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Li Chun Ho (Alvin Li) How far did weaknesses in the Leagues organization make failure inevitable? As above.

The organization of the League of Nations has considerable contributed to its failures. First of all, one of the duties of the LON was to enforce the Treaty of Versailles, which meant that great powers, such as America and the USSR was not able to join; America couldnt join due to isolationist views by the republicans the senate, while Russia was forced into diplomatic isolation, she was not invited. Because of this, it did not have the support of some of the worlds most powerful countries. Because of this, the effectiveness of the collective security goal was placed under only two countries; powerful Britain and France. This did not work because France was more concerned of getting reparations back instead of trying to help other nations to preserve long term peace. On the other hand, Britain did not see the essential need to make collective security work because she was already happy with her big overseas empire. The main powers of the League of Nations were mainly condemnation, arbitration, the pressure of world public opinion, and economic sanctions. This meant that a powerful, well determined country can ignore the decision and actions taken by the League of Nations. For example, during the Manchurian Crisis in 1931, the League of Nations failed to stop the Japanese army from taking over the Chinese province of Manchuria. Because the League did not have an army of its own, and given the fact Japan had a very powerful and independent army, Japan simply left the League of Nations in February 1923 when the LON stated although Japanese claims of Chinese attacks were possible, but ordered them to withdraw from Manchuria. Because the League did not have its own army, it meant that it had to rely on member countries. Other member countries had to be generous enough to provide their own money, resources and army for a war that did not involve them. Therefore, collective security was proven to be more of a failure after the great economic depression in America. Because all decisions made had to be unanimous, which meant that all member countries had to agree before a decision can be made, this made the League appear to be very slow in its decision process, and furthermore makes the enemy to see it as a weak organization and not reluctant to use full power. The Leagues organization made it fail miserable because its main body was not well structured. The Secretariat, who was headed by the General Secretary, had to prepare agendas for the council, the assembly, publish reports and other routine matters, and acted as a civil service to the LON. However, it also had the big task of tracking down millions of missing people from the World War One. The Secretariat did not have enough man power, and was extremely overworked. However to some extent we cannot fully suggest the failures were solely linked to the organization of the League of Nations itself. Although it was too idealistic, other factors contributed to its downfall, such as the change of policy in which Britain and France had adopted in the 1930s. Their example of using appeasement rather than following the standard guidelines of the League of Nations, were not caused by the lack of effective organization in the League of Nations; it could not do anything in regard to force its two biggest powers to use collective security.

Li Chun Ho (Alvin Li) Furthermore, the League of Nations did not gain too much cooperation from its member countries because it supported the Treaty of Versailles, and one of the Leagues goals was to enforce the treaty. Because the Treaty was hugely unpopular due to its harshness, many countries were not too enthusiastic to make the League work. Therefore by stating so, it seems more by far that the League of Nations was a failure due to its organizational structural weakness, compared to the recessive weaker external factors.