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Making America: A History of the United States, Brief Second Edition
Carol Berkin, Christopher L. Miller, Robert W. Cherny, James L. Gormly, W. Thomas Mainwaring
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Introduction | Questions to Consider | Source

Kellogg-Briand Pact
U.S. Government

Aristide Briand, the French foreign minister, angered U.S. Secretary of State Frank Kellogg when Briand asked the American people directly whether they would sign a treaty with France to prevent future wars. Kellogg believed that Briand should have gone through the normal diplomatic channels. Furthermore, the secretary believed that accepting Briand's offer would eventually draw the United States into another world war. Although its actions were not isolationist, the United States had an isolationist feeling during the 1920s.

Because the United States believed that the European alliance system had caused World War I, it was hesitant to sign any type of alliance treaty with another country. There were some groups, however, that thought cooperating with the French would bring the United States closer to joining the League of Nations, and Briand feared their public attacks if he failed to pursue the offer. Kellogg, adopting an idea from isolationist Senator William E. Borah, proposed a multilateral treaty that fifteen nations signed. Think about world events in the 1930s and 1940s as you answer the following questions.

Questions to Consider
  1. What did the Kellogg-Briand Pact outlaw?

  2. What did the pact propose in its place?

  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of this policy to solve world problems.

Article 1. 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 2. 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.