The KELLOGG–BRIAND PACT (or PACT OF PARIS, officially GENERAL
TREATY FOR RENUNCIATION OF WAR AS AN INSTRUMENT OF NATIONAL POLICY )
is a 1928 international agreement in which signatory states promised
not to use war to resolve "disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or
of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them". Parties
failing to abide by this promise "should be denied of the benefits
furnished by this treaty".
It was signed by
France , and the
United States on 27
August 1928, and by most other nations soon after. Sponsored by France
and the U.S., the Pact renounces the use of war and calls for the
peaceful settlement of disputes. Similar provisions were incorporated
Charter of the United Nations
Charter of the United Nations and other treaties and it
became a stepping-stone to a more activist American policy. It is
named after its authors,
United States Secretary of State Frank B.
French foreign minister
Aristide Briand .
SIGNATORIES AND ADHERENTS
Dark green: original signatories
Green: subsequent adherents
Light blue: territories of parties
League of Nations
League of Nations mandates administered by parties
After negotiations, the pact was signed in
Paris at the French
Foreign Ministry by the representatives from
Canada , Czechoslovakia ,
British India , the Irish
Free State ,
New Zealand , Poland , South Africa , the
United Kingdom and the United States. It was provided that it would
come into effect on 24 July 1929.
By that date, the following nations had deposited instruments of
definitive adherence to the pact: Afghanistan , Albania ,
Bulgaria , China ,
Dominican Republic , Egypt ,
Estonia , Ethiopia ,
Guatemala , Hungary , Iceland , Latvia
Lithuania , the
Norway , Panama
Peru , Portugal , Romania , the
Soviet Union , the Kingdom of the
Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes , Siam , Spain ,
Sweden , and
Eight further states joined after that date (
Persia , Greece ,
Luxembourg , Danzig ,
Costa Rica and
for a total of 62 signatories. In 1971,
Barbados declared its
accession to the treaty.
In the United States, the Senate approved the treaty overwhelmingly,
85–1, with only Wisconsin Republican
John J. Blaine voting against.
While the U.S. Senate did not add any reservation to the treaty, it
did pass a measure which interpreted the treaty as not infringing upon
the United States' right of self-defense and not obliging the nation
to enforce it by taking action against those who violated it.
Mackenzie King signing
EFFECT AND LEGACY
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Historian Harold Josephson notes that the Pact has been ridiculed for
its moralism and legalism and lack of influence on foreign policy. He
argues instead that it led to a more activist American foreign policy.
Its central provisions renouncing the use of war, and promoting
peaceful settlement of disputes and the use of collective force to
prevent aggression, were incorporated into the UN Charter and other
treaties. Although civil wars continued, wars between established
states have been rare since 1945, with a few exceptions in the Middle
East. Mockery of the Pact during the
Paris Carnaval in 1929
Kellogg–Briand Pact was concluded outside the League of
Nations , and remains in effect. One month following its conclusion,
a similar agreement, General Act for the Pacific Settlement of
International Disputes , was concluded in Geneva, which obliged its
signatory parties to establish conciliation commissions in any case of
As a practical matter, the
Kellogg–Briand Pact did not live up to
all of its aims, but has arguably had some considerable success. It
did not end war or stop the rise of militarism , and was unable to
keep the international peace in subsequent years. Moreover, it erased
the legal distinction between war and peace because the signatories,
having renounced the use of war, began to wage wars without declaring
them as in the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the Italian
invasion of Abyssinia in 1935, the Spanish Civil
War in 1936, the
Soviet invasion of
Finland in 1939, and the German and Soviet
invasions of Poland . The pact is, however, associated with a marked
decline in territorial conquest of one nation by another in the
periods before and after its signing. The period 1816 to 1928 saw on
average one conquest every 10 months and 114,088 square miles of
territory taken per year. The period since WWII has seen one conquest
every four years and 5,772 square miles of territory taken per yer.
After WWII, territories that had been conquered between 1928 and WWII,
with some exceptions, were mostly returned to the countries that had
originally held them.
The pact is an important multilateral treaty because, in addition to
binding the particular nations that signed it, it has also served as
one of the legal bases establishing the international norms that the
threat or use of military force in contravention of international
law, as well as the territorial acquisitions resulting from it, are
Notably, the pact served as the legal basis for the creation of the
notion of crime against peace . It was for committing this crime that
the Nuremberg Tribunal and Tokyo Tribunal tried and executed the top
leaders responsible for starting World
War II .
The interdiction of aggressive war was confirmed and broadened by the
United Nations Charter
United Nations Charter , which provides in article 2, paragraph 4,
that "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from
the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or
political independence of any state, or in any other manner
inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations." One legal
consequence of this is that it is clearly unlawful to annex territory
by force. However, neither this nor the original treaty has prevented
the subsequent use of annexation . More broadly, there is a strong
presumption against the legality of using, or threatening, military
force against another country. Nations that have resorted to the use
of force since the Charter came into effect have typically invoked
self-defense or the right of collective defense.
* ^ See Certified true copy of the text of the treaty in League of
Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 94, p. 57 (No. 2137)
* ^ Kellogg-Briand Pact 1928,
Yale University .
* ^ Josephson, H. (1979). "Outlawing War: Internationalism and the
Pact of Paris". Diplomatic History. 3 (4): 377–390. doi
* ^ Kellogg–Briand, What do they know .
* ^ Kellogg-Briand Pact 1928,
Yale University .
* ^ "John James Blaine". Dictionary of Wisconsin History. Accessed
Nov. 11, 2008.
* ^ Harold Josephson, Diplomatic History (1979) 3#4 pp 377-390.
* ^ U.K. House of Commons 16 Dec, 2013
* ^ Text in
League of Nations
League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. 93, pp.
* ^ https://history.state.gov/milestones/1921-1936/kellogg
* ^ Quigley, Carroll (1966). Tragedy And Hope. New York: Macmillan.
* ^ Hathaway, Oona A.; Shapiro, Scott J. (2017-09-02). "Outlawing
War? It Actually Worked". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 .
* ^ Article 2, Budapest Articles of Interpretation (see under
* ^ Article 5, Budapest Articles of Interpretation (see under
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