Triumph and Downfall: America's Pursuit of Peace and Prosperity, 1921-1933

Triumph and Downfall: America's Pursuit of Peace and Prosperity, 1921-1933

Triumph and Downfall: America's Pursuit of Peace and Prosperity, 1921-1933

Triumph and Downfall: America's Pursuit of Peace and Prosperity, 1921-1933

Synopsis

This study shows how, contrary to traditional thought, the U. S. government assumed a leadership position in world affairs and introduced innovative policies to ensure the maintenance of international peace between 1921 and 1933. During the Interwar Period, the Republican Party dominated American foreign policy under three successive presidents: Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover. The development of coherent strategies to preserve world peace and security engaged the energies of their three secretaries of state: Charles Evans Hughes, Frank Billings Kellogg, and Henry Lewis Stimson. Optimism for a lasting peace would initially prevail with the negotiation of new international agreements but the dream would fade after 1931 as Japanese and German extremists embraced the use of force to achieve power.

The three Republican administrations recognized that it was in America's national interest, as the leading world power and major creditor nation, to help resolve the economic and political problems of other nations. Louria describes U. S. sponsorship of disarmament conferences, economic intervention in Germany under the Dawes Plan, and establishment of a framework for conducting relations in the Far East, particularly in China. Filling a crucial gap in the post-World War I literature, this study introduces substantial evidence of America's pursuit of world peace and examines the original thinking related to the prevention of future wars that existed. It also details why these Republican innovations failed to halt the world's drift into another disastrous war.

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