European diplomatic alignments shortly before the World War I. Germany and the Ottoman Empire allied after the outbreak of war.
Anachronous world map showing member states of the League during its 26-year history.
In 1938, France betrayed Czechoslovakia and signed the Munich Agreement with Nazi Germany, effectively dishonoring the French-Czechoslovak alliance.
The 1864 Geneva Convention, one of the earliest formulations of international law
The leaders of some of the SEATO nations in Manila, hosted by Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos on 24 October 1966
The League to Enforce Peace published this full-page promotion in The New York Times on Christmas Day 1918. It resolved that the League "should ensure peace by eliminating causes of dissension, by deciding controversies by peaceable means, and by uniting the potential force of all the members as a standing menace against any nation that seeks to upset the peace of the world".
Member states of NATO
On his December 1918 trip to Europe, Woodrow Wilson gave speeches that "reaffirmed that the making of peace and the creation of a League of Nations must be accomplished as one single objective".
In 1924, the headquarters of the League was named "Palais Wilson", after Woodrow Wilson, who was credited as the "Founder of the League of Nations"
League of Nations Organisation chart
Palace of Nations, Geneva, the League's headquarters from 1936 until its dissolution in 1946
Child labour in a coal mine, United States, c. 1912
Child labour in Kamerun in 1919
A sample Nansen passport
A map of the world in 1920–45, which shows the League of Nations members during its history
Chinese delegate addresses the League of Nations concerning the Manchurian Crisis in 1932.
Emperor Haile Selassie I going into exile in Bath, England via Jerusalem
The Gap in the Bridge; the sign reads "This League of Nations Bridge was designed by the President of the U.S.A."
Cartoon from Punch magazine, 10 December 1920, satirising the gap left by the US not joining the League.
World map showing member states of the League of Nations (in green and red) on 18 April 1946, when the League of Nations ceased to exist.
League of Nations archives, Geneva.

They included preventing wars through collective security and disarmament and settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration.

- League of Nations

The term "collective security" has also been cited as a principle of the United Nations and earlier the League of Nations.

- Collective security

5 related topics


Soviet Union

Country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991.

Country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991.

The Soviet Union after World War II
Lenin, Trotsky and Kamenev celebrating the second anniversary of the October Revolution
The Soviet Union after World War II
The Russian famine of 1921–22 killed an estimated 5 million people.
Construction of the bridge through the Kolyma (part of the Road of Bones from Magadan to Jakutsk) by the workers of Dalstroy.
Five Marshals of the Soviet Union in 1935. Only two of them – Budyonny and Voroshilov – survived Great Purge. Blyukher, Yegorov and Tukhachevsky were executed.
The Battle of Stalingrad, considered by many historians as a decisive turning point of World War II.
From left to right, the Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill confer in Tehran, 1943.
Map showing greatest territorial extent of the Soviet Union and the states that it dominated politically, economically and militarily in 1960, after the Cuban Revolution of 1959 but before the official Sino-Soviet split of 1961 (total area: c. 35,000,000 km2)
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev (left) with US President John F. Kennedy in Vienna, 3 June 1961.
Nikolai Podgorny visiting Tampere, Finland on 16 October 1969
Soviet general secretary Leonid Brezhnev and US President Jimmy Carter sign the SALT II arms limitation treaty in Vienna on 18 June 1979
Mikhail Gorbachev in one-to-one discussions with US President Ronald Reagan
The Pan-European Picnic took place in August 1989 on the Hungarian-Austrian border.
T-80 tank on Red Square during the August Coup
Changes in national boundaries after the end of the Cold War
Internally displaced Azerbaijanis from Nagorno-Karabakh, 1993
Country emblems of the Soviet Republics before and after the dissolution of the Soviet Union (note that the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (fifth in the second row) no longer exists as a political entity of any kind and the emblem is unofficial)
Sukarno and Voroshilov in a state meeting on 1958.
1960s Cuba-Soviet friendship poster with Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev
Soviet stamp 1974 for friendship between USSR and India as both nations shared strong ties, although India was a prominent member of Non-Aligned Movement
Gerald Ford, Andrei Gromyko, Leonid Brezhnev and Henry Kissinger speaking informally at the Vladivostok Summit in 1974
Mikhail Gorbachev and George H. W. Bush signing bilateral documents during Gorbachev's official visit to the United States in 1990
1987 Soviet stamp
Military parade on the Red Square in Moscow, 7 November 1964
The Grand Kremlin Palace, the seat of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, 1982
Nationalist anti-government riots in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 1990
A medium-range SS-20 non-ICBM ballistic missile, the deployment of which in the late 1970s launched a new arms race in Europe in which NATO deployed Pershing II missiles in West Germany, among other things
From left to right: Yuri Gagarin, Pavel Popovich, Valentina Tereshkova and Nikita Khrushchev at the Lenin's Mausoleum in 1963
Soyuz rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome
The DneproGES, one of many hydroelectric power stations in the Soviet Union
Picking cotton in Armenia in the 1930s
Workers of the Salihorsk potash plant, Belarus, 1968
Volzhsky Avtomobilny Zavod (VAZ) in 1969
Soviet stamp depicting the 30th anniversary of the International Atomic Energy Agency, published in 1987, a year following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster
Soviet stamp showing the orbit of Sputnik 1
Aeroflot's flag during the Soviet era
Population of the Soviet Union (red) and the post-Soviet states (blue) from 1961 to 2009 as well as projection (dotted blue) from 2010 to 2100
Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, visiting the Lviv confectionery, Ukrainian SSR, 1967
Young Pioneers at a Young Pioneer camp in Kazakh SSR
People in Samarkand, Uzbek SSR, 1981
Svaneti man in Mestia, Georgian SSR, 1929
An early Soviet-era poster discouraging unsafe abortion practices
Cover of Bezbozhnik in 1929, magazine of the Society of the Godless. The first five-year plan of the Soviet Union is shown crushing the gods of the Abrahamic religions.
The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow during its demolition in 1931
A paranja burning ceremony in the Uzbek SSR as part of Soviet Hujum policies
World War II military deaths in Europe by theater and by year. Nazi Germany suffered 80% of its military deaths in the Eastern Front.
2001 stamp of Moldova shows Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space
People in Donetsk celebrate the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany, 9 May 2018
Soviet singer-songwriter, poet and actor Vladimir Vysotsky in 1979
Valeri Kharlamov represented the Soviet Union at 11 Ice Hockey World Championships, winning eight gold medals, two silvers and one bronze
One of the many impacts of the approach to the environment in the USSR is the Aral Sea (see status in 1989 and 2014)
Landscape near Karabash, Chelyabinsk Oblast, an area that was previously covered with forests until acid rainfall from a nearby copper smelter killed all vegetation
Ethnographic map of the Soviet Union, 1941
Ethnographic map of the Soviet Union, 1970

In September 1934, the country joined the League of Nations.

The Warsaw Pact was a collective defence alliance formed in 1955 among the USSR and its satellite states in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The Warsaw Pact was the military complement to the Comecon, the regional economic organization for the socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe. The Warsaw Pact was created in reaction to the integration of West Germany into NATO.

The League of Nations assembly, held in Geneva, Switzerland, 1930

World War II

Global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945.

Global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945.

The League of Nations assembly, held in Geneva, Switzerland, 1930
Adolf Hitler at a German Nazi political rally in Nuremberg, August 1933
Benito Mussolini inspecting troops during the Italo-Ethiopian War, 1935
The bombing of Guernica in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, sparked fears abroad in Europe that the next war would be based on bombing of cities with very high civilian casualties.
Japanese Imperial Army soldiers during the Battle of Shanghai, 1937
Red Army artillery unit during the Battle of Lake Khasan, 1938
Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini, and Ciano pictured just before signing the Munich Agreement, 29 September 1938
German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop (right) and the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, after signing the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, 23 August 1939
Soldiers of the German Wehrmacht tearing down the border crossing into Poland, 1 September 1939
Soldiers of the Polish Army during the defence of Poland, September 1939
Finnish machine gun nest aimed at Soviet Red Army positions during the Winter War, February 1940
German advance into Belgium and Northern France, 10 May-4 June 1940, swept past the Maginot Line (shown in dark red)
London seen from St. Paul's Cathedral after the German Blitz, 29 December 1940
Soldiers of the British Commonwealth forces from the Australian Army's 9th Division during the Siege of Tobruk; North African Campaign, September 1941
German Panzer III of the Afrika Korps advancing across the North African desert, April-May 1941
European theatre of World War II animation map, 1939–1945 – Red: Western Allies and the Soviet Union after 1941; Green: Soviet Union before 1941; Blue: Axis powers
German soldiers during the invasion of the Soviet Union by the Axis powers, 1941
Soviet civilians leaving destroyed houses after a German bombardment during the Battle of Leningrad, 10 December 1942
Japanese soldiers entering Hong Kong, 8 December 1941
The USS Arizona (BB-39) was a total loss in the Japanese surprise air attack on the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Sunday 7 December 1941.
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British PM Winston Churchill seated at the Casablanca Conference, January 1943
Map of Japanese military advances through mid-1942
US Marines during the Guadalcanal Campaign, in the Pacific theatre, 1942
Red Army soldiers on the counterattack during the Battle of Stalingrad, February 1943
American 8th Air Force Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombing raid on the Focke-Wulf factory in Germany, 9 October 1943
U.S. Navy SBD-5 scout plane flying patrol over USS Washington (BB-56) and USS Lexington (CV-16) during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, 1943
Red Army troops in a counter-offensive on German positions at the Battle of Kursk, July 1943
Ruins of the Benedictine monastery, during the Battle of Monte Cassino, Italian Campaign, May 1944
American troops approaching Omaha Beach during the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944
German SS soldiers from the Dirlewanger Brigade, tasked with suppressing the Warsaw Uprising against Nazi occupation, August 1944
General Douglas MacArthur returns to the Philippines during the Battle of Leyte, 20 October 1944
Yalta Conference held in February 1945, with Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin
Ruins of the Reichstag in Berlin, 3 June 1945.
Atomic bombing of Nagasaki on 9 August 1945.
Ruins of Warsaw in 1945, after the deliberate destruction of the city by the occupying German forces
Defendants at the Nuremberg trials, where the Allied forces prosecuted prominent members of the political, military, judicial and economic leadership of Nazi Germany for crimes against humanity
Post-war border changes in Central Europe and creation of the Communist Eastern Bloc
David Ben-Gurion proclaiming the Israeli Declaration of Independence at the Independence Hall, 14 May 1948
World War II deaths
Bodies of Chinese civilians killed by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Nanking Massacre in December 1937
Schutzstaffel (SS) female camp guards removing prisoners' bodies from lorries and carrying them to a mass grave, inside the German Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 1945
Prisoner identity photograph taken by the German SS of a Polish Catholic girl who died in Auschwitz. Approximately 230,000 children were held prisoner and used in forced labour and Nazi medical experiments.
Polish civilians wearing blindfolds photographed just before their execution by German soldiers in Palmiry forest, 1940
Soviet partisans hanged by the German army. The Russian Academy of Sciences reported in 1995 civilian victims in the Soviet Union at German hands totalled 13.7 million dead, twenty percent of the 68 million persons in the occupied Soviet Union.
B-29 Superfortress strategic bombers on the Boeing assembly line in Wichita, Kansas, 1944
A V-2 rocket launched from a fixed site in Peenemünde, 21 June 1943
Nuclear Gadget being raised to the top of the detonation "shot tower", at Alamogordo Bombing Range; Trinity nuclear test, New Mexico, July 1945

To prevent a future world war, the League of Nations was created during the 1919 Paris Peace Conference.

The organisation's primary goals were to prevent armed conflict through collective security, military and naval disarmament, and settling international disputes through peaceful negotiations and arbitration.

Axis powers

Military coalition that initiated World War II and fought against the Allies.

Military coalition that initiated World War II and fought against the Allies.

Flags of Germany, Japan, and Italy draping the facade of the Embassy of Japan on the Tiergartenstraße in Berlin (September 1940)
Germany's Führer Adolf Hitler (right) beside Italy's Duce Benito Mussolini (left)
Japan's Prime Minister Hideki Tojo (center) with fellow government representatives of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. To the left of Tojo, from left to right: Ba Maw from Burma, Zhang Jinghui, Wang Jingwei from China. To the right of Tojo, from left to right, Wan Waithayakon from Thailand, José P. Laurel from the Philippines, and Subhas Chandra Bose from India
The signing of the Tripartite Pact by Germany, Japan, and Italy on 27 September 1940 in Berlin. Seated from left to right are the Japanese ambassador to Germany Saburō Kurusu, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Galeazzo Ciano, and Adolf Hitler.
Adolf Hitler, Führer and Reich Chancellor of the German People, 1933–1945
Engelbert Dollfuss, Chancellor of Austria, 1932–1934
Hideo Kodama, a wartime cabinet minister in the Empire of Japan
Japanese writer Shūmei Ōkawa, a key exponent of Japanese nationalism
Lt.Gen Hiroshi Ōshima, Japanese ambassador to Germany before and during World War II
German Führer Adolf Hitler along with General Walther von Brauchitsch, during the victory parade in Warsaw after the defeat of Poland, October 1939
German Heinkel He 111 bomber aircraft during the Battle of Britain
German vehicles advancing during the Second Battle of El Alamein in the North African campaign
German soldiers during the Battle of Stalingrad in the Eastern Front campaign
German submarine U-118 under air attack in June 1943
The Duce Benito Mussolini in an official portrait
Italian soldiers in the North African Campaign in 1941
Italian Fiat M13/40 tanks in the North African Campaign in 1941
Italian battleships Vittorio Veneto and Littorio during the war
Italian Macchi C.200 fighter aircraft during the war
Every territory ever controlled by the Italian Empire at some point in time during World War II
IJN super-dreadnought battleships Yamashiro, Fusō, and battlecruiser Haruna, Tokyo Bay, 1930s
IJN Special Naval Landing Forces armed with the Type 11 Light Machine Gun during the Battle of Shanghai
Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter aircraft and other aircraft preparing for takeoff on the aircraft carrier Shōkaku on 7 December 1941, for the attack on Pearl Harbor
The Empire of Japan (darker red) and territories controlled by Japanese puppet states during the war (lighter red). Thailand (darkest red) cooperated with Japan. All are members of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
IJA paratroopers are landing during the Battle of Palembang, February 13, 1942.
IJN Yamato-class Battleships Yamato and Musashi moored in Truk Lagoon, in 1943
Japanese Military Attaché, Makoto Onodera, visiting Fjell Fortress in Norway, 1943. Behind him is Lieutenant Colonel Eberhard Freiherr von Zedlitz und Neukrich (C-in-C Luftwaffe Feldregiment 502.), and to the right is Fregattenkapitän doktor Robert Morath (Seekommandant in Bergen). Behind Onoderas hand (raised in salute) is General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst (C-in-C German military forces in Norway).
Japanese officers training young Indonesian recruits, circa 1945
Bulgarian soldiers in Vardar Macedonia during the Balkans campaign
Hungarian Toldi I tank as used during the 1941 Axis invasion of the Soviet Union
Hungarian soldiers in the Carpathian mountains in 1944
MÁVAG Héja fighter aircraft, derived from the Reggiane Re.2000, an Italian fighter design
Adolf Hitler meeting with NDH leader Ante Pavelić
Ion Antonescu and Adolf Hitler at the Führerbau in Munich (June 1941)
A formation of Romanian IAR 80 fighter aircraft
The Romanian Mareșal tank destroyer's design was likely used by the Germans to develop the Hetzer
Romanian soldiers on the outskirts of Stalingrad during the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942
Slovakia in 1941
Kingdom of Denmark
Mannerheim with Hitler
Finnish troops passing by the remains of a destroyed Soviet T-34 at the battle of Tali-Ihantala
Manchurian soldiers training in a military exercise
Manchurian pilots of the Manchukuo Air Force
Front row in order from left to right: Karl Wolff, Heinrich Himmler, Francisco Franco and Spain's Foreign Minister Serrano Súñer in Madrid, October 1940
Francisco Franco (centre) and Serrano Súñer (left) meeting with Mussolini (right) in Bordighera, Italy in 1941. At Bordighera, Franco and Mussolini discussed the creation of a Latin Bloc.
Phraya Phahon (far left), Thawan Thamrong (left), and Direk Jayanama (right) with Hideki Tōjō (center) in Tokyo 1942
German and Soviet soldiers during the official transfer of Brest to Soviet control in front of picture of Stalin, in the aftermath of the invasion and partition of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939
France during the war; Occupied and annexed zones by Germany in shades of red, Italian occupation zones in shades of yellow and striped blue, "Free zone" in blue.
Philippe Pétain (left) meeting with Hitler in October 1940
Personal flag of Philippe Pétain, Chief of State of Vichy France
An RAF officer investigates wrecked Iraqi artillery near Habbaniya.
Italian Social Republic
RSI (Repubblica Sociale Italiana) soldiers, March 1944
Greece, 1941–1944
Hitler declaring war on the United States on 11 December 1941
Italian pilots of a Savoia-Marchetti SM.75 long-range cargo aircraft meeting with Japanese officials upon arriving in East Asia in 1942.
German and Japanese direct spheres of influence at their greatest extents in Autumn 1942. Arrows show planned movements to an agreed demarcation line at 70° E, which was, however, never approximated.

The "Rome–Berlin Axis" became a military alliance in 1939 under the so-called "Pact of Steel", with the Tripartite Pact of 1940 formally integrating the military aims of Germany, Italy, Japan, and later followed by other nations.

Protests by the League of Nations, especially the British, who had interests in that area, led to no serious action, although The League did try to enforce economic sanctions upon Italy, but to no avail.

Portrait by Harris & Ewing, 1919

Woodrow Wilson

American politician and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States from 1913 to 1921.

American politician and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States from 1913 to 1921.

Portrait by Harris & Ewing, 1919
Wilson, c. undefined mid-1870s
Ellen Wilson in 1912
Wilson in 1902
Prospect House, Wilson's home on Princeton's campus
Governor Wilson, 1911
Results of the 1910 gubernatorial election in New Jersey. Wilson won the counties in blue.
1912 electoral vote map
Woodrow Wilson and his cabinet (1918)
Wilson giving his first State of the Union address, the first such address since 1801
Map of Federal Reserve Districts–black circles, Federal Reserve Banks–black squares, District branches–red circles and Washington HQ–star/black circle
In a 1913 cartoon, Wilson primes the economic pump with tariff, currency and antitrust laws
Official presidential portrait of Woodrow Wilson (1913)
Uncle Sam entering Mexico in 1916 to punish Pancho Villa. Uncle Sam says "I've had about enough of this."
Wilson and "Jingo", the American War Dog. The editorial cartoon ridicules jingoes baying for war.
The Wilson family
Wilson accepts the Democratic Party nomination, 1916
1916 electoral vote map
Map of the great powers and their empires in 1914
Liberty Loan drive in front of City Hall, New Orleans. On City Hall is a banner reading "Food will win the war—don't waste it".
Women workers in ordnance shops, Pennsylvania, 1918
The "Big Four" at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, following the end of World War I. Wilson is standing next to Georges Clemenceau at right.
Several new European states were established at the Paris Peace Conference
Wilson returning from the Versailles Peace Conference, 1919.
June 3, 1919, Newspapers of the 1919 bombings
Republican nominee Warren G. Harding defeated Democratic nominee James Cox in the 1920 election
The final resting place of Woodrow Wilson at the Washington National Cathedral
Quotation from Woodrow Wilson's History of the American People as reproduced in the film The Birth of a Nation.
World War I draft card, the lower left corner to be removed by men of African background to help keep the military segregated
Political cartoon published in New York Evening Mail about the East St. Louis riots of 1917. Original caption reads "Mr. President, why not make America safe for democracy?"
1934 $100,000 gold certificate depicting Wilson.
Stamps memorializing Wilson
Woodrow Wilson Monument in Prague

He was the leading architect of the League of Nations, and his progressive stance on foreign policy came to be known as Wilsonianism.

Article X of the League Covenant, which sought to create a system of collective security by requiring League members to protect one another against external aggression, seemed to force the U.S. to join in any war the League decided upon.

Haile Selassie in full dress uniform, 1970

Haile Selassie

Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974.

Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974.

Haile Selassie in full dress uniform, 1970
Ras Makonnen Woldemikael and his son Lij Tafari Makonnen
Dejazmatch Tafari, as governor of Harar
Empress Zewditu with one of her trusted priests
Ras Tafari at his investiture as regent on 11 February 1917
Haile Selassie with President Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House
Cover of Time magazine, 3 November 1930
The Emperor with President Kennedy outside the White House
Haile Selassie in 1934
When the struggle to resist Italy appeared doomed, Haile Selassie traveled to the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela for fasting and prayer.
The Emperor arrives in Jerusalem. May 1936
A plate from the dinner service sold by Haile Selassie in England in 1937
Haile Selassie in 1942
Newspaper illustration drawn by Charles H. Alston for the U.S. Office of War Information Domestic Operations Branch News Bureau, 1943
Meeting with Crown Prince Akihito in 1955
Haile Selassie with Brigadier Daniel Sandford (left) and Colonel Wingate (right) in Dambacha Fort, after its capture, 15 April 1941
Plaque commemorating the visit of Haile Selassie I to Mexico, 1954 – Etiopía Station, line 3 of the Mexico City Metro
Haile Selassie photographed during a radio broadcast
Haile Selassie with U.S. President John F. Kennedy, October 1963
Haile Selassie with President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt in Addis Ababa for the Organisation of African Unity summit, 1963.
A parade in honor of Haile Selassie, turns onto Pennsylvania Avenue from New York Avenue; crowds line the street. Washington, D.C 1963
Haile Selassie I in Toledo (Spain) in April 1971. Picture by Eduardo Butragueño.
The 1973 oil crisis, the severity of which is demonstrated by this graph, hit Ethiopia amidst a devastating famine, compounding its effect and undermining support for the emperor.
The deposition of Emperor Haile Selassie I (above rear window) from the Jubilee Palace on 12 September 1974, marking the coup d'état's action on that day and the assumption of power by the Derg.
Prince Makonnen, son of Haile Selassie I

He secured Ethiopia's admission to the League of Nations in 1923 by promising to eradicate slavery; each emperor since Tewodros II had issued proclamations to halt slavery, but without effect: the internationally scorned practice persisted well into Haile Selassie's reign with an estimated 2 million slaves in Ethiopia in the early 1930s.

Ethiopia's position in the League of Nations did not dissuade the Italians from invading in 1935; the "collective security" envisaged by the League proved useless, and a scandal erupted when the Hoare-Laval Pact revealed that Ethiopia's League allies were scheming to appease Italy.