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Presidential Visit to Independence Hall - William Howard Taft - June 17, 1915

Posted on Thursday, December 31, 2020

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Within Independence Hall, President William Howard Taft Formed the "League to Enforce Peace" to Prevent Future Global Conflicts While World War I Raged in Europe

On August June 17, 1915, former President William Howard Taft, the 34th President of the United States, formed the League to Enforce Peace within Philadelphia's historic Independence Hall. As World War I ravaged Europe, President Taft moved to create an international system of justice to avoid future armed conflicts.

Article on founding of League to Enforce Peace beside articles detailing continuing World War  - June 18, 1915 - Los Angeles Daily Times

 

According to a report by The Los Angeles Daily Times on June 18, 1815, President Taft and a number of American Citizens gathered inside Independence Hall to formally establish the American Branch of the "League to Enforce Peace," which they hoped to build into an international body that would win approval from all world powers. Taft was elected permanent President of the American Branch of the League. 

Taft, who had just recently lost his re-election campaign to President Woodrow Wilson, had made the League to Enforce Peace a primary public project in his post-presidency. The Washington Post detailed how the League would function in a June 18, 1915 article that laid out the plan for the League to create an international court which would adjudicate decisions between member nations and force nations to accept rulings without resorting to armed conflict.

The location of this historic meeting was greatly symbolic. Independence Hall, the meeting place of the Constitutional Convention where the United States Constitution was debated, drafted and signed in 1787 was chosen for its historical importance. The hope was that the principles of the United States Constitution would be embodied within the charter adopted for the League to Enforce Peace.

Future of the League to Enforce Peace

While the League to Enforce Peace was created with lofty ambitions, President Taft struggled to get widespread support for his plan internationally. In the aftermath of World War I, then current President Woodrow Wilson helped to craft the League of Nations which effectively took on the role that Taft had hoped the League to Enforce Peace would fill. Following the creation of the League of Nations in 1920, the League to Enforce Peace dissolved within a few years.

Taft's Visit Today

Independence Hall, where President Taft helped to create the League to Enforce Peace is a key stop The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia!

 

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