Members of the United Nations
Anachronous world map showing member states of the League during its 26-year history.
The Soviet Union after World War II
1943 sketch by Franklin Roosevelt of the UN original three branches: The Four Policemen, an executive branch, and an international assembly of forty UN member states
The 1864 Geneva Convention, one of the earliest formulations of international law
Lenin, Trotsky and Kamenev celebrating the second anniversary of the October Revolution
The UN in 1945: founding members in light blue, protectorates and territories of the founding members in dark blue
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".
The Soviet Union after World War II
Dag Hammarskjöld was a particularly active secretary-general from 1953 until his death in 1961.
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".
The Russian famine of 1921–22 killed an estimated 5 million people.
Kofi Annan, secretary-general from 1997 to 2006
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"
Construction of the bridge through the Kolyma (part of the Road of Bones from Magadan to Jakutsk) by the workers of Dalstroy.
Flags of member nations at the United Nations Headquarters, seen in 2007
League of Nations Organisation chart
Five Marshals of the Soviet Union in 1935. Only two of them – Budyonny and Voroshilov – survived Great Purge. Blyukher, Yegorov and Tukhachevsky were executed.
Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet general secretary, addressing the UN General Assembly in December 1988
Palace of Nations, Geneva, the League's headquarters from 1936 until its dissolution in 1946
The Battle of Stalingrad, considered by many historians as a decisive turning point of World War II.
Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, demonstrates a vial with alleged Iraq chemical weapon probes to the UN Security Council on Iraq war hearings, 5 February 2003
Child labour in a coal mine, United States, c. 1912
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.
Current secretary-general, António Guterres
Child labour in Kamerun in 1919
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)
The ICJ ruled that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 did not violate international law.
A sample Nansen passport
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev (left) with US President John F. Kennedy in Vienna, 3 June 1961.
Under Sukarno, Indonesia became the first and only country to leave the United Nations.
A map of the world in 1920–45, which shows the League of Nations members during its history
Nikolai Podgorny visiting Tampere, Finland on 16 October 1969
A Nepalese soldier on a peacekeeping deployment providing security at a rice distribution site in Haiti during 2010
Chinese delegate addresses the League of Nations concerning the Manchurian Crisis in 1932.
Soviet general secretary Leonid Brezhnev and US President Jimmy Carter sign the SALT II arms limitation treaty in Vienna on 18 June 1979
The UN Buffer Zone in Cyprus was established in 1974 following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
Emperor Haile Selassie I going into exile in Bath, England via Jerusalem
Mikhail Gorbachev in one-to-one discussions with US President Ronald Reagan
Eleanor Roosevelt with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1949
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.
The Pan-European Picnic took place in August 1989 on the Hungarian-Austrian border.
Three former directors of the Global Smallpox Eradication Programme reading the news that smallpox has been globally eradicated in 1980
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.
T-80 tank on Red Square during the August Coup
In Jordan, UNHCR remains responsible for the Syrian refugees and the Zaatari refugee camp.
League of Nations archives, Geneva.
Changes in national boundaries after the end of the Cold War
The 2001 Nobel Peace Prize to the UN—diploma in the lobby of the UN Headquarters in New York City
Internally displaced Azerbaijanis from Nagorno-Karabakh, 1993
Marking of the UN's 70th anniversary – Budapest, 2015
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

The main organization ceased operations on 20 April 1946 but many of its components were relocated into the new United Nations.

- League of Nations

The UN was established after World War II with the aim of preventing future wars, succeeding the rather ineffective League of Nations.

- United Nations

The organization's mission to preserve world peace was complicated in its early decades by the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union and their respective allies.

- United Nations

The credibility of the organization was weakened by the fact that the United States never joined the League and the Soviet Union joined late and was soon expelled after invading Finland.

- League of Nations

It was a founding member of the United Nations as well as one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council; it was also a member of the OSCE and the WFTU, and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance.

- Soviet Union

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

- Soviet Union

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Chiang Kai-shek, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met at the Cairo Conference in 1943 during World War II.

United Nations Security Council

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Chiang Kai-shek, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met at the Cairo Conference in 1943 during World War II.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Soviet general secretary Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference, February 1945
Church House in London where the first Security Council Meeting took place on 17 January 1946
US Secretary of State Colin Powell holds a model vial of anthrax while giving a presentation to the Security Council in February 2003.
United Nations Security Council members of September 2021 by political orientation of the country's head of government. Dark red: International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties Red: Progressive Alliance Yellow: Liberal International Blue: International Democrat Union Gray: No international affiliation or independent.
US President Barack Obama chairs a United Nations Security Council meeting.
The meeting room exhibits the United Nations Security Council mural by Per Krohg (1952).
South African soldiers patrolling as part of MONUSCO in 2018
The G4 nations: Brazil, Germany, India, Japan
The Uniting for Consensus: Italy, Pakistan, Spain, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Turkey, South Korea and others

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN) and is charged with ensuring international peace and security, recommending the admission of new UN members to the General Assembly, and approving any changes to the UN Charter.

Like the UN as a whole, the Security Council was created after World War II to address the failings of the League of Nations in maintaining world peace.

However, the League lacked representation for colonial peoples (then half the world's population) and significant participation from several major powers, including the US, the USSR, Germany and Japan; it failed to act against the 1931 Japanese invasion of Manchuria, the Second Italo-Ethiopian War in 1935, the 1937 Japanese occupation of China, and Nazi expansions under Adolf Hitler that escalated into World War II.

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

World War II

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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

Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union had partitioned Poland and marked out their "spheres of influence" across Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.

The United Nations (UN) was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts, with the victorious great powers—China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States—becoming the permanent members of its Security Council.

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

United States

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Transcontinental country primarily located in North America.

Transcontinental country primarily located in North America.

Cliff Palace in Colorado, built by the Native American Puebloans between AD 1190 and 1260
The original Thirteen Colonies (shown in red) in 1775
Declaration of Independence, a painting by John Trumbull, depicts the Committee of Five presenting the draft of the Declaration to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, July 4, 1776.
Territorial acquisitions of the United States between 1783 and 1917
The Battle of Gettysburg, fought between Union and Confederate forces on July 1–3, 1863 around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was the deadliest of all Civil War battles. With more than 51,000 casualties, it marked a turning point in the Union's ultimate victory in the war.
U.S. Marines raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in one of the most iconic images of World War II
Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, August 1963.
U.S. president Ronald Reagan (left) and Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev at the Geneva Summit, February 1985
The World Trade Center in New York City burning from the September 11 terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda in 2001
Topographic map of the United States.
A map showing climate regions in the United States
The bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States since 1782.
Map of the United States showing the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five major U.S. territories
The headquarters of the United Nations, of which the U.S. is a founding member, has been situated in Midtown Manhattan since 1952.
U.S. Government spending and revenue from 1792 to 2018
The Pentagon, located in Arlington, Virginia across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., is home to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Total incarceration in the United States by year (1920–2014)
A proportional representation of United States exports, 2019
Buzz Aldrin on the Moon, July 1969
Wealth inequality in the U.S. increased between 1989 and 2013.
The Interstate Highway System in the contiguous United States, which extends 46876 mi
Most prominent religion by state according to a 2014 Pew Research study
Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, the primary teaching hospital of the University of Miami's Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and the largest hospital in the United States with 1,547 beds
The University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson, is one of the many public colleges and universities in the United States. Some 80% of U.S. college students attend these types of institutions.
The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, has become an iconic symbol of the American Dream.
Mark Twain, American author and humorist
Roast turkey, a traditional menu item of an American Thanksgiving dinner, November 2021
Grammy Museum at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, April 2009
The Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, California, September 2015
The headquarters of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City
"the united states of America", April 6, 1776
Mayflower II, a replica of the original Mayflower, docked at Plymouth, Massachusetts
Slave states that seceded before April 15, 1861 Slave states that seceded after April 15, 1861 Union states that permitted slavery (border states) Union states that banned slavery
Territories
The Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world when completed in 1931, during the Great Depression.
Worker during construction of the Empire State Building in New York City in 1930; the Chrysler Building can be seen in the background
Rock formations in the Grand Canyon, northern Arizona
Mushroom cloud formed by the Trinity Experiment in July 1945, part of the Manhattan Project, the first detonation of a nuclear weapon in history
The bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States since 1782.
The World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan during the September 11 attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda in 2001
The amount of US debt, measured as a percentage of GDP from 1790 to 2018
Topographic map of the United States
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73)
Köppen climate types of the U.S.
The New York City Police Department is the nation's largest municipal law enforcement agency.
The bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States since 1782.
The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York City
The United States Capitol, where Congress meets: the Senate, left; the House, right
Percentage of respondents in the United States saying that religion is "very important" or "somewhat important" in their lives (2014)
The White House, residence and workplace of the U.S. President
The Texas Medical Center in downtown Houston is the largest medical complex in the world.
The Supreme Court Building, where the nation's highest court sits
The United Nations headquarters has been situated along the East River in Midtown Manhattan since 1952. The United States is a founding member of the UN.
The Pentagon, near Washington, D.C., is home to the U.S. Department of Defense.
U.S. dollar is the currency most used in international transactions and is the world's foremost reserve currency.
The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies
U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin saluting the flag on the Moon, 1969
The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, has become an iconic symbol of the American Dream.
The Capitol Records Building, the home of the Capitol Studios, among the cultural landmarks of Los Angeles.
The Walt Disney Company is one of the biggest American multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate

The Spanish–American War and World War I established the U.S. as a world power, and the aftermath of World War II left the United States and the Soviet Union as the world's two superpowers.

It is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, NATO, and other international organizations.

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson took a leading diplomatic role at the Paris Peace Conference and advocated strongly for the U.S. to join the League of Nations.