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THIS DAY IN HISTORY

10-January-1920 : India became member of League of Nations

League of Nations (1919-1939)

  • The League of Nations came into being after the end of World War One.
  • The League of Nation’s task was simple - to ensure that war never broke out again. After the turmoil caused by the Versailles Treaty, many looked to the League to bring stability to the world.
  • America entered World War One in 1917.
  • The country as a whole and the president - Woodrow Wilson in particular - was horrified by the slaughter that had taken place in what was meant to be a civilised part of the world.
  • The only way to avoid a repetition of such a disaster was to create an international body whose sole purpose was to maintain world peace and which would sort out international disputes as and when they occurred.
  • This would be the task of the League of Nations. After the devastation of the war, support for such a good idea was great.

Organization of the League of Nations

  • The League of Nations was to be based in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • This choice was natural as Switzerland was a neutral country and had not fought in World War One.
  • No one could dispute this choice especially as an international organization such as the Red Cross was already based in Switzerland.
  • If a dispute did occur, the League, under its Covenant, could do three things - these were known as its sanctions:
  • It could call on the states in dispute to sit down and discuss the problem in an orderly and peaceful manner.
  • This would be done in the League’s Assembly - which was essentially the League’s parliament which would listen to disputes and come to a decision on how to proceed.
  • If one nation was seen to be the offender, the League could introduce verbal sanctions - warning an aggressor nation that she would need to leave another nation’s territory or face the consequences.
  • If the states in dispute failed to listen to the Assembly’s decision, the League could introduce economic sanctions. This would be arranged by the League’s Council.

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