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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Preamble, Woodrow Wilson's first typed draft of the League of Nations, ca. September 8, 1918. Woodrow Wilson Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (172.00.00)
Dr. Anna Howard Shaw. What the War Meant to Women. New York: Published by League to Enforce Peace, ca. 1920. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (172.01.00)
The Covenant of the League of Nations, in French and English in League of the Nations, Official Journal, February 1920. No. 1. Law Library, Library of Congress (173.00.00)

The League of Nations

Creation of a League of Nations was central to Wilson's strategy for achieving a peaceful postwar order. He believed that an international organization that would allow great and small countries around the world to collaborate and provide a forum for resolving interstate conflicts could prevent future international wars. Drawing on thinking current in the United States and Europe, Wilson composed this draft covenant describing how such a League of Nations should work. No such global organization, embracing both great and small nations, had ever existed. The United States never joined the League of Nations, despite support for American membership from many influential citizens, including physician and women's rights advocate Dr. Anna Howard Shaw. However, the League of Nations would provide a precedent for the United Nations which replaced the League in 1945.