Member states of the League of Nations

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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Rica (22 January 1925), Brazil (14 June 1926), the Empire of Japan (27 March 1933) and Germany (19 September 1933) had withdrawn and only Egypt was left to join (on the 26 May 1937).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.


A map of the world in the years 1920-1945, which shows the League of Nations members during its history.
  Colonies of members
  Colonies of non-members

1919: founding members[edit]


  •  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)[7]
  •  Luxembourg (joined 16 December 1920)[8]
  •  Albania (joined 17 December 1920)[9]


  •  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.[citation needed]


  •  Hungary (joined 18 September 1922; withdrew 11 April 1939)




  •  Germany (joined 8 September 1926; withdrew 19 October 1933)


  •  Mexico (joined 23 September 1931)




See also[edit]


  1. ^ South America, Encyclopedia of World History
  2. ^ League of Nations chronology, United Nations
  3. ^ Members of the 1st Assembly, League of Nations, Geneva, November 15 to December 18, 1920.
  4. ^ Czechoslovakia never formally left the League and was present at the last meeting of the Assembly in 1946
  5. ^ Left upon German takeover in 1943
  6. ^ Occupied by Axis Powers 1941-1945
  7. ^ Withdrew from active participation in the League after its defeat by the Soviet Union in 1944.
  8. ^ Forced to withdraw by German occupation in May 1940 and incorporation into the German Reich.
  9. ^ Forced to withdraw by Italian invasion of 1939.

External links[edit]