League of Nations

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The League of Nations was an international organization, existing from 1919 to 1946. The League was created by the Allies at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 to provide a mechanism to prevent future wars. During World War II, the League was replaced in 1945 by the United Nations.

The United States never joined the League of Nations. The primary reason for the absence of the United States in the League of Nations was that the American public thought that it was another way of getting entangled in European affairs. This idea was best represented when President Woodrow Wilson, a strong advocate for the League of Nations, attempted to ratify the League of Nations Charter via the United States Senate which resulted ultimately in a failing vote.


The idea of world federation has been the dream of the poets, prophets and philosophers down the ages. The idea for a community of nations is believed to go as far back as 1795, in Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch, by Immanuel Kant.

In 1905 at the Thirteenth Interparliamentary Conference at Brussels Richard Bartholdt, member of Congress from Missouri and president of the American delegation, presented a plan for consideration that would furnish the basis of a world federation. In the same year Andrew Carnegie in his rectorial address at St. Andrew's University in Scotland developed the same idea.

In 1907, at the Second Hague Conference, Senor Ordoney, ex-President of Uruguay, in behalf of that republic, officially introduced a detailed proposal for a League of Peace to go into effect when adopted by "ten nations, of whom half shall have at least 25,000,000 inhabitants each."

In 1910, in his Nobel Peace address, delivered at Christiania, Norway, Theodore Roosevelt proposed a league of nations[1] to guarantee national territory and sovereignty, to arbitrate all other questions, and to limit armaments by international agreement.[2]

In 1915, the competing League to Enforce Peace was announced.