Lord Robert Cecil's involvement in the creation of the League of Nations is the most well-known aspect of his career in public life and has been instrumental in shaping his entire historical reputation. The final years of the First World War marked Cecil's first major foray into the international arena as a representative of the British government. Cecil preferred to have the freedom to think on his feet when dealing with international statesmen and diplomats. Cecil was swept along by the wave of popular patriotism that engulfed so many in the summer and autumn of 1914 and felt morally obliged to contribute to the war effort. Cecil took the radical step of lending his support to the Union of Democratic Control (UDC). Cecil believed that the United States would only become involved in the war and maintain a presence in the peacemaking process if it was in her economic interests to do so.