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World War One Aftermath: League Of Nations - Success In The 1920s?

When studying GCSE History students will be taught about World War One and its aftermath. One part of this topic is the League of Nations. This is the second of four quizzes on that subject, focussing in particular on the successes and failures of the League of Nations in the 1920s.

The newly founded League of Nations had both successes and failures in the 1920s. There were many minor territorial disputes, but these involved mainly second rank powers. The specialist agencies were also busy, dealing with problems like refugees, disease and drug trafficking.

Find out more about the successes and failures of the league of Nations during the 1920s in this quiz.

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  1. Which specialist agency of the League was successful in limiting the abuse of child labour during the 1920s?
    This agency was extremely successful, partly because it was possible to support its work without being a full member of the wider League. Thus, the United States was happy to become involved in international labour issues
  2. In 1923 (when Lithuania seized the League-controlled port of Memel) the League did little. Rather it was the Conference of Ambassadors that dealt with the matter. What name did Lithuania give to this German-inhabited port, when the international community failed to prevent the success of this aggression?
    The League proved powerless faced with a diminutive but determined aggressor. Moreover, it was humiliated by the involvement of the Conference of Ambassadors
  3. In 1920 Poland invaded Lithuania to the east, and seized its capital. Poland got away with its aggression, as the League did nothing. What was the name of Lithuania's capital city?
    It was always difficult for the League to intervene in cases of aggression. There were no dedicated armed forces at its disposal, and most powers were reluctant to damage their economies by backing sanctions. It was even more difficult to gain support for armed intervention
  4. In 1925 Britain, France, Italy and Germany signed a treaty that undermined the territorial terms of the Treaty of Versailles, by guaranteeing certain frontiers and ignoring others. The League had no involvement in this. What was the name of the treaty?
    Germany was unwilling to sign a treaty that accepted all of the Versailles terms. They were prepared to guarantee their western frontiers, but wanted a free hand in the east, where their greatest land losses had been. The German Chancellor, Gustav Stresemann, wanted to smash Versailles bit by bit - through negotiation
  5. In 1923 the French seized a German industrial area after Germany had ceased to pay reparations. The League took no action at all. Which area was this?
    The local German population frustrated French and Belgian efforts to seize coal and iron to the value of what was owed. A general strike was declared, and foreign forces were withdrawn after the failure of their mission
  6. Which power, formerly excluded from League membership, was allowed to join in 1926 - and indeed to join the League's Council?
    By 1926 the world economy was booming, fuelled by ample US loans. In this heady atmosphere the League's Council was willing to widen its membership, and to ignore past transgressions
  7. In 1921 Sweden and Finland referred a dispute between them about some islands in the Baltic Sea to the League. The dispute was settled amicably as both states accepted the League's ruling. What were these islands called?
    Both sides were loth to go to war, and were keen to remain peaceful neighbours
  8. In 1924 an American banker was asked to examine the question of German reparations, following a serious currency crisis in Germany. He came up with a plan that worked reasonably well - until the onset of the Great Depression in 1929. Yet once again the League was sidelined. What was the banker's name?
    Americans were sometimes chosen for tasks like this, as they were considered to be objective. The USA was of course anxious to trade with a successful Germany, and to deal effectively with any arrears in reparations payments
  9. The League was successful in running an international port city in the Baltic throughout the 1920s - despite the disgruntled German population of the urban area. This was done by a special commission dedicated to this one task only. What was the port's name?
    The League did well in the 1920s in its specialist work. It was less successful during the 1930s as international tensions grew in the wake of the Depression
  10. In 1924 the Italian dictator Mussolini bombarded a Greek Mediterranean island in retaliation for the death of an Italian general, while he was demarcating the border between Albania and Greece. The League took no effective action, and Mussolini was emboldened to take more reckless steps elsewhere. What was the name of the island concerned?
    Mussolini's action was widely considered to be disproportionate, but the League was unwilling to try to deal with a Council member of the League

Author: Edward Towne

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