James T. Shotwell

James T. Shotwell

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James Thomson Shotwell (August 6, 1874 – July 15, 1965) was a Canada-born American history professor. He played an instrumental role in the creation of the International Labor Organization in 1919, as well as for his influence in promoting inclusion of a declaration of human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 in the UN Charter.

Born in Strathroy, Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, he was educated at the University of Toronto
University of Toronto
The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada...

 and then went to New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 where he obtained his doctorate
A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field, A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder...

 from Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 in 1900.

Shotwell attended the Paris Peace Conference
Paris Peace Conference, 1919
The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities...

 as a member of "The Inquiry
The Inquiry
The Inquiry was a study group established in September 1917 by Woodrow Wilson to prepare materials for the peace negotiations following World War I. The group, composed of around 150 academics, was directed by presidential adviser Edward House and supervised directly by philosopher Sidney Mezes...

" - President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

's foreign policy advisory group. After the war he worked to counter U.S. isolationism and to promote U.S. entry into the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

. Shotwell met with the French Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister of Foreign Affairs (France)
Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs ), is France's foreign affairs ministry, with the headquarters located on the Quai d'Orsay in Paris close to the National Assembly of France. The Minister of Foreign and European Affairs in the government of France is the cabinet minister responsible for...

 Aristide Briand
Aristide Briand
Aristide Briand was a French statesman who served eleven terms as Prime Minister of France during the French Third Republic and received the 1926 Nobel Peace Prize.- Early life :...

 in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 and suggested that a bilateral treaty be negotiated that would outlaw war between the U.S. and France. Their work led to the Kellogg-Briand Pact
Kellogg-Briand Pact
The Kellogg–Briand Pact was an agreement signed on August 27, 1928, by the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Weimar Germany and a number of other countries.The pact renounced war , prohibiting the use of war...

 being signed on August 27, 1928.

In 1937, he was appointed Bryce Professor of the History of International Relations at Columbia University. He served as the Director of Economics and History (1942–49) then president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a foreign-policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. The organization describes itself as being dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States...

 (1949–50). He attended the 1945 San Francisco Conference
United Nations Conference on International Organization
The United Nations Conference on International Organization was a convention of delegates from 50 Allied nations that took place from 25 April 1945 to 26 June 1945 in San Francisco, California. At this convention, the delegates reviewed and rewrote the Dumbarton Oaks agreements...

 that drafted the Charter of the United Nations as a private consultant to the U.S. State Department.

In addition to his many books, Shotwell was co-author of several studies on international relations and was the editor of a series of 150 volumes of the Social and Economic History of the World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

as well as a series of twenty-five studies on Canadian-American relations, both sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He also contributed nearly 250 articles to the 11th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica.

The "James T. Shotwell Professor of International Relations" at Columbia University was named in his honor.

Shotwell was married to Margaret Harvey and had two daughters, Helen and Margaret Grace. He maintained a home in Woodstock, New York
Woodstock, New York
Woodstock is a town in Ulster County, New York, United States. The population was 5,884 at the 2010 census, down from 6,241 at the 2000 census.The Town of Woodstock is in the northern part of the county...

 and was instrumental in getting American artist Anita Miller Smith
Anita Miller Smith
Anita M. Smith was an impressionist and regionalist painter most closely associated with Woodstock, New York. In the 1930s Smith became an herbalist, and her venture, Stonecrop Gardens, was one of only five enterprises of like size in the Northeast, serving clients in every one of the 48...

 to become a writer and to publish the service record of all Woodstock people who had fought in the war as part of Smith's 1959 book on the town's official history.

  • The Diplomatic History of the Canadian Boundary, 1749-1763 with Max Savelle
  • At the Paris Peace Conference (1937)
  • An Introduction to the History of History (1922)
  • Plans and Protocols to End War (1925)
  • War as an Instrument of National Policy (1929)
  • The Origins of the International Labor Organization (1934)
  • On the Rim of the Abyss (1936)
  • The Great Decision (1944)
  • The Long Way to Freedom (1960).

  • Korey, William, NGOs and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Curious Grapevine, New York: St Martin's Press, 1998.

Further reading

External links