It was into this atmosphere that a group of prominent Americans made a revolutionary proposal that the nations of the earth agree to declare that war was illegal. The leading intellectual John Dewey and leading Protestant clergymen like John Haynes Holmes and Christian Century editor Charles Clayton Morrison supported the efforts of the American Committee for the Outlawry of War. These culminated in the famous Kellogg-Briand Pact declaring war illegal. Including India, eight of the original eleven to sign the treaty were English-speaking countries; the notoriously treaty-shy United States Senate ratified the treaty by a vote of 85-1.
Ultimately more than sixty-two nations solemnly signed it; the treaty is still in force. Technically speaking, war has been illegal for almost eighty years. This is, of course, a tremendous relief to all concerned.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
From Walter Russell Mead's new book, God and Gold: Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World, at 10 (2007), referring to the inter-war period: