The Kellogg–Briand Pact (or Pact of Paris, officially General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy) was 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 Germany, France and the United States on August 27, 1928, and by most other nations soon after. Sponsored by France and the U.S., the Pact renounced the use of war and called for the peaceful settlement of disputes. Similar provisions were incorporated into the UN Charter 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 StateFrank B. Kellogg and French foreign ministerAristide Briand.
Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, who lived from October 27, 1466, to July 12, 1536, faced censorship in his day, and has never been as popular among the rich and powerful as has his contemporary Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli. But at a distance of half a millennium, we ought to be able to judge work on its merit — and we ought to have regular celebrations of Erasmus around the world. Some of his ideas are catching on. His name is familiar in Europe as that of the EU’s student exchange program, named in his honor. We ought perhaps to wonder what oddball ideas these days might catch on in the 2500s — if humanity is around then.
In 1517, Erasmus wrote The Complaint of Peace, in which Peace, speaking in the first-person, complains about how humanity treats her. She claims to offer “the source of all human blessings” and to be scorned by people who “go in quest of evils infinite in number.”
The series centers on the effect that the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan had on the history of the US. In questioning whether it was necessary to drop the A-bomb, Stone and Kuznick explore the different path the United States almost took if the pacifist Henry Wallace had remained as Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s Vice President and had won 1944 Presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. In the interview, Stone discusses the success of the progressive policies of Wallace as FDR’s Secretary of Agriculture prior to becoming his second Vice President: