The STIMSON DOCTRINE is a policy of the
United States federal
government , enunciated in a note of January 7, 1932, to the Empire of
Japan and the Republic of China , of non-recognition of international
territorial changes that were executed by force. The doctrine was an
application of the principle of ex injuria jus non oritur . While
some analysts have applied the doctrine in opposition to governments
established by revolution, this usage is not widespread, and its
invocation usually involves treaty violations.
Henry L. Stimson
Henry L. Stimson ,
United States Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State in
Hoover Administration (1929–33), the policy followed Japan's
unilateral seizure of
Manchuria in northeastern China following action
by Japanese soldiers at Mukden (now
Shenyang ), on September 18, 1931.
The doctrine was also invoked by U.S. Under-Secretary of State Sumner
Welles in a declaration of July 23, 1940, that announced
non-recognition of the Soviet annexation and incorporation of the
Baltic states —
Latvia , and
remained the official U.S. position until the
Baltic states regained
independence in 1991.
It was not the first time that the U.S. had used non-recognition as a
political tool or symbolic statement. President
Woodrow Wilson had
refused to recognize the Mexican Revolutionary governments in 1913 and
Japan's 21 Demands upon China in 1915.
The Japanese invasion of
Manchuria in late 1931 placed U.S. Secretary
Henry L. Stimson
Henry L. Stimson in a difficult position. It was evident that
appeals to the spirit of the
Kellogg–Briand Pact had no impact on
either the Chinese or the Japanese, and the secretary was further
hampered by President
Herbert Hoover 's clear indication that he would
not support economic sanctions as a means to bring peace in the Far
On January 7, 1932, Secretary Stimson sent identical notes to China
and Japan that incorporated a diplomatic approach used by earlier
secretaries facing crises in the Far East. Later known as the Stimson
Doctrine, or sometimes the Hoover-Stimson Doctrine, the notes read in
part as follows: ...the American Government deems it to be its duty
to notify both the Imperial Japanese Government and the Government of
the Chinese Republic that it cannot admit the legality of any
situation de facto nor does it intend to recognize any treaty or
agreement entered into between those Governments, or agents thereof,
which may impair the treaty rights of the
United States or its
citizens in China, including those that relate to the sovereignty, the
independence, or the territorial and administrative integrity of the
Republic of China, or to the international policy relative to China,
commonly known as the open door policy...
Stimson had stated that the
United States would not recognize any
changes made in China that would curtail American treaty rights in the
area and that the "open door" must be maintained. The declaration had
few material effects on the Western world, which was burdened by the
Great Depression , and Japan went on to bomb Shanghai.
The doctrine was criticized on the grounds that it did no more than
alienate the Japanese.
* ^ A B Bin Cheng, Georg (FRW) Schwarzenberger (2006). General
principles of law as applied by international courts and tribunals.
Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-03000-5 .
* ^ "Stimson Doctrine, 1932".
United States Department of State
United States Department of State .
* ^ John Hiden; Vahur Made; David J. Smith (2008). The Baltic
question during the Cold War. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-37100-1 .
* ^ A B George C. Herring (2008). From Colony to Superpower: U.S.
Foreign Relations Since 1776. Oxford University Press US. ISBN
* ^ Reginald G. Bassett (1968). Democracy and Foreign Policy.
Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7146-2209-5 .
* ^ Marc S. Gallicchio (1988). The Cold War Begins in Asia.
Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-06502-3 .
* Clauss, Errol MacGregor. "The Roosevelt Administration and
Manchukuo, 1933–1941," Historian (Aug. 1970) Volume 32, Issue 4,
pages 595–611 online
* Current, Richard N. "The
Stimson Doctrine and the Hoover
Doctrine," American Historical Review Vol. 59, No. 3 (Apr., 1954), pp.
513–542 in JSTOR
* Findling, J. E. (1980). Dictionary of American Diplomatic History,
Westport: Greenwood Press, pp. 457–458.
* Meiertöns, Heiko (2010): The Doctrines of US Security Policy - An
Evaluation under International Law, Cambridge University Press, ISBN
* Wright, Quincy. "The Legal Foundation of the Stimson Doctrine,"
Pacific Affairs Vol. 8, No. 4 (Dec., 1935), pp. 439–446 in JSTOR
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