League of Nations
Research papers on the League of Nations focus on the international group and their role in world politics. Our writers will discuss the history, political leanings and the purpose of the League of Nations in a custom written research project for any level course.
The League of Nations' intention was to steer the world away from the thought that each nation is a separate, independent entity in a world of interdependence and point them toward a more brotherly, humanitarian worldview. After World War I, virtually everyone was ready to get their feet wet, but few were willing to dive in completely. Old habits are hard to break. Even the American Senate was hesitant and insisted that Wilson present some provisions before agreeing to anything.
And the complaints didn't stop there. It snowballed into a grocery list of requests for a tough-to-please crowd. Albeit perhaps a bit hastily, the Covenant of the League of Nations was coming into its own. During these middle stages of revision, however, the original vision had already been compromised. Four key deviations evolved from revisions providing "outs" for the powerful:
- It was not to be a League "with power to enforce its decisions beyond moral suasion. Though economic and other sanctions would be available for use against an aggressor, their application would depend on the zeal of each member;".
- It was not to be a democratic League giving equal say to the less powerful, "although the powerless were assured at least a forum for their complaints;"
- The "colonial peoples were to be regarded as the children of the world", and were given virtually no say or even any attention one way or the other;
- Racial issues appeared to be dropped from the list of priorities "in deference to certain local customs among the civilized." Already, international morality was crumbling before it was even established.
All historians agree that the League of Nations was a failure. It failed to improve French and German relations. It failed to fully integrate the United States into the League. It proved to have little influence in international conflicts such as the Corfu crisis and the Greco-Bulgarian conflict. Ultimately, it could not prevent the coming of a Second World War. That said, the League's failures are not because of the principles the League itself was created to represent, but rather was due to human errors, sovereign worldviews and an international mindset that simply wasn't ready for the change to be integrated into practice.
To set the stage, the pre-World War I political landscape was essentially sovereign-based, with a vastly uneven playing field in terms of world power and domination. Alliances were being made "just in case" as international tensions grew, forming the Allied Powers (consisting of Great Britain, France and the United States) and the Triple Powers (consisting of Germany, Italy, and Japan) and resulting in a situation of "'divided antagonists'" even before war seemed a possible threat. With too much unsaid between nations, what might have been manageable issues in the diplomatic arena evolved into real viable threats to security, and "even before the fighting began, in 1914, the war took on an air of inevitability." President Woodrow Wilson did his best to keep the United States out of what was considered European Affairs by the Senate as well as by a large population of citizens. Wilson was determined that if the U.S. was pulled in as a last resort, he'd make it his mission to make the war one "to end all wars" and make the world safe for international democracy.