International Security: The American Role in Collective Action for Peace

International Security: The American Role in Collective Action for Peace

International Security: The American Role in Collective Action for Peace

International Security: The American Role in Collective Action for Peace

Excerpt

In the chapters which follow, attention is focused on American reactions to various plans and proposals which have been put forward in the last fifteen years with a view to improving the means for preventing war. It may be useful as a prelude to this study of the American attitude to give a bird's-eye view of what these plans and proposals are and how they fit into the general world situation.

In looking back over the history of the 19th century and of the first fourteen years of the present century, it will be found that there was then no world-wide organization for keeping the peace. In Europe, at different periods, the Great Powers acted together in order to prevent the outbreak of war. In many cases their efforts were directed toward assuring their own supremacy and preventing the smaller states from taking any action which might prove troublesome to their more powerful neighbors. These combinations of the Great Powers of Europe were variously known as the Holy Alliance and the Concert of Europe; still more indefinitely, they operated on the basis of a general political theory known as the Balance of Power.

In the Western Hemisphere, the United States, largely in pursuance of its traditional policy, commonly known as the Monroe Doctrine, occupied a dominating position which was frequently resented by the smaller states of Central and South America. The Pan American Union was not permitted to develop along political lines. In Asia, the United States and the Great Powers of Europe occasionally acted together as they did at the time of the Boxer Rebellion in 1901. On other occasions, they found a unifying principle in the policy of the Open Door, which was intended to secure equal opportunities for the trade . . .

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