Washington Conference


Washington Conference
officially International Conference on Naval Limitation

Conference held in Washington, D.C. (1921–22), to limit the naval arms race and negotiate Pacific security agreements.

Several major and minor treaty agreements were drafted and signed: the Four-Power Pact (signed by Britain, Japan, France, and the U.S.) stipulated mutual consultation regarding any issue in the Pacific and affirmed respect for the Pacific territories of signatory nations. The Five-Power Naval Limitation Treaty (which Italy also signed) imposed proportional limits on the number of warships each signatory nation could maintain and mandated some actual disarmament; it lapsed in 1936 when Japan was refused equality with the U.S. and Britain. Another agreement regulated the use of submarines and outlawed poison gas in warfare. A Nine-Power Pact (with The Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, and China) affirmed China's sovereignty.

* * *

▪ 1921–22
also called  Washington Naval Conference,  byname of  International Conference On Naval Limitation  
 (1921–22), international conference called by the United States to limit the naval arms race and to work out security agreements in the Pacific area. Held in Washington, D.C., the conference resulted in the drafting and signing of several major and minor treaty agreements.

      The Four-Power Pact, signed by the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and France on Dec. 13, 1921, stipulated that all the signatories would be consulted in the event of a controversy between two of them over “any Pacific question.” An accompanying agreement stated they would respect one another's rights regarding the various Pacific islands and mandates that they possessed. These agreements ensured that a consultative framework existed between the United States, Great Britain, and Japan—i.e., the three great powers whose interests in the Pacific were most likely to lead to a clash between them. But the agreements were too vaguely worded to have any binding effect, and their chief importance was that they abrogated the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1911, which had previously been one of the principal means of maintaining a balance of power in East Asia. Another supplementary document defined the “insular possessions and dominions” of Japan.

      The Five-Power Naval Limitation Treaty, which was signed by the United States, Great Britain, Japan, France, and Italy on Feb. 6, 1922, grew out of the opening proposal at the conference by U.S. Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes (Hughes, Charles Evans) to scrap almost 1,900,000 tons of warships belonging to the Great Powers. This bold disarmament proposal astonished the assembled delegates, but it was indeed enacted in a modified form. A detailed agreement was reached that fixed the respective numbers and tonnages of capital ships to be possessed by the navies of each of the contracting nations. (Capital ships, defined as warships of more than 10,000 tons displacement or carrying guns with a calibre exceeding 8 inches, basically denoted battleships and aircraft carriers.) The respective ratios of capital ships to be held by each of the signatories was fixed at 5 each for the United States and Great Britain, 3 for Japan, and 1.67 each for France and Italy. The Five-Power Naval Limitation Treaty halted the post-World War I race in building warships and even reversed the trend; it necessitated the scrapping of 26 American, 24 British, and 16 Japanese warships that were either already built or under construction. The contracting nations also agreed to abandon their existing capital-ship building programs for a period of 10 years, subject to certain specified exceptions. Under another article in the treaty, the United States, Great Britain, and Japan agreed to maintain the status quo with regard to their fortifications and naval bases in the eastern Pacific. The Naval Limitation Treaty remained in force until the mid-1930s. At that time Japan demanded equality with the United States and Great Britain in regard to the size and number of its capital ships. When this demand was rejected by the other contracting nations, Japan gave advance notice of its intention to terminate the treaty, which thus expired at the end of 1936.

      The same five powers signed another treaty regulating the use of submarines and outlawing the use of poison gas in warfare. A Nine-Power Pact signed by the above five powers plus The Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, and China affirmed China's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and gave all nations the right to do business with it on equal terms. In a related treaty the nine powers established an international commission to study Chinese tariff policies.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Washington Conference — Several significant conferences have been held in Washington:*Washington Naval Conference: meeting between representatives of 9 nations with interests in the Pacific; November, 1921 and February, 1922. *First Washington Conference (code named… …   Wikipedia

  • Washington Conference (1942) — The Second Washington Conference (19 June ndash; 25 June 1942), did not have a code name because it was hastily called and was regarded at the time as a set of military staff conversations rather than a formal conference. Foreign Relations of the …   Wikipedia

  • Washington Conference (1943) — The Third Washington Conference (code named TRIDENT) was held in Washington, D.C. was a World War II strategic meeting from May 12 to May 27, 1943, between the heads of government of the United Kingdom and the United States. The delegations were… …   Wikipedia

  • Mt. Washington Conference Center — (Балтимор,США) Категория отеля: 2 звездочный отель Адрес: 5801 Smit …   Каталог отелей

  • Washington Naval Conference — The Washington Naval Conference was a military conference called by the administration of President Warren G. Harding and held in Washington, D.C. from 12 November 1921 to 6 February 1922. Conducted outside the auspices of the League of Nations,… …   Wikipedia

  • conference — conferential /kon feuh ren sheuhl/, adj. /kon feuhr euhns, freuhns/, n., v., conferenced, conferencing. n. 1. a meeting for consultation or discussion: a conference between a student and his adviser. 2. the act of conferring or consulting… …   Universalium

  • Washington — /wosh ing teuhn, waw shing /, n. 1. Booker T(aliaferro) /book euhr tol euh veuhr/, 1856 1915, U.S. reformer, educator, author, and lecturer. 2. George, 1732 99, U.S. general and political leader: 1st president of the U.S. 1789 97. 3. Martha… …   Universalium

  • Washington Wizards — Washington Bullets redirects here. For the unrelated song by The Clash, see Washington Bullets (song). Washington Wizards 2011–12 Washington Wizards season …   Wikipedia

  • Washington Mystics — Gründung 1998 Geschichte Washington Mystics seit 1998 Stadion …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Washington Capitals — Gründung 11. Juni 1974 Geschichte Washington Capitals seit 1974 Stadion …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.