As a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the World War 1, an intergovernmental association known as The League of Nations was formed into the Treaty of Versailles on 10th January 1920. The primary objective of this League was to preserve world peace by preventing war through communal security. Although the League had experienced some difficulties in achieving this goal, it made several accomplishments in stopping the war throughout the 1920s.
Several inter-country conflicts existed in the 1920s, and the league managed to solve them successfully. One of its major accomplishments was the successful resolution of the Aaland Islands conflict, which was a dispute between Finland and Sweden. Both Finland and Sweden had decided to fight over the islands, and so they asked the League to make a decision as to which country was to retain them (Schelling, 2008). The League decided that the Islands were to be maintained by Finland. The decision was mutually agreed upon and so no fight occurred. The league managed to solve the conflict peacefully.
Another area where the League succeeded was in solving the Upper Silesia conflict, which was between Germany and Poland. The league sent armies to keep order in Upper Silesia, which was an industrial area. The league also decided that Silesia had to vote. Industrial area vote was for Germany while the rural area vote was for Poland. Following the voting results, the industrial zone was divided; a move that was graciously accepted by both countries. It was another success for the League (Schelling, 2008).
There are some conflicts, however that the League of Nations did not achieve much success in. The first conflict that the league failed to solve was the Vilna conflict that was between Poland and Lituania. Polish secret army had invaded and taken control of Vilna, the capital city of Lituania (Schelling, 2008). Although Lituania sought some assistance from the league, the League did not succeed since Poland was viewed as an ally against Germany by France which made Britain reluctant in sending troops to the other side of Europe.
Also, it is evident that the league had somehow failed from the signing of the Geneva Protocol in 1924 by Britain and France. According to the protocol, if any two league members were in conflicts, the conflict would be solved by the League, but Britain did not sign the contract when a new Conservative government appeared. This move was a failure to the league because it indicated that countries were worried about their problems only and not those of other nations (Schelling, 2008).
However, there are some instances where, although the League had eventually succeeded, it had failed in some aspects. An example is the Corfu conflict, where Albania and Greece were in dispute over their boundaries. An Italian General, Tellini, was appointed as the supervisor of the conflict, but he was later killed together with his troops at Albania border (Schelling, 2008). Mussolini blamed the Greece for the attack and even bombarded a Greek island at the Mediterranean called the Corfu. Although Greece sought for help from the League, it was decided that it (Greece) was to pay money to the league till the murderers were found. Mussolini convinced the League Council, took the money and later withdrew from Corfu. The League failed when they said that Greece should continue to pay money and succeeded when Mussolini withdrew from Corfu.
In conclusion, it is evident that the League of Nations did not succeed as much as it had promise to in the 1920s. It had failed in some areas like in resolving the Vilna and the Geneva Protocol conflicts.
Schelling, T. C. (2008). Arms and Influence: With a New Preface and Afterword. Yale University Press
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