Date of Defense





William Jennings Bryan's period as Secretary of State is, at first glance, hardly worthy of serious study. Bryan was, by any standards, one of the most poorly qualified Secretaries of State in the nation's history. His term was not marked by great diplomatic triumphs; indeed, the accomplishment Bryan valued most, his "cooling-off treaties, had no perceptible impact in bringing peace to Europe. In Latin American affairs, where Wilson gave Bryan relatively free rein, Bryan's record is one of active intervention, but not one of improved U.S.-Latin American relations. Finally, Bryan was not always decisive in policy-making. Among students of Wilson, it is nearly a cliche (and no less nearly true) to say that Wilson was his own Secretary of State. Although Bryan was an important adviser,a study of the diplomacy of 1913-1915 would naturally center around Wilson, not Bryan.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only