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The League of Nations. The League of Nations came into being in 1920 after the end of World War One.World War One The League of Nation's task was simple.

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Presentation on theme: "The League of Nations. The League of Nations came into being in 1920 after the end of World War One.World War One The League of Nation's task was simple."— Presentation transcript:

1 The League of Nations

2 The League of Nations came into being in 1920 after the end of World War One.World War One The League of Nation's task was simple - to ensure that war never broke out again. The League was very much the idea of the American president - Woodrow Wilson, and it was one of his ’14 Points’.Woodrow Wilson He believed that what was needed was an international organisation whose main purpose was to maintain world peace and which would sort out international disputes as and when they occurred. This would be the task of the League of Nations. The League of Nations - the beginnings

3 Unfortunately however, the American government did not want their country to risk getting involved again with possible wars and they voted to stay out of the League. This policy of isolationism meant that the biggest power in the world was not part of the organisation designed to keep world peace.

4 The League of Nations was to be based in Geneva, Switzerland. This choice was natural as Switzerland was a neutral country and had not fought in World War One.

5 Membership of the League

6 Organisation of the league of nations – summary The Council (9 members - made main decisions) The Assembly (all members – discussed matters) The Secretariat (carried out the work)

7 How the League was organised. The Council had nine members, five of whom were permanent, while the others changed regularly. The five Permanent Council Members were Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Germany (from 1926). Japan and Germany both resigned from the League of Nations in 1933, and Italy resigned in The Assembly had representativ es from all of the members, which varied between 40 and 60. Countries joined and left the League in the 1920s and 1930s, but the USA never joined, and the USSR only joined in 1934 when Stalin became worried about the rise to power of Hitler. The Secretariat was based in Geneva and was headed by the Secretary- General. The first was Sir Eric Drummond, who was British. This meant that many countries around the world thought that the League only represented the interests of the European countries. The Secretariat organised the business of the League and carried out its decisions. The Covenant The Covenant consisted of the rules which members had to agree to obey when they joined. The rules included accepting the League's decisions and not using force to solve disputes. Sanctions Sanctions were the main method that the League could use to force countries to obey its decisions. Economic sanctions meant not trading with other countries. Military sanctions meant declaring war on another country. However, the League had no means of organising an army of its own. How the League was organised: The Council had nine members, five of whom were permanent, while the others changed regularly (they were allowed to be part of the Council if they were involved in a dispute being discussed) The five Permanent Council Members were Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Germany (from 1926). Japan and Germany both resigned from the League of Nations in 1933, and Italy resigned in The Council made the main decisions.

8 The Assembly had representatives from all of the members, which varied between 40 and 60. Countries joined and left the League in the 1920s and 1930s, but the USA never joined, and the USSR only joined in 1934 when Stalin became worried about the rise to power of Hitler. The Assembly discussed the issues.

9 The Secretariat was based in Geneva and was headed by the Secretary-General. The Secretariat organised the business of the League and carried out its decisions.

10 The CovenantThe Covenant consisted of the rules which members had to agree to obey when they joined. The rules included accepting the League's decisions and not using force to solve disputes. Sanctions were the main method that the League could use to force countries to obey its decisions. Economic sanctions meant not trading with other countries. Military sanctions meant declaring war on another country. However, the League had no means of organising an army of its own, so if a country ignored the league’s decisions then very little could actually be done. How did the League work?

11 The League of Nations – successes and failures: The League of Nations was a very good idea. However, it depended on every nation obeying the Covenant. It was very successful in the 1920s, especially in settling European disputes. It was very successful with humanitarian issues – i.e. with problems such as health and refugees It was unsuccessful in the 1930s when dictators deliberately broke the Covenant.

12 Problems of the League 1.The League had no army of its own. 2. The USA never joined the League and the USSR was not allowed to join in Three Permanent Council Members left the League in the 1930s. 4. The League seemed to represent the interests of the countries which had won World War I. 5. The economic sanctions against Italy after the invasion of Abyssinia in 1935 did not include oil.

13 The effects: A.This meant that the League depended upon France and Britain. B.Military sanctions were almost impossible. C.This meant that two of the largest countries in the world were not members. D.This suggested that some countries were allowed to break the Covenant. E.This put off some countries around the world from joining.


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