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June 28, 1919 -
League of Nations

The League of Nations was the first international organization that was created for the purpose of promoting world peace. It was formed after the end of World War I during the Paris Peace Conference, with a wide-ranging set of goals, including settling international disagreements through arbitration and negotiation; preventing wars through disarmament and collective security; promoting health and humanitarian relief; and abolishing slave labor and illegal drug trafficking. Many of the ideas in the organization's charter, and its name, were inspired by US President Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteen Points" proposal, which had helped to secure the armistice and peace negotiations that ended the First World War. The idea of using diplomacy to settle tensions and disputes was a fundamental paradigm-shift from the pervading consciousness in Europe over the previous century. Nationalistic patriotism had fanned the flames of aggressive competition and distrust between nations, resulting in an ongoing preparation-for-war mentality and massive buildup of arms, ultimately erupting into the first global war which killed 9 million people.

The League of Nations held its first meetings in 1920, but in many ways it was doomed to failure. Although US President Woodrow Wilson had proposed the idea, the United States Congress refused to allow America to join. Germany wasn't allowed to be a member of the international community as punishment for its role in starting World War I, and neither was Russia, because of fear about its communist government. In addition to missing these three powerful nations, the resources of the League's two remaining leading nations, Britain and France, had been severely drained during the war, and they were not overly enthusiastic about becoming involved in disputes that didn't directly affect Western Europe. The League did not have a military force, but relied on sanctions and boycotts to try to convince members to adhere to its decisions. Over the next two decades, the League encountered many successes and failures: some wars over border-disputes were averted, drug trafficking and slave labor practices were being addressed, the League's Health Organisation was making progress in combating diseases, and much humanitarian relief was provided for refugees and those affected by famine crises. But in the 1930s, international disagreements, disputes and military conflicts and invasions grew, ultimately resulting in the Second World War by 1939. The League did not meet during World War II, and after the United Nations was created in 1945, its authority and some of its infrastructure, like the Health Organisation, was taken over by the UN.

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May Peace Prevail On Earth


c.380 BC

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"On The Law
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