As war has once again broken out in Europe in the twenty-first century, it has become ever more apparent that the goal of world peace is ever so far away. Thus, with the United Nations having failed to prevent conflict, many have begun to question this intragovernmental institution. This begs the question: how did we get here, and did we learn from the past? In this thesis I challenge the position of the League of Nations within its own historiography akin to successful scholars like Glenda Sluga and Susan Pedersen, borrowing lines of thought of authors like Maartje Abbenhuis. To do so I have gone back in time to discuss how history founds its way towards the creation of the League of Nations in 1919 after the allied belligerents had successfully defeated the central powers of the First World War. Through analysis of letters by United States’ President Woodrow Wilson I discussed how the thoughts of an effective world organization with the primary goal of maintaining peace established itself at the Peace Table of Versailles. Through analysis of the various Articles within the Covenant of the League of Nations, I highlight the important details that were established, through which finally resulted into a case study of the events leading up to the outbreak of the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, which once again brought war to the doorstep of the European continent for the first time since the Great War. Through analysis of the Walwal-arbitration and the moments leading up to the Italian invasion, I discuss the role of the League in international conflict resolution, while highlighting the Italian arguments deployed in attempts to justify their aggression upon a fellow League Member, and above all, a sovereign nation.

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dr. Mark Edward Hay
Global History and International Relations
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Sander Opschoor. (2022, July 27). Arbitrating Peace, or Nurturing War? The League of Nations and the Italo-Ethiopian Conflict. Global History and International Relations. Retrieved from