The United States and World Organization

March 2, 1943

Report Outline
Search for Means of Preserving World Peace
Present Organization of the United Nations
Place of the League of Nations in a New World Order
Regional Organization as a Transition Stage
Special Focus

Search for Means of Preserving World Peace

Role of United States in 1919 and in 1943

Warnings that “a third World War” is in certain prospect—unless this or that measure is taken, now or at the end of the present conflict—are stirring discussion among peoples of all countries fighting the Axis of projects for a postwar organization of the world that will be capable of keeping the peace.

The plan to abolish war offered by an American president at the end of World War I, and incorporated in the Treaty of Versailles, was rejected by the Senate of the United States, and failed to accomplish its purpose. Woodrow Wilson did not accept Senate action on the Covenant of the League of Nations as a final defeat of his hope for American participation in a world organization to prevent war. He is quoted by Vice President Wallace as having said to a friend, shortly before his death in 1924: “Do not trouble about the things we have fought for. They are sure to prevail. They are only delayed. And I will make this concession to Providence—it may come in a better way than we propose.”

Three differences from the situation which existed at the end of the last war are pointed out by those who believe a “better way to a safer world” will be found at the close of the present conflict. In setting up the League of Nations, the statesmen at Versailles had no such experience to guide them as has since been provided by the operation of the League itself. No such preparation for the postwar period as is now being made by this and other governments was undertaken during the war of 1914–18. Congress and the people of the United States are this time sharing in the search for “the right answer,” and the political parties appear to be moving toward agreement on the basic question of international cooperation—thus holding out the hope that American participation in a world organization to preserve the peace will not appear as a partisan issue in future political campaigns.