The United Nations in World Politics

  • David Armstrong
Part of the The Making of the 20th Century book series (MACE)


There was never any question in the minds of the allied leaders about whether a new collective security system would be created after the Second World War. Equally there was no prospect of this new organisation being built on the existing League structure: this was generally discredited and wholly unacceptable to the Russians, who had been expelled from it. But although references to the League at the principal allied meetings which drew up the Charter were few and usually disparaging, it is clear that the League experience was too relevant to be ignored, especially by the professional diplomats responsible for working out the details of the new organisation. Hence the United Nations, in its essentials, was seen as an improved League, rather than a departure from it.1


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  1. 1.
    This is made quite explicit in some of the earlier British position papers on the UN. See, for example, the memorandum by the British Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, on a future world organisation in which he says: ‘(i) It is improbable that the League of Nations can be revived in its old form but it is highly desirable that some international machinery, embodying many of the good features of the League, should be established on the conclusion of hostilities. (ii) In any case every effort should be made to preserve those technical and humanitarian services of the League which have been so conspicuously successful in the past.’ Text of memorandum in P. A. Reynolds and E. J. Hughes, The Historian as Diplomat (London, 1976) Appendix B, pp. 126–34.Google Scholar
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  82. 82.
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© David Armstrong 1982

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  • David Armstrong

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