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Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In 1910, retired steelmaker and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, a longtime supporter of peace societies, established the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace with a donation of $10 million, making it the wealthiest organization in the resurgent American peace movement of the early twentieth century. Like other peace advocates, Carnegie wanted America to be a world leader in promoting international arbitration to settle disputes among nations.

Carnegie's most influential advisers, elder statesman Elihu Root, and the president of Columbia University, Nicholas Murray Butler, chose as trustees leading businessmen, influential members of Congress, and notable educators, bypassing longtime, more outspoken peace advocates. The politically conservative Endowment leaders, Root and Butler, thus created an organization for “scientific research” rather than active advocacy of peace. In World War I, the endowment curtailed its activities instead of advocating U.S. mediation or nonintervention.

The endowment's accomplishments in the areas of research and publication during the interwar period were impressive. Its projects included a monumental study, Economic and Social History of the World War (more than 100 volumes); many other studies of economics and international law; financing of overseas exchange visits by educators and journalists; creation of “International Mind” alcoves in libraries; and the endowing of university chairs in International Relations. The endowment published the scholarly journal International Conciliation until 1972, when the organization became associated with Foreign Policy magazine. After World War II, the endowment gave support and encouragement to the work of the United Nations.

The endowment's trustees were always careful to avoid controversy. At its founding, many in the peace movement hoped Carnegie's gift would establish a powerful advocacy organization; instead, it became an early prototype of the policy research institute.
[See also Peace; Peace and Antiwar Movements.]


Carnegie Endowment for International Peace , Yearbooks (1910–).
Michael A. Lutzker , The Formation of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: A Study of the Establishment‐Centered Peace Movement, 1910–1914, in Building the Organizational Society, ed. Jerry Israel, 1972.

Michael A. Lutzker

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