Kellogg-Briand Pact Primary Source eText

Primary Source

Calvin Coolidge looks on as Frank Kellogg, the U.S. Secretary of State, signs the Kellogg-Briand Pact in 1929 © BETTMANN/CORBIS. REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION. Calvin Coolidge looks on as Frank Kellogg, the U.S. Secretary of State, signs the Kellogg-Briand Pact in 1929 © BETTMANN/CORBIS. REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION. Published by Gale Cengage © BETTMANN/CORBIS. REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION.

Treaty

By: Frank Kellogg and Aristide Briand

Date: August 27, 1928

Source: Kellogg-Briand Pact, 1928. United States Statues at Large, vol. 46, part 2, p. 2343. Reprinted in the Avalon Project at Yale Law School. "The Kellogg-Briand Pact and Associated Documents." Available online at http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/kbpact/kbpact.htm (accessed January 28, 2003).

About the Author: Frank Kellogg (1856–1937) was one of the premier attorneys in the United States. As a "trustbuster," he won antitrust suits against the General Paper Company, Union Pacific Railroad, and the Standard Oil Company. In 1925, he became the U.S. secretary of state, and in 1929 he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Aristide Briand (1862–1932) served in the French government for over thirty years, dating from his election to the Chamber of Deputies in 1902. He served as premier and at the time of the pact was minister for foreign affairs. In 1926, he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Introduction

By the conclusion of World War I (1914–1918), over 116,000 Americans had lost their lives, and another 234,000 were wounded. As a result, the vast majority of Americans wanted to withdraw from international affairs

because isolation was seen as the best opportunity for lasting peace. In 1920, the U.S. Senate, which had serious concerns about America's possible loss of sovereignty, voted not to participate in either the League of Nations or the World Court. In 1921, though, Congress reduced the size of the country's armed forces from a high of 4,355,000 mobilized during the war to 250,000. President Coolidge summed up the view of many Americans when he said, "The people have had all the war, all the taxation, and all the military service that they want."

In 1923, Edward W. Bok, former editor of the Ladies' Home Journal, the best-selling magazine at the time, held a contest calling for a proposal for preserving international peace. The winner would win the American Peace Prize and $100,000 in cash. Bok was swamped with thousands of suggestions. Even Franklin Roosevelt, the future president, crafted a plan while recuperating from polio. The vast majority of entries were from idealists who believed that merely revealing and criticizing the moral shortcomings of war could attain peace. Such thinking culminated in the signing of the Kellogg-Briand Pact in 1928.

On April 6, 1927, Aristide Briand, the French foreign minister, published an open letter to the American public proposing a bilateral treaty of perpetual friendship that would "outlaw" war forever between the longtime allies. Briand wanted the formal agreement in part because he feared a possible attack by a resurgent Germany. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg feared that such an alliance would involve the United States in the type of foreign entanglement that the nation had avoided since George Washington's administration. Ultimately, such a treaty could drag the United States into another European war. However, William Jennings Bryan and other prominent isolationists found the offer fascinating and urged Kellogg to negotiate such a treaty. Later that year, Kellogg countered with a broader multilateral treaty proposal to include all nations, but with the provision that "every nation is free at all times … to defend its territory from attack and it alone is competent to decide when circumstances require war in self-defense." Briand, like his American counterpart and the American diplomatic corps, realized that such a proposal was pointless but could not resist public pressure to negotiate the treaty. Thus, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, renouncing war as a method of foreign policy, was drafted and ratified by the United States and several other nations, including Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Great Britain, Germany, India, and Italy.

Significance

In January 1929, the Senate ratified the Kellogg-Briand Pact by a vote of 85 to 1. The vote, like the treaty itself, was empty of meaning. The effectiveness of the treaty was hampered by its structural weaknesses. For example, what should be the course of action after diplomacy failed to provide for a peaceful solution? Why should a nation comply with its moralistic vision if the treaty provided no verifiable system of monitoring its "former" enemies or provided substantial penalties for violations? The level of seriousness that the signatories attached to the treaty soon became clear. After ratification, the Senate moved to its next order of business, appropriating $274 million for navy rearmament. In 1931, Japan invaded Manchuria, Italy attacked Ethiopia four years later, and Germany occupied Austria in 1938. Fourteen years after its signing, all the signatories were belligerents in World War II.

Primary Source: Kellogg-Briand Pact

SYNOPSIS: On August 27, 1928, in Paris, diplomats from fifteen nations, including the United States, France, Great Britain, Japan, and Italy, signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact. The signatories pledged to renounce "war as an instrument of national policy." They also promised that if their country resorted to war, they "should be denied the benefits furnished by this Treaty," though it was uncertain what these benefits were. Eventually, sixty-two nations ratified the pact, including the United States on January 17, 1929.

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

WHEREAS a Treaty between the President of the United States Of America, the President of the German Reich, His Majesty the King of the Belgians, the President of the French Republic, His Majesty the King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India, His Majesty the King of Italy, His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, the President of the Republic of Poland, and the President of the Czechoslovak Republic, providing for the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy, was concluded and signed by their respective Plenipotontiaries at Paris on the twenty-seventh day of August, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-eight, the original of which Treaty, being in the English and the French languages, is word for word as follows:

THE PRESIDENT OF THE GERMAN REICH, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THE BELGIANS, THE PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC, HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF GREAT BRITAIN IRELAND AND THE BRITISH DOMINIONS BEYOND THE SEAS, EMPEROR OF INDIA, HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF ITALY, HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR OF JAPAN, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND THE PRESIDENT OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK REPUBLIC,

Deeply sensible of their solemn duty to promote the welfare of mankind;

Persuaded that the time has, come when a frank renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy should be made to the end that the peaceful and friendly relations now existing between their peoples may be perpetuated;

Convinced that all changes in their relations with one another should be sought only by pacific means and be the result of a peaceful and orderly process, and that any signatory Power which shall hereafter seek to promote its national interests by resort to war a should be denied the benefits furnished by this Treaty;

Hopeful that, encouraged by their example, all the other nations of the world will join in this humane endeavor and by adhering to the present Treaty as soon as it comes into force bring their peoples within the scope of its beneficent provisions, thus uniting the civilized nations of the world in a common renunciation of war as an instrument of their national policy;

Have decided to conclude a Treaty and for that purpose have appointed as their respective Plenipotentiaries:

THE PRESIDENT OF THE GERMAN REICH:

Dr Gustav STRESEMANN, Minister of Foreign Affairs;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

The Honorable Frank B. KELLOGG, Secretary of State;

HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THE BELGIANS:

Mr Paul HYMANS, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister of State;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC:

Mr. Aristide BRIAND Minister for Foreign Affairs;

HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF GREAT BRITAIN, IRELAND AND THE BRITISH DOMINIONS BEYOND THE SEAS, EMPEROR OF INDIA:

For GREAT BRITAIN and NORTHERN IRELAND and all parts of the British Empire which are not separate Members of the League of Nations:

The Right Honourable Lord CUSHENDUN, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Acting-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs;

For the DOMINION OF CANADA:

The Right Honourable William Lyon MACKENZIE KING, Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs;

For the COMMONWEALTH of AUSTRALIA:

The Honourable Alexander John McLACHLAN, Member of the Executive Federal Council;

For the DOMINION OF NEW ZEALAND:

The Honourable Sir Christopher James PARR High Commissioner for New Zealand in Great Britain;

For the UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA:

The Honourable Jacobus Stephanus SMIT, High Commissioner for the Union of South Africa in Great Britain;

For the IRISH FREE STATE:

Mr. William Thomas COSGRAVE, President of the Executive Council;

For INDIA:

The Right Honourable Lord CUSHENDUN, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Acting Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs;

HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF ITALY:

Count Gaetano MANZONI, his Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at Paris.

HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR OF JAPAN:

Count UCHIDA, Privy Councillor;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND:

Mr. A. ZALESKI, Minister for Foreign Affairs;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK REPUBLIC:

Dr Eduard BENES, Minister for Foreign Affairs;

who, having communicated to one another their full powers found in good and due form have agreed upon the following articles:

Article I

The High Contracting Parties solemnly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.

Article II

The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.

Article III

The present Treaty shall be ratified by the High Contracting Parties named in the Preamble in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements, and shall take effect as between them as soon as all their several instruments of ratification shall have been deposited at Washington.

This Treaty shall, when it has come into effect as prescribed in the preceding paragraph, remain open as long as may be necessary for adherence by all the other Powers of the world. Every instrument evidencing the adherence of a Power shall be deposited at Washington and the Treaty shall immediately upon such deposit become effective as; between the Power thus adhering and the other Powers parties hereto.

It shall be the duty of the Government of the United States to furnish each Government named in the Preamble and every Government subsequently adhering to this Treaty with a certified copy of the Treaty and of every instrument of ratification or adherence. It shall also be the duty of the Government of the United States telegraphically to notify such Governments immediately upon the deposit with it of each instrument of ratification or adherence.

IN FAITH WHEREOF the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this Treaty in the French and English languages both texts having equal force, and hereunto affix their seals.

DONE at Paris, the twenty seventh day of August in the year one thousand nine hundred and twenty-eight.

[Seal] GUSTAV STRESEMANN

[Seal] FRANK B KELLOGG

[Seal] PAUL HYMANS

[Seal] ARI BRIAND

[Seal] CUSHENDUN

[Seal] W. L. MACKENZIE KING

[Seal] A J MCLACHLAN

[Seal] C. J. PARR

[Seal] J S. SMIT

[Seal] LIAM T.MACCOSGAIR

[Seal] CUSHENDUN

[Seal] G. MANZONI

[Seal] UCHIDA

[Seal] AUGUST ZALESKI

[Seal] DR EDWARD BENES

Certified to be a true copy of the signed original deposited with the Government of the United States of America.

FRANK B. KELLOGG

Secretary of State of the United States of America AND WHEREAS it is stipulated in the said Treaty that it shall take effect as between the High Contracting Parties as soon as all the several instruments of ratification shall have been deposited at Washington;

AND WHEREAS the said Treaty has been duly ratified on the parts of all the High Contracting Parties and their several instruments of ratification have been deposited with the Government of the United States of America, the last on July 24, 1929;

NOW THEREFORE, be it known that I, Herbert Hoover, President of the United States of America, have caused the said Treaty to be made public, to the end that the same and every article and clause thereof may be observed and fulfilled with good faith by the United States and the citizens thereof.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

DONE at the city of Washington this twenty-fourth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and twenty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and fifty-fourth

HERBERT HOOVER

By the President:

HENRY L STIMSON

Secretary of State

Further Resources

BOOKS

Bryn-Jones, David. Frank B. Kellogg: A Biography. New York: Putnam, 1937.

Ellis, L. Ethan. Frank B. Kellogg and American Foreign Relations, 1925–1929. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1961.

Ferrell, Robert H. Peace in Their Time: The Origins of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1952.

PERIODICALS

Kellogg, Frank B., "The War Prevention Policy of the United States." American Journal of International Law 22, 1928, 253–261.

Mead, Walter Russell. "The American Foreign Policy Legacy." Foreign Affairs 81, January/February 2002, 163–176.

WEBSITES

Halsall, Paul, ed. "Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Imperialism." Internet History Sourcebooks Project, Fordham University. Available online at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook34.html; website home page: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/index.html (accessed January 28, 2003).

Zwick, Jim. "Anti-Imperialism in the United States, 1898–1935." Available online at http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/ai.ht... (accessed January 28, 2003).