JAMES THOMSON SHOTWELL:
Leader of the Private American Consultants at San Francisco
Nominated in 1952 for the Nobel Peace Prize (note 39)
James Thomson Shotwell, of Quaker and Methodist ancestry, was born in Strathroy, Middlesex County, Ontario in 1874. After four years at the University of Toronto, he arrived in October 1898 in New York with a scholarship to do graduate work in history at Columbia University under Professor James Harvey Robinson. His doctoral thesis was on the Eucharistic ceremony and its social influence on early Christians. He taught at both Barnard and Columbia.
In April 1917, after America's declaration of war, Shotwell mobilized the Columbia faculty and historians throughout the country behind the war effort against Germany. He was elected the first chairman of the private National Board for Historical Service. Shotwell cooperated with George Creel's controversial governmental Committee on Public Information. As a "New Historian," the professor believed that history sould help people understand and explain the present. (n. 40)
In September 1917, at the suggestion of liberal internationalist Herbert Croly, editor of the NEW REPUBLIC, Shotwell was named a charter member of Colonel Edward House's secret postwar planning body. This group reached a maximum strength of 126 professionals in October 1918. It was Shotwell who suggested its innocuous name, "the Inquiry." (n. 41) He noted that never before had universities been mobilized for such official service. He felt that academicians would be at least as effective as traditional diplomats in what lay ahead because "a new world order" was being creaed, not an old order being restored (n. 42).
At the Paris Peace Conference Shotwell concentrated on the international labor issues dear to French Prime Minister Clemenceau. He made himself a spiritual father of the "anti-bolshevist" International Labor Organization (ILO) created at Paris, a body uniquely combining representatives of private business, private labor unions and sovereign governments. Shotwell's long collaboration with the AFL's Samuel Gompers dates from that period. To the professor the finest sentence in the Treaty of Versailles occurs in the preamble to the constitution of the ILO: "Permanent peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice" (n. 43). But he also approved the words of the later preamble to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
"Since wars begin in the minds of men it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed" (n. 44).
On his return from Paris to the United States, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) appointed Shotwell general editor of what turned out to be an 18-year, 152-volume project, the ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE WORLD WAR. James T. Shotwell thereby made himself "one of the first great entrepreneurs of scholarship." More importantly, THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD WAR gave the professor personal access to world leaders beyond anything possible for most American diplomats and officials (n. 45). He was supported throughout by Columbia's president, Nicholas Murray Butler, who was also president of CEIP.
During the 1920s Shotwell pushed in vain his idea of American "association" with the league of Nations. He did, however, gain the respect of such unlikely persons as Salmon O. Levinson, who lead the Outlawry of War movement and of League opponent Senator William E. Borah of Idaho (n. 46). In conceiving (and then joining Jane Addams and others to mobilize support for) the Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war, Shotwell gave continuing signs of the planning and activist skills later used to help create the United Nations.
In 1930 the professor returned to full-time teaching at Columbia University. In 1932 he met Tennessee Senator Cordell Hull at the Democratic national Convention. They discovered identical views on economic policy and held many subsequent exchanges once Hull became Roosevelt's Secretary of State in March 1933. In 1934 Shotwell labored tirelessly and helped persuade Congress to authorize American membership in the ILO. His national and international reputation helped make him president in October 1935 of the League of Nations Association of which since 1933 the executive director had been Clark Eichelberger. Thus began a ten year partnership in leading several key voluntary associations which culminated in the writing of the UN Charter at San Francisco in 1945 (n. 47).
In 1939 William Allen White, editor of the Emporia, Kansas GAZETTE, along with Eichelberger and Shotwell established the Non-Partisan Committee for Peace Through Revision of the Neutrality Acts. They acieved impressive legislative results. Once the Second World War began in September 1939, Shotwell worked closely with the Eichelberger-White Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies, founded in May 1940.
Eichelberger and Shotwell also created in November 1939 and ran that Commission to Study the Organization of Peace (CSOP) in which Virginia Gildersleeve was also for five years an ardent participant. James T. Shotwell was 65 in 1940 and he now concentrated his efforts behind the CSOP to gain public influence. CSOP conducted studies, held popular radio discussion shows and through national and local affiliates became a powerful engine of mass education on behalf of collective security.
CSOP applauded the Moscow Four Power Declaration of November 1, 1943 which called for a "general international organization" for peace. On November 20, 1943 CSOP issued its intricate fourth report "Fundamentals of the International Organization." Under Edward Stettinius's watchful eye, the State Department made effective use of this report, as acknowledged in November 1944, shortly after the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals were made public. Shotwell, be it emphasized, had worked closely with Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles in 1942 and 1943 as one of the six generalist private member of the Advisory Committee on Post-War Foreign Policy (n. 48). He covered much of the same ground as that CSOP report in his best selling 1944 book, THE GREAT DECISION.
Shortly after Dumbarton Oaks, Shotwell and Eichelberger launched the United Nations Educational Campaign (UNEC) to inform the public, stimulate debate about needed amendments to the Dumbarton Oaks proposals and begin irresistible pressure for implementation. The State Department worked closely and cordially with the Shotwell coalition which included CSOP and other groups (n. 49).
In April 1945 the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) sent Professor Shotwell to San Francisco as its representative among the official Consultants to the U.S. Delegation. There he joined such distingished Americans as Joseph M. Proskauer of the American jewish Committee, W.E.B. Du Bois of the NAACP, William Carr of the national Education Association and, of course, Clark Eichelberger, representing the American Association for the United Nations (AAUN) (n. 50).
In San Francisco the Consultants quickly elected James T. Shotwell their chairman and agreed to meet often to develop common platforms. Largely leaving collective security to take care of itself, Shotwell led the the official Consultants and unofficial Observers in focusing on the economic, educational and social tasks possible to the new international body. Thus the Consultants and Observers swung behind CSOP's proposals on human rights (n. 51). CSOP texts entered the Charter almost verbatim, especially in Articles 1 and 63 (n. 52). The Consultants helped both to elevate the organizational status of the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and to give it a mandate for education and social welfare. Consultants Shotwell and Eichelberger and Delegate Harold Stassen worked together to develop UN doctrine on trust territories and strategic bases.
At the San Francisco Conference, the professor's earlier "insider" role as a private postwar planner at the State Department gave him instant, credible access to the Department's technical and political Advisors on the spot, as well as to the four Delegates from Congress who had served with him on the same State Department Committee in 1942 and 1943. By all accounts Shotwell made himself "the most important nonofficial member of the American delegation to write the UN Charter" (n. 53).
As President Emeritus of the Carnegie Endowment, the professor was nominated for the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize, an honor which was, however, not awarded that year. After more years of peace research, James Thomson Shotwell died in 1965, aged 90.
(39) An excellent introduction to Shotwell is Harold Josephson's 1975 JAMES T. SHOTWELL AND THE RISE OF INTERNATIONALISM IN AMERICA. Josephson concedes that Shotwell was a luminary of only the second magnitude either as "a molder of public opinion or as a State Deparment Adviser. "He was one of America's leading theorists of collective security" but most striking were "his ideals and his deep commitment to peace" (Josephson, p. 10).
Harley A. Notter (1950 POSTWAR FOREIGN POLICY PREPARATION 1939-1945, p. 73) notes that Shotwell, after June 1942, was one of only six private members of the full Presidential Advisory Committee on Post-War Foreign Policy. That means that he had across-the-board contributory responsibilities. Like Isaiah Bowman, President of Johns Hopkins University, Shotwell was a living link to Colonel House's Inquiry. He had been, in addition, active in the founding of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and had started the movement toward the Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war -- a treaty invoked in the Nuremberg War Trials as a basis for condemning senior Nazis. Shotwell was a prolific writer. My remarks in this speech generally follow Josephson.
(40) Josephson (1975), 63.
(41) ibid., 71.
(42) James T. Shotwell (1937) AT THE PARIS PEACE CONFERENCE, 5, 13f.
(43) James T. Shotwell (1960) THE LONG WAY TO FREEDOM, 432.
(44) As cited by Shotwell (1960), 595.
(45) Josephson (1975), 115.
(46) ibid., 125.
(47) ibid., 214.
(48) ibid., 245.
(49) The United Nations Educational Campaign (UNEC) is the subject of Dorothy Robins's 1971 EXPERIMENT IN DEMOCRACY. At the time of the San Francisco Conference Robins was a young staffer in Clark Eichelberger's AUNA (American Association for the United Nations Association's) New York headquarters. He sent her his reports and she distributed them as releases to members of the Eichelberger-Shotwell network.
Especially good on the partnership between UNEC and Stettinius's parallel State Department educational campaign after Dumbarton Oaks is Robert A. Divine's 1967 SECOND CHANCE: THE TRIUMPH OF INTERNATIONALISM IN AMERICA DURING WORLD WAR II, 243 - 253. See also Josephson (1975), 255f. Notter (1950), 378f. focuses on the State Department side of the campaign, including the Department's 45 public presentations in December 1944 by five teams in 16 scattered cities as well as 115 discussions with private groups at the State Department between October 14 and December 20, 1944. Eichelberger's 1977 ORGANIZING FOR PEACE: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF THE FOUNDING OF THE UNITED NATIONS, 250 - 255, 259) gives a field commander's overview.
Also outstanding is Don K. Price's 1960 collection, THE SECRETARY OF STATE, chapter eight, "The Secretary and the American Public, 139 - 165. This is John Sloan Dickey's meditation in the manner of "New History" on the relationship between the Department of State and the American public ("neither old nor intimate friends"). Dickey places the United National Educational Campaign at the all-time zenith (ibid., 147) in tragically infrequent State Department experiments either in involving publics in foreign policy formatin or in learning systematically from private Americans.
the health of these [private] organizations cannot be taken for granted; they are not as alert and strong as they could be; and they will not be, without the positive interest and encouragement of both the Secretary of State and the full private leadership potential of the American public. (164)(50) Hamilton Holt founded the League of Nations Non-Partisan Association January 10, 1923. In January 1929 this group was reorganized and "Non-Partisan" was dropped from its name. On November 5, 1939 the League of Nations Association joined other groups in founding the Commission to Study the Organization of Peace (CSOP) as a kind of research arm. On February 1, 1945 the League of Nations Association was formally renamed the American Association for the United Nations (AAUN). In 1964 the AAUN merged with the United States Committee for the United Nations to form the current United Nations Association of the United States of America(UNA-USA). With so many name changes it is not surprising that Gildersleeve, Welles and even Ruth Russell sometimes recollect the wrong name for a particular incarnation. See note 33 (section on Virginia Gildersleeve); also Divine (1967), 249.
(51) Shotwell (1960) 580, 584. Robins (1971), 108f.
(52) Josephson (1975), 259; Robins (1971) 122 - 126.
(53) Robins (1971) 260.
lightly edited 03/22/2004
Black Mountain, NC