To Create a New World? American Presidents and the United Nations

By John Allphin Moore Jr.; Jerry Pubantz | Go to book overview

2
The Founders

You know, I dream dreams but am, at the same time, an intensely practical person.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Private letter to Jan Christiaan Smuts, November 24, 1942


FDR and the UN

President Franklin Roosevelt, the practical dreamer, must be ascribed the title "architect" of the United Nations, even if he did not live long enough to become its primary builder. Out of the ruins of World War II FDR and his advisers crafted a new world organization which they hoped would keep the peace as Wilson's League of Nations had not been able to do. They sought to institutionalize the wartime cooperation of the great powers for years to come.

It was Roosevelt who cajoled the hard-bitten realist and defender of the British Empire Winston Churchill into accepting an institution committed to the self-determination of colonial peoples around the world. It was Roosevelt who pressured, bargained, and compromised with the ever-suspicious Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to bring about a universal collective security system dominated, at least initially, by the United States. Most important, it was FDR who worked assiduously to ensure congressional and public support for the idea of a universal organization, thus avoiding the tragic failure experienced by Wilson in the debate over the Versailles Treaty and America's membership in the League. Beginning in 1942 and culminating with the Yalta Conference in 1945, Roosevelt honed his own ideas about how a new world order might be built and maintained, undertook the diplomatic effort to bring those ideas to fruition, and succeeded in convincing his countrymen and his country's allies of the merits of his prescription. By the time of his death in 1945 Franklin Roosevelt had made the United Nations the heart of America's postwar strategy. While it would be left to President Truman to implement that strategy, Roosevelt came to the end of his life believing that the world's best hope for a lasting peace resided in the great powers' cooperation in the new organization.

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To Create a New World? American Presidents and the United Nations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • To Create a New World? *
  • Table of Contents *
  • Preface *
  • Frequently Used Citations *
  • Introduction *
  • 1: To Create a New World? American "Exceptionalism" and the Origins of the United Nations *
  • Dismissing the United Nations 7
  • The United Nations at Half Century 10
  • Woodrow Wilson and American Idealism 12
  • Traditional Arrangements of International Politics 17
  • The Twentieth-Century Crisis 21
  • 2: The Founders *
  • Fdr and the Un *
  • Yalta 44
  • Truman and the Un 47
  • Onset of the Cold War 53
  • Korea 69
  • 3: The Cold Warriors *
  • The President, His Foreign Policy Team, and the Un 84
  • The "Eisenhower Model" 91
  • Superpower Confrontation and the United Nations, 1953-1969 95
  • Cold War Tensions and UN Institutions 112
  • Jfk and the Un 118
  • Lyndon Johnson and the Un 131
  • Disarmament and Development 143
  • 4: The Realists' Ascent *
  • Nixon and the Un 176
  • 1968 184
  • Nixon and Watergate 186
  • "Nixinger" Diplomacy 188
  • Vietnam and Nixon 193
  • India and Pakistan, 1971 196
  • China 199
  • Yom Kippur 203
  • President Ford's Interregnum 208
  • 5: Two Sides of Idealism *
  • Carter and Foreign Policy 214
  • Carter, Human Rights, and the Un 219
  • Carter, China, and the Ussr 229
  • Breakthrough at Camp David 234
  • Carter and Africa 241
  • The Iranian Hostage Nightmare 248
  • Reagan and the Un: Phase One 254
  • The Middle East, Reagan, and the Un 262
  • Reagan and the World 268
  • Iran-Contra 274
  • Gorbachev 276
  • Reagan and the Un: Phase Two 280
  • 6: The New Moralists *
  • President Bush's UN Odyssey 290
  • President Bush's Use of the Un 298
  • President Clinton: the New Moralism and the Demands of Politics 315
  • Conclusion *
  • Appendix a Secretaries-General of the Un *
  • Appendix B U.S. Ambassadors to the Un *
  • Bibliography *
  • Index *
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