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In this short essay I am going to analyse four crisis situations where the League of Nations has showed theirs successes and failures.
The first crisis situation is the conflict that arosed due to Swedish nationalism/self-determination within the Aaland islands as the citizens wanted to be governed by Sweden, however, the 2 nations couldn’t come to decisions thus resulting in the league of nations being called to make the decision. The League’s Response- the League decided to give the Aaland Islands to Finland on the condition that the islands remain demilitarized (most likely because the islands were between Finland and Sweden, thus giving Finland an advantage if they were to invade Sweden.) This was a success for the league of nations as their goals were to prevent conflict, which they did as both nations had accepted the suggestion resulting in a diplomatic agreement.
The second crisis situation called Upper Silesia (Pro-Germany Voters VS Pro-Poland Voters). After World War 1, the citizens of Upper Silesia were given the opportunity to vote for which country they would want to be a part of. The votes were 700,000 for Germany and 500,000 for Poland. As a result of these close numbers, the communities were divided which led to riots and conflict between the 2 parties. The League of Nations decided to separate Upper Silesia, with one half being a part of Germany, and the other being a part of Poland, allowing the citizens to choose which region in which they want to be a part of. This was also a success as the league of nations had prevented the riots/conflict from escalating in Upper Silesia and also brought a diplomatic agreement between Germany, Poland, and the citizens of Upper Silesia.
The third crisis situation is the Corfu Incident (Italy VS Greece). As a result of a border dispute between Italy and Greece, Italy had sent Italian general Enrico Tellini. Unfortunately, a Greek Nationalist group attacked the general and his men, resulting in their deaths. The Murder of the military General and his men led to Italy sending an ultimatum to Greece, which included an official apology, a proper funeral for the men in Athens, the prosecutions of those responsible, and a 50 million livre compensation. Greece had responded and agreed to the demands but with modifications, unfortunately, Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini believe that Greece should have accepted without any negotiations. As a result of this, Italy sent a part of its navy to attack the island of Corfu, and occupy it. This led to Greece appealing to the League of Nations. What was not expected was Italy would rather leave the league as opposed to allow them to resolve it. As he wanted the conference of ambassadors to deal with the situation. The Conference of Ambassadors had to come up with new terms to settle the dispute and had told Italy, Greece, and the League of Nations. Italy and Greece later accepted the terms. This was a failure for the league as they weren’t the ones who had made the negotiations, it was the Conference of Ambassadors who had convinced the league of the terms because if the league were to get involved, Italy would leave the league which may result in conflict/war.
The last crisis situation is the Province of Mosul (1924) (Great Britain VS Turkey VS Iraq). After the fall of the ottoman empire, there was a dispute between Britain (who at the time had occupied) and Turkey, and eventually Iraq over the former Ottoman territory of Mosul. Great Britain wanted control over the province as, during the first world war, they had made a promise that if the Arabs living there would not be subject under Turkish rule if they were to assist during the first world war. As no clear decision could be made about who would own the province, the league of nations was called in to provide input. The League of Nations suggested that the province goes to Iraq on the condition that Turkey receives 10% of Mosul’s oil deposits for 25 years. This was a success as both the nation of Iraq and the nation of Turkey accepted the suggestion.
In summary, it can be noted that the League of Nations is not a universal international organization that only succeeds in crisis situations. Nevertheless, there are more successful results than unsuccessful ones, so it can be assumed that the League of Nations copes with its tasks.
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