|January 22, 1917|
There must be, not a balance of power, but a community of power; not organized rivalries, but an organized common peace...I am proposing...that the nations should with one accord adopt the doctrine of President Monroe as the doctrine of the world: that no nation should seek to extend its polity over any other nation or people...that all nations henceforth avoid entangling alliances which would draw them into competitions of power...These are American principles, American policies. We could stand for no others.
And they are also the principles and policies of forward looking men and women everywhere, of every modern nation, of every enlightened community. They are the principles of mankind and must prevail.
|— Woodrow Wilson|
|January 23, 1997||History was made this morning in the White House. America's UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright was sworn in as the nation's first female secretary of state. Minutes later she and President Clinton welcomed to the Oval Office the newly-elected United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. It was Mr. Clinton's first meeting of his second term with a foreign leader. For the secretary-general it was fittingly his first official visit with a head of state. Without Mr. Clinton's opposition to the secretary-general's predecessor and his subsequent support of Mr. Annan's candidacy, this meeting would not be happening.|
From the moment that President Woodrow Wilson proposed a League of Nations during World War I through the 1945 Yalta Conference, the Persian Gulf War of 1991, and the United States' proposals of 1997 to increase the number of permanent members on the United Nations' Security Council, American presidents have been at the forefront in twentieth-century developments to create and maintain a universal and workable world political association. Mr. Annan's pilgrimage to the White House graphically displayed the success Clinton and his predecessors have had over the last eighty years in establishing and shepherding a vision of a new world and an international organization to sustain that vision on the basis of American principles.
This book will describe and analyze the origins and history of the United Nations by emphasizing the relationship each American president has had with the organization. Thus, the book takes an