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 League of Nations

 

The League of Nations was an international organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919-1920. The League's goals included disarmament, preventing war through collective security, settling disputes between countries through negotiation diplomacy and improving global welfare. The diplomatic philosophy behind the League represented a fundamental shift in thought from the preceding hundred years. The League lacked an armed force of its own and so depended on the Great Powers to enforce its resolutions, keep to economic sanctions which the League ordered, or provide an army, when needed, for the League to use. However, they were often very reluctant to do so. Benito Mussolini stated that “The League is very well when sparrows shout, but no good at all when eagles fall out.”

After a number of notable successes and some early failures in the 1920s, the League ultimately proved incapable of preventing aggression by the Axis Powers in the 1930s. The onset of the Second World War suggested that the League had failed in its primary purpose — to avoid any future world war. The United Nations Organization replaced it after the end of the war and inherited a number of agencies and organizations founded by the League.

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