Keeping the League Afloat: The Rockefeller Foundation, Latin America, and the Survival of the League of Nations in the 1930s and the 1940s

  • Description

In 1933, Everett Colby, a lawyer and politician, sent a letter to his former classmate John D. Rockefeller Jr. informing him that he "can no longer advocate the entrance of the U. S. into the League." 1 In 1935, Rockefeller's son and namesake, John D. Rockefeller III, wrote to Colby expressing concern about his father's position vis-à-vis the League of Nations (League). He tried to persuade Colby to write again to Rockefeller and to support the international organization. 2 In a period of political and diplomatic turmoil in Europe and elsewhere, the League's inability to cope with a rapid succession of crises (Ethiopia, Spain, Manchuria, and so on) seemed to leave the institution' reputation in tatters. In this context, officers of the Rockefeller Foundation, which had previously supported the League's activities, revealed that they now doubted the usefulness of the Geneva-based institution.