The League of Nations: Its Life and Times, 1920-1946

By F. S. Northedge | Go to book overview

5 The system takes shape

I

When the League opened its doors for business in January 1920, its members consisted of the original thirty-two states which had signed the peace treaties and were named in an annex to the Covenant. These were the Allied and Associated Powers of the First World War and their supporters throughout the world, including eleven Latin American countries. The United States, heading the fist, dropped out of it in 1920 owing to its failure to ratify the peace treaties. In addition, thirteen states were invited to accede to the Covenant, six of them being Latin American, and twelve of them did. Their membership did not have to be approved under Article 1 (2) of the Covenant, unlike that of other states which wished to join the League later.

The First Assembly, meeting in November 1920, was faced with fourteen applications for membership, of which it approved six, those of Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Finland and Luxemburg. 1 Bulgaria's was a troublesome case because, as an ex-enemy state, its relations with its neighbour, Greece, were still unsettled; so was Albania, since, having existed only since 1913, its borders remained undecided. The other four called for little discussion; Austria evoked much sympathy owing to its shrunken state after the imperial days of the past, and Luxemburg won applause for its renunciation of neutrality in order to comply with Covenant obligations. The applications of the Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and also those of Georgia and Armenia, were deferred for a year owing to uncertainty about their relations with the new regime in Russia. The Baltic states were admitted at the Second Assembly in 1921, bringing total membership to fifty-one; but it was not long before Georgia and Armenia were brought under Bolshevik control and forced to

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The League of Nations: Its Life and Times, 1920-1946
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vi
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - The World before the League 1
  • 2 - Framing the Covenant 25
  • 3 - The Covenant Reviewed 46
  • 4 - Beginnings and Setbacks 70
  • 5 - The System Takes Shape 98
  • 6 - The Lure of Disarmament 113
  • 7 - Manchuria: the Covenant Defied 137
  • 8 - The Betterment of Life 165
  • 9 - The Mandates System 192
  • 10 - The Abyssinian Disaster 221
  • 11 - The Final Years 255
  • 12 - Was Failure Inevitable? 278
  • Abbreviations 293
  • Notes 294
  • Bibliography 311
  • Appendix A 317
  • Appendix B 328
  • Appendix C 329
  • Index 330
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