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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 1908.

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 month.

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.



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, Middletown, VA.)

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 importance.

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 close relationship."

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 recalled:

"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 daily basis.

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 no further."

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 misunderstanding inevitable.

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" in Washington.

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 Germany.

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 occupation army.

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.

Bibliography/Source List

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 & Brothers, 1958.

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, 1978.

________. “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.

Related Works

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, South Carolina

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, South Carolina

May 2, 1906 -- Byrnes, a Catholic, marries Maude Busch, an Episcopalian

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 Carolina

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 Carolina

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 Harry Truman

February, 1945 -- Byrnes accompanies Roosevelt to Yalta Conference

March, 1945 -- Byrnes resigns as War Mobilization Director

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 Potsdam Conference

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 Richard Nixon

April 9, 1972 -- James F. Byrnes dies peacefully in his home in Columbia, South Carolina