International Negotiations Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

In this section we look at two major treaty negotiations and the documents they produced. The Conference on Naval Disarmament (1921-22) was aimed at preventing a naval arms race in the Pacific. Called by the United States, it had as its subtext an effort to keep American diplomacy relevant in a postwar era dominated by the League of Nations, which the United States did not join. It also served the purpose of tamping down the US military budget at a time when the nation had lost its appetite for foreign conflict. Key provisions in the resulting Naval Limitations Treaty restricted the building of battleships and aircraft carriers among the signatories, namely, the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, and Japan. (Germany was already under restrictions–not to mention severe economic duress–following World War I.) The Americans were also required to limit the growth of their naval forces in the Philippines, a result that later played into Japan’s interest in expanding its presence in the western Pacific (especially in Manchuria).

In this section we look at two major treaty negotiations and the documents they produced. The Conference on Naval Disarmament (1921-22) was aimed at preventing a naval arms race in the Pacific. Called by the United States, it had as its subtext an effort to keep American diplomacy relevant in a postwar era dominated by the League of Nations, which the United States did not join. It also served the purpose of tamping down the US military budget at a time when the nation had lost its appetite for foreign conflict. Key provisions in the resulting Naval Limitations Treaty restricted the building of battleships and aircraft carriers among the signatories, namely, the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, and Japan. (Germany was already under restrictions–not to mention severe economic duress–following World War I.) The Americans were also required to limit the growth of their naval forces in the Philippines, a result that later played into Japan’s interest in expanding its presence in the western Pacific (especially in Manchuria).

The Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928), negotiated by US Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg and French foreign minister Aristide Briand, officially “renounce[d war] as an instrument of national policy” and established “that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts … which may arise among [the signatories] shall never be sought except by pacific [i.e., peaceful] means.” Signed in August 1928 by fifteen nations, an additional 47 countries ultimately adhered to its provisions.

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