Power is taken as a measure of an entity’s ability to control the environment including the behavior of other entities. It is utilized by nations to legitimize international relations as it is considered as endemic to human beings as social beings. Law, on the other hand, is considered as being a set of rules which are enhanced through a set of institutions to shape economic, social and political aspects of a society. It serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Power, however, is the most preferred tool of international cohesion as it makes institutions and states really work towards integration. Elements of power are diverse. They include military power, natural resources, economic power, communication’s advancement, technological advancement and power of numbers found in population.
Power is taken as a measure of an entitys ability to control the environment including the behavior of other entities
Machiavelli, one of the greatest philosophers of the 17th century politics, chose power to law as he considered the foundations of a nation to be based on sound laws and strong military. However, the elements of power to him were more important than an establishment of laws. These elements would be utilized to promote the use law. However, as much as great philosophers of the time advocated for power in place of law, the Roman Empire used both to eradiate all forms of anarchy within its precincts. It applied law in three different forms which were outlined as follows; first, there was the Lex Romana which was the law of all Rome citizens. This implies that all citizens were to be ruled under the same rule despite social status. Secondly, there was the Jus Gentium, defined as the law of nations or the gentiles and used to rule all the provinces. The third form was that of the SPQR which was created by the senate and the population of Rome. The use of this system of authority saw the Roman Empire last for 800 years. This shows how stability can be achieved if all the stakeholders in a country’s unite to form a common approach towards authority.
The Universalist law applied to all the people despite their nationality, affiliation or creed. This law was as a result of the Lex Romana and the Jus Gentium laws that were already in use in the Roman Empire. Three things were required of the Universalist law. First and foremost, there was the worship of the roman emperor. Anyone bound by the roman rules was supposed to worship the roman emperor. Another aspect of this law was paying of taxes. Regardless of social status, taxes were a must for all citizens of Rome. The law compelled people to pay the taxes or else power would be advocated for those that default these rules. The third and one of the most important requirements was conscription to the army. Nations in the past boasted by the show of their military might. This might was in form of large armies used to defend one’s territorial boundaries. These rules saw the rise of many nations as well as the demise of anarchies within the European sphere of influence. The Romans used power to facilitate trade within their territories. The facilitation was equaled to the virtues as it was embodied in the Roman way of life. In the years that followed, anarchism was gradually eradicated from the face of Roman Empire. However, their use of power and law consecutively saw their demise, leading to another form of ruling: the church.
Church doctrines were entrenched into the minds of the people creating a new form of ruling. The pope was considered the most powerful person in Rome and was accorded the title “pontifex maximums”. All the rights of the roman citizens were embedded in the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Gregory I instigated the doctrine of the two swords and also led to the conversion of a group of barbarian’s referred to as the Visigoths. The doctrine of the two swords was in two portions. One was that of the secular law. This was for the armies or what was referred to as the canon law. It was the enforcing law in the church. It prescribes authority over the barbarians and other monarchs that fell under the roman rule. The pope had the power to mitigate conflict among the monarchs as well as guarantee treaties with other entities. Then there was the transcendental power which was the power bestowed on the pope by the scripture. This was considerably broken down to show that power and law could not control everything. Of importance were three aspects: first was technology, then followed acts of God and third were the outcomes of war. The pope’s power grew immensely with his power to guarantee treaties with other entities seen as a break through into the international relations. It is during this period that many states emerged. With time, however, the papal power began to diminish. The great revolutionaries of the time, who included Machiavelli and Martin Luther, attacked the church for going against its purpose of winning souls to Christianity and not being defunct rulers. Papal powers were slashed and monarchies emerged.
International laws were initially meant to assist the nations to control the use of excessive power over other subjects. However, pride, nationalism and monarchies were the greatest impediments to this assumption. When diplomacy fails and nations begin to take sides and loyalties are created, power is exercised over the smaller countries. All others want to show how powerful they were hence averting the war was highly obstructed. None the less, the war helped destroy anarchies that had tried to establish themselves in Europe. This created a state of liberalism among growing nations. Realists would view this as the benefits of creating institutions to see to it that laws are entrenched by use of power hence create submission. They believe that a nation should use what is in its possession to bring about law and order within its region or sphere of influence.
Utopian is seen as a socialist way of thinking. It depicts the society as being one large family that can be brought together to form one global community guided by common laws and regulations. It propels the notions of idealism in its push for morality, ethics, values and aesthetics. Despite the many flaws in the human nature, utopian kind of thinking brings out the human being as being a perfect being without any flaws. However, this is not so. Creating the League of Nations in this light was wrongful in approach. That not withstanding, the main aim of creating the League of Nations was to bring sanity to the warring world. This was achieved for a certain period of time though the initial goal was overlooked as a period of liberalism was prevalent. Many nations saw their nations as being superior and hence held others as minorities. Each nation fought to be recognized as being autonomous. Different ideologies were propelled by different leaders and nationalists.
The League of Nations was created under the presumptions that no country was supposed to fight the other, all nations were sovereign and diplomacy was to be applied in case of any rows. There was supposed to be collective security ensured by all members that agreed to sign the Versailles treaty. Economic and social issues were to be respected and poorer countries assisted by those that were developed at the time. There was supposed to be a mandate system that overruled other systems of leadership within member states. Each nation was supposed to align itself to self determination and all maintain peace without victory. This was to take care of the way of thinking propelled by socialist thinkers of the mid-19th century. These presuppositions were based on an ideal society that existed in the mind and not in reality.
It succeeded averting small crisis that could have elevated to major world wars within the European countries. Further, it helped contain and combat Spanish flu and cholera by involving the other members in the fight against preventable diseases and common illnesses. Being an international body, it prided itself in using diplomacy to repatriate prisoners who had been captured during the World War I. this was a major achievement as it showed how influential an international body could be in terms of regional policy making. It helped resolve the raging conflict between Germany and Poland and created an alternate to war in Geneva by bring about a diplomatic approach to conflict. However, it failed in various angles. There was unanimity of voting thus, democracy was not upheld. There were no resources specifically dedicated to help in its endeavors. They were too European oriented that they discarded the USA and did not recognize it. How was it to be an international union yet it disregarded other nations? There were no guidelines required for a country to be a member. By signing the covenant, a country was entrenched them into the league. It also failed as it had no historical content from which to base their rules on but just views of the statesmen in the member countries. Biasness could not be literally evaded in this case.
As can be seen, the League of Nations was a major influence to the institutionalism created after 1945. They propelled the view of similar ideological relationships and this led to multilateralism. Values, norms and laws shared led to cooperation of nations equating each to quality access to resources. However, this led to establishment of international law which relates each country to a certain domain of thought. These laws led to creation of agreements that led to foundation of another international body that was all encompassing. This shows how nations matured when it came to international relations though they grouped themselves into developed countries leaving out upcoming economic powers out of decision-making organs.