Was the Kellogg-Briand Pact a sensible act?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The answer to this question depends largely on what you think the people who created the Kellogg-Briand Pact thought they were accomplishing.  If they thought that they were actually preventing wars by outlawing war this was not a sensible act.  If, however, they thought that they were helping to create...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The answer to this question depends largely on what you think the people who created the Kellogg-Briand Pact thought they were accomplishing.  If they thought that they were actually preventing wars by outlawing war this was not a sensible act.  If, however, they thought that they were helping to create an international sense of morals or ethics in which countries would frown upon war, this was a sensible act.

If the signatories to this treaty felt that banning war would actually cause wars to disappear, they were not being sensible at all.  When countries are strong enough, they can easily ignore international law.  If they feel that they have something to gain by going to war, they will not let something like a treaty stand in their way.  Therefore, the Kellogg-Briand Pact was never going to stop a determine country from waging war if it felt that war was a good idea.  It would not be sensible at all to make a treaty like this and to rely on it to prevent all further wars.

However, if the people who created this treaty thought that they were taking small steps towards creating a better world order, they were acting in a sensible way.  International treaties may not be able to really force countries to act in certain ways, but they can set out the idea that the international community disapproves of certain things.  It is like telling your teenage children you do not want them to drink alcohol.  You know you can’t completely prevent them from doing so, but you know that it is important to make clear to them what you approve of and what you disapprove of.  If the people who made this treaty felt that they were simply making a statement about their values, this was a sensible act.

Thus, the sensibility of the Kellogg-Briand Pact depends on what the people who wrote and signed it believed that they were doing.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team