7. Kellogg-Briand Pact:

The Kellogg-Briand Pact was an agreement between a total of 62 countries upon the plan to outlaw war. As a result of World War I, every nation from both the West and Eastern Hemisphere wanted to prevent a second world war. Initiated originally by France and USA, the USA feared the pact would seem like a bilateral alliance (meaning if France was threatened, the US may be forced to intervene). In which defeats the purpose of outlawing war. To resolve this, they suggested that two nations take the lead in inviting other nations in joining them. Together with the other 62 nations, they signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact (also known as the Pact of Paris) which primarily stated two clauses: The first outlawed war as an international policy, the second called upon signatories to resolve matters in peaceful ways. Although 62 nations ultimately ratified the pact, the effectiveness was destroyed by the failure to provide enforcements and the Kellogg-Briand Pact eventually fails with the start of World War II.

President Coolidge signs Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact
In the name of internationalism, the 62 nations worked together to outlaw war.

Each nation signed the pact on their own behalf to prevent war with each other and stay at peace.

France was looking for alliances, but USA did not want to create a bilateral alliance. Therefore they created the Kellogg-Briand pact with 62 other nations.

62 nations cooperated in signing the pact in order to outlaw war.

Global collective security:
All the nations were working for the global collective security, yet the intentions of the individual dominant nations were but selfish.

During the Inter-war period, the idea of international peace rose in the USA, everyone wanted to prevent a second world war. Some focused on disarmament, such as the series of naval conferences that began in Washington, while others supported the League of Nations and the newly formed world court. Furthermore, others initiated a movement to try and outlaw war. People involved with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, including peace advocates Nicholas Murray Butler and James T. Shotwell, were dedicated upon promoting internationalism. France on the other hand was isolated and was seeking a safety net, a friend. Due to its continued distress upon its German neighbour, France sought alliances to shore up her defence. French Minister of Foreign Affairs Aristide Briand called for an agreement between USA and France. Yet US President Calvin Coolidge and Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg were less eager to form the pact. Since the agreement against war could be interpreted as a bilateral alliance.

To avoid this, they invited other nations in joining them as they outlawed war. Since the pact asked only for the restriction to wars of aggression and not upon military acts of self defence, it was widely accepted. On August 27, 1928, fifteen nations signed the pact in Paris. Including France, The US, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Belgium, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Italy and Japan. Later, an addition 47 nations joined the pact and with this nearly every established nation in the world had signed it.

The Kellogg-Briand Pact attempted to achieve internationalism and through cooperation between the 62 nations they tried to outlaw war. Yet since everyone wanted to outlaw war on their own behalf nobody would support the ones in need. This can be clearly seen in 1931 when Japan invaded Manchuria. Further threats to the peace agreement came from the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 and the German occupation of Austria in 1938. The fact that there was no way to enforce the pact and that the constituted “self-defense” could not be fully defined caused many problems. Also in all three cases, the dominant powers (USA, France, Britain, etc.) wanted to remain at peace. They ignored the conflicts and believed they would be solved in peaceful ways. Yet as more and more conflicts began to occur, tension between nations rose and eventually this started World War II.

Copyright ©2009 by Ben Pi, Tony Fu, Amere Huang, Jeff Fong, Edwin Li, Irena Liu SS 20IB