July 24, 1929: The Kellogg-Briand Pact, Outlawing War, Goes Into Effect

July 24, 1929: The Kellogg-Briand Pact, Outlawing War, Goes Into Effect

July 24, 1929: The Kellogg-Briand Pact, Outlawing War, Goes Into Effect

“Despite the plaudits of its friends, it of course means no more than a first step.”

Facebook
Twitter
Email
Flipboard
Pocket

The Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war had been signed in August 1928 and ratified by President Coolidge and the US Senate in January 1929. It went into effect some six months later, on this day in 1929. The Nation, in an editorial, was cautiously optimistic, supportive of such legal constraints to curtail the threat of future wars and yet skeptical that what a later president would call the “military-industrial complex” would permit serious limitations to be enforced.

The Briand-Kellogg pact is formally in effect, and the peoples and governments of the world now face the stern task of rebuilding the peace. The pact, despite the strictures of its critics, means, or may mean, a first step in that great work; despite the plaudits of its friends, it of course means no more than a first step. Friends of peace may congratulate themselves that that step is taken, and Americans many taken justifiable pride in the recent action of our President and Secretary of State in connection with this international agreement….

We are not so silly as to imagine that Mr. Hoover has turned pacifist, but we do say that, within the limits of his ideas and his position, his moves up to this point have been admirable…. But the army and navy and all their war-making allies in Congress and out of it will unquestionably gather their forces and fight for their life. Their forces are immensely powerful. No indirect methods, no simple, quiet conferences with a few leaders will do the work that must be done. We believe that Mr. Hoover can find irresistible popular support for the moderate measure of armament reduction at present contemplated if he will use the power of his position to make the issue clear. Will he lead the American people to take this short step from fear toward friendliness? It is a great task for any man.

July 24, 1929

To mark The Nation’s 150th anniversary, every morning this year The Almanac will highlight something that happened that day in history and how The Nation covered it. Get The Almanac every day (or every week) by signing up to the e-mail newsletter.

Thank you for reading The Nation!

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read, just one of the many incisive, deeply reported articles we publish daily. Now more than ever, we need fearless journalism that moves the needle on important issues, uncovers malfeasance and corruption, and uplifts voices and perspectives that often go unheard in mainstream media.

Donate right now and help us hold the powerful accountable, shine a light on issues that would otherwise be swept under the rug, and build a more just and equitable future.

For nearly 160 years, The Nation has stood for truth, justice, and moral clarity. As a reader-supported publication, we are not beholden to the whims of advertisers or a corporate owner. But it does take financial resources to report on stories that may take weeks or months to investigate, thoroughly edit and fact-check articles, and get our stories to readers like you.

Donate today and stand with us for a better future. Thank you for being a supporter of independent journalism.

Thank you for your generosity.

Ad Policy
x