U.S. Department of State: A Reference History

By Elmer Plischke | Go to book overview

nentalization of the Monroe Doctrine (including the Clark Memorandum of 1928), isolationism and neutrality, the aberrant Morgenthau Plan for the post World War IItreatment of Germany, World War I and II reparations, mutual arms limitation, and especially President Wilson's Fourteen Points and President Roosevelt's Arsenal for Democracy, Atlantic Charter, Four Freedoms, Good Neighbor, Lend-Lease, Reciprocal Trade, and other policy pronouncements.

These developments and changes evidenced the dynamic nature of the diplomatic process and portended and prepared the United States for what has been called "the new diplomacy." Sir Harold Nicolson, well-known British diplomat, in his analysis of the evolution of diplomatic method, discusses the Greek, Roman, and Italian ( fifteenth and sixteenth centuries), the French ( seventeenth to nineteenth centuries), and the American ( twentieth century) systems of diplomacy.

Beginning with World War I, fundamental changes in diplomatic style, referred to as the "American method," emerged, which have been characterized as "the new diplomacy." It consists primarily of "parliamentary diplomacy" practiced in international organizations such as the United Nations and its specialized agencies, "conference diplomacy" utilized in bilateral and multilateral conclaves and meetings, "personal diplomacy" resorted to by political leaders and their Foreign Ministers and special emissaries, and "open diplomacy." In some respects it denotes what some denominate as "democratic" or "democratized" diplomacy, portrayed by increased responsiveness to the people, less government confidentiality, and popularization in the sense of reposing less emphasis on aristocratic or formal protocol, attire, demeanor, and procedure. 135


NOTES
1.
This unique scheme of President Wilson to have his successor succeed him immediately following the presidential election of 1916, conveyed to Secretary Lansing in a confidential letter, provided that, if Charles Evans Hughes was elected President, Secretary Lansing would resign at once, and Wilson would appoint Hughes as Secretary. Then President Wilson and Vice President Thomas R. Marshall would also resign, and, under the Presidential Succession Act, Hughes would succeed to the presidency immediately. This arrangement would avoid the hiatus in foreign affairs that normally occurs during the months of November to early March, pending the inauguration of a new President. See Stuart, The Department of State, pp. 241-42. However, inasmuch as Wilson won the election, such action was unnecessary.
2.
This appointment was critical because both the President and the Vice President were in poor health, so Henry Cabot Lodge, who headed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, took a month to investigate and approve Colby because, under the Presidential Succession Act, the Secretary of State was next in line for the presidency. As a consequence, the new Secretary would be confronted with a series of critical issuesserving during the last year of Wilson's second term, the failure of the Senate to approve the Versailles Treaty and the consequences for U.S. world leadership, the realignment of nations in Central Europe, the Communist upheaval in Russia and its invasion of Poland, and Japan's annexation of Sakhalin Island.

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