The Four Power Pact, 1933

The Four Power Pact, 1933

The Four Power Pact, 1933

The Four Power Pact, 1933

Excerpt

The peoples of Europe have every reason to cease warring and to ally instead. Europe is but a province of the world -- every war between Europeans is a civil war.

-- Napoleon I

As a logical alternative to the fleeting mirage of collective security, the idea of a directorate of the Great Powers held a continual attraction to the statesmen of troubled Europe. In the nineteenth century the "Concert of Europe," or, more precisely, the "Congress System" effectively organized the peace after the Napoleonic wars and continued to exist loosely throughout the century, resolving major international crises -- more often than not short of war. Although momentarily discredited by the outbreak of World War I, and overshadowed by the brilliant spectacle of the League of Nations, the concept of a Great Power directorate continued to appear at crucial moments in the 1920's and 1930's. The permanent seats of the Council of the League of Nations; the Big Four at the Paris Peace Conference; their successor, the Conference of Ambassadors; the treaties of Locarno; the Lausanne Conference on reparations; the consultative pact of 1932; the negotiations during the Abyssinian crisis . . .

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