A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I, or the legal instruments that contained the internationally agreed-upon terms for administering the territory on behalf of the League of Nations. These were of the nature of both a treaty and a constitution, which contained minority rights clauses that provided for the rights of petition and adjudication by the International Court.
The mandate system was established under Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, entered into on 28 June 1919. With the dissolution of the League of Nations after World War II, it was stipulated at the Yalta Conference that the remaining Mandates should be placed under the trusteeship of the United Nations, subject to future discussions and formal agreements. Most of the remaining mandates of the League of Nations (with the exception of South-West Africa) thus eventually became United Nations Trust Territories.
Two governing principles formed the core of the Mandate System, being non-annexation of the territory and its administration as a “sacred trust of civilisation” to develop the territory for the benefit of its native people.
The mandate system was established by Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, drafted by the victors of World War I. The article referred to territories which after the war were no longer ruled by their previous sovereign, but their peoples were not considered "able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world". The article called for such people's tutelage to be "entrusted to advanced nations who by reason of their resources, their experience or their geographical position can best undertake this responsibility".
All of the territories subject to League of Nations mandates were previously controlled by states defeated in World War I, principally Imperial Germany and the Ottoman Empire. The mandates were fundamentally different from the protectorates in that the Mandatory power undertook obligations to the inhabitants of the territory and to the League of Nations.
The process of establishing the mandates consisted of two phases:
The divestiture of Germany's overseas colonies, along with three territories disentangled from its European homeland area (the Free City of Danzig, Memel Territory, and Saar), was accomplished in the Treaty of Versailles (1919), with the territories being allotted among the Allies on 7 May of that year. Ottoman territorial claims were first addressed in the Treaty of Sèvres (1920) and finalized in the Treaty of Lausanne (1923). The Turkish territories were allotted among the Allied Powers at the San Remo conference in 1920.
The League of Nations decided the exact level of control by the Mandatory power over each mandate on an individual basis. However, in every case the Mandatory power was forbidden to construct fortifications or raise an army within the territory of the mandate, and was required to present an annual report on the territory to the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations.
The mandates were divided into three distinct groups based upon the level of development each population had achieved at that time.
The first group, or Class A mandates, were territories formerly controlled by the Ottoman Empire that were deemed to "... have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory."
The Class A mandates were:
The second group of mandates, or Class B mandates, were all former Schutzgebiete (German territories) in West and Central Africa which were deemed to require a greater level of control by the mandatory power: "...the Mandatory must be responsible for the administration of the territory under conditions which will guarantee freedom of conscience and religion." The mandatory power was forbidden to construct military or naval bases within the mandates.
The Class B mandates were:
The Class C mandates, including South West Africa and certain of the South Pacific Islands, were considered to be "best administered under the laws of the Mandatory as integral portions of its territory"
The Class C mandates were former German possessions:
According to the Council of the League of Nations, meeting of August 1920: "draft mandates adopted by the Allied and Associated Powers would not be definitive until they had been considered and approved by the League ... the legal title held by the mandatory Power must be a double one: one conferred by the Principal Powers and the other conferred by the League of Nations,"
Three steps were required to establish a Mandate under international law: (1) The Principal Allied and Associated Powers confer a mandate on one of their number or on a third power; (2) the principal powers officially notify the council of the League of Nations that a certain power has been appointed mandatory for such a certain defined territory; and (3) the council of the League of Nations takes official cognisance of the appointment of the mandatory power and informs the latter that it [the council] considers it as invested with the mandate, and at the same time notifies it of the terms of the mandate, after ascertaining whether they are in conformance with the provisions of the covenant."
The U.S. State Department Digest of International Law says that the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne provided for the application of the principles of state succession to the "A" Mandates. The Treaty of Versailles (1920) provisionally recognized the former Ottoman communities as independent nations. It also required Germany to recognize the disposition of the former Ottoman territories and to recognize the new states laid down within their boundaries. The terms of the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) required the newly created states that acquired the territory detached from the Ottoman Empire to pay annuities on the Ottoman public debt and to assume responsibility for the administration of concessions that had been granted by the Ottomans. The treaty also let the States acquire, without payment, all the property and possessions of the Ottoman Empire situated within their territory. The treaty provided that the League of Nations was responsible for establishing an arbitral court to resolve disputes that might arise and stipulated that its decisions were final.
A disagreement regarding the legal status and the portion of the annuities to be paid by the "A" mandates was settled when an Arbitrator ruled that some of the mandates contained more than one State:
The difficulty arises here how one is to regard the Asiatic countries under the British and French mandates. Iraq is a Kingdom in regard to which Great Britain has undertaken responsibilities equivalent to those of a Mandatory Power. Under the British mandate, Palestine and Transjordan have each an entirely separate organisation. We are, therefore, in the presence of three States sufficiently separate to be considered as distinct Parties. France has received a single mandate from the Council of the League of Nations, but in the countries subject to that mandate, one can distinguish two distinct States: Syria and the Lebanon, each State possessing its own constitution and a nationality clearly different from the other.
After the United Nations was founded in 1945 and the League of Nations was disbanded, all but one of the mandated territories that remained under the control of the mandatory power became United Nations trust territories, a roughly equivalent status. In each case, the colonial power that held the mandate on each territory became the administering power of the trusteeship, except that Japan, which had been defeated in World War II, lost its mandate over the South Pacific islands, which became a "strategic trust territory" known as the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under United States administration.
The sole exception to the transformation of League of Nations mandates into UN trusteeships was that South Africa refused to place South-West Africa under trusteeship. Instead, South Africa proposed that it be allowed to annex South-West Africa, a proposal rejected by the United Nations General Assembly. The International Court of Justice held that South Africa continued to have international obligations under the mandate for South-West Africa. The territory finally attained independence in 1990 as Namibia, after a long guerrilla war of independence against the apartheid regime.
Nearly all the former League of Nations mandates had become sovereign states by 1990, including all of the former United Nations Trust Territories with the exception of a few successor entities of the gradually dismembered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (formerly Japan's South Pacific Trust Mandate). These exceptions include the Northern Mariana Islands which is a commonwealth in political union with the United States with the status of unincorporated organized territory. The Northern Mariana Islands does elect its own governor to serve as territorial head of government, but it remains a U.S. territory with its head of state being the President of the United States and federal funds to the Commonwealth administered by the Office of Insular Affairs of the United States Department of the Interior.
Remnant Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, the heirs of the last territories of the Trust, attained final independence on 22 December 1990. (The UN Security Council ratified termination of trusteeship, effectively dissolving trusteeship status, on 10 July 1987). The Republic of Palau, split off from the Federated States of Micronesia, became the last to get its independence effectively on 1 October 1994.
70. Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire. At the end of the First World War, a class "A" Mandate for Palestine was entrusted to Great Britain by the League of Nations, pursuant to paragraph 4 of Article 22 of the Covenant
LONDON, July 19. – The A mandates, which govern the British occupation of Palestine and the French occupation of Syria, came today before the Council of the League of Nations.
A referendum on territorial status was held in the Territory of the Saar Basin on 13 January 1935. Over 90% of voters opted for reunification with Germany, with 9% voting for the status quo as a League of Nations mandate territory and less than 0.5% opting for unification with France.1956 British Togoland status plebiscite
A referendum on the territory's status was held in British Togoland on 9 May 1956. Since World War I the territory had been a League of Nations mandate, then a United Nations Trust Territory under British control. The referendum offered residents the choice of remaining a Trust Territory until neighbouring French Togoland had decided upon its future, or becoming part of soon-to-be Ghana. The Togoland native and dominant ethnic group, the Togolese Ewe people, Togolese Ewe-based Togoland Congress campaigned against and preferred amalgamation with French Togoland.
The eventual result was reported to be 63.9% in favour of integration.1956 French Togoland autonomy referendum
A referendum on autonomy was held in French Togoland on 28 October 1956. Since World War I the territory had been a League of Nations mandate, then a United Nations Trust Territory under French control. The referendum offered residents the choice of remaining a Trust Territory or becoming an autonomous region within the French Union. The result being 93% in favour of the latter, with a 77.3% turnout. However, the referendum was rejected by the United Nations General Assembly as it had not included the option of independence and opted to continue with the trusteeship. In neighbouring British Togoland, a referendum earlier in the year had resulted in the territory becoming part of Ghana.Anglophone Cameroonian
Anglophone Cameroonians are the people of various cultural backgrounds who hail from the English-speaking regions of Cameroon (Northwest and Southwest regions). These regions were formerly known as British Southern Cameroons, being part of the League of Nations mandate and United Nations Trust Territories.
The two English-speaking regions of Cameroon make up 17% of a population of 17 million (2005).Bondelswarts Rebellion
The Bondelswarts Rebellion (aka the Bondelswarts Uprising, or more disparagingly the Bondelswarts Affair) was a controversial violent incident in South Africa's League of Nations Mandate of South West Africa.
In 1917, the South African mandatory administration had created a tax on dogs, and increased it in 1921. The tax was rejected by the Bondelswarts, a group of Khoikhoi, who were opposed to various policies of the new administration. They were also protecting five men for whom arrest warrants had been issued.There is disagreement over the details of the dispute, but according to historian Neta Crawford, "most agree that in May 1922 the Bondelswarts prepared to fight, or at least to defend themselves, and the mandatory administration moved to crush what they called a rebellion of 500 to 600 people, of which 200 were said to be armed (although only about 40 weapons were captured after the Bondelswarts were crushed).Gysbert Hofmeyr, the Mandatory Administrator, organized in 400 armed men, and sent in aircraft to bomb the Bondelswarts. Casualties included 100 Bondelswart deaths, including a few women and children. A further 468 men were either wounded or taken prisoner.British Cameroons
British Cameroons was a British Mandate territory in British West Africa. Today, the territory forms parts of Northern Nigeria in West Africa and Cameroon in Central Africa.British Mandate
British Mandate may refer to:
British Mandate for Palestine (legal instrument), a 1920 League of Nations mandate for territory formerly held by the Ottoman Empire in Palestine and Transjordan
Mandatory Palestine, the geopolitical entity controlled by the United Kingdom from 1920 to 1948 under the League of Nations mandate
British Mandate for Mesopotamia (legal instrument), an unratified 1920 proposal to the League of Nations regarding the government of IraqCoat of arms of Samoa
The coat of arms of Samoa takes its inspiration from the United Nations, as New Zealand administered Western Samoa first as a League of Nations Mandate and then as a United Nations trusteeship until the country received its independence on June 1, 1962, as Western Samoa. Samoa was the first Polynesian nation to reestablish independence in the 20th century. The background is cross-hatched with a grid like the United Nations arms, most of the other elements are duplicated on the national flag.Eugène Jungers
Eugène Jungers (1888–1958) was a Belgian colonial civil servant and lawyer. Beginning his career in the Belgian Congo as a colonial magistrate, Jungers rose rapidly through the judiciary and became the colonial governor of the League of Nations Mandate of Ruanda-Urundi from 1932 to 1946. In 1946, Jungers was further promoted to Governor-General of the Belgian Congo, the senior administrative position in the colony, which he held from 1946 to 1952.French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon
The Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon (French: Mandat pour la Syrie et le Liban; Arabic: الانتداب الفرنسي على سوريا ولبنان al-intidāb al-fransi 'ala suriya wa-lubnān) (1923−1946) was a League of Nations mandate founded after the First World War and the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire concerning Syria and Lebanon. The mandate system was supposed to differ from colonialism, with the governing country acting as a trustee until the inhabitants would be able to stand on their own. At that point, the mandate would terminate and an independent state would be born.During the two years that followed the end of the war in 1918—and in accordance with the Sykes-Picot Agreement signed by Britain and France during the war—the British held control of most of Ottoman Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) and the southern part of Ottoman Syria (Palestine and Transjordan), while the French controlled the rest of Ottoman Syria, Lebanon, Alexandretta (Hatay) and other portions of southeastern Turkey. In the early 1920s, British and French control of these territories became formalized by the League of Nations' mandate system, and on 29 September 1923 France was assigned the League of Nations mandate of Syria, which included the territory of present-day Lebanon and Alexandretta in addition to Syria proper.The administration of the region under the French was carried out through a number of different governments and territories, including the Syrian Federation (1922–24), the State of Syria (1924–30) and the Syrian Republic (1930–1958), as well as smaller states: the State of Greater Lebanon, the Alawite State and Jabal Druze State. Hatay was annexed by Turkey in 1939. The French mandate lasted until 1943, when two independent countries emerged, Syria and Lebanon. French troops completely left Syria and Lebanon in 1946.French Togoland
French Togoland (French: Togo français) was a French colonial League of Nations mandate from 1916 to 1960 in French West Africa. In 1960 it became the independent Togolese Republic, and the present day nation of Togo.Kreisliga Saar
The Kreisliga Saar (English: District league Saar) was the highest association football league in the Territory of the Saar Basin, governed by a League of Nations mandate, and parts of the Bavarian region of Palatinate and the Prussian Rhine Province from 1919 to 1923. The league was disbanded with the introduction of the Bezirksliga Rheinhessen-Saar in 1923.
The league was named after the Saar River.North Solomon Islands
The Northern Solomons were the more northerly group of islands in the Solomon Islands archipelago over which Germany declared a protectorate in 1885. Initially the German Solomon Islands Protectorate included Choiseul, Santa Isabel, the Shortlands and Ontong Java Islands, but in 1900 these islands were transferred to the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. The largest of the Solomon Islands, Bougainville, continued under German administration until World War I when it fell to Australia, and after the war, it formally passed to Australian jurisdiction under a League of Nations mandate.
Today, what were the North Solomon Islands are split between Bougainville (an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea) and the sovereign state of Solomon Islands, which is the successor state to the British Solomon Islands Protectorate renamed in 1975 prior to achieving independence in 1976.Postage stamps and postal history of German East Africa
This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of German East Africa.
German East Africa was a German colony in East Africa, including what is now Burundi, Rwanda and Tanganyika (the mainland part of present Tanzania). It came into existence during the 1880s and ended during World War I, when the area was taken over by the British and Belgians, and later as League of Nations mandate territories.Ruanda-Urundi
Ruanda-Urundi (French pronunciation: [ʁɥɑ̃da.yʁœ̃di]; sometimes rendered into Dutch as Roeanda-Oeroendi) was a territory in the African Great Lakes region, once part of German East Africa, which was ruled by Belgium between 1916 and 1962. Occupied by the Belgians during the East African Campaign during World War I, the territory was under Belgian military occupation from 1916 to 1922 and later became a Belgian-controlled Class B Mandate under the League of Nations from 1922 to 1945. After the disestablishment of the League and World War II, Ruanda-Urundi became a Trust Territory of the United Nations, still under Belgian control. In 1962, the mandate became independent as the two separate countries of Rwanda and Burundi.South West Africa
South West Africa (Afrikaans: Suidwes-Afrika; Dutch: Zuidwest-Afrika; German: Südwestafrika) was the name for modern-day Namibia when it was under South African administration, from 1915 to 1990.
Previously the colony of German South West Africa from 1884, it was made a League of Nations mandate of the British-ruled Union of South Africa following Germany's losses in World War I. Although the mandate was abolished by the UN in 1966, South African rule continued despite it being illegal under international law. The territory was administered directly by the South African government from 1915 to 1978, when the Turnhalle Constitutional Conference laid the groundwork for semi-autonomy. During an interim period between 1978 and 1985, South Africa gradually granted South West Africa a limited form of home rule, culminating in the formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity.
In 1990, South West Africa was granted independence as the Republic of Namibia with the exception of Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands, which continued to remain under South African rule until 1994.Tanganyika (territory)
Tanganyika was a territory administered by the United Kingdom from 1916 until 1961. The UK initially administered the territory as an occupying power with the Royal Navy and British Indian infantry seizing the territory from the Germans in 1916. From 20 July 1922, British administration was formalised by Tanganyika being created a British League of Nations mandate. From 1946, it was administered by the UK as a United Nations trust territory.
Before the end of the World War I the territory was part of the German colony of German East Africa (GEA). After the war started, the British invaded GEA but were unable to defeat the German army. The German leader in the African Great Lakes, Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck, did not surrender until notified about the Armistice of 11 November 1918 that ended the war. After this, the League of Nations formalised the UK's control of the area, who renamed it "Tanganyika". The UK held Tanganyika as a League of Nations mandate until the end of the World War II after which it was held as a United Nations trust territory. In 1961, Tanganyika gained its independence from the UK as Tanganyika. It became a republic a year later. Tanganyika now forms part of the modern-day sovereign state of Tanzania.Territory of the Saar Basin
The Territory of the Saar Basin (German: Saarbeckengebiet, Saarterritorium; French: Le Territoire du Bassin de la Sarre) was a region of Germany occupied and governed by the United Kingdom and France from 1920 to 1935 under a League of Nations mandate. It had its own flag (adopted on July 28, 1920): a blue, white, and black horizontal tricolour. The blue and white stood for Bavaria, and white and black for Prussia, out of whose lands the Saar Territory was formed. Initially, the occupation was under the auspices of the Treaty of Versailles. Its population in 1933 was 812,000, and its capital was Saarbrücken. The territory closely corresponds with the modern German state of Saarland, but was slightly smaller in area. After a plebiscite was held in 1935, it was restored to Germany.United Nations trust territories
United Nations trust territories were the successors of the remaining League of Nations mandates, and came into being when the League of Nations ceased to exist in 1946. All of the trust territories were administered through the United Nations Trusteeship Council. The one territory not turned over was South-West Africa, which South Africa insisted remained under the League of Nations Mandate. It eventually gained independence in 1990 as Namibia. The main objection was that the trust territory guidelines required that the lands be prepared for independence and majority rule.
The concept is distinct from a territory temporarily and directly governed by the United Nations.