Hathaway and Shapiro are lawyers, and in arguing for Kellogg-Briand`s utmost explicitness, they compete for delicate historical corners. The assertion of the restitution of the conquered territories turns out to be a certain analysis of the definition. They talk about what they call “unrecongible transfers,” a category that does not include, for example, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Albania and East Germany, which became the puppet state of the Soviet Union. Nor does their definition include the Baltic states, which were taken over by the Soviets following an agreement Stalin reached with Hitler. Hathaway and Shapiro claim that the United States refused to recognize this seizure, but that is not why these states were granted independence in 1991. It happened because the Soviet empire collapsed. These historical developments are at the root of many of the changes in the legal status of military conflicts that Hathaway and Shapiro share with us. If they claim, for example, that “the probability that a state will suffer a conquest has fallen from once in its life to once or twice in a millennium”, and confirm the assertion with data comparing the amount of territory conquered each year between 1816 and 1928 with the quantity conquered each year after 1948 – it was several times greater in the previous period – they only grasp the difference between a period of intense empire-building. and a period of imperial divestment.
On August 27, 1928, representatives of fifteen nations signed in Paris, in splendor and circumstances, an agreement prohibiting war. The agreement was the unexpected result of an attempt by French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand to negotiate a bilateral treaty with the United States, in which each nation would renounce using war as an instrument of policy vis-à-vis the other. U.S. Secretary of State Frank Kellogg was not enthusiastic about Briand`s idea. He saw no prospect of going to war with France and so there was no sense in promising not to do so, and he suspected that the proposal was a gimmick that would force the United States to intervene on behalf of France if Germany attacked it (as Germany did in 1914). After some delay and in response to public pressure, Kellogg briand said her idea sounded great. Who wouldn`t want to give up war? But why not have it multilateralized and signed by “all the major world powers”? Anyone would give up using war as an instrument of policy. The book covers a vast historical area, from 1603, when a Dutch merchant attacked and looted a Portuguese ship in waters outside Singapore, to the birth of the Islamic State. The general argument is that it was wise to ban war in 1928, because war had previously been considered a legitimate instrument of national policy.
With the influence and support of Shotwell and Butler, French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand proposed a peace pact as a bilateral agreement between the United States and France to ban war between them. France, particularly affected by the First World War, faced the persistent uncertainty of its German neighbor and sought alliances to strengthen its defense. Briand published an open letter in April 1927 containing the proposal. Although the proposal had the enthusiastic support of some members of the American peace movement, U.S. President Calvin Coolidge and Secretary of State Frank B. . . .