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The Negative Effects of the Mandate System created by the League of Nations

Juan Enrico Ambrocio

Jewel Amor Catubag
Beatriz Shane Monasterio
Joan Claire Ravalo
Camille Pauline Suemith

The Mandate System has been detrimental to the colonies involved and it has been an
obstacle to the development of the colonized nations; hence it shouldn't have been
With the conclusion of the World War I in 1919, there remained the difficult
question regarding as to how they were to address the countless casualties and
devastation which resulted from the World War I. How will they be able to compensate
for all the physical damages caused by the war not to mention the prolonged effects it
could have had on the individual nations involved? Hence, this led to the formation of
the League of Nations Mandates. The Mandate System, as established by the League
of Nations in June 1919, was supposed to be the resolution for the numerous
predicaments brought about by the atrocities that occurred during the World War I. In
accordance to the Covenant of the League of Nations as written in Article 22 of the text,
the sole purpose of the establishment of a mandate system was to ensure the wellbeing and proper development of previously occupied territories so as to enable them to
prepare for self-governance as soon as deemed capable of doing so by the League of
However, the implementation of the Mandate system, as it were, has raised
suspicion among the general public as it aroused questions with regards to its
consequences specifically to the system of governance known by the territories
involved. Although according to a recent study conducted by the group, many still
believe that the Mandate system applied during the World War I has served its purpose
as an important part in the achievement of sovereignty of many of the previously
colonized countries. In a way, it has. Since the implementation of the mandate system
has paved the way to the rapid development of the welfare of the nations which
engaged in the war under the close supervision of their respective assigned advanced
countries. But one cannot simply set aside the possibility that this mandate system can
also be viewed as nothing more than a disguised attempt at the reconstruction of a new
empire headed by the very countries that fought against the building of the fallen
Ottoman Empire. This claim was due to the anonymous speculations that aroused with
the questionable division of territories decided upon by the League of
History is not just about a string of significant events that transpired in the past.
History is about understanding those events and using what is understood as basis for
building a better society. The groups focus is on the mandate system that was
implemented after World War I. Despite its advantages, the underlying means for
colonialism that the League of Nations implemented upon the defeated countries will
always be taken advantage of by their superiors. This event is an eye-opener, that
even for the society of today, countries that assume power use their power to belittle

and look down on developing countries. History repeats itself indeed for as we speak,
what was called mandate system in the past is now called neocolonialism. Right now,
neocolonialism is a system adhered to by countries with more developed economies
to exploit the sovereignty of the less developed countries.
1. League of Nations - an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of
the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War, whose principal
mission is to maintain world peace.
2. Mandate Sytem - A system created by the League of Nations that will foster into
independence the former German colonies in Africa and the Pacific and the
several non-Turkish provinces of the Ottoman Empire, under the hands of France
and Britain.
3. World War 1 - It was a global war centered in Europe which involved the Allies
and their opposition (Central Powers).
4. Allies It was A group of countries formed during the Word War 1 era, consisting
of France, Britain, and Russia
5. Central Powers - one of the two warring factions in World War I (191418),
composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman
Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria.
Was the Mandate System helpful to the territories with respect to the division of
resources, or was it detrimental?
Sub-Thesis: The Mandate System has been detrimental to the territories in such a
way that the division of resources in their territories was not favorable to all; the
division of territories was only favorable to a certain group of people in the colonies
Arab pressure and riots in Palestine had brought about the Churchill White Paper of
1922, which again reiterated the right of the Jews to a Homeland in Palestine. At this
time, Britain detached all of the area east of the Jordan river from Palestine and gave it
to the Hashemi family as an independent Arab state. Many historians believe that this
was a sop to the Hashemites, who had lost Syria to the French and Saudi Arabia to in
Saud (Isseroff, 2010).
Did the Mandate System have an effective monitoring system on their colonies?
Sub-Thesis: The Mandate System has been detrimental to the territories in such a
way that there was no constant monitoring of the colonies involved. Hence, one can
never be too sure about the conditions of these colonies.

The main shortcoming that was reflected by a number of unresolved or problematic

issues resulted from the limited competencies of the League of Nations concerning the
Mandate System. Information about the situation in the mandated territories was limited,
since the League of Nations relied exclusively upon the annual reports. Inspection visits
were not provided for and never carried out (Matz, 2005).
Each Mandatory nation was supposed to create an annual report to give to the
commission, which would then analyze the report and issue an advisory opinion to the
Council. However, in practice the commission was ineffective because it could not verify
the reports with inspections and make sure that it was accurate in explaining the reality
of the situation; therefore, the League of Nations had limited access to information (ElBuozaidi, 2012).
Was the Mandate System successful in preparing the countries for selfgovernance?
Sub-Thesis: The Mandate System was a mask of colonialism to further exploit the
resources of the mandates involved.
Article 22 tried to portray the process as a situation where the Mandatory powers were
helping as opposed to exploiting their mandates. It referred to the actions of the
Mandatory powers as a responsibility, to help peoples not yet able to stand by
themselves, so that they can stand alone, and on behalf of the League. The
phrasing and vocabulary were used consciously as an attempt to legitimize the process;
however, in reality the system was merely a way to mask colonialism and the
continuation of foreign rule over former colonies. If the Great powers had humanitarian
and altruistic motives, then they would have been more willing to take mandates that
were in more need of assistance, yet there was tremendous competition for the more
developed Mandates that possessed resources, which they could ultimately exploit (ElBuozaidi, 2012).
Another example of why French motives were not based on the right motives was in
the way that it resisted and tried to undermine Syrian attempts to gain independence,
which was meant to be the ultimate goal of the Mandates. Evidence of this is with
Frances action in 1930 to dissolve the Syrian legislative assembly. The government
was democratically elected, yet France objected to the fact that it spoke of the unity of
geographical Syria and did not explicitly safeguard the French position of control.
France wanted to prolong its control on Syria so it did not take seriously Syrian and
Lebanese attempts for independence. In 1945, violence erupted in response to Frances
refusal to transfer control of the armed forces to the Syrian people. France responded
by bombing Syria, while Britain intervened to stabilize the situation. This was not the
sole example of resistance to the Mandatory power but rather the period was fraught
with resistance, such as the revolt led by Youssef al-Azmeh in 1920, the revolt led by
Sultan Pasha el Atrash, and the previously mentioned violence in 1945. Ultimately the
Mandate system failed because France did not fulfil its obligations to assist its Mandate

in obtaining independence. Instead the Mandatory power had other motives, which led
to resistance and violence. (El-Buozaidi, 2012)
El-Bouzaidi, I. D. (2012). The League of Nations mandate system: The masking of
colonial policy in the Middle East. Retrived on March 20, 2013 from
Isserof, A. (2010). The Palestine mandate of the League of Nations. Retrieved on March
20, 2013 from
Matz, N. (2005). Civilization and the mandate system under the League of Nations as
origin of trusteeship. Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill N.V.
N.A. (2008). The covenant of the League of Nations. The Avalon Project. Retrieved on
March 20, 2013 from