The League of Nations Is Established (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The League of Nations is established, fulfilling Woodrow Wilson’s dream of an international organization to prevent future wars.
Summary of Event
The idea of an international peace-keeping organization arose during World War I when leading statesmen decided that such a catastrophe should never again happen. For a hundred years before 1914, the absence of general war in Europe convinced most people that peace had become a tradition characteristic of modern industrialized society. None of the major European states, it was optimistically assumed, would condone a general conflict simply because they were too far advanced. In fact, the modern technological development of the European countries meant that when war came the ability to mobilize the whole nation would increase the destructive power of the conflict. When combined with the reverence attached to the idea of the sovereign national state, the potential existed for the kind of total war that erupted during the late summer of 1914. The interlocking system of secret alliances and rival interests which existed at that time guaranteed that the crisis that began at Sarajevo would result in a general European war.
As the war dragged on through four bloody years, many statesmen and leaders in Europe and America came to the conclusion that some kind of world forum should be established to prevent the repetition of the events that had plunged...
(The entire section is 1946 words.)
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The League of Nations is Established (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: The League of Nations was created in the attempt to preserve international peace by means of multilateral diplomacy and collective action against any state committing an act of aggression.
Summary of Event
World War I was the single most important event leading to the creation of the League of Nations. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, many governments had anticipated the coming of a major war (although they did not imagine anything of the actual magnitude of World War I) and had taken a few steps to avoid it.
The First Hague Peace Conference was convened in 1899 and brought together twenty-six nations to explore what could be done to preserve peace and reduce armaments. Such a conference was unusual, perhaps even unprecedented, on such a scale, in that it was to devise procedures and possibly new international machinery not for the purpose of settling a specific problem but to maintain a stable and peaceful international order. Governments were acting preventively--a sign of progress. Unfortunately, the threat of war was not sufficiently imminent or international tension sufficiently great to impel the participants to be radically innovative. They did nothing to reduce the risk of war beyond making a rather bland attempt to improve international arbitration. Neither did they touch the issue of armaments. Ironically, they codified some of the laws and customs of war to reduce the...
(The entire section is 2362 words.)