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In some ways, the League of Nations was strong. By the 1930s about 60 countries had signed the Covenant. The League’s main strength came from the fact that it was set up by the Treaty of Versailles. Also, the League had ‘means of influence’:
moral condemnation (e.g. in 1925, the Greeks stopped invading Bulgaria when the League condemned them).
arbitration (e.g., between Sweden and Finland over the Aaland Islands in 1921).
sanctions (e.g. Manchuria and Abyssinia in the 1930s).
the League could agree to military force, although it had no army.
However, the League also had three great weaknesses. The USA, Russia and Germany were not members; without these powers, the League was too weak to make a big country do as it wished (for instance, Italy over Corfu in 1923). Also, the League’s organisation was a muddle, so when there was a crisis, no-one could agree.
Finally, the League’s greatest weakness was that it was set up by the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty was hated, especially by the Germans and Americans, so the League was hated too.
In some ways, the League of Nations was strong.
Forty-two countries joined the League at the start. By the 1930s about 60 countries had signed the 26 promises of the Covenant – notably Article 10, in which nations promised to keep the peace and help nations which were attacked. World powers such as Britain, France, Italy and Japan were on the Council, meeting...