Series - University of Chicago

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University of Chicago

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  • 1938-1977, predominant 1945-1948 (Creation)

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20 cm of textual records

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Series consists of meeting proceedings for the Committee to Frame a World Constitution, correspondence relating to world federalism, and materials belonging to or sent to Quincy Wright, a law professor at the University of Chicago who served on the Central Committee of this Association. Series also contains materials pertaining to the World Citizen's Association that belonged to Quincy Wright.

The University of Chicago was founded in 1890 by the American Baptist Education Society and John D. Rockefeller. Robert Hutchins became the University's fifth president in 1929 and was responsible for many curricular innovations that enhanced the University's reputation. Relevant to this collection is the gathering of a group of humanists, social scientists, anthropologists, philosophers, and lawyers, including G.A. Borgese, Robert Redfield, Richard McKeon, and Mortimer Adler. In 1945, these individuals were joined by scholars from other institutions, including Albert Guerard and Erich Kahler, to form the Committee to Frame a World Constitution under Robert Hutchins and G.A. Borgese. In 1948, the Committee produced a draft World Constitution intended to strengthen the United Nations and guard against international and/or nuclear war. The draft proposed that peace in the world (Pacem in Terris) was impossible without justice, which required decolonization and a new international economic order. The arms race was a symptom of global inequality and disarmament was linked to development. The draft also redefined the concept of property, claiming that the earth's natural resources were the common property of all of mankind, and suggested that instead of nation-states, the world government should be composed of regions. Elisabeth Mann Borgese was a research associate for the Committee to Frame a World Constitution and wrote analyses and reports for use during Committee sessions.

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