Sad History of U.S. Peace Negotiations
for peace to prevent war is not the forte of U.S. governments:
Prior to The
War for Southern Secession (what many mistakenly call The Civil
War) confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed three commissioners
to negotiate with the North. The commissioners reached Washington
on Mar. 5, 1861, the day after Lincoln’s inauguration.
Jefferson Davis wanted to make clear to the North that the Confederates
did not constitute a threat to the government in Washington:
seek no conquest, no aggrandizement, no concession of any kind…all
we ask is to be let alone.”
He outright refused to see the commissioners, and also refused to
recognize the Confederate government.
Whether the South wanted conquest or not made no difference. It was
the economic policies of the South that enraged the North.
You see, the Confederate Constitution created, in essence, a free
trade zone with opposition to protectionism. It stated:
no bounties shall be granted from the Treasury; nor shall any duties
or taxes on importation from foreign nations be laid to promote
or foster any branch of industry.”
Davis, in his Inaugural Address
stated that he was “anxious to cultivate peace and commerce
with all nations,” and that “our policy
is peace, and the freest trade our necessities will permit.”
This was in stark contrast to the North's high-taxes and protectionism.
The North was in no way going to allow the South to become an attractive
market for the rest of the world.
On Apr. 2, 1861 The Newark Daily Advertiser, warned ominously
that Southerners had apparently “taken to their bosoms the
liberal and popular doctrine of free trade” and that they
“might be willing to go…toward free trade with the
European powers” which “must operate to the serious
disadvantage of the North” as “commerce will be largely
diverted to the Southern cities.”
Free Markets had to be crushed, even if it meant 600,000 deaths.
The Great Emancipator was just
the man for the job:
the 1930's, Japan waged war with China; a war in which the U.S.
had no stake. However, Japan was almost totally reliant on oil
from the U.S.
Keep in mind, that Japan was not at war with the U.S. at all.
FDR, in an attempt to find a "back door" into World War II, froze
Japanese assets, and prohibited Americans from furnishing oil to
In an unprecedented diplomatic move for the Japanese, they offered
to send Prince Fumimaro Konoye, the Prime Minister and a member
of the royal family, to the U.S. to negotiate personally with FDR
in a desperate effort to preserve peace.
He refused the meeting.
Sadly, the above graphic, combined with the U.S.'s history of not negotiating
peace, it's not looking so good for those of us who don't want more
If only they'd listen
with permission from Economic
Economic Policy Journal