Notes on the Failure of Democracy, Versailles Renounced, Failure of the League of Nations


a. Failure of Democracy:

In 1920 most of the European countries had democratic governments established. Thus in the post-World War I there was the success of democracy almost in every European state.

But soon after there had been severe constraints on democracy.


The causes were as follows: (1) Economic crisis in Germany in early 1920 and the Great Depression of 1929 totally destabilized the European economy.

(2) Some states of Europe in the period immediately after World War I suffered racial instability as a result of conflicting ethnic groups.

(3) Defects that existed in some of the new democratic constitutions also helped the emergence of the authoritarian rule.

(4) The democracy in the post-War period was severely weakened by the absence of any really popular statesman during the inter-war years.


b. Versailles Renounced:

From the very beginning Hitler was opposed to the Treaty of Versailles. In fact, he wished to overturn the shameful Versailles Treaty.

And this meant getting back Germany’s right to rearm and recover the lands lost in 1919.

Withdrawal from the Disarmament Conference held in Geneva gave Hitler the golden opportunity to reject the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. From this time onwards Hitler started repudiating the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles one after another.


The next important step Hitler had taken to overreach the Treaty of Versailles was his policy of rearmament. He started arming Germany contrary to the provision of the Treaty of Versailles.

c. Failure of the League of Nations:

The League of Nations failed due to a number of causes. The causes may be summed up as follows: (1) it was due to the selfish policy pursued by the big Powers that the international organization could not effectively enforce peace in the world.

(2) The League of Nations remained totally inactive when Japan attacked Manchuria in 1931.


(3) Japan’s surrender of membership gave the League of Nations a serious blow to its very existence.

(4) The League of Nations remained a passive onlooker when Hitler in repudiation of the Treaty of Versailles started rearmament and occupation of territories one after another.

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