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Did the League of Nations ultimately fail?

The First World War threw the imperial order into crisis. New states emerged, while German and Ottoman territories fell to the allies who wanted to keep their acquisitions. But at the Paris Peace conference of 1919, the allies agreed reluctantly to govern their new conquests according to international and humanitarian norms and under ‘mandate’ from the League of Nations. In the following three videos, Susan Pedersen, author of The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire, discusses the emegence of the League and the consequences of this decision.

What was the unexpected role played by Germany in the League of Nations?
Susan Pedersen discusses Germany’s surprising power in shaping the mandate system, and its drive for international economic access and control.

What was Sir Eric Drummond’s role in shaping the League of Nations?
A relatively unknown figure, Sir Eric Drummond was the first Secretary General of the League. Susan Pedersen argues that he is unfairly forgotten, as his innovative structure of the League has encouraged the creation of many other international organizations.

Did the League of Nations ultimately fail?
This is a familiar question. However, in this video, Susan Pedersen explains the importance of recognizing the development of the League of Nations over time when determining its success. She argues that it is important to recognise the League as more than just a security arrangement.

Featured image credit: Malaria Commission of the League of Nations, Geneva, by Wellcome Images. CC-BY-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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