Aprils Past

By Cavendish, Richard | History Today, April 1999 | Go to article overview

Aprils Past


Cavendish, Richard, History Today


The Founding of NATO

April 4th, 1949

The North Atlantic Treaty, signed by twelve nations on a Monday afternoon in Washington DC, saw the United States accept the lead in the free world's postwar resistance to Communist aggression and subversion. Unprecedented in American peacetime history, it was the product of more than a year of political and diplomatic activity in which leading roles were played by Senator Vandenberg and General Marshall of the United States, Ernest Bevin of Britain and Lester Pearson of Canada.

The Treaty bound its signatories to treat an armed attack against any one of them as aggression against all and to react with any action necessary including armed force. It was drawn up by a working party of diplomats from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, which began work in July 1948 and produced a draft text in December. Representatives of these countries and five more (Italy, Portugal, Norway, Denmark and Iceland) signed the treaty at a long mahogany table in front of the twelve national flags in the auditorium of the State Department building on Constitution Avenue. A distinguished audience 1,500 strong watched as Paul Henri Spaak signed first for Belgium, followed by Pearson for Canada. Robert Schuman stepped up for France and Bevin and Dean Acheson, the US Secretary of State, signed last. Each foreign minister used a different pen. In his speech President Truman described the new treaty as `a shield against aggression and the fear of aggression -- a bulwark which will permit us to get on with the real business of government and society, the business of achieving a fuller and happier life for all our citizens'. The ceremony was simple and impressive, though Sir Nicholas Henderson, one of the working party, deprecated the `insouciant influence' of the US Marine Band, which played Gershwin tunes, including `Bess, you is my woman now' in apparent homage to Mrs Truman, who had a front-row seat.

The Treaty had still to be ratified by the US Senate, which approved it on July 21st, after almost two weeks of debate. It was powerfully commended by Senator Vandenberg for the Republicans and Senator Connally of Texas for the Democrats, and opposed by Senator Taft of Ohio, who argued that it entailed `arming Western Europe at American expense'. The final vote was eighty-two votes to thirteen in favour, which supplied the necessary two-thirds majority. President Truman signed the instrument of accession and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was duly established with its secretariat in France.

Declaration of Hungary's Independence

April 14th, 1849

Hungary had been ruled successively by Turkish sultans and Austrian emperors for centuries when the 1848 upsurge of revolutionary nationalism in Europe struck Budapest, where liberty, equality and fraternity were rousingly declared, the single political prisoner left in gaol was freed (a tiresomely loquacious old soul he proved to be) and the Habsburg regime was forced to accept a Hungarian national government. The new, eighteen-year-old Emperor Franz Josef's attempt to regain control was countered the following year by a declaration that `the perjured House of Habsburg-Lorraine' had broken every tie of mutual obligation between itself and Hungary. `Therefore the House of Habsburg is for ever deposed from sovereignty over Hungary and declared to have forfeited the throne and to be excluded and banished in the name of the nation.' Henceforth, Hungary was independent. `We inform all the peoples of the civilised world of this fact,' the manifesto went on, `in the firm conviction that it will accept the Hungarian nation, as the youngest but not unworthy brother, into the ranks of independent nations.'

The proclamation's author was a radical journalist and agitator of forty-six named Lajos Kossuth, an ardent Magyar chauvinist although himself, ironically, of mixed Slovak and German stock. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Aprils Past
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.