American Foreign Policies: An Examination and Evaluation of Certain Traditional and Recent International Policies of the United States

By James Wilford Garner | Go to book overview

VI
CO-OPERATION AND NON-CO-OPERATION WITH THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS

THE policy of the United States in refusing to become a member of the League of Nations or even to co-operate with it officially for the promotion of common objects, save those mainly of a humanitarian, sanitary, or similar character, like various other policies followed since the War, is one upon which there was and still is, a wide difference of opinion among our own countrymen. On the one hand, it is asserted that the United States has neglected a duty and thrown away an unexampled opportunity for leadership and helpfulness; on the other hand, it is argued that this duty can be performed and this leadership exercised by the United States as effectively outside the League as if it were a member, and there are indeed some who claim that, in fact, this has been so done.

There is abundant evidence for believing that, throughout the War, the sentiment of the vast majority of Americans, regardless of their political affiliations, who had opinions on the subject, was in favor of the establishment of some association, concert, or organization, which would render impossible a repetition of the tragedy in which they were then participating. Probably few persons at the time would have dissented from the following statement by President Wilson regarding the general opinion as to the necessity of some such arrangement and as to the opportunity and duty of the United States to take part in it:

In every discussion of the peace that must end this war, it is taken for granted that that peace must be followed by some definite concert of

-183-

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