as she blacklisted some companies who were involved in illegal drug trade and also freed 46% of african workers out from the 50% which were used as slaves.
In conclusion, we can say that the League of Nations was partly a failure as she failed in tackling some issues such as border disputes, disarmament and USA joining her. However, she was able to solve some other disputes in a fair way, did a great job in economics and in the social work.