Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/League of Nations

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League of Nations[edit]

A previous Collaboration of the week and a previous FAC (archived nomination from a month ago, immediately after it was the COTW). Looks pretty good to me. I can't honestly call it a self-nom, although I have recently restructured, copyedited, formatted, etc. -- ALoan (Talk) 12:38, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

  • Support. Last time it was almost ready, I think all previous objections (including mine) have now been adressed. Looks ready for big time for me. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 13:33, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Object. This looks good, but there's still some work to be done. 1) The lead section is relatively short given the length of the article. Adding another paragraph would give room for giving a better summary of the entire article. As a minor point here: why are the French and German names mentioned? Do they have any particular value? 2) The league's failure are discused in detail, but it is not discussed how these failure were addressed when the UN was established. As the UN is more or less the successor to the LoN, I think it is relevant to this article. 3) The "Successes" and "Failures" sections should be more specific. For example, the "Greece and Bulgaria" section has no time reference - it could have happened yesterday. Similar problems for the other successes (the failures have more lines and context). 4) The "Other failures" section needs to be expanded. Many historically significant events are discussed here only with one or two sentences, while others get entire sections. Even the section itself writes that one of these events is "most remembered in history". 5) A more chronological ordering of the failures and successes could give a better image of how the failure of the League developed. 6) The "General failures" and "Specific failures" sections have a lot of overlapping text. Maybe they should be merged, or it the separation should become clearer. 7) The article needs a copyedit - I found several weird things (e.g. "Greece and Bulgaria share a border." is a weird way to start a section; "Representatation"). 8) There is quite a bit of speculation in the article. "Perhaps the key point was that the United States never joined.", "Perhaps the most important weakness", "would have been far more wary of crossing it" etc. 9) The conclusion that the failure of LoN was (in part) responsible for the outbreak of WWII is a bold one. More is needed on this. Is this a view shared by many (all, nearly all) historians? What is meant with "responsible"? How exactly was it responsible? Jeronimo 18:52, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
    • Thanks for the helpful comments. (1) I have augmented the lead; which French and German names? (2) Isn't the addressing of the League's failures a subject for the article on the United Nations? Arguably, structures such as the Security Council and the vetoes of permanent members, have brought their own problems. (3) Good point; (4) Are you saying that each failure (Chaco War; Spanish Civil War; Italy's invasion of Abyssinia; German re-militarisation of the Rhineland, occupation of the Sudetenland, and invasion of Austria; Winter War) needs its own section? (5) I thought it was useful to present Successes and Failures separately - the League is often thought of as a total failure, so I thought presenting Successes on their own was useful: however, the failures break down into two main groups (early ones and later ones) - perhaps it would be better to do early failures, then successes, then later failures? (6) I see what you mean and have attempted to correct the separation (they were one section until yesterday). (7) Fixed those - any more? (8) I've removed the "perhaps"s - any more? (9) "These failings were, in part, responsible for the outbreak of the Second World War." - do you really think this is a overly-bold conclusion? Are you saying that the failures of the League had no causal influence on World War II? -- ALoan (Talk) 20:29, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
      • Some replies; I'll have to look at your fixes. 1) "The League of Nations (French: Société des Nations, German: Völkerbund)" 2) Maybe so, but I think it could get just a bit more here; the description of the demise is only 5 lines. 4) Not a section per se, but they should get more attention than they do now, especially if they are so important (which the article itself notes). 5) I was thinking about a chronological ordering within the successes/failures; this would be especially useful for the failures. 7) Not that I know of, but it might be a good idea to through the article once or twice to comb these out. 8) Again, not that I know of, but the removal of the perhapses was not what I was after; speculation is OK as long as you can attribute it: scholar X thinks this, nearly all observers say, etc. 9) I'm not so sure the failure was responsible for the outbreak of WWII. I think the failures meant WWII was not stopped from happening, but being a cause, I don't really see it that way. However, if this is a common view, this can certainly be in the article, if only it is discussed in more detail, and not presented as a undisputable fact but an opinion (and by who it is held). Jeronimo 07:51, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
        • Thanks again - I appreciate your comments. I have addressed a few more points. I'll think about the others. -- ALoan (Talk) 15:42, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
      • Reviewing my issues. 1) Resolved. 2) Sufficient. 3) Several successes are still undated. 4) Resolved. 5) Resolved. 6) This is better now. 7) Has improved. 8) The last example statement is still in the article. 9) Although the statement in the article was been weakened, I still think it is an opinion, not an (undisputed) fact. So it should be attributed properly. Given the improvements, I change my vote to "minor object", as the article looks pretty good overall. Jeronimo 07:55, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
        • Many thanks. (3) I have added dates; (8) I have refactored this statement; (9) I think we will have to agree to differ. -- ALoan (Talk) 11:11, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Support Good article. I note there's a consistency problem with -ise versus -ize. I think in most instances -ise is used, so it might be sensible to standardise on this version, jguk 20:45, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Wholehearted support. I must apologise if the perhapses were mine (they probably were). In response to Jeronimo, I think the French and German names (first sentence) are relvant, as they are the official names in those countries. There is a significant chance that such terms would be searched for if found in a French or German text. I would fully defend my conclusion about WWII – if you can find me evidence to the contrary I'll back down, but I seriously doubt it. Smoddy (t) (e) (c) 22:13, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. →mathx314(talk)(email) 01:43, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Support I especially appreciated, and learned a lot from, the "Successes" section. Like ALoan said, many people simply dismiss the League for its failures without discussing any of the good it accomplished.Ryan Anderson 02:56, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • 'Comment: Needs a map of what countries the league consisted of at the top of the article. —Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 06:07, 2005 Feb 10 (UTC)
  • Object until we have a map of the League's nations. Neutralitytalk 15:06, Feb 10, 2005 (UTC)
    • When? It started with 44 members; 28 stayed throughout, and 35 came or went (League of Nations members) -- ALoan (Talk) 15:42, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
      • Not to mention the United States, whose President spurred its creation and yet failed to join. :-) James F. (talk) 17:09, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
      • Thinking about it again, a map showing permanent members in one colour, and temporary members in another, possibly with labels showing the periods of membership, wuold be a good idea. Anyone like to volunteer? The information is at League of Nations and League of Nations members. -- ALoan (Talk) 17:22, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
        • Something along the lines of [1]? I'm not so sure how easy it would be to replicate this. If there were a template map file to edit... Am I dreaming? Smoddy (t) (e) (c) 21:18, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. James F. (talk) 17:09, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Object. Informative but in need of a copyedit and grounded language.
    1. The language is unnecessarily wordy, such as The League, in attempting to act as a neutral party for all, driving diplomacy, made itself hugely indecisive. and This, to a great degree, took much of the League's potential clout away.
    2. The entries under "Other bodies" should be in complete sentences.
    3. Every entry of "Successes" needs to have a date for important events.
    4. Swedish culture and traditions were preserved in "Åland Islands" might imply that the Finns were planning some sort of ethnic assimilation, rather than wanting the land for strategic purposes.
    5. Lines like "The League worked to combat the international trade in opium and sexual slavery" are put under "Successes" but, as far as I know, successes are measured in results, not attempts. Quantify the results to remove the "Well, they meant well" subtext.
    6. The paragraph describing the departure of the fascist states needs to be separate sentences rather than joined with semicolons.
    7. After reading the article, despite learning a lot about specific incidents, I still didn't have a clear view of the broad arc of the League's development and demise. Was there a lot of effective action in the beginning and then a slow collapse? Was it crippled from the beginning and every success thus a heroic achievement? Perhaps this overview could replace the current structure of the second and third lead paragraphs, which are currently in the A and B happened, and then C happened format, as opposed to a more interesting The League did A and B, but was unable to halt C because of D, leading to E.
- BanyanTree 18:47, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
    • Well, I've had another go, but another pair of eyes would be good, so please feel free to copyedit if you think it needs it.
      1. I've dealt with those ones: are there others?
      2. The "Other bodies" are now complete sentences.
      3. I've added dates.
      4. Deleted the reference to Swedish culture
      5. I don't agree - in many cases, attempting to do something is just as important as whether it works or not. Someone else will have to add quantified results.
      6. The departure of the fascist states is now in separate sentences.
      7. Broad arc: high hopes; initial successes; some initial failures and later major failures, all caused by structural weaknesses; replacement by the UN. Yes, it was crippled from the beginning by its structure - "General weaknesses" says so. You don't like the specifics in the lead? Would it be better as:
"The League lacked an armed force of its own and so depended on the Great Powers to enforce its resolutions, which they were often very reluctant to do. After a number of notable successes and some early failures, the League ultimately proved incapable of preventing aggression by the fascist powers in 1930s. The onset of the Second World War made it clear that the League had failed in its purpose – to avoid any future world war.
The United Nations effectively replaced the League after World War II and inherited a number of agencies and organisations founded by the League."
--ALoan (Talk) 16:38, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • I would probably write something closer to your suggestion above than what is currently the lead, but my issue with the lead is that there are so many details that it obscures the broad sweep of the story, which is the point of a lead. In a well written article (and this is one), I trust that if the writer gives me a brief overview at the beginning, s/he will later explain in the text body the items mentioned. In any case, this and my concerns about "success" are relatively minor. The article shows an in-depth knowledge of the subject, is well-written, and I learned a lot from it. I change to support. - BanyanTree 07:28, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Thanks for you comments and copyedits - I have adopted this proposal for the lead. -- ALoan (Talk) 11:11, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)