highest aspirations and the very survival of our civilization." 36 No cautionary notes were sounded about the continuing challenges to a peaceful world. Even disturbing news of Soviet occupation in Eastern Europe was couched in the expressed expectation that the new United Nations held out the likely possibility of resolving any differences among the Great Powers cooperatively. Hyperbole both before and after the San Francisco conference suggested that this was, as the House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sol Bloom put it, a "turning point in the history of civilization." 37
As late as the ninth of April, Franklin Roosevelt was telling the State Department that there would be time upon his return from Warm Springs, Georgia, to make final decisions about the trusteeship of non‐ self-governing territories under the United Nations and other outstanding issues before the conference convened in two weeks. Three days later the architect of Representative Bloom's "turning point" died. Final decisions and the formal birth and development of the United Nations would have to be guided by his successor.
I have but one ambition as President of the United States, and that is to see peace in the world, and a working, efficient United Nations to keep the peace in the world. [Having accomplished that I would be] willing to...pass on happily.
— President Harry Truman38
The act of creation is the combination of two intertwined but nevertheless distinct activities: conception and implementation. And, at least in politics, it appears that the German philosopher Hegel was right: the idea generally precedes the thing itself. In almost dialectical form the history of the United Nations is the story of an American idea brought to reality. Initiated by Woodrow Wilson, the idea was carried forward by____________________