How far would you agree that the League of Nations was 'a complete failure, a total irrelevance in world history'?
Published: March 19, 2017
There were many failures of The League of Nations including the most important, ensuring international peace and cooperation. The main reasons for failure were the absence of major power like the USA, withdrawal of Japan, Germany, and Italy in the early 1930s.
Despite all its failure, calling League of Nations a complete failure and irrelevant in world history will be a statement too much extreme. Ruth Henig in her book ‘The League of Nations (2010)’ said that it is high time that we look what League was; it was a bold step towards enhancing international cooperation which failed on some parameters and but succeeded on others. Its creation was the important step towards the development of a contemporary system of international organisation. League of Nations was like the first experiment which provided the blueprint for more effective and long-lasting institution for international cooperation i.e. United Nation. The Assembly, the council, and the secretariat were directly taken from League. League’s Permanent court was replaced by almost identical International Court of Justice. The International Labour Organization is still working today. Several UN bodies like World Health Organization and Economic and Social council were built on the foundation of work done by various commission of League.
Expectations attached to League of Nations was way too high and unrealistic. How it was supposed to deliver when it had no military of its own nor any mechanism to compel members to contribute troops? Having said that it was a dynamic step towards international diplomacy. Rather than only criticizing it and only looking toward its failure we should learn lessons from its History.