League of Nations, former international organization, established by the peace treaties that ended World War I. Like its successor, the United Nations, its purpose was the promotion of international peace and security. The League was a product of World War I in the sense that that conflict convinced most persons of the necessity of averting another such cataclysm. But its background lay in the visions of men like the duc de Sully and Immanuel Kant and in the later growth of formal international organizations like the International Telegraphic Union (1865) and the Universal Postal Union (1874). The Red Cross, the Hague Conferences, and the Permanent Court of Arbitration (Hague Tribunal) were also important stepping-stones toward international cooperation.
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