League of Nations


The purpose of this module is for you to be able to discuss the United Nations and its systems. Before you do this, it is useful to first learn about how and why it came about.


The first version of the United Nations was the League of Nations.

The League of Nations

The League of Nations existed as the premier organisation for international cooperation. It was set up in 1919 as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War.

Those who won the First World War wanted to avoid a repeat of a devastating war. The League of Nations’ objective was therefore to develop cooperation among nations and to guarantee universal peace and security. At its height, the League of Nations had 58 members.

The principal goals of the League of Nations were to:

  • settle disputes between countries through negotiation and diplomacy,
  • promote disarmament,
  • prevent war through collective security, and
  • improve global welfare conditions.



While the League scored some successes mainly in resolving issues over territorial borders and control, it was the League’s failure to prevent the outbreak of World War II that caused its demise.


It had failed to be a definite guarantee for peace. Nevertheless, the onset of World War II made it even more evident that some form of international organization was needed to safeguard against yet another descent into armageddon in the future.


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