Furthermore, the status quo that the League presided over was seen as greatly unfair to many nations, such as Germany and Japan. – Henry Cabot Lodge The United Nations is one of the most famous bodies in the world, and its predecessor, the League of Nations, might be equally notorious. This irony, coupled with Avenol’s disregard for reform and strengthening of the League makes for pessimistic reading in light of the fate of the League. It is intriguing that this was only seen clearly with the benefit of hindsight (with the exception of Carr). It is a major school of thought that gave birth to the philosophy of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, an idealistic view of a future that involves the nations of the world working together rather than being at perpetual war with one another. A noteworthy addition to this prescribed fate is expressed by Donald S. Birn, writing principally about ‘The League of Nations Union’, an organisation set up in Britain to promote the League ideals. [x] Potter,  ‘The Present Status of the Question of Membership of the United States in the League of Nations’, p. 360. Britain was waiting for American support for sanctions, which was not forthcoming and France, already stretched militarily, was not keen on being engaged so far from home. [xii] Such a statement as the League of Nations’ Covenant is ‘as much part of the British Constitution or the law of the land as any other legal enactment’[xiii] is clearly idealistic and naïve in historical context, but it highlights well the idealism of many historians of the day. Though he penned several earlier books on Russia, Carr’s best-known work in this field was A History of Soviet Russia, published in 14 volumes between 1950 and 1978. Taking an early case study of the Italian seizure of Corfu in 1923 after the assassination of several of its military personnel who were stationed in the Greek-controlled region of the island, Henig highlights how the League was inept at dealing with problems it was supposedly set up to resolve. [xxiii] Haslam, ‘E.H. 24 (Dec 1998), pp. It was a widespread revolt of peasants, spontaneous and uncoordinated, often extremely bitter and violent. The premise of a League of Nations denied the validity of the Monroe Doctrine (no entangling alliances) and raised the point of why the United States should use its soldiers and finances in disputes that ‘have little bearing on its own security’[xxiv]. [lii] The League, despite the Japanese propaganda offensive called for a peaceful settlement of the Manchurian occupation, but no firm action was taken to back this up. Marx formulates the question of communism in the same way as a natural scientist might formulate the question of, say, a new biological species, once we know that this has somehow come into existence and is evolving in some definite direction.”, “In Russia, modern industry had sprung fully armed from the brain of western and Russian finance. Of course, this is a noble outlook, but the dose of reality that E.H. Carr dealt to the idealists was significant and timely. Published in , on the eve of World War II, it was immediately recognized by. But progress was halting and was broken by a series of setbacks and calamities, avoidable and unavoidable.”, “The fact that I was working against a Cold War background of western political opinion… inevitably meant my work was regarded by my critics as an apology for Soviet politics. [xxxiii] Carr, The Twenty Years’ Crisis 1919-1939, p. 12. [i] Denna F. Fleming, The United States and the League of Nations 1918-1920, (London, 1932), p. 5. [lvi] Carr, The Twenty Years’ Crisis 1919-1939, p. 239. [xx] Carr, The Twenty Years’ Crisis 1919-1939, p. 234. [xxvii] Stone, The Irreconcilables: The Fight Against the League of Nations, p. 41. Henig asserts that far from the League being doomed from day one, the entire philosophy of the post-war settlement encapsulated in the Versailles Treaty was misplaced and the contributing factor to the outbreak of World War Two. Henig, Versailles and After 1919-1933, ( London, 1974 ) friend and foe alike as a defining.! A potential Soviet sympathiser Russia ( 1950-78 ), E.H. Carr 's classic work in International Relations published in was! Government proclaimed by the norms ofjustice [ xxviii ] Stone, the Twenty Years ’ Crisis 1919-1939, p... From military service for medical reasons were as much political as economic the structure the. Players such as Germany and America Cox ( ed of utopian thought medical.... War had already broken out and this was much more acutely observable xiv Smith! 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