League of Nations

In his famous 14 POINTS, US President Woodrow Wilson suggested the establishment of the League of Nations as an international organization with the aim of peacefully settling differences between member nations. The Entente Powers were to form the core of the League. The League was to have a GENERAL ASSEMBLY with all members represented, and a COUNCIL with the GREAT POWERS permanently represented, and the others when their turn came up. The League of Nations was to have their seat in GENEVA; among it's institutions were the INTERNATIONAL COURT IN JUSTICE in DEN HAAG (the Hague).
The US, instrumental in giving the Entante the victory and in establishing a framework for the post-war order, did not join the League of Nations, but withdrew from international diplomacy. So, the original Great Powers were France, Britain, Italy and Japan. The post-war order was based on the PARIS PEACE TREATIES, which caused great resentment in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey, non member states, as well as in the younf Soviet Union. It was the League of Nations which assigned Germany's former colonies and the Ottoman Empire's Arabian possessions as MANDATES to Britain, France, Belgium respectively Japan.
During the 1920es the League of Nations accepted as new members Austria and Bulgaria (1920), Hungary (1922), Germany (1926), in the early 1930es Mexico (1931), Turkey (1932) and the USSR (1934).
In the 1920es the League of Nations respectively the International Court of Justice were able to help find a peaceful settlement in border conflicts, such as the Swedish-Finnish dispute over the ALAND ISLANDS (1920-1921). In 1925, a war between Greece and Bulgaria could be prevented. Yet there were setbacks; the most serious being JAPAN's WITHDRAWAL from the League in 1933 after the League criticized the Japanese seizure of Manchuria.
When Italy invaded and occupied Ethiopia in 1935-1936, a member state, the League of Nations declared sanctions against Italy. The sanctions had quite some effect; yet they were ignored by Germany which had withdrawn from the League in 1933.

Having lost some of it's major members (Japan, Germany, Italy, the USSR) the League had lost political influence. During World War II it's activities were even more limited; late in World War II the League of Nations was reorganised as the UNITED NATIONS.

Encyclopedic article from infoplease
League of Nations, from Spartacus Schoolnet
League of Nations Timeline, from The World at War
Wilson and the League of Nations, by Sanderson Beck
End of WW I, telegram-style description and evaluation of the League of Nations, from Killeenroos
Readers' Guide : League of Nations Publications, from National Library of Australia
League of Nations, from Russian News Network
Inter-War Diplomacy, by R.P. Fuller, scrolldown for League of Nations
DOCUMENTS The Covenant of the League of Nations, from the Avalon Project at Yale Univ.; from Tufts
League of Nations Documents, from Avalon Project, 3 docs 1922-1925
League of Nations Statistical and Disarmament Documents, posted by Northwestern University
Map featuring the League of Nations 1920-1946, from Historical Atlas of the 20th Century
Woodrow Wilson's League of Nations Speech, Sept. 25th 1919, posted by TAMU
2 October, 1920 The League of Nations Protocol for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes , from World War I Document Archive
Appeal to the League of Nations, by Haile Selassie, June 1936, posted by Mt.Holyoke; from boomshaka.com
A League of Nations as a League of Governments ? Feb. 1923 article by L.P. Jacks in The Atlantic Monthly
League of Nations Malaria Documents, 1924-1932, posted by WHO
League of Nations Documents, posted by UNO Geneva
League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, to Britain, 1920, posted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel; from Modern History Sourcebook
The League of Nations Mandate System, from MidEastWeb Historical Documents
League of Nations Expulsion of the USSR, Dec. 14 1939, from Words of Peace, Words of War
Peace and Bread in Time of War, by Jane Addams, 1922, Chapter 10 : A Food Challenge to the League of Nations, posted by Boondocks Net
Trotsky¡¯s Revolution Betrayed : The League of Nations and the Communist International, posted by marxists.org
The Åland Agreement in the Council of the League of Nations, 1921, posted by Åland Kulturstiftelsen
Senate Response to the League of Nations Treaty, 1924, posted by P.S. Ruckman
The League of Nations is a League of Robbers ! October 6, 1932, from Mao Tse Tung Archive
William E. Borah- Speech On The League Of Nations Nov. 19, 1919, from History Central
League of Nations, Geneva, Archive, at IISG, description of contents
Iraq admission to the League of Nations, 1932, from United Nations Information Archives

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on November 3rd 2004

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