Q4. Discuss the achievements of the League of Nations
The primary function of the League was to prevent the outbreak of war by setting international quarrels and solving the disputes between States which might result in a war between them. During the first ten years of its existence, the League had several achievements to its credit. It settled several international disputes between States and nations and thus prevented the outbreak of war between them. During its twenty years of existence, the League settled thirteen political disputes.
Among them the first important dispute was a quarrel between Italy and Greece over the Island of Corfu in 1923. The quarrel was amicably settled by the intervention of the League. The second serious, dispute was between Greece and Bulgaria over their boundaries in 1924. Both countries were about to fight. But the dispute was settled by the League peacefully.
It may, however, be remarked that the international disputes which the League settled successfully were between weak and small countries and were of minor nature. When the Great Powers again began to conquer other lands, and exploit other nations, the League was proved to be absolutely incapable of preventing them.
The social successes of the League of Nations
At a social level the League did have success as many of the groups that work for the United Nations now, grew out of what was established by the League. Teams were sent to the Third World to dig fresh water wells, the Health Organisation started a campaign to wipe out leprosy. This idea – of wiping out from the world a disease – was taken up by the United Nations with its smallpox campaign.
Work was done in the Third World to improve the status of women there and child slave labour was also targeted. Drug addiction and drug smuggling were also attacked.
The greatest success the League had involving these social issues, was simply informing the world at large that these problems did exist and that they should be tackled. No organisation had done this before the League. These social problems may have continued but the fact that they were now being actively investigated by the League and were then taken onboard by the United Nations must be viewed as a success.