The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE, an institution created and maintained by a fund of $10,000,000 set apart by Andrew Carnegie in 1910. The purpose of the Endowment, as outlined by one of its prominent active members, Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University is “to work for the promotion of peaceful development of civilization by aiding and developing, supporting and directing the forces needful to bring about the prevention of war, the perfection of means for the establishment of arbitral justice between nations, and the development of a world congress or parliament, a high international court, and an international police, and to take such steps and promote such undertakings as shall bring about the substitution of law and justice for war as a means of settling international disputes and difficulties.”

The trustees selected by Mr. Carnegie to receive the fund and administer its income met at Washington on 14 Dec 1910. At this meeting Mr. Carnegie read a letter informing the trustees of his gift of $10,000,000 in 5 per cent first mortgage bonds, the revenue of which, he stated, “is to be administered by you to hasten the abolition of international war, the foulest blot upon our civilization.” The donor made no restrictions of the gift, but left discretionary with the trustees the expenditure of $500,000 annually accruing from the fund; he did not attempt, moreover, to outline future action as regards the measures, methods and policies that were to be adopted to the end of accomplishing the purpose specified. The only stipulation made was that the trustees were to “keep unceasingly in view, until it is attained, the speedy abolition of international war between so-called civilized nations.” The original trustees selected by Mr. Carnegie were: United States Senator Elihu Root, representative of the United States at The Hague Tribunal; Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University; Henry S. Pritchett, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; Joseph H. Choate, former Ambassador to Great Britain; Albert K. Smiley, educator and humanitarian; Charles W. Eliot, president-emeritus of Harvard University; James Brown Scott, solicitor for the State Department; John W. Foster, ex-Secretary of State; Andrew J. Montague, ex-governor of Virginia; Congressman William M. Howard, Lexington, Ky.; Congressman James L. Slayden, San Antonio, Tex.; Judge Thomas Burke, Seattle, Wash.; Andrew D. White, ex-Ambassador to Germany; Robert S. Brookings, lawyer, Saint Louis, Mo.; Samuel Mather, banker, Cleveland, Ohio; J. G. Schmidlap, railroad man, Cincinnati, Ohio; Arthur W. Foster, regent of the University of California; Robert A. Franks, banker, Hoboken, N. J.; Charlemagne Tower, ex-Ambassador to Germany and Russia; Oscar S. Strauss, Ambassador to Turkey; Austen G. Fox, lawyer, New York; John Sharpe Williams, senator-elect from Mississippi; Charles L. Taylor, chairman of the Carnegie Hero Commission; John L. Cadwalader, lawyer, New York; George W. Perkins, financier, New York; Cleveland H. Dodge, philanthropist and financier; Luke E. Wright ex-Secretary of War; Robert S. Woodward, president of the Carnegie Institution.

At their first meeting these 28 trustees accepted the fund by formal resolution, and appointed a committee on organization which at the next meeting, held in Washington on 9 March 1911, presented the following statement of the aims and purposes of the Endowment:

“That the objects of the corporation shall be to advance the cause of peace among nations, to hasten the abolition of international war, and to encourage and promote a peaceful settlement of international difficulties, and, in particular — (a) To promote a thorough and scientific investigation and study of the causes of war and of the practical methods to prevent and avoid it; (b) to aid in the development of International Law, and a general agreement on the rules thereof, and the acceptance of the same among nations; (c) to diffuse information, and to educate public opinion regarding the causes, nature, and effects of war, and the means for its prevention; (d) to establish a better understanding of international rights and duties, and a more perfect sense of international justice among the inhabitants of civilized countries; (e) to cultivate friendly feelings among the inhabitants of the different countries, and increase the knowledge and understanding of each other by the several nations; (f) to promote a general acceptance of peaceable methods in the settlement of international disputes; (g) to maintain, promote, and assist such establishments, organizations, associations, and agencies as shall be deemed necessary or useful in the accomplishment of the purposes of the corporation, or any of them.”

At this same meeting the following officers were elected: President, Elihu Root; vice-president, Joseph H. Choate; secretary, James Brown Scott; treasurer, Walter M. Gilbert (temporary appointment).

At the same time the by-laws of the association were drawn up, and provision was made, inter-alia, for the establishment of an executive committee (consisting of the president the secretary and five trustees), which at its first meeting, held likewise on 9 March 1911, decided to divide the work of the Endowment into three divisions: (1) The Division of Intercourse and Education, to promote the objects specified in sections (c), (e), (g); (2) the Division of Economics and History, to promote a scientific investigation and study of the causes of war and of the practical means to prevent and avoid it, as specified in section (a); (3) the Division of International Law, to promote the objects specified in sections (b), (d), (f). These three divisions may be described as popular, scientific and juristic, departments in which the work of the Endowment naturally falls. Thus the main activities of the Endowment were established on definite lines, and a world-wide co-operation in each branch of its work was planned. It was decided to inaugurate a series of conferences with foreign publicists, economists and statesmen, to be held in European cities, and a large number of eminent and influential men of all nationalities were invited to take a more or less active part in the propaganda.

While the outbreak of the European War in the summer of 1914 seriously interfered with the carrying-out of the program, that catastrophe only emphasized the incalculable importance and need of the work to which the Endowment is dedicated. War itself, indeed, is throwing light on the main problem, that of preventing war, and is bringing the solution of the problem nearer. On 20 April 1917, the trustees of the Endowment unanimously adopted a formal resolution, declaring their “belief that the most effectual means of promoting durable international peace is to prosecute the war against the Imperial German government to final victory for democracy, in accordance with the policy declared by the President of the United States.” On the same day, moreover, a sum of $500,000 was appropriated, by formal resolution, “for the reconstruction of devastated homes of Belgium, France, Serbia or Russia.” The main office of the Endowment is located in Washington, D. C., while a branch office is located in New York, where the directors of the divisions of intercourse and education and of economics and history have their desks; the director of the division of international law, who is also secretary of the Endowment, has his office at the Washington headquarters.

Paul B. Thomas.