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American Peace Award

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The American Peace Award, 1923

The American Peace Award is awarded to American citizens working to further the cause of world peace.

The 1924 American Peace Award


The American Peace Award was created in 1923 by Edward Bok, who believed that the United States government was not taking initiative to promote peace in the world.[1] $100,000 was to be awarded to the person submitting "the best practicable plan by which the United States may co-operate with other nations for the achievement and preservation of world peace."[2] The first half of the prize was awarded upon the selection of the plan by a jury, and the remainder upon acceptance by the United States Senate[3] or showing "sufficient popular support".[4] The 1924 American Peace Award received plans from thousands of applicants,[5] and caught the interest of the Senate.[6][7][8]

Franklin D. Roosevelt drafted a plan for the contest but did not submit it because his wife Eleanor Roosevelt was selected as a judge for the prize. His plan called for a new world organization that would replace the League of Nations.[9] Although Roosevelt had been the vice presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket of 1920 that supported the League of Nations, by 1924 he was ready to scrap it. His draft of a "Society of Nations" accepted the reservations proposed by Henry Cabot Lodge in the 1919 Senate debate. The new Society would not become involved in the Western Hemisphere, where the Monroe doctrine held sway. It would not have any control over any military forces. Although Roosevelt's plan was never made public, he thought about the problem a great deal, and incorporated some of his 1924 ideas into his design for the United Nations in 1944–1945.[10]

The prize was awarded in February 1924[11] to Dr. Charles Herbert Levermore, who was secretary of the World's Court League , the League of Nations Union, and the New York Peace Society, and former president of Adelphi College.[12] Levermore's plan suggested the United States adhere to the Permanent Court of International Justice and should extend its cooperation with the League of Nations.[13]

The contemporary American Peace Award


The American Peace Award was established in 2008 as a prize awarded to an American citizen or citizens working to further the cause of world peace, in the spirit of Edward W. Bok's original award. The American Peace Award is awarded by an advisory committee of artists, who present each recipient with an original work of art to honor their efforts.[14]



See also



  1. ^ "Bok, Edward William [1863-1930]". New Netherland Institute. Archived from the original on September 7, 2008. Retrieved June 5, 2009.
  2. ^ "Bok Offers $100,000 for Best Peace Plan: Seeks Workable Method for International Cooperation Against War". The Washington Post. July 2, 1923.
  3. ^ "Edward Bok | Bok Tower Gardens". www.boktowergardens.org. Archived from the original on 2010-10-26.
  4. ^ "Political Notes: 1002nd Night". Time. February 11, 1924.
  5. ^ DeBenedetti, Charles (April 1974). "The $100,000 American Peace Award of 1924". Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. 98 (2): 224-249.
  6. ^ "Bok Peace Plan Given a Subzero Senate Welcome". Chicago Daily Tribune. January 8, 1924.
  7. ^ "Senators Summon Bok on Peace Plan". The New York Times. January 18, 1924.
  8. ^ "Bok's Winning Plan League Propaganda, Senate Chiefs Aver". The Washington Post. January 4, 1924.
  9. ^ Conrad Black, Franklin Delano Roosevelt: champion of freedom (Hachette UK, 2012) p 160.
  10. ^ Selig Adler, The isolationist impulse: its 20th-century reaction (1957) pp 200–201.
  11. ^ "To Give Bok Prize Tonight". The New York Times. February 4, 1924.
  12. ^ "Political Notes: 1002nd Night". Time. February 11, 1924.
  13. ^ "Charles Herber Levermore". Dictionary of American Biography Base Set. American Council of Learned Societies, 1928-1936
  14. ^ "The American Peace Award". Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2018.

Further reading

  • Bok, Edward W. "The Winning Plan: No. 1469 Selected by Jury of American Peace Award." Advocate of Peace through Justice 86.2 (1924): 86–92. online
  • Bok, Edward W., et al. "The Winning American Peace Award Plan." American Bar Association Journal 10.1 (1924): 64–68. online
  • DeBenedetti, Charles. "The $100,000 American peace award of 1924." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 98.2 (1974): 224–249. online
  • "Plan, Bok Peace," University Debaters' Annual 10 (1924): 249+. online
  • Rowe, L. S. "The American Peace Award." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 109 (1923): 307–310. online
  • Tryon, James L. Ways to Peace. Twenty plans selected from the most representative of those submitted to the American Peace Award for the best practicable plan by which the United States may cooperate with other nations to achieve and preserve the peace of the world, with an Introduction by Esther Everett Lape, member in charge of the Policy Committee, and a Preface by Edward W. Bok, founder of the award (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1924). pp. xviii, 465.
  • Willis, Hugh Evander. "The Road to World Peace: A Plan by Which the United States May Cooperate with Other Nations to Achieve and Preserve the Peace of the World." 58 American Law Review 551 (1924) online