Evaluating the Ineffectiveness of the League of Nations and the United Nations

Topics: World War II, League of Nations, Korean War Pages: 8 (2804 words) Published: February 5, 2006
After World War I, Woodrow Wilson presented his Fourteen Points to achieve world peace. Among these points was the suggestion of forming the League of Nations. This organization was to help member countries discuss with one another about pressing issues. At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, the League of Nations was created. The organization is made up of the secretariat, council, and the assembly (League of Nations). The Disarmament Commission was by far the most important commission for peace. The League had a few successes but many more losses before its end when no members wished to meet any longer. World War II began shortly after. The war was a great tragedy to all of the nations involved. A feeling of a need of peace, similar to that following World War I, consumed the world. An organization called the United Nations was formed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt went into effect on October 24, 1945 (United Nations, Eleanor). Its purpose was extremely similar to that of the League of Nations. The UN was to keep peace be acting as a "mediator" between the groups involved with the conflict (United Nations, Eleanor). Peacekeeping missions are very significant in the battle for world peace. Both of these organizations had its successes and failures along its existence. The failures of the League of Nations and the United Nations seem extremely similar, and it is surprising how the problems of the League could not have been identified and corrected as the United Nations was formed.

In hindsight, there are many reasons that could contribute to the idea that the League of Nations was never going to function properly. For one thing, the League of Nations did not own a military force to use at its dispense for peacekeeping missions and such. Without an armed military base and means of force, there is no way that the League of Nations could have had an impact on situations. So naturally, there was a need to borrow troops for the member nations. Unfortunately, the members were hesitant to donate these troops. Without this armed force, the League was required to come up with another method to enforce its settlements. To solve this problem, the League decided to use economics to its advantage. The member nations would refuse to trade with the unruly nation in order to make an impact. This was quite ineffective since the League of Nations failed to note that the nation it is trying to penalize has the full ability to trade with countries that are not part of the League. (League of Nations)

France and Britain both felt as though their affairs should not get involved with the League of Nations. Being "Great Powers" and not being involved means a loss if impact for the League. France and Britain then fell to the method of appeasement as Adolf rose in power. (League of Nations). This policy differs from that needed to keep the League of Nations functioning at its full potential.

The greatest weakness of the League of Nations was the fact that the United States never joined, even though Woodrow Wilson was the architect of it. Without this power, success of the organization was inevitable. The United States held the keystone to the League's destiny of success or collapse (The Gap In the Bridge). This major power would have provided the necessary root for the League of Nations to succeed and make a difference.

During the 1930s, a few members began to leave the League, which most obviously decrease its power. Japan decided to leave when it felt as though the League of Nations was "euro-centric". Italy also left in 1937. When came to power, Germany was removed. The Soviet Union was forced out of the League due to aggression with Finland (League of Nations). With the exit of all of these powers, it was impossible for the League to have enough influence to actually have an impact.

Another huge weakness of the League of Nations concerned its decision-making process. A unanimous vote was...
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