The League of Nations was the predecessor to the United Nations. The League was founded during World War I, but failed to maintain peace during World War II. The League of Nations was thought up by Woodrow Wilson, the American President during the First World War. It was to be a group of nations that worked together to keep peace. One of the reasons for its downfall was that, after a vote, the American public refused to join. This meant the League did not have the power it needed to enforce any of the rules that made it up. This later proved to be a fatal flaw in the League's structure.

After a series of disasters in the 1930s, it was abolished. It was thought to be weak and powerless, after Japan completely ignored it when the League of Nations tried to stop Japan from invading Manchuria (North-East China) and Italy invaded Abyssinia. The League did not fail completely: it had prevented a few conflicts in Europe in the 1920s and worked hard to stamp out various public health and social problems around the world. Another flaw in the League was that it was not representative enough: no more than 65 nations were members at any given time, and the interests of the leading members (notably Britain and France) often outweighed those of smaller, less powerful members.

The League also had no troops of its own, and decisions it made were often slow. For example, when Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931, it took a whole year for the League's decision to be heard.

President Woodrow Wilson arranged a plan for a "government of governments", or rather an international peacekeeping force. The idea of his plan was to settle problems between nations peacefully. Wilson tried his hardest to persuade the international community that the league would discourage aggression and tackle the underlying problems that often lead to war, such as poverty. Wilson was however unable to convince the American public into supporting the League. The United States did not want to be part of Wilson’s approach for several reasons:

First of all the United States consisted of many Americans being German immigrants and loathed the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty said that Germany and its allies were to accept full responsibility for causing the war and reparations were to be made to certain countries. The Treaty of Versailles was the treaty that set up the League of Nations and not agreeing to it meant not being part of the League of Nations.

The next reason that America did not want to get involved in European affairs is because they did not want to risk more Americans dying in a war. They also felt that it would result in them pouring effort into pointless actions such as sending soldiers all around the globe to sort out small disputes. This was called isolationism. Most of the American citizens felt it would be best to just avoid European and British affairs completely. In 1946, the League of Nations formally ended, and the United Nations was established, along with a few of the League's committees, such as the World Health Committee, which still today maintains many of the same responsibilities of the League of Nations.

League of Nations and Esperanto Edit

Petition, which Brazilian League Esperantisto sent 10th August 1921 to the League of Nations, signed more than 200 educated people in Rio de Janeiro.

At the League was Edmond Privat the main Esperanto-lobiisto, which reached at least the vice-secretary Nitobe Inazo wrote quite a favorable report on the state of Esperanto (1922), was a historic opportunity for Esperanto would become a working language of the organization, but the French delegate most drastically opposed this project, and it failed.

There are also mention the engineer Leonardo Torres Quevedo, member of the Commission for Intellectual Cooperation (predecessor of the UNESCO), who proposed the first resolution favorable to the consideration of the international language, also without success.

In 1924, the League of Nations recommends to its member states to implement the Esperanto as an auxiliary language.