Member states of the League of Nations
Between 1919 and 1939, a total of 63 countries became member states of the League of Nations. The Covenant forming the League of Nations was included in the Treaty of Versailles and came into force on 10 January 1920. The League of Nations was dissolved on 18 April 1946, when its assets and responsibilities were transferred to the United Nations.
The League’s greatest extent was from 28 September 1934 (when Ecuador joined) to 23 February 1935 (when Paraguay withdrew) with 58 members. At this time, only Costa Rica (22 January 1925), Brazil (14 June 1926), the Empire of Japan (27 March 1933) and Germany (19 September 1933) had withdrawn and only Egypt was left to join (on the 26 May 1937). The members (listed from earliest joining and alphabetically if they joined on the same day) at this time were Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, the British Empire, Canada, Chile, the Republic of China, Colombia, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, El Salvador, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, British India, Italy, Liberia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Persia/Iran, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Siam, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Union of South Africa, Uruguay, Yugoslavia, Venezuela, Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Luxembourg, Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Ireland, Ethiopia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Turkey, Iraq, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Afghanistan and Ecuador.
Of the 42 founding members, 23 (or 24, counting Free France) remained members until the League of Nations was dissolved in 1946. A further 21 countries joined between 1920 and 1937, but 7 left, withdrew or were expelled before 1946.
Countries are listed under the year in which they joined. The word "withdrew" indicates that a country left of its own choice. The word "left" indicates a country that ceased to exist because of annexation by Germany, Italy or the USSR. The USSR was the only country to be expelled by the League.
Despite formulating the concept and signing the Covenant, the United States never joined the League of Nations.
1919: founding members
- Argentina (left in 1921 on rejection of an Argentine resolution that all sovereign states be admitted to the League. It resumed full membership in 1933)
- Brazil (withdrew 14 June 1926)
- British Empire separate membership for:
- Chile (withdrew 14 May 1938)
- Republic of China
- Czechoslovakia (15 March 1939 occupied by Germany)
- El Salvador (withdrew 11 August 1937)
- France (Vichy France withdrew 18 April 1941; withdrawal not recognised by Free French forces)
- Guatemala (withdrew 26 May 1936)
- Haiti (withdrew April 1942)
- Honduras (withdrew 10 July 1936)
- Kingdom of Italy (withdrew 11 December 1937)
- Empire of Japan (withdrew 27 March 1933)
- Nicaragua (withdrew 27 June 1936)
- Paraguay (withdrew 23 February 1935)
- Persia (known as Iran from 1934)
- Peru (withdrew 8 April 1939)
- Romania (withdrew July 1940)
- Siam (known as Thailand from 1939)
- Spain (withdrew May 1939)
- Venezuela (withdrew 12 July 1938)
- Yugoslavia (known as Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes until 1929)
- Austria (joined 15 December 1920; ceased to exist 13 March 1938)
- Bulgaria (joined 16 December 1920)
- Costa Rica (joined 16 December 1920; withdrew 22 January 1925)
- Finland (joined 16 December 1920)
- Luxembourg (joined 16 December 1920)
- Albania (joined 17 December 1920)
- Estonia (joined 22 September 1921)
- Latvia (joined 22 September 1921)
- Lithuania (joined 22 September 1921)
The League never acknowledged the 'incorporation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into the Soviet Union from 1940 onwards.
- Hungary (joined 18 September 1922; withdrew 11 April 1939)
- Irish Free State (joined 10 September 1923, known as Ireland from 1937)
- Abyssinia (joined 28 September 1923)
- Dominican Republic (joined 28 September 1924)
- Germany (joined 8 September 1926; withdrew 19 October 1933)
- Mexico (joined 23 September 1931)
- Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (joined 18 September 1934; expelled 14 December 1939)
- Afghanistan (joined 27 September 1934)
- Ecuador (joined 28 September 1934)
- Kingdom of Egypt (joined 26 May 1937)
- South America, Encyclopedia of World History
- League of Nations chronology, United Nations
- Members of the 1st Assembly, League of Nations, Geneva, November 15 to December 18, 1920.
- Czechoslovakia never formally left the League and was present at the last meeting of the Assembly in 1946
- Left upon German takeover in 1943
- Occupied by Axis Powers 1941-1945
- Withdrew from active participation in the League after its defeat by the Soviet Union in 1944.
- Forced to withdraw by German occupation in May 1940 and incorporation into the German Reich.
- Forced to withdraw by Italian invasion of 1939.
- Map of League of Nations members
- List of States Members of the League of Nations on 31.XII.1944 from the League of Nations Statistical Yearbook (1942-44)