The Geneva Protocol Is Signed (Great Events from History II: Ecology and the Environment Series)
Article abstract: Representatives from several nations, including most of the great powers, signed a protocol banning the use of poison gas and bacteriological weapons in war.
Summary of Event
On June 17, 1925, representatives from several nations met in Geneva, Switzerland, and signed a protocol to prohibit “the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices,” and further consented to extend this prohibition to bacteriological methods of warfare as well. This relatively brief document acknowledged that gas warfare had been condemned by civilized opinion and expressed the hope that the accord would one day become an accepted part of international law. The swiftness with which the agreement was reached was a tribute to the negotiating skills of the U.S. representative, Theodore E. Burton, and also to the strong support that President Calvin Coolidge gave to the project.
The protocol was a response to the widespread use of poison gas in World War I. Poison gas was first used at the Battle of Ypres in April, 1915, when the Germans released clouds of chlorine gas against French positions. Other nations, including Great Britain, France, and eventually the United States, either conducted extensive research or actually used poison gas in battle. Each year of the war witnessed an increase in use of this nefarious weapon. There is no consensus on the...
(The entire section is 2319 words.)
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