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Sumner Welles, postwar planning and the quest for a new world order, 1937-1943.

O'Sullivan, Christopher (1999) Sumner Welles, postwar planning and the quest for a new world order, 1937-1943. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

Throughout the early years of the Second World War no official better expressed the U.S. desire to reconfigure international politics than Sumner Welles. He had known Franklin Roosevelt since childhood, and entered the diplomatic corps, with Roosevelt's assistance, just prior to American entry into World War One. During the early years of Roosevelt's presidency, Welles served as ambassador to Cuba and assistant secretary of state for Latin America, helping to design the Good Neighbor policy, which he believed essential to his aim of politically and economically integrating Latin America under U.S. hegemony. As under secretary after 1937 Welles became Roosevelt's closest foreign affairs adviser. His 1937 peace program, also known as the Welles plan, represented one of America's most significant international endeavors of the decade, while his 1940 mission to Europe, where he met with Hitler and Mussolini, was Roosevelt's most serious attempt to achieve a negotiated solution to the war. In August of 1941, at the peak of his influence, Welles helped draft the Atlantic Charter, which he sought to define as a declaration extending the Four Freedoms to the entire world. Welles's most significant contribution to American diplomacy came after U.S. entry in the war, when he led the administration's postwar planning program. He dominated efforts to design a new world order, evaluating America's burgeoning interests around the world. He helped shape relations with the exile governments and sought to design detailed plans for the postwar reconstruction of Italy, Japan and Germany. He led the effort to create a new world organization, which he hoped would feature regional bodies and a military component to promote collective security. He sought to provide a response to the increasing nationalism in colonial areas, and promoted an elaborate system of international trusteeship to aid in the transition toward independence. He also shaped U.S. relations with the Soviet Union and sought to create an East European federation to protect the nations of the region from the future ambitions of U.S.S.R. Paying particular attention to Welles's leadership of postwar planning, this account utilizes the recently opened Sumner Welles papers, along with the state department's extensive postwar planning records, to present an analysis of Welles's unique contribution to U.S. postwar planning during the Second World War.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: History, United States, Political Science, International Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > International History
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2630

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