The Industrial Revolution in Europe brought many changes in the life of the people. Many big factories were established to produce goods on a large scale in Europe and America. They bought raw materials at a very low price from their colonies and sold them the manufactured goods at a high price. This made these countries very rich and powerful. They made all types of weapons. These countries fought among themselves. Small battles led to big wars.
The early part of the 20th century witnessed two World Wars, which involved many countries of the world. The World War I was fought from 1914 to 1918, and the World War II was fought from 1939 to 1945. Millions of people were killed and much property was destroyed during these wars. Human beings had never seen wars of this kind before. They were worried and terrified.
After the World War I, the United States and Britain thought that there should be an agency to maintain peace in the world. The League of Nations was formed to prevent another war. But it failed and it could not prevent the World War II, which was even more destructive. This war caused the destruction of cities, villages, industries and means of transport and communication. Towards the end of the World War II, the USA dropped two atom bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. About two (akh people died and the two cities were reduced to ashes in minutes. Many nations of the world wanted to have an organization that would work more effectively than the League of Nations and save the human race.
This feeling gave birth to the United Nations Organization (UNO), now popularly called the United Nations (UN). This name was suggested by President Roosevelt of the USA. Delegates from fifty countries met in San Francisco to draft a charter for the United Nations. The United Nations came into being on 24th October, 1945. This day, every year, is celebrated as the UN Day throughout the world.
The charter of the United Nations is its constitution. Its main objectives are security and development,
The United Nations has been made to work for the promotion of:
1. peace and security for every country of the world,
2. friendly relations among the member countries,
3. human freedom and rights, and
4. development, by raising the*^ production of food, providing medical facilities and solution of the problems of children and refugees.
Whenever there is some problem, it tries to solve it through the cooperation of its members. The United Nations prepared a list of human rights, called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was adopted on 10th December 1948, which is celebrated as the Human Rights Day all over the world. Some of the important rights are :
1. The right to live as free citizens of a country.
2. Equality before the law.
3. The right of free speech and writing.
4. The right to education, employment and freedom of religion.
5. Freedom from discrimination based on religion or sex.
6. Equal pay for equal work.
7. Freedom to travel from one place to another.
The United Nations is trying its best to make all these rights a reality in every country of the world. Fifty-one nations became original members of the UN. Over the years the membership of the UN has grown. Today it has more than 185 members.