The League of Nations Background • Achievement of peace through collective security • Collective Security: common action against an aggressor • One of Wilson’s 14 points
Collective Security • New world order: “to make the world safe for democracy. ” • 14 Points: “guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike. ” Wilson insisted the Covenant be in all five Paris peace treaties
3 Goals • International cooperation: meet in an assembly • Arbitration: submit disputes to 3 rd party • Collective security: sanctions vs. force
The Covenant (solemn agreement) Article 10 Article 12 Article 16 to stop external aggression and respect territorial integrity and existing independence of all members if worry of war, members agree to arbitration OR enquiry of disputes + no war until 3 months after Council’s decision war on one is war on all and all will cut off trade and commerce with offender. NO INTERFERENCE COOLING OFF SANCTIONS AS ENFORCEMENT
The League of Nations The Peace Conference set up a League of Nations. Its Covenant (rules) was included in all five peace treaties The job of the League was to preserve the peace by using collective security to deal with countries that attacked others. This would be organized by the Assembly in Geneva, or in an emergency, by the council of the League The league also aimed to improve the world through specialized agencies, e. g. the International Labor Organization, the Health Organization…
The League of Nations: Should the USA Join Wilson’s Vision for Peace: J. Marshall 2013
1. Dislike of the Treaty of Versailles - The League was inextricably linked to the Treaty of Versailles. - Wilson insisted that all the signatories to the Treaty should join the League. - The League was to enforce the Treaty (but some Americans hated the Treaty itself). - Many Americans were recent immigrants (ex. millions of German immigrants were against America joining the war and did not want America to prop up the League as it squeezed reparation payments out of Germany. - Should America have a part in this unfairness? = NO!
2. Cost -Would this be a USA blank cheque. -Would she have to solve all international problems regardless of the cost. - Business leaders in particular argued that America had become a powerful country by isolationism - staying out of European affairs - and should continue to mind its own business. - Should America lose trading opportunities due to League trade sanctions? = NO!
3. Isolationism -The League suggested America was promising to send its troops to settle every little conflict around the world. Americans had been appalled at the carnage of the First World War. -Should America be dragged into such disputes? = NO
4. Dislike of the Old Empires -Many Americans were anti-British or anti-French and thought the League would be under the control of France and Britain. -America believed in freedom. They opposed the whole idea of colonies and empires. (hmm: what about Puerto Rico, Philippines, Hawaii, Panama Canal…) - Should America safeguard all the colonial possessions of Britain and France? = NO!
MEMBERSHIP • 1919 Allies (incl. Japan) + Dominions and India = original members • 1926 + Germany (leaves 1933) • 1933 Japan leaves • 1934 + USSR (expelled 1940) • USA never joined
Reparations and War Debts Background: During the 1920 s and 30 s an effort was made to ensure a lasting peace, BUT: The USA – isolationist attitude Britain – some sympathy for Germany France – Keep Germany weak and poor USSR – consumed by internal problems, suspicious of capitalists Germany – Versailles resentment and reparations/ war debts further problem
Definitions Reparations: Money owed by Germany to Allies for damages caused $33 billion War debts – money owned by allies to each other. USA is the only creditor who would not cancel. In order for the USA to collect, Germany must pay reparations.
�Reparation Adjustments Dawes Plan 1924 Young Plan 1930 5 -point plan: Reduction • Allies out of Rhur • Germany to pedge govt $ to reparations • Payments start low but get higher • Payments still tied to German prosparity • Foreign loan to get Germany started • Total cut from $33 to $29 billion • Occupation of DMZ to end *** This was carried out and the Allies lost their pressure point with Germany ***In 1932 Germany defaulted; Hitler cancelled payments 1937.
Sequence 1922 – in economic ruin, Germany defaults and asks for a 3 -year suspension, Britain agrees. France and Belgium do not 1923 – Occupation of the Ruhr by France and Belgium. The Ruhr was the industrial heartland of Germany. French and Belgian forces went in to force the German workers to produce so the Allies could collect reparations. It did not really work. There was passive resistance, strikes. The French tried bringing in there own workers. 1924 – The Dawes Plan: American plan for the restructuring of reparation payments. The Americans involved themselves (isolationist) because they wanted their War Debts to be repaid. So they adjusted Germanys ability to pay. France and Belgium leave the Ruhr.
1929 – The Young Plan: Another American led restructuring plan. Germany agrees – Allies leave the Rhineland. This would fall apart with the Depression. 1929/1930 – The Depression: Stock market crash, low wages, high unemployment, low productivity, and world wide, severe.
Britain Between the Wars: After WWI, Britain had amassed a huge debt, suffered heavy causalities and lost its naval supremacy This led to a rise in Pacifism in Britain, especially from the young, to never have another war Many industrial problems, layoffs, deflation, the cost of living fell, people on welfare. Consumer demands fell, so industrial production suffered
Britain Between the Wars: Unions and strikes began to play major roles in politics and daily life The labor Party became the official opposition in Britain British protest would a contest of votes, no street violence
Britain Between the Wars: The British Empire now classed its colonies as Dominions (Canada, India and Australia) The 1926 Balfour declaration gave the Dominions equal status and created the Commonwealth of Nations 1931 – The Statute of Westminster made the dominions completely independent of the British parliament Britain’s main foreign policy goal was now to rebuild their economy based on global trade with her Dominions, giving them independence, instead of basic exploitation.
France Between the Wars: It took until 1925 to rebuild destroyed France Heavily depended on reparation payments from Germany Were still very afraid of Germany even in its weakened state Built the Maginot Line, a series of steel and concrete forts along the French border stretching from Belgium to Switzerland French government was very fractionalized and weak The Socialists and Communists actually formed a coalition government in 1936 called the Front Populaire Many demonstrations and riots in the streets did not allow for any political unity.
France: If not the League? • • • Russia no longer an ally USA isolationist British becoming revisionist Keep Germany weak: 1923 occupation of Rhur Maginot Line Treaties of mutual assistance: a) Belgium 1920, b) Poland 1921, c) Little Entente: Czech. 1924 Rumania 1926 Yugoslav. 1927
Alliances/Peace Movements to 1936 in Europe 1. France: Germany a permanent threat Failed to get a guarantee of assistance from the USA so turned to Eastern Europe Established the Little Entente with Poland, Rumania, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia This surrounded Germany and made France feel safer
Alliances/Peace Movements to 1936 in Europe 2. USSR: an outcast, fears German plans in the Balkans 1922 Treaty of Rapallo – Germany and the USSR agree not to collect reparations from one another. For runner of Nonaggression pact. USSR tries to make treaties with France and Britain, but rejected. 3. Italy: Germany tries to Anschluss (unification of Austria with Germany) 1935 Stress Front (conference) Britain, France, and Italy work together to prevent this from happening because Italy fears a common boarder with Germany even though they are both fascist.
Other efforts at peace • Locarno Pact, 1925 (guarantee borders) • Kellogg-Briand Pact, 1928 (denounce war) disarmament • Washington Conf. , 1921 (restrict size of navies) • London Conference, 1930 (…navies) • Geneva Disarm. Conf. , 1932 (arms reductions)
Disarmament and Negotiation 1922 – Washington Conference – Agreement to limit size of navies 1925 – Larcarno Treaty – Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, and Italy agree to respect each others boarders – Germany admitted to the League of Nations – optimism 1928 – Kellogg/Briand pact: 15 nations agree to renounce war except in self-defense
Disarmament and Negotiation 1932/34 – Geneva Disarmament Conference – 60 nations including the USA and USSR. Hitler withdraws with the obvious attempt at rearming, outlook bleak. 1935 – Anglo German Naval Treaty – Britain and Germany agree on naval restriction, which are contrary to the Versailles Treaty. Britain’s reason was that Germany was going to rearm anyways, so try and put some kind of limit on it, or have some control.
üUnanimous was vote required to act Flaws üUSA did not ratify Paris Peace üTradition of nationalism/self-interest or: old habits die hard (Lytton Commission) üFailure: Abyssinia 1935 (Hoare-Laval Plan) Failures üFailure: Manchuria 1931
The League was a Failure because: The USA never joined No provision force – no army to give it clout Suspected by many as simply enforcing the terms of the Treaty of Versailles Looked upon as being run by colonial powers – Britain and France The only clout it had was economic sanctions put on aggressors to halt trade. This only would work if everybody was involved.
Examples of failures: 1931 - Japan invades Manchuria, League fails to halt aggressor 1935 – Italy invades Ethiopia, half heated sanctions did not work as the USA kept trade with Italy in oil and steel
Successes Failures • Supervised Saar for 15 years • Managed Danzig for 15 years • 1921 settled Sweden/Finland dispute over Aland Islands • 1923 settled Greece/Italy dispute over Island of Corfu • 1925 settled possible Greece/Bulgaria war • Internation Labour Office improved child labour, min. wages, working hours • Mandatory powers usually unwilling to give up control/disallowed League inspection • World Court could be opted out • Countries left rather than comply • Collective security lacked “bite” Ex. Manchuria 1931 Abyssinia 1935
The League in Cartoons
1. Why elephants? 2. Why the names? 3. What is being parodied?
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