League of Notions


League of Nations

The League of Nations was an international organization formed after World War I to promote cooperation, peace and security. The basis for the League is found in the Treaty of Versailles,which provided for such an international assembly. The United States, which failed to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, never became a member.

Based in Geneva, the League was useful in settling minor disputes, but it was unable to stop acts of aggression by major powers, such as Japan's invasion of Manchuria (1931), Italy's conquest of Ethiopia (1936), etc. It collapsed early in World War II, and was dissolved in 1946.

The League established a pattern, however, that was later emulated in the development of the United Nations.

Churchill's Hiccup

Legend has it that Winston Churchill has eaten a particularly good meal before one of the sessions of negotiations that led to the Treaty of Versailles. According to this legend he hiccuped and his hand jerked while drawing the border of what is today Jordan, producing the strange jog in the border which was just left. There is no evidence that this legend has any validity, but it's a story that was widely told by the wags of the time to explain the oddity.


Woodrow Wilson ( 1856 - 1924)

Twenty eighth President of the United States (1913 - 1921).

Wilson saw himself as the personal representative of the American people. He developed progressive programs of reform, and took a leadership role on an international level. In 1917 he proclaimed that US entrance into World War I was a part of a crusade to make the world "safe for Democracy".

Wilson graduated from Princeton (then the College of New Jersey) and University of Virginia Law School. He earned a doctorate at Johns Hopkins University, and became President of Princeton in 1902. He became Governor of New Jersey in 1910, and President of the United States in 1913.

Wilson went hefore Congress in January 1918 to clarify what he saw as the goals of US participation in World War I. His 14 points, included the basis for what was to become the League of Nations ... although the US never became a part of that body.

After the Germans signed the Armistice in 1918, Wilson went to Paris to try to build an enduring peace. The political tide had turned at home, however, and the Treaty of Versaille failed to receive ratification in the US by 7 votes.

Wilson, against the advice of his doctors, mounted a national tour in an effort to mobilize public sentiment for the Treaty. Exhaustion was believed to be one of the causes of the stroke he suffered at that time, and he nearly died. Nursed by his second wife, he lived until 1924.

Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)

British statesman and military hero, his career spanned both World Wars. He overcame a childhood stutter to become one of history's greatest orators.

Winston Churchill served as Britain's Prime Minister twice, including during World War II.

He won the Nobel prize for literature in 1953, and was awarded the Order of the Garter in that same year.


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T. E. Lawrence (1888 - 1935)

Popularly known as "Lawrence of Arabia", T.E. Lawrence as born on August 16, 1888 in Wales.

After graduating with honors from Oxford in 1910 he assisted on a British Museum excavation in Iraq. When war broke out with Germany in 1914 he was posted to the Military Intelligence Department in Cairo.

In 1916 the Arabs revolted against the Turkish Empire,and Lawrence was sent to Mecca on a fact-finding mission. He ultimately became the British liaison officer to the Arabs.

After the war Lawrence served in the British Delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, where he worked for the cause of Arab independence. Despite his efforts Syria, Palestine and Iraq came under French and British rule. By 1920 British efforts to impose colonial rule on Iraq resulted in open rebellion. With Lawrence's assistance, Winston Churchill had achieved a settlement of the situation by the summer of 1922.

In March 1935 he retired to Dorset, England. Two months later he was thrown from his motorcycle in a traffic accident. He died from head injuries a few days later without ever regaining consciousness.