Founded by Woodrow Wilson in 1919, the League of Nations was an international association of countries formed to create peace amongst the world by non-military means. France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and the United States of America drew up the constitution in 1919. When World War II began the League stopped meeting, their goals of peace had been destroyed. The league was formally ended in April of 1946. From that point on the group of nations meeting together to maintain peace was known as the United Nations (UN).
The principal peace keeping agency in the League of Nations was the council. The council was made up of 8-14 members, and these members agreed to settle their disputes peacefully. If any member of the council went to war with another member economic sanctions would be enforced upon that member's country. The assembly is the second part of the League of Nations, and it was composed of all the member nations. This group controlled the budget, admitting new members, elections, and amendments to the constitution.
During the 1930's Italy and Japan attacked members of the League. Japan withdrew from the League when they were not recognized for the conquering of Manchuria. Germany admitted to the League in 1926, but withdrew 7 years later in 1933. The arms buildup by Germany forced Russia to join the League in 1934, but they withdrew in 1937 to join the Axis forces. This was the beginning of World War II.
The United States formed the League of Nations to settle disputes peacefully, and ironically they were the only major country never to join it.