Kelly Kim Marymount High School 11th Grade
With a primary goal to maintain world peace, the League of Nations was created at the end of World War I by the 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson.
President Wilson outlined the clauses of the establishment of the League in his Fourteen Points, where he also provided methods and suggestions for how the world was to maintain peace after the war. The first international organization specifically created to resolve foreign policy disputes, protect the sovereignty of its members, and prevent future world wars, the League of Nations emerged as a symbol of resilience and hope for the international community. Although the United States was responsible for devising the foundational concepts of the League, the government chose not to join.
Regardless, between 1920 and 1939, 63 countries became member states of the League of Nations.
The League of Nations consisted of an Assembly with all member countries, a Council of five permanent member countries and four rotating members, and an International Court of Justice. But most importantly, the League guaranteed the political independence of member states by ensuring that one country did not annex or try to take control over another. In nations that had just fought a war, this clause promised them that their sovereignty would be protected from other powerful countries, which was the reasoning behind joining the organization.
However, in face of the Second World War, the powers of the League of Nations were helpless. Member states watched as smaller, underdeveloped countries were defeated by Hitler and his Nazi forces. Naturally, the League gradually fell apart as member states were consumed with protecting their countries in the war, rather than formulating methods to maintain peace. The war continued on in multiple fronts as Germany fought the Allied European powers, and the United States fought Japan in the Pacific.
Amidst the disorder, in 1945, representatives from fifty countries met in San Francisco to adopt the Charter of the United Nations to create a new international organization. The United Nations embodied the foundational values of peace and justice that the League of Nations had strived to protect, while also instituting numerous defensive measures against the military aggression of certain countries. It included a General Assembly, a Security Council (with the Permanent Five members and rotating member states), and the International Criminal Court where criminals could be brought to justice. Each branch of the United Nations was specifically designed to counteract terrorism, refugee crises, wars, and other forms of armed conflict. Ultimately, the establishment of the United Nations unified the international community and once again proved that peace would prevail over war.
<Kelly Kim Marymount High School 11th Grade