chapter  1
44 Pages

Gentili and Grotius: Founding Fathers of Modern International Law and the Laws of Armed Conflicts

The Second World War was the second military phase in one long-lasting world war which started in 1914 and ended in 1945. The victorious Allied democracies of 1919 missed a unique opportunity to reform Germany and Central Europe into democratic states because the Allies military power was not deployed to occupy and reform Germany with the political vision and purpose of drafting and using the Treaty of Versailles as the instrument for democratic reform in Europe. Although some historians have criticized Roosevelt for not having taken the lead more aggressively during an international crisis, it were American voters who failed the test since political leaders of democracies can only go as far as voters want their leaders to go. From the Manchuria invasion onwards, Western democracies regarded Imperial Japan as a totalitarian state or, in the words of that time, a militaristic absolute monarchy.