The term "Four Policemen" refers to a post-war council consisting of the Big Four that U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed as a guarantor of world peace. The members of the Big Four, called the Four Powers during World War II, were the four major Allies of World War II: the United Kingdom, the United States, the Soviet Union and China. The United Nations envisioned by Roosevelt consisted of three branches: an executive branch comprising the Big Four, an enforcement branch composed of the same four great powers acting as the Four Policemen or Four Sheriffs, and an international assembly representing the member nations of the UN.
The Four Policemen would be responsible for keeping order within their spheres of influence: Britain in its empire and in Western Europe; the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe and the central Eurasian landmass; China in East Asia and the Western Pacific; and the United States in the Western hemisphere. As a preventive measure against new wars, countries other than the Four Policemen were to be disarmed. Only the Four Policemen would be allowed to possess any weapons more powerful than a rifle.
As a compromise with internationalist critics, the Big Four nations became the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, with significantly less power than envisioned in the Four Policemen proposal.When the United Nations was officially established in later 1945, France was in due course added as the fifth member of the council at that time due to the insistence of Churchill.
During World War II, President Roosevelt initiated post-war plans for the creation of a new and more durable international organization that would replace the former League of Nations. Prior to the war, Roosevelt had initially been a supporter of the League of Nations, but he lost confidence in the League due to its ineffectiveness at preventing the outbreak of the Second World War. Roosevelt wanted to create an international organization that secured global peace through the unified efforts of the world's great powers, rather than through the Wilsonian notions of international consensus and collaboration that guided the League of Nations. [ page range too broad ]By 1935, he told his foreign policy adviser Sumner Welles: "The League of Nations has become nothing more than a debating society, and a poor one at that!"
Roosevelt criticized the League of Nations for representing the interests of too many nations. The President said to the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov that "he could not visualize another League of Nations with 100 different signatories; there were simply too many nations to satisfy, hence it was a failure and would be a failure".Roosevelt's proposal in 1941 was to create a new international body led by a "trusteeship" of great powers that would oversee smaller countries. In September 1941, he wrote:
In the present complete world confusion, it is not thought advisable at this time to reconstitute a League of Nations which, because of its size, makes for disagreement and inaction... There seem no reason why the principle of trusteeship in private affairs should be not be extended to the international field. Trusteeship is based on the principle of unselfish service. For a time at least there are many minor children among the peoples of the world who need trustees in their relations with other nations and people, just as there are many adult nations or peoples which must be led back into a spirit of good conduct.
The State Department had begun drafting a postwar successor to the League of Nations under the auspices of Roosevelt while the United States was still formally a neutral power.Roosevelt was reluctant to publicly announce his plans for creating a postwar international body. He was aware of the risk that the American people might reject his proposals, and he did not want to repeat Woodrow Wilson's struggle to convince the Senate to approve American membership in the League of Nations. When the Atlantic Charter was issued in August 1941, Roosevelt had ensured that the charter omitted mentioning any American commitment towards the establishment of a new international body after the war. The attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 led to a change in Roosevelt's position. He transformed his trusteeship proposal into an organization centered around the Four Policemen: the United States, China, the Soviet Union, and Britain.
The idea that great powers should "police" the world had been discussed by President Roosevelt as early as August 1941, during his first meeting with Winston Churchill. Roosevelt made his first references to the Four Policemen proposal in early 1942.He presented his postwar plans to Molotov, who had arrived in Washington on May 29 to discuss the possibility of launching a second front in Europe. Roosevelt told Molotov that the Big Four must unite after the war to police the world and disarm aggressor states. When Molotov asked about the role of other countries, Roosevelt answered by opining that too many "policemen" could lead to infighting, but he was open to the idea of allowing other allied countries to participate. A memorandum of the conference summarizes their conversation:
The President told Molotov that he visualized the enforced disarmament of our enemies and, indeed, some of our friends after the war; that he thought that the United States, England, Russia and perhaps China should police the world and enforce disarmament by inspection. The President said that he visualized Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Czechoslovakia, Rumania and other nations would not be permitted to have military forces. He stated that other nations might join the first four mentioned after experience proved they could be trusted.
Roosevelt and Molotov continued their discussion of the Four Policemen in a second meeting on June 1. Molotov informed the President that Stalin was willing to support Roosevelt's plans for maintaining postwar peace through the Four Policemen and enforced disarmament. Roosevelt also raised the issue of postwar decolonization. He suggested that former colonies should undergo a period of transition under the governance of an international trusteeship prior to their independence.
China was brought in as a member of the Big Four and a future member of the Four Policemen. Roosevelt was in favor of recognizing China as a great power because he was certain that the Chinese would side with the Americans against the Soviets. He said to British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, "In any serious conflict of policy with Russia, [China] would undoubtedly line up on our side." As it was before the Chinese Civil War ensued, he did not mean the Communist China, but the Republic of China.
The President believed that a pro-American China would be useful for the United States should the Americans, Soviets, and Chinese agree to jointly occupy Japan and Korea after the war.When Molotov voiced concerns about the stability of China, Roosevelt responded by saying that the combined "population of our nations and friends was well over a billion people."
Churchill objected to Roosevelt's inclusion of China as one of the Big Four because he feared that the Americans were trying to undermine Britain's colonial holdings in Asia. In October 1942, Churchill told Eden that Republican China represented a "faggot vote on the side of the United States in any attempt to liquidate the British overseas empire."Eden shared this view with Churchill and expressed skepticism that China, which was then in the midst of a civil war, could ever return to a stable nation. Roosevelt responded to Churchill's criticism by telling Eden that "China might become a very useful power in the Far East to help police Japan" and that he was fully supportive of offering more aid to China.
Roosevelt's Four Policemen proposal received criticism from the liberal internationalist who wanted power to be more evenly distributed among the member nations of the UN. Internationalists were concerned that the Four Policemen could lead to a new Quadruple Alliance.
On New Year's Day 1942, the representatives of Allied "Big Four", the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and China, signed a short document which later came to be known as the Declaration by United Nations and the next day the representatives of twenty-two other nations added their signatures.A new plan for the United Nations was drafted by the State Department in April 1944. It kept the emphasis on great power solidarity that was central to Roosevelt's Four Policemen proposal for the United Nations. The members of the Big Four would serve as permanent members of the United Nation's Security Council. Each of the four permanent members would be given a United Nations Security Council veto power, which would override any UN resolution that went against the interests of one of the Big Four. However, the State Department had compromised with the liberal internationalists. Membership eligibility was widened to include all nation states fighting against the Axis powers instead of a select few. The Dumbarton Oaks Conference convened in August 1944 to discuss plans for the postwar United Nations with delegations from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and China. The Big Four were the only four sponsoring countries of the San Francisco Conference of 1945 and their heads of the delegations took turns as chairman of the plenary meetings. During this conference, the Big Four and their allies signed the Charter of the United Nations.
In the words of a former Undersecretary General of the UN, Sir Brian Urquhart:
It was a pragmatic system based on the primacy of the strong — a "trusteeship of the powerful," as he then called it, or, as he put it later, "the Four Policemen." The concept was, as [Senator Arthur H.] Vandenberg noted in his diary in April 1944, "anything but a wild-eyed internationalist dream of a world state.... It is based virtually on a four-power alliance." Eventually this proved to be both the potential strength and the actual weakness of the future UN, an organization theoretically based on a concert of great powers whose own mutual hostility, as it turned out, was itself the greatest potential threat to world peace.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A member of the Democratic Party, he won a record four presidential elections and became a central figure in world events during the first half of the 20th century. Roosevelt directed the federal government during most of the Great Depression, implementing his New Deal domestic agenda in response to the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. As a dominant leader of his party, he built the New Deal Coalition, which realigned American politics into the Fifth Party System and defined American liberalism throughout the middle third of the 20th century. His third and fourth terms were dominated by World War II, which ended shortly after he died in office.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), charged with ensuring international peace and security, recommending the admission of new UN members to the General Assembly, and approving any changes to the UN Charter. Its powers include establishing peacekeeping operations, enacting international sanctions, and authorizing military action. The UNSC is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions on member states.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. Tens of millions of people died during the conflict due to genocides, premeditated death from starvation, massacres, and disease. Aircraft played a major role in the conflict which included the use of terror bombing, strategic bombing and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The Tehran Conference was a strategy meeting of Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill from 28 November to 1 December 1943, after the Anglo-Soviet Invasion of Iran. It was held in the Soviet Union's embassy in Tehran, Iran (Persia). It was the first of the World War II conferences of the "Big Three" Allied leaders. It closely followed the Cairo Conference which had taken place on 22–26 November 1943, and preceded the 1945 Yalta and Potsdam conferences. Although the three leaders arrived with differing objectives, the main outcome of the Tehran Conference was the Western Allies' commitment to open a second front against Nazi Germany. The conference also addressed the 'Big Three' Allies' relations with Turkey and Iran, operations in Yugoslavia and against Japan, and the envisaged post-war settlement. A separate protocol signed at the conference pledged the Big Three to recognize Iran's independence.
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and the United States and their respective allies, the Eastern Bloc and the Western Bloc, after World War II. The period is generally considered to span the 1947 Truman Doctrine to the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two superpowers, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict was based around the ideological and geopolitical struggle for global influence by the two powers, following their temporary alliance and victory against Nazi Germany in 1945. The doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD) discouraged a pre-emptive attack by either side. Aside from the nuclear arsenal development and conventional military deployment, the struggle for dominance was expressed via indirect means such as psychological warfare, propaganda campaigns, espionage, far-reaching embargoes, rivalry at sports events and technological competitions such as the Space Race.
The origins of the Cold War involved the breakdown of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States, Great Britain and their allies in the years 1945–1949.
The history of the United Nations as an international organization has its origins in World War II. Since then its aims and activities have expanded to make it the archetypal international body in the early 21st century.
Declaration by United Nations was the main treaty that formalized the Allies of World War II; the declaration was signed by 47 national governments between 1942 and 1945. On New Year's Day 1942, during the Arcadia Conference, the Allied "Big Four" signed a short document which later came to be known as the United Nations Declaration and the next day the representatives of twenty-two other nations added their signatures.
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd president of the United States from 1945 to 1953, succeeding upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt after serving as vice president. He implemented the Marshall Plan to rebuild the economy of Western Europe, and established the Truman Doctrine and NATO.
As soon as the term "Cold War" was popularized to refer to postwar tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, interpreting the course and origins of the conflict became a source of heated controversy among historians, political scientists and journalists. In particular, historians have sharply disagreed as to who was responsible for the breakdown of Soviet Union–United States relations after the World War II and whether the conflict between the two superpowers was inevitable, or could have been avoided. Historians have also disagreed on what exactly the Cold War was, what the sources of the conflict were and how to disentangle patterns of action and reaction between the two sides. While the explanations of the origins of the conflict in academic discussions are complex and diverse, several general schools of thought on the subject can be identified. Historians commonly speak of three differing approaches to the study of the Cold War: "orthodox" accounts, "revisionism" and "post-revisionism". However, much of the historiography on the Cold War weaves together two or even all three of these broad categories and more recent scholars have tended to address issues that transcend the concerns of all three schools.
The Grand Alliance, also known as The Big Three, was a military alliance consisting of the three major Allies of World War II: the Soviet Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom. It is often called the "Strange Alliance" because it united the world's greatest capitalist state, the greatest socialist state and the greatest colonial power. The Declaration by United Nations on New Year's Day in 1942, signed by 26 different nations, not only laid the groundwork for the future of the United Nations, but officially formed the Grand Alliance, committing the three nations to cooperation until the culmination of the war.
The percentages agreement was a secret informal agreement between British prime minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin during the Fourth Moscow Conference in October 1944. It gave the percentage division of control over Eastern European countries, dividing them into spheres of influence. Franklin Roosevelt was consulted tentatively and conceded to the agreement. The content of the agreement was first made public by Churchill in 1953 in the final volume of his memoir. The US ambassador Averell Harriman, who was supposed to represent Roosevelt in these meetings, was excluded from this discussion.
The presidency of Harry S. Truman began on April 12, 1945, when Harry S. Truman became President of the United States upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and ended on January 20, 1953. He had been Vice President of the United States for only 82 days when he succeeded to the presidency. A Democrat from Missouri, he ran for and won a full four–year term in the 1948 election. Although exempted from the newly-ratified Twenty-second Amendment, Truman did not run again in the 1952 election and was succeeded in office by Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The term Big Four Conference may refer to one of several conferences between heads of state or foreign ministers of the victorious nations after World War I (1914–18) or during and after World War II (1939–45).
The Declaration of the Four Nations, or Four Power Declaration, was signed on October 30, 1943, at the Moscow Conference by the Big Four: the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and China. The declaration formally established the four-power framework that would later influence the international order of the postwar world. It was one of four declarations signed at the conference; the others were the Declaration on Italy, the Declaration on Austria, and the Declarations on Atrocities.
This Bibliography of Franklin D. Roosevelt is a selective list of scholarly works about Franklin D. Roosevelt, the thirty-second President of the United States (1933–1945).
The third and fourth terms of the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt began on January 20, 1941, the date of Roosevelt's third inauguration, and ended with Roosevelt's death on April 12, 1945. Roosevelt won a third term by defeating Republican nominee Wendell Willkie in the 1940 United States presidential election. He remains the only president to serve for more than two terms. Unlike his first two terms in office, Roosevelt's third and fourth terms were dominated by foreign policy concerns, as the United States became a belligerent in World War II in December 1941.
The foreign policy of the Harry S. Truman administration was the foreign policy of the United States from April 12, 1945 to January 20, 1953, when Harry S. Truman served as the President of the United States. The Truman administration's foreign policy primarily addressed the end of World War II, the aftermath of that war, and the beginning of the Cold War. Truman's presidency was a turning point in foreign affairs, as the United States engaged in an internationalist foreign policy and renounced isolationism.
The foreign policy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration was the foreign policy of the United States from 1933 to 1945, under the Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, first and second terms, and the Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, third and fourth terms. Roosevelt kept personal control of foreign-policy in the White House, and for that he depended heavily on Henry Morgenthau, Sumner Welles, and Harry Hopkins. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Cordell Hull handled routine matters; the president ignored Hull on most major issues. Roosevelt was an internationalist, and Congress favored more isolationist solutions, so there was considerable tension before Pearl Harbor in December 1941. During the war years, treaties were few, and diplomacy played a secondary role in high-level negotiations with the Allies, especially Britain's Winston Churchill and the Soviet Union's Joseph Stalin.
Winston Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty on 3 September 1939, the day that the United Kingdom declared war on Nazi Germany. He succeeded Neville Chamberlain as prime minister on 10 May 1940 and held the post until 26 July 1945. Out of office during the 1930s, Churchill had taken the lead in calling for British rearmament to counter the growing threat of militarism in Nazi Germany. As prime minister, he oversaw British involvement in the Allied war effort against the Axis powers. Churchill is seen as a victorious wartime leader who played an important role in defending Europe's liberal democracy against the spread of fascism, though some wartime events like the 1945 bombing of Dresden have generated controversy.