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A Failing League Essay

1543 words - 7 pages

The League of Nations was the first established international organization to maintain world peace. It was founded in 1920 as part of the settlement that ended World War I. The League of Nations was first suggested in the Fourteen Points presented on Jan. 8, 1918, by Woodrow Wilson, who was at that time the president of the United States. After the peace negotiations opened, a commission headed by Wilson continued the work in a plan called The Covenant of the League of Nations, later it became Section I of the Treaty of Versailles. The League came officially into existence with the ratification of this treaty on Jan. 10, 1920. The first Assembly met in Geneva, Nov. 15, 1920, with 41 nations ...view middle of the document...

Wilson's death was a drawback to the success of the League of Nations because he was one of the most devoted people of the League in the United States.The League of Nations could have become an organization that could have kept peace among countries. The Covenant contained 26 articles that laid out the fundamental rules, regulations, and groups. It would "consist of Representatives of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, together with Representatives of four other Members of the League." Although the decisions would lean towards the five "superpowers" of the time: Britain, France, Italy, Japan, and the United States, decisions would be discussed by representatives and decided with votes.Yet even organization and solid rules could not stop the eventual failure of the League of Nations. It laid in its own strength and its weakness. It was so airy no one could attack it, unchallengeable because it presented no challenge. The New Republic, a popular magazine during that time, originally supported and endorsed Wilson's ideals, but later criticized the peacemakers for doing too little and making too many compromises. "The League is not powerful enough to redeem the Treaty. But the Treaty is vicious enough to incriminate the League. It would convert the League into the instrument of competitive imperialist nationalism whose more disinterested members would labor in vain to mold it into a cooperative society."Even though President Woodrow Wilson was the greatest influence to the creation of the League of Nation, the United States never joined the League of Nations, which would be a major setback for the power of the League of Nations. The United States did not ratify the Versailles Treaty and join the League of Nations. One of the main reasons was because the United States' ideals were different from the European's. Because a lot of Europe was destroyed, Europeans were not as forgiving as Americans. The United States was never harmed during the war, so the people had more sympathy. Many of the Americans thought that the Versailles Treaty was too cruel on Germany. From the New Republic, issue May 24, 1919, "Liberal democrats cannot honestly consent to peace on the proposed terms. If it was wrong when confronted by the imperialist aggression of Germany to tolerate peace by conniving at such an attack, it is equally wrong when confronted by a treaty which organizes competitive imperialism into an international system to pay so high a price for the ending of the war. This above all others is the time and the occasion to repudiate the idea of peace at any price, to reject immediate peace at the price of permanent moral and economic warfare."Another reason why the United States never ratified the Versailles Treaty and joined the League of Nations was because of Henry Cabot Lodge. Close friends with Theodore Roosevelt, he shared the President's desire to see the United States play a larger role in world affairs. Ironically, however, Lodge is best...

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