Views on American Sovereignty and International Organization

On 2 September 1919, the day after he turned forty-eight, Major J. Reuben Clark, Jr., of the Judge Advocate General’s Officers’ Reserve Corps stood in the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City to publicly oppose America’s entry into the League of Nations. Clark was a highly respected international lawyer, had served on many national and international commissions, had prepared a brief on the Versailles Treaty for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and had been awarded three silver war service chevrons and the Distinguished Service Medal. No one could doubt his integrity, ability, or patriotism, and it was significant that this prominent man should become involved in the highly controversial cause of attempting to keep America out of an international organization which was supposed to prevent all future wars.

J. Reuben Clark’s fight against the League of Nations was only the beginning of over four decades of struggle against what he considered to be the withering away of certain fundamental American traditions.

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 13:3
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