In the decades following Europe's first total war, millions of British men and women looked to the League of Nations as the symbol and guardian of a new world order based on international co-operation. Founded in 1919 to preserve peace between its member-states, the League inspired a rich, participatory culture of political protest, popular education and civic ritual which found expression through the establishment of voluntary societies in dozens of countries across Europe and beyond. Embodied in the hugely popular League of Nations Union, this pro-League movement touched Britain in profound ways. Foremost amongst the League societies, the Union became one of Britain's largest voluntary associations and a powerful advocate of democratic accountability and popular engagement in the making of foreign policy. Based on extensive archival research, The British people and the League of Nations offers a vivid account of this popular League consciousness and in so doing reveals the vibrant character of associational life between the wars. -- .
Helen McCarthy is Senior Lecturer in Modern British History at Queen Mary, University of London -- .
Introduction: The respectable face of troublemaking 1. The League of Nations, public opinion and the New Diplomacy 2. Of all parties and of none: the League in party politics 3. Members one of another: Christianity, religion and the League 4. Training for world citizenship: internationalist education between the wars 5. Enlightened patriots: League, empire, nation 6. Classes and cultures? League activism and class politics 7. Mothering the world: The making of a gendered internationalism 8. The quiet citizen silenced: the failure of political centrism, 1936-39 Conclusion: democratising foreign policy between the wars Bibliography Index -- .