This cartoon by
the British cartoonist David Low appeared in the
Standard newspaper, 11 November 1938.
Two figures sit on a cracked stone, which carries the inscription:
'League of Nations. Foundation stone of a New Order, laid 1918.
Peace hath her sacrifices.'
Click here for the interpretation
After the Abyssinian crisis, the League
Italy left the League in 1937.
Few other countries left the League, but all of them realised that
it had failed - instead they began to re-arm as fast as possible.
During 1938, Britain and France tried a new policy - 'appeasement' (negotiating directly with Hitler);
this failed in 1939 when Hitler invaded
When war broke out
in 1939, the League closed down; its headquarters in Geneva
remained empty throughout the war.
In 1943 - at a Conference in Tehran - America, Britain and
Russia agreed to set up a new international organisation (the
'United Nations') when the war finished.
On 12 April 1946, the League met in Geneva and formally
abolished itself. The British delegate, Robert Cecil, said:
'The League is dead. Long live the United Nations'.
1. Look back at the previous pages - especially, analyse the League's weaknesses, and the reasons why it failed in Manchuria and Abyssinia.
2. Make a spidergram of all the ideas you can think of why the League failed.
3. Now click on the title and see how many ideas you got...
Brett on Abyssinia
debate (1946) on the failure and achievements of the League
Why did the League fail - Sources - essential
of Nations - views from the web
- Giles Hill on
the League's failure
BBC debate-podcast on whether the League was a
What do YOU think of the League of Nations?
HAVE YOUR SAY
Clare's History Blog -
Why did the League fail?
failed in Manchuria and
Abyssinia because it
you explain how each of the following contributed to the failure of the League;
click on the yellow pointers to reveal my suggestions.
◄ Think about these reasons the League failed.
For each, suggest:
a. an example, and
b. an explanation,
of how that reason might have caused the failure of the League
nations want peace, the League gives them the way by which peace can be
kept. League or no League, a country which is determined to have a war can
always have it.
The 1930s historian H.A.L. Fisher sums up the failure of the
book, A History of Europe (1938).
HAL Fisher’s ‘last word’ on the League in Source B (he used 35
through this unit, write your own ‘last word’ on the League, taking
comment to others.