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Failure of the League of Nations - Essay Example

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The question under discussion is was the United States responsible for the failure of the League of Nations. The League of Nations established in 1919 in the aftermath of World War I, was one such attempt to change the focus of war prevention from individual to collective security…
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Failure of the League of Nations
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"Failure of the League of Nations"

Download file to see previous pages The research illustrates that Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan, and later Germany and Russia – all great powers in their own right - joined the League of Nations and the United States, on the other hand, was the only major power not to join the League in spite of having been instrumental in creating it in the first place. This dichotomy i.e. the failure of the United States to join the League of Nations, in spite of being its staunchest advocate, could thus be ascribed to its inability to reconcile domestic political compulsions with its international obligations. Was this domestic compulsion a clash between the ‘realists’ and the ‘idealists’? This is the main theme that the research paper will seek to examine. The idealist view of international relations envisaged the creation of, “international institutions to replace the anarchical and war-prone balance-of-power system. The realist view, on the other hand, viewed the state as the most important player, subservient to no other (external) authority. The idealist view was endorsed by president Wilson who in his, “celebrated Fourteen Points speech, delivered before Congress in 1918, proposed the creation of the League of Nations…”. Although the League of Nations came into being in 1919, Congress refused to ratify the United States’ entry into the league. This challenge to President Wilson’s worldview was spearheaded by a group of Senators led by Senators Henry Cabot Lodge, William E. Borah, and Hiram Johnson. Part of the realist view was that the US should revert to its policy of ‘isolation’ that had been in vogue pre-World War I in keeping with the Monroe Doctrine. This was at odds with the League’s charter, which enjoined that, “the international community had not only the right but a duty to intervene in international conflicts…”. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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