As we are studying the League of Nations, our teacher Lenny asked us to write an essay about it in the 1920’s. This is my essay.
- How far was the League of Nations sucsessful in the 1920’s?
At first, everyone had high expectations of the League of Nations to avoid war and achieve world peace but after USA didn’t join, everyone started doubting about it. In the following essay I’m going to develop my answer.
On the one hand, the League ‘triumphed’ to solve some issues that countries had. For example, Germany and Poland both wanted control of their border, Upper Silesia. So they made a plebiscite but there was a tie, the industrial areas voted for Germany and the rural areas for Poland. That was when the League interfered and made and arrangements for water and power supplied to be supplied from one side to the other. Both countries accepted the decision. Then, there was a conflict for the Aaland Islands. Both, Sweden and Finland, wanted control of them and they were both willing to fight for them. So they appealed to the League, she said that they should go to Finland and Sweden accepted. Afterwards, Greece and Albania started arguing about who should take control of their border. An Italian general (Tellini) had to supervise this issue but while he and his team were at the Greek side of the frontier, they were ambushed and killed. The Italian leader (Mussolini) was furious and blamed the Greek government and demanded that they should pay compensation and execute the murders. Since the Greeks had no idea who the murders were, Mussolini bombarded and occupied the Greek island of Corfu. The League acted rapidly and condemned Mussolini’s actions, asked him to leave Corfu and told the Greeks to give some money to the League. The Italian leader refused to accept this and to leave the island sot the League had to change her decision, so instead, she told Greece to apologize and to pay to Italy. She accepted and Corfu was back under the control of Greece. Finally, there was also a conflict about Bulgaria. Greek troops invaded it after some Greek soldiers were killed. Bulgaria appealed for help and the League ordered Greece to ‘back off’ and pay compensation to Bulgaria. The Greeks obeyed.
On the other hand, she also failed at solving some other issues. For example, Vilna was Lithuania’s capital but since the population was largely Poles, a private Polish army took control of her. The League protested to Poland but the Poles could not be persuaded to leave the city. She would not withdraw. Vilna stayed under the control of the Poles until the breakout of World War 2. And the problem with the Geneva Protocol that said “if two members were in dispute they would have to ask the League to sort out the disagreement and they would have to accept the Council’s decision.” because they realized that they could be broken by their own members. But instead of strengthening the League, it made it weaker as there was a general election in Britain before signing the Protocol, and the new government didn’t approve of it because they didn’t want Britain to sign something which she wasn’t interested in.
All in all, the League was mainly successful in the 1920’s. Even though USA didn’t actually join, she had more ‘successes’ than ‘failures’.