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James Francis Byrnes
James Francis Byrnes was born on May 2, 1882 in
Charleston, South Carolina. He left school early to work, but studied
law in his spare time. This "self-taught lawyer" was admitted to the
bar in 1903 and entered public life as a prosecuter in South Carolina
In 1911 Byrnes, a Democrat, was elected to the U.S.
House of Representatives and served there until 1925.
In 1924 he lost the Democratic primary to run for the
U.S. Senate, but was elected to that body on his second try in 1930 and
was subsequently re-elected in 1936. As a Senator, Byrnes helped push
many of Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" measures through Congress.
Although he later criticized some of FDR's programs as too radical, he
remained on good terms with the President and later played a large role
in supporting FDR's foreign policy by helping repeal the Neutrality Act
and win approval of Lend Lease.
In 1941 Byrnes was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court,
but resigned a year later to become the director of economic
stabilization and later head of the Office for War Mobilization. In
that capacity Byrnes was known as the "assistant President" because of
the powers his office held over the economy.
Byrnes accompanied Roosevelt to the Yalta (Big Three)
Conference in February 1945. In July of that year, three months after
FDR's death, President Harry S. Truman named Byrnes secretary of state
and, he accompanied the President to the Potsdam Conference the same
On September 6, 1946 Byrnes held his famous "Speech of Hope" in the Staatstheater in
Stuttgart, Germany. This speech repudiated the Carthaginian peace
forseen for Germany in the Morgenthau Plan, and held out for the
Germans the prospect of eventual prosperity and an honorable return to
the community of nations. Moreover, in the speech Byrnes committed
American forces to Europe for as long as any of the other occupying
powers remained in Germany. This speech set the tone of American
post-war German policy.
After leaving Truman's cabinet in 1947, Byrnes served as
governor of South Carolina from 1951 to 1955.
James F. Byrnes died in Columbia, South Carolina on
April 9, 1972.
JAMES F. BYRNES, LUCIUS D. CLAY AND GERMANY, 1945-1947
by Curtis F. Morgan, PhD
(Curtis F. Morgan, Jr. received his PhD in Modern
European History from the University of South Carolina. He is currently
Associate Professor of History at Lord Fairfax Community College,
The career of James Francis Byrnes of Spartanburg,
South Carolina was a remarkable one. He was one of a very fewmen who
served in all three branches of the United States Government. Byrnes
had served as Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion, and
earlier as a Supreme Court Justice and as a distinguished Senator and
Congressman from South Carolina. But Byrnes had his greatest impact
while working in the Executive Branch as Secretary of State under Harry
Truman. James F. Byrnes was America's senior diplomat during a crucial
period in history: the months immediately following the end of the
Second World War. For the United States, the years 1945-47 were a time
of rapid transition In the five months separating the Yalta and Potsdam
conferences alone, President Roosevelt died, Harry Truman succeeded
him, American and Russian troops met at Torgau, Nazi Germany
surrendered, and an atomic explosion in the New Mexico desert ushered
in a new age.
There was too little time to absorb and comprehend
these changes; the victorious Allies had to decide what to do with a
crushed Germany, as well as a more fundamental question: what to do
about each other? It was increasingly apparent that
Great Britain, France, the United States and the Soviet Union had
divergent aims and visions for postwar Europe, and the focal point for
these conflicting conceptions was Germany. Although the Allies
disagreed over other issues, such as the political shape of liberated
Poland, the problem of the future of Germany, the cultural and
industrial heart of Europe, proved so insoluble that the country lost
the unity it had enjoyed since 1871, a historical development of major
James F. Byrnes played a crucial role in this
development; indeed, he is sometimes blamed for the "partition" or
"division" of Germany. This paper will explore Byrnes's relationship
with a fellow Southerner, General Lucius D. Clay, Deputy Military
Governor of the U.S. Occupation Zone in Germany. Whereas Byrnes helped
formulate U.S. policy toward Germany, it was Clay's task to carry it
out. Clay had known Byrnes for many years and served under him in the
Office of War Mobilization, and was often outspoken in his attempts to
clarify (even change) U.S. policy. Clay weighed in during policy
debates and was crucial in the drafting of Byrnes's Stuttgart speech,
much of which derived from a Clay cable to Washington. Byrnes trusted
Clay both as a longtime friend and as "the man on the spot" in occupied
Germany; Clay's opinions carried great weight with Byrnes, and
influenced much of his thinking on Germany.
Lucius DuBignon Clay was born and raised in Marietta,
Georgia, at a place and time in which memories of the Civil War and
Reconstruction were fresh. (Clay once told reporters, "I was going to
be damned sure that there weren't any carpetbaggers in the military
government. . . .") His father was a U.S. Senator, and he was
introduced to Washington very early in life. He chose the Army as a
career, graduating from West Point in 1918; despite a desire for active
combatduty in World War I, the war ended before he was available for
call-up; he became an engineering instructor. He suffered through the
doldrums of the between-wars Army, spending 17 years at the rank of
first lieutenant. Several times tempted to enter civilian life, he
nevertheless remained in the Army. His time with the Army Corps of
Engineers during the Depression years gave him valuable experience
planning construction projects, administering large budgets,
negotiating with lawmakers and other government officials, etc.
When war came in 1941, Clay was disappointed again:
denied a field command, he remained in Washington to help organize the
mobilization and conversion effort. It is in this context that Clay met
James F. Byrnes. As victory in Europe neared in the fall of 1944,
Byrnes's Office of War Mobilization began to address the coming need to
reconvert the U.S. economy to peacetime production. Asked by his
biographer when he met Byrnes, Clay replied:
" Well, I don't know that I can answer that. Certainly
I met him when I was working on rivers and harbors and he was Senate
majority leader -- but not in any real sense. Then, during the war,
when he left the Supreme Court and went into this particular job [OWM],
I was sent over representing the War Department on a number of issues
that came before him for settlement. Out of it, he asked me to come
over and be his deputy. He didn't ask me -- he told me I was coming. In
that particular period I became very close to him. Then he became
Secretary of State while I was in Germany, and we kept up really a very
Byrnes hired Clay as Deputy Director of War
Mobilization in December 1944, just after Congress had granted Byrnes's
department the authority to plan for reconversion. Byrnes himself
"At this time the need to obtain the maximum manpower
and to expedite our production to the front lines was so great that for
the first time I permitted an increase in my staff. At many of our
office conferences involving War Department affairs, Major General
Lucius D. Clay had been present as one of the [War] department
representatives, and during the discussions would often come up with
solutions to our most pressing problems. I came to have the highest
regard for his judgment, and drafted him as my deputy director for war
programs and general administration, though he remained in the Army and
continued to wear his uniform."
Geography played a large role in the two men's mutual
respect and regard, of course. Clay's biographer Jean Smith writes
that, while close personally, Clay was in no sense Byrnes's
protegé. Yet, it is clear from the above remarks that, many
years after these events, Byrnes and Clay shared a deep respect and
esteem. Both men were from the southern Piedmont region: Byrnes's home
in Spartanburg, S.C. was barely one hundred miles from Clay's home town
of Marietta, Ga. Smith writes: "They spoke the same soft cadences of
the Appalachian plateau and understood each other instinctively. Both
were manipulators of broad governmental coalitions, and devotees of
pragmatic compromise." Their collaboration can be said to have laid the
foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany.
In March, 1945 much discussion in the Oval Office
concerned who would act as American proconsul in Germany. President
Roosevelt had definite ideas about the post and who should fill it. FDR
envisaged a civilian "High Commissioner for Germany" and initially
wanted Byrnes to perform this task. Byrnes had other plans; he had just
submitted his resignation as Director of OWM. Asked to suggest a
replacement, Byrnes named Clay. Roosevelt remarked, "I have never known
you to be so enthusiastic about anyone in government." But then,
according to Byrnes confidant Walter Brown's recollection, Byrnes
hesitated, "since the various special interest groups would object to
having a military man as war mobilizer." Assistant Secretary of War
John J. McCloy was also considered. In March, 1945 Roosevelt summoned
McCloy into his office and saluted him: "Heil hoch Kommissar für
Deutschland!" McCloy countered with the suggestion that a military
governor would be preferable, and recommended Clay. FDR replied, "Oh,
McCloy, I'm too tired to argue with you." After further maneuvers, it
was decided to replace Byrnes at OWM with Fred Vinson, send Clay to
Germany as General Eisenhower's Deputy Military Governor "with a view
to his later becoming our High Commissioner there," and appoint Robert
Murphy Clay's political advisor. Clay's various connections with the
White House and the executive departments made him a natural choice.
Robert Murphy later claimed that "The substitution of the Army officer
in place of a civilian High Commissioner in Germany was arranged almost
singlehandedly by Byrnes." Although Eisenhower was to be Military
Governor, his duties as Supreme Allied Commander would leave little
time for occupation affairs; Clay would administer the U.S. zone on a
Clay himself was not enthusiastic, perhaps because he
was not even informed of the decision immediately. Robert Murphy
brought the "unwelcome" news to Clay, who fervently wished a combat
division command. Clay brusquely told Murphy he must be mistaken, but
then received a call from Byrnes, who told him the President had
appointed him to oversee the occupation. Clay recalls: "I wasn't
interested in the job, and it was the last thing I wanted."
The Partnership Begins: Potsdam
Within a month, Clay contacted Byrnes, a private
citizen but widely known to be Harry Truman's Secretary of
State-designate, describing what he saw in Germany.
"Conditions in Germany are getting progressively worse
and large sections of all important cities have been obliterated. Of
course, we have a long range problem of preventing the restoration of
Germany's war potential. However, this is not the short range problem
as several years will be required to develop even a sustaining economy
to provide a bare minimum standard of living. The coming winter months
will be most difficult. I think too much of our planning at home has
envisaged a Germany in which an existing government has surrendered
with a large part of the country intact."
Clay's remarks, Byrnes's enthusiastic endorsement of
them, and Murphy's detailed reports persuaded President Truman that any
punitive peace settlement with Germany was out of the question.
Reparations estimates had to be lowered, if not eliminated entirely, to
save the German people from mass starvation. Clay later recalled his
impressions in even stronger terms, stating the conviction he shared
with Byrnes by July, 1945: "It seemed obvious to us even then that
Germany would starve unless it could produce for export and that
immediate steps would have to be taken to revise industrial production."
That month the Potsdam Conference opened outside
Berlin. Here Byrnes and Clay collaborated on Germany for the first
time. Although not a member of the American delegation, Clay was
invited by Byrnes to attend "special discussions" along with his
political adviser Robert Murphy. In the evenings, Clay attended
Byrnes's meetings with his staff, finding them "always inspirational."
Byrnes wanted to be near Clay because the general knew the conditions
"on the ground" in the American zone of Germany and spoke freely and
candidly with the Secretary. Byrnes's personal conviction that
Germany's economic potential must be preserved for the recovery of all
Europe was strongly supported by Clay, who later recalled: It was clear
to us that for many months to come German production would not suffice
to keep the German people alive, and that the use of any part of it for
reparations would mean that once again the United States would be not
only supporting Germany but also paying the bill for reparations.
The entire economic policy question eventually
revolved around the reparations issue. Except for the dispute over the
shape of the Polish government, more time was spent at Potsdam
discussing reparations than anything else. This issue was not new.
Byrnes later explained:
"Ever since Yalta the great variance between the
Soviet Union and ourselves on the subject of reparations had been
apparent. We agreed that reparations should be obtained through
reparations "in kind" rather than in currency. But the meetings of the
Committee on Reparations had demonstrated that our agreement extended
The American-Soviet difference of view was based on
the fact that the Soviet Union, unlike the United States, had suffered
horrendous damage during the war. Russia's industry was gutted, its
labor force severely depleted. Stalin was determined to replenish and
rebuild as quickly as possible, using captured German industrial
materials. He considered it well within the Soviet Union's national
interest to strengthen his country by consuming Germany. Stalin wished
to ensure that Germany would not recover until after the Americans had
left Europe and the Soviets could reorder the region to their
advantage. The United States was pursuing precisely the opposite policy
direction, wishing to rebuild Germany to prevent it from becoming an
economic burden on Europe and to enable Germany to contribute to the
European recovery. This polarity of ambitions made disagreement and
Widespread Soviet looting and indiscriminate
dismantling of industrial plant in the name of "war booty" further
muddled the issue. Byrnes had hoped to negotiate a plan whereby
reparations would be determined and distributed in an orderly manner,
with each ally given equal access to Germany's resources, agricultural
and industrial. This was not to be. Byrnes later recounted:
"We knew that, if reparations were to be drawn from
all Germany we would have to demand an accounting of the Soviets. We
were sure they could not even approximate an accurate valuation of what
had been taken, and we realized that the effort to establish and
maintain such an accounting would be a source of constant friction,
accusations and ill- will. [We] concluded that the only way out of the
situation was to persuade each country to satisfy its reparations
claims out of its own zone."
It was this decision that can be said to have split
Germany into east and west. Yet, according to Byrnes, the blame lay
squarely with the Soviets, not the Americans. The Secretary, having
defended the policy of treating Germany as an economic unit in
conference, was forced to compromise in the face of a Soviet policy
that stripped eastern Germany of all that total warfare had not. On
July 31, Byrnes presented a "package deal," seeking simultaneous
agreement on reparations, the Polish frontier, and Italian membership
in the United Nations. After some grumbling, the Soviets accepted. In
the final agreement, the Soviets were entitled to reparations from
their own zone, plus 15% of reparations from the western zones to be
exchanged for food and fuel from the Soviet zone, plus 10% more with no
obligation to repay. Byrnes hoped that this compromise would ease the
path to a German peace treaty that would preserve German economic unity
for Europe's benefit. These hopes were soon disappointed.
The Road to Stuttgart
Through the fall of 1945 and into the summer of 1946,
Byrnes worked in the Potsdam-mandated Council of Foreign Ministers to
lay the groundwork for what he hoped would be the pinnacle of his
career: a set of peace treaties ending World War II in Europe that
would preserve German political and economic unity. Clay was fully in
sympathy with Byrnes's aim. "At the various Foreign Ministers
Conferences, we would have conversations out of which our Germany
policy would develop," he wrote. State Department officials were
irritated by the Byrnes-Clay collaboration. One complained: "Every time
we go into a Foreign Ministers Conference, we first have to make a
treaty with our General Clay." Byrnes protected Clay from critics in
both the State and War Departments. Meanwhile, Byrnes relied more on
Clay's views on Germany than on those of his State Department "experts"
The prime example of the Byrnes-Clay collaboration is
the role Clay played in helping draft Byrnes's "Restatement of U.S.
Policy Toward Germany," better known as the Stuttgart speech. This
statement was primarily a reaction to a perceived change in Soviet
policy toward Germany made public at the Paris Council of Foreign
Ministers meeting in the summer of 1946.
As with previous conferences, Byrnes invited Clay and
Murphy to attend sessions devoted to the German problem when the Paris
meetings opened May 15-16, 1946. Clay took advantage of his opportunity
once again to steer policy in a direction he favored. "My attendance at
the conference had given me the opportunity to explain to Byrnes the
economic consequences which were already resulting from the severance
of Germany into four independently operated areas," he later wrote.
Germany, far from operating as an economic whole, was dying as the four
occupation zones cut off its circulation. In a cable to Gen.
Eisenhower, Clay described conditions in Germany:
After one year of occupation, zones represent airtight
territories with almost no free exchange of commodities, persons, and
ideas. Germany now consists of four small economic units which can deal
with each other only through treaties in spite of the fact that no one
unit can be regarded as self-supporting, although British and Russian
zones could become self-supporting.
Clay urged that "immediate decisions" be made to
establish a common economic infrastructure as called for by Potsdam.
Pending such four-power agreement, Clay ordered the cessation of all
reparations deliveries from the American zone. In tandem with Clay,
Byrnes proposed a 25-year, four-power agreement to unite Germany and
guarantee its neutrality and complete disarmament. This effort was
directed at the French, who had balked at German unity since Potsdam.
The Soviets replied coolly to this proposal, then surprised the
Americans with a major announcement of their own. At the Paris session
of July 10, with Clay in attendance, Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov
declared Russia's support for German political and economic unity,
criticizing those who "talk about dismembering Germany into several
'autonomous' states, federalizing her and separating the Ruhr from
her." Thus the Soviets hoped to win points with the German populace by
accusing the Western powers of supporting the French desire to destroy
Byrnes later recalled, "I had to admit the
effectiveness of the effort because there had been confusion in our own
country on the policy of the United States toward Germany." That
evening Byrnes met with Clay, Murphy, and U.S. Senators Connally and
Vandenburg. Byrnes was convinced that consolidation of the zones "to
the fullest extent possible" was now necessary. The U.S. had been
thrown on the defensive, and Clay told Byrnes that a clarification of
American aims in Germany was now imperative. He returned to Berlin to
begin putting together a restatement of American policy aims.
Titled "A Summary of United States Policy and
Objectives in Germany," Clay's effort to turn U.S. occupation policy in
a positive direction was as influential as George F. Kennan's "Long
Telegram" from Moscow a few months earlier. While the Germans were
discussing Molotov's statement, Clay pointed out, military government
officials lacked a summarized statement of current policy or objectives
to which they could refer in discussions with the German people. Clay
presented such a summary on July 19. It stated as U.S. objectives the
destruction of war potential, reeducation of the Germans for a
liberal-democratic form of government, the preservation of German unity
of economic and financial policy as well as political structure, and
the retention of the industry-rich Ruhr region as part of a united
Germany. Clay called for all-German elections "at the earliest possible
date" and the setting up of a provisional government. Zonal
restrictions should be removed "to permit the free exchange of
commodities, persons and ideas throughout Germany. . . . The United
States insists that the air-tight territories now created through the
establishment of the four zones be eliminated. . . ."
Clay's superiors in the War Department were unhappy
about his cable, feeling that it was a "policy-making" document, when
this was the exclusive preserve of the State Department. Clay wanted
the statement made public, but was overruled. Upset, Clay called Byrnes
in Paris, who invited him to visit. There, Clay found a sympathetic
ear. He urged the Secretary to visit Germany to make a statement of
American policy. Byrnes recalled:
"I did not think it proper to make such a declaration
in Paris while the peace conference was in session; therefore, I
decided to go to Germany to talk to the occupation forces, military and
civilian, in the American zone. General Clay encouraged me to do this."
The Stuttgart Speech
On September 6, 1946 Secretary of State James F.
Byrnes travelled by train to Stuttgart via Berlin. The site for
Byrnes's speech was carefully chosen by Clay. Stuttgart, located in
Baden-Württemburg in the U.S. occupation zone (and just a few
miles from the French zone) was home to a U.S.-sponsored German
government-in-embryo. For nearly a year, "minister-presidents"
representing the three states (Länder) established in the U.S.
zone had been meeting regularly as the Länderrat, or "State
Council," to coordinate the rebuilding of German administrative organs
under strict American military government supervision. Byrnes would
address a picked audience in the Staatstheater comprising the top
leadership of American military government as well as prominent German
political figures headed by the three minister-presidents. Arrangements
had also been made to broadcast the speech live, with a German
translator heard over Byrnes's voice.
The speech was based largely on Clay's July 19 cable
to Washington, which his superiors had found distasteful. Clay had
appealed to his friend Byrnes over the heads of his War Department
superiors, and had won his point. Clay even maintains that, in Berlin,
"we went over his speech." This paper will only permit a brief synopsis
of Byrnes's speech, which lasted about a half hour. The Secretary
reiterated Clay's preamble that the U.S. sought demilitarization and
denazification of Germany in the interests of world peace, in
fulfillment of the Potsdam Agreement. He recalled the agreement over
reparations, but denied that it had ever been intended that they be
taken from current production, as the Soviets and French were doing in
their zones, hampering industrial recovery. This was the economic
equivalent of "killing the goose that lays the golden eggs." Closely
following Clay's cable, Byrnes announced that the United States
supported German political unity, and "is firmly of the belief that
Germany should be administered as an economic unit and that zonal
barriers should be completely obliterated . . . . We cannot continue to
restrict the free exchange of commodities, persons and ideas throughout
Germany." In July, the British had agreed to merge their zone with the
American. Byrnes now repeated the invitation he had issued at that time
for the other occupying powers to follow suit.
Byrnes called for the establishment of central
administrative agencies to rebuild the shattered German infrastructure.
"Twelve months have passed and nothing has been done," he complained.
He then declared American support for political unification and
democratic self-government: "It is the view of the American Government
that the German people throughout Germany, under proper safeguards,
should now be given the primary responsibility for the running of their
own affairs." Byrnes called for the establishment of an all-German
preliminary government in the form of a "National Council," composed of
minister-presidents of all the German Länder, which would be
empowered to draft a German Constitution. He concluded:
"The American people want to return the government of
Germany to the German people. The American people want to help the
German people to win their way back to an honorable place among the
free and peace-loving nations of the world."
Reaction to Byrnes's speech was mixed. The British
heartily approved; the French were outraged; the Soviet response was
muted. In the U.S. the speech was applauded by many as a declaration
that we were finally "standing up to the Russians." But perhaps most
instructive is the German reaction. In addition to radio coverage
(which included much comment on news and feature programs), the speech
received front-page treatment in German newspapers, "the biggest play
in the history of the new democratic German press." The Stuttgarter
Zeitung headline on September 7 proclaimed "A Day of Global Importance
in Stuttgart" and was accompanied by an editorial by Karl Ackerman
titled "Plain Speaking." The Wiesbadener Kurier saw "A Ray of Light at
Last." It must be kept in mind that the German press in the American
zone was the least censored of all occupied Germany, on Clay's
insistence. The press was as "free" as could be expected under a
military occupation regime.
A newly-elected member of the Hesse parliament
declared "The Byrnes speech was a ray of hope for the possibility of a
state, a community for Germany." Bavarian Finance Minister Ludwig
Erhard (soon to be the financial architect of West Germany's "Economic
Miracle") said: "Since the collapse no act has felt so liberating as
the proclaimed intent in the speech of the American foreign minister to
open to the German people the possibility of shaping its own destiny."
The Meaning of Stuttgart
Much ink has been spilled over Byrnes's statement;
both traditional and revisionist Cold War historians see it as directed
at the Soviet Union, citing passages in the speech such as:
It is not in the interest of the German people or in
the interest of world peace that Germany should become a pawn or a
partner in a military struggle for power between the East and the West.
. . . Security forces will probably have to remain in Germany for a
long period. I want no misunderstanding. We will not shirk our duty. We
are not withdrawing. We are staying here. As long as there is an
occupation army in Germany, American armed forces will be part of that
Interestingly, the stated promise that U.S. troops
would remain in Germany was Clay's idea. Byrnes included it, despite
the fact that he was unable to reach President Truman for approval of
so sweeping a commitment.
Historian John Gimbel argues that the Stuttgart speech
was directed primarily at the French, who fought most stubbornly
against German unity in any form, especially the Potsdam directive to
set up "central administrative agencies." France had not been
represented at Potsdam, and had used their veto on the Allied Control
Council to frustrate any move toward German unity. Byrnes insisted that
such central agencies were "essential . . . Germany must be enabled to
use her skills and her energies to increase her industrial production
and to organize the most effective use of her raw materials."
However, the most convincing interpretation of the
meaning of Stuttgart is that Byrnes's speech, which one could say was
"ghost-written" by Lucius Clay, was directed first at the Germans. The
press coverage in the western zones speaks overwhelmingly of Byrnes's
message to Germans and the hope it brought of rehabilitation and a
positive place for Germany in the family of nations. Twenty years
later, the dean of German historians of the postwar era wrote that the
Stuttgart speech "marked the transition of the western occupation
policy from the Morgenthau Plan to the Marshall Plan, from the
annihilation of Germany to the reconstruction of Germany."
The two men most responsible for the speech agree.
Lucius Clay told his biographer, "Mr. Byrnes's speech was aimed at the
Germans. It was an attempt to give them some hope." In October 1946
Byrnes candidly told a delegation of U.S. Senators in Paris: "The nub
of our program was to win the German people . . . it was a battle
between us and Russia over minds. . . ."
To the Southerner in the United States, this
government's decision to treat a conquered enemy with a measure of
compassion, to the point of protecting the enemy population from the
depredations (committed and intended) of allied powers, must provoke
mixed feelings: pride, resentment, perhaps envy. Ironically, it is two
German scholars who point out the contrast between the positive legacy
of the U.S. occupation of their country, which resulted in the
establishment of the Federal Republic as one of America's staunchest
allies, and the Federal occupation of the former Confederate States in
1865-1877, a source of much bitterness even today.
James F. Byrnes and Lucius D. Clay are little
remembered today, even in their native South Carolina and Georgia; but
their legacy in Germany has never been forgotten. Their Southern
partnership was a bright spot in the dark years of the Cold War.
Books About Byrnes
Brown, Walter J. James F. Byrnes of South Carolina: A
Remembrance. n.p.: by the author, 1992.
Burns, Richard D. “James F. Byrnes 1945-1947.” In An
Uncertain Tradition: American Secretaries of State in the Twentieth
Century, ed. Norman Graebner. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961.
Byrnes, James F. Speaking Frankly. New York: Harper
& Brothers, 1947.
________. All in One Lifetime. New York: Harper &
Clements, Kendrick, ed. James F. Byrnes and the Origins
of the Cold War. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 1982.
Conover, Denise O’Neal. “James F. Byrnes, Germany and
the Cold War, 1946.” Ph.D. dissertation, Washington State University,
________. “James F. Byrnes and the Four-Power
Disarmament Treaty.” Mid-America 70 (1988): 19-34.
Curry, George. “James F. Byrnes.” In The American
Secretaries of State and Their Diplomacy, Vol. 14. eds. Robert Ferrell
and Samuel Flagg Bemis. New York: Cooper Square Publishers, 1965.
“James F. Byrnes on Foreign Policy.” Intro. Miles S.
Richards. South Carolina Historical Magazine 92:1 (January 1991): 34-44.
Kreikamp, Hans-Dieter. “Die amerikanische
Deutschlandpolitik im Herbst 1946 und die Byrnes-Rede in
Stuttgart.”Vierteljarhshefte für Zeitgeschichte 29 (1981): 269-285.
Messer, Robert L. The End of an Alliance: James F.
Byrnes, Roosevelt, Truman, and the Origins of the Cold War. Chapel
Hill, NC: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1982.
Curtis F. Morgan, Jr. PhD. James F. Byrnes, Lucius Clay
and American Policy in Germany, 1945-1947. Lewiston, New York: The
Edwin Mellen Press, 2002.
Morgan, Curtis F. “‘The Success That Failed’: James F.
Byrnes, Germany, and the Potsdam
_______. "Southern Partnership: James F. Byrnes, Lucius
D. Clay, and American Policy in Germany, 1945-1947." Ph.D.
dissertation, University of South Carolina 1998.
Robertson, David. Sly and Able: A Political Biography of
James F. Byrnes. New York: W.W. Norton, 1994.
Ward, Pat Dawson. The Threat of Peace: James F. Byrnes
and the Council of Foreign Ministers, 1945-1946. Kent, Ohio: Kent State
Univ. Press, 1979.
Clay, Lucius D. Decision in Germany. Garden City, NY:
Doubleday & Co., 1950.
Smith, Jean Edward, Lucius D. Clay, An American Life.
New York: Henry Holt, 1990.
A James F. Byrnes Chronology
May 2, 1882 -- James Francis Byrnes born in Charleston,
1896 -- Byrnes is hired as "office boy" in law firm of
Mordecai, Gadsden, Rutledge and Hagood, Charleston, SC
1900 -- Byrnes is appointed (after a competition) as
court reporter (stenographer) for the Second Judicial District, Aiken,
May 2, 1906 -- Byrnes, a Catholic, marries Maude Busch,
1908 -- Having passed the SC Bar, and set up a law
practice, "Jimmy" Byrnes is elected Court Solicitor for the Second
Judicial District of South Carolina.
1910 -- Byrnes is elected to the U.S. House of
Representatives from the Second District as a Democrat
1911-1925 Byrnes serves as Congressman from South
1924 -- Byrnes is defeated in a bid to become U.S.
Senator by Cole L. Blease
1925-1931 -- Byrnes practices law in Spartanburg, SC
1930 -- Byrnes defeats Blease to become U.S. Senator
1931-1941 Byrnes serves as U.S. Senator from South
1940 -- Byrnes runs for nomination as Vice-President; is
defeated by Henry Wallace
1941 -- President Franklin D. Roosevelt appoints Byrnes
a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
December 7, 1941 -- Japan attacks Pearl Harbor; U.S.
enters World War II
October 3, 1942 -- Byrnes "retires" from Supreme Court;
Roosevelt appoints Byrnes Director of the Office of Economic
Stabilization, later the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion
1942-1945 -- Byrnes serves as Director of War
Mobilization and Reconversion; his wide powers cause the press to refer
to him as "Assistant President for the Home Front"; is involved, among
other things, in budgeting for Project Manhattan, the development of
the atomic bomb
July, 1944 -- Byrnes, with Roosevelt's encouragement,
runs for Vice-Pesidential nomination again; Roosevelt chooses Senator
February, 1945 -- Byrnes accompanies Roosevelt to Yalta
March, 1945 -- Byrnes resigns as War Mobilization
April 12, 1945 -- President Roosevelt dies at Warm
Springs, Ga.; Harry Truman sworn in as President
May 8, 1945 -- Nazi Germany surrenders
July 3, 1945 -- President Truman appoints Byrnes
Secretary of State
July, 1945 - January, 1947 -- Byrnes serves as U.S.
Secretary of State, U.S. representative to Council of Foreign
Ministers; negotiates peace treaties with Axis satellites
July 17 - August 2, 1945 -- Byrnes accompanies Truman to
August-September, 1945 -- Byrnes urges use of atomic
bomb on Japan; Truman orders atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and
Nagasaki; Japan surrenders; World War II ends
September 6, 1946 -- Byrnes delivers "Stuttgart speech"
announcing U.S. commitment to a united, democratic Germany, and
presence of U.S troops indefinitely
January 20, 1947 -- Byrnes resigns as Secretary of
State; returns to South Carolina to practice law
1950 -- Byrnes elected Governor of South Carolina
1951-1955 Byrnes serves as Governor of South Carolina
1952, 1956 -- Byrnes serves as South Carolina Chairman
of Democrats for Eisenhower
1960, 1968 -- Byrnes supports Presidential campaigns of
April 9, 1972 -- James F. Byrnes dies peacefully in his
home in Columbia, South Carolina