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Wilson and the Treaty of Versailles

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1 Wilson and the Treaty of Versailles
Lecture 4

2 USE American Spirit Readings:
It was the strength of the opposition forces , both liberal and conservative , rather than the ineptitude and stubbornness of President Wilson that led to the Senate defeat of the Treaty of Versailles. Using the documents and your knowledge of the period , assess the validity of this statement. USE American Spirit Readings: Pages Pages

3 TO DO : Define the terms in the question
Determine the “essence” of the question Brainstorm relevant outside information

4 To Do : Read each document – try to write a quick one sentence summary of each document Categorize documents into three groups Wilson supporters and liberal internationalists Reservationists – conservative internationalists Irreconcilables – isolationists

5 Who in your opinion was MOST responsible for the demise of the Treaty of Versailles?
You must be able to categorize evidence. What evidence supports placing the responsibility for the demise of the Treaty ratification on each potentially responsible group?

6 Liberal v. Conservative
Liberal – Interventionists /Internationalists Conservative – Isolationist Terms: Liberal and Conservative meanings differ when applied to foreign vs. domestic affairs. Progressives were liberal on domestic issues but many of the “irreconcilables” were progressive although they were “isolationist” (conservative) when it came to the Treaty of Versailles.) Reservationists - Internationalists

7 It was the strength of the opposition forces , both liberal and conservative , rather than the ineptitude and stubbornness of President Wilson that led to the Senate defeat of the Treaty of Versailles. Using the documents and your knowledge of the period , assess the validity of this statement.

8 Recognize the complexity of the question
The tension between: Wilson’s “ineptitude and stubbornness” vs. The strength of the opposition forces, both liberal and conservative The thesis may argue for one of these contributing factors over the other but the best answers recognize the “other sides” role in the defeat , if only in a few references or sentences DO the DBQ Thesis Worksheet on this question

9 The 96 senators who were eligible to vote on the treaty belonged to one of three groups:
Wilson Supporters and liberal Internationalists Reservationists led by Henry Cabot Lodge Irreconcilables who were mostly isolationists

JANUARY 8, 1918 a speech to Congress which was his proposal for peace after World War I

11 Fourteen Points a mixture of :
Human rights principles Preventive medicine in dealing with the causes of warfare European territorial division of spoils Wilsonian idealism with the proposed League of Nations

12 1. No secret treaties (A) Secret diplomacy abolished
Nations would practice diplomacy openly and make no secret treaties All treaties open covenants arrived at openly

13 2. Freedom of the seas (M)(I)
Ships allowed to move freely during peace and war

14 3. No economic barriers between nations (I)
Removal of tariff (taxes on imports) barriers to allow free trade

15 4. Arms cuts (M) Nations would reduce their armaments

16 5. A voice for colonized peoples (N)
Self determination for former colonies Competing claims over colonies settled impartially in the best interests of the colonial peoples National borders adjusted to allow for self rule Protection of ethnic and national groups under foreign rule prevent genocide attempted by Ottoman Turks against Armenians

17 6. Germany out of Russian (I)
7. Germany out of France and Belgium (I) 8. Alsace - Lorraine to France (I) 9. Expansion of Italy (I)

18 10. Autonomy for Czechs, Magyars, Bulgars (N)
11. Poland's independence (N) 12. Autonomy for Greeks, Armenians, etc (N) 13. Free passage thru the Dardanelles (I)

19 14. A league of nations "A general association of nations should be formed on the basis of covenants designed to create mutual guarantees of the political independence and territorial integrity of States, large and small equally."

20 Wilson was also against war reparations

21 2. Woodrow Wilson Versus Theodore Roosevelt on the Fourteen Points (1918)


23 A. The four leaders who dominated the conference:
President Wilson (US) Prime Minister David Lloyd George (Britain) Premier Georges Clemencaeau (France) Prime Minister Vittorio Orlando (Italy)

24 B. Germany is required to:
1. Admit guilt 2. Pay war reparations Allies take temporary control of the German economy 3.Return the rich Alsace - Lorraine region to France 4. Surrender her overseas colonies 5. Disarm German rearmament is strictly limited

25 C. Redrew Map of Europe Divided the Austria-Hungary empire into four nations Sudetenland Created mandates in the former Ottoman Empire and Germany’s former colonies

26 D. Established the League of Nations
Executive Council (like the Security Council) Decisions would require unanimous approval for action Agreed to not make war without arbitration Unilateral action amounted to war against the entire league Article X Executive Council could “advise upon measures necessary to maintain order and keep peace in the world.”

27 Woodrow Wilson on the League of Nations
“I think I can say of this document that it is at one and the same time a practical and humane document. There is a pulse of sympathy in it. It is practical, ad yet it is intended to purify to rectify to elevate…”

28 Wilson’s Reasons for Ratification
“Collective Security” League of Nations would simply make the world a safer place by reducing the chances for war stopping needless arms building Enable US to assume its rightful role in the forefront of world affairs where we could use our best intentions and leadership to promote world peace “We are participants in the world, whether we wish to be or not… What affects mankind is inevitably our affair as well…”


30 TIMELINE February ,1919 – trip to Washington listened to harsh criticism March, Wilson allows 4 changes July , 1919 – presented the Treaty to Congress August , 1919 – Wilson met with entire Senate Foreign Relations Committee DOCUMENTS - Read: 1,2,3,4 – The Text of Article X; Wilson testifies for Article X (1919) ; The Lodge-Hitchcock Reservations(1919) ; The Aborted Lodge Compromise (1919) late in the summer of Wilson took his case to the people

31 Speech Wilson 1919 When you read Article X, therefore you will see that it is nothing but the inevitable , logical center of the whole system of the Covenant of the League of nations, and I stand for it absolutely. If it should ever in any important respect be impaired, I would feel like asking the Secretary of War to get the boys who went across the water to fight… and I would stand up before them and say, Boys I told you before you went across the seas that this war was a war against wars, and I did my best to fulfill the promise, but I am obliged to come to you in mortification and shame and say I have not been able to fulfill the promise. You are betrayed. You have fought for something that you did not get.”

32 Wilson’s speech defends Article X of Treaty as essential to achieve goals for which the war was fought.

33 TIMELINE November , 1919 Senate voted
with reservations defeated DOCUMENTS - Read: 5. Wilson Defeats Henry Cabot Lodge’s Reservations (1919) without reservations 38 – 53 defeated DOCUMENTS - READ : 6. Lodge Blames Wilson (1919) March 19, with reservations 49 for 35 against (7 short of 2/3 needed for approval) November Presidential Election - Wilson believed it would be “solemn referendum” on the League

34 Woodrow Wilson “Appeal” to the Country October 3, 1920
“This election is to be a genuine national referendum… The chief question that is put to you is, of course: Do you want your country’s honor vindicated and the Treaty of Versailles ratified? Do you in particular approve of the League of Nations as organized and empowered in that treaty? And do you wish to see the United States play its responsible part in it?... [The founders of the Government] thought of America as the light of the world as created to lead the world in the assertion of the rights of peoples and the rights of free nations … this light the opponents of the League would quench.

35 Wilson’s appeal to the country views election of 1920 as a referendum on the Treaty.

36 Factors that Defeated the Treaty Ratification:
1. Climate of post war U.S. Rising intolerance towards things “un-American” Ku Klux Klan reborn Red Scare The Great Migration

37 B. Backlash against the Great War
1. Climate of post war U.S. B. Backlash against the Great War Questioning the wisdom of having participated in a war that had caused many American deaths and wounded Stories of Allied greed and desire for revenge disillusioned many who thought that the war had been fought to “make the world safe for democracy” revulsion of the treaty led to desire to return to isolationism

38 2. Political Opposition Irish Americans German Americans
Italian Americans Conservatives Liberals Isolationists Senate Republicans Anti-Wilsonites

39 1a. Wilson supported ratification un- amended Democrat
Internationalist Liberal –foreign policy because he was an internationalist

40 1b.Other Internationalists
Liberals who believe the treaty does not do enough to change the old world order or enough to put in place the protections against future war; against the treaty with any restrictions on the power of the League of Nations

41 The New Republic May 24,1919 an editorial from the new liberal periodical
Liberals all over the world have hoped that a war ,which was so clearly the fruit of competition and imperialist and class-bound nationalism , would end in a peace which would moralize nationalism by releasing it from class bondage and exclusive ambitions. The Treaty of Versailles does not even try to satisfy these aspirations. Instead of expressing a great recuperative effort of the conscience of civilization which for its own sins has sweated so much blood, it does much to intensify and nothing to heal the old and ugly dissensions.

42 refers obliquely to issues (war guilt and reparations) that sully the treaty from the editor’s viewpoint; students should make those issues explicit Based on the excerpt / document do you think The New Republic editorial is for or against the Treaty ratification LIBERAL For or Against ??? Probably Against – liberal internationalist against

43 The New Republic’s liberal position that war was caused by imperialism and nationalism and that Treaty intensifies dissension and will not heal wounds.

44 1b.John Maynard KeynesEconomic Consequences of the Peace,1920
“According to [the French] vision of the future, European history is to be a perpetual prize-fight , of which France has won this round, but of which this round is certainly not the last…. For Clemenceau made no pretense of considering himself bound by the Fourteen Points and left chiefly to others such concoctions as were necessary from time to time to save the scruples or the face of the President [Wilson]. … The policy of reducing Germany to servitude for a generation of degrading the lives of millions of human beings and of depriving a whole nation of happiness should be abhorrent and detestable – abhorrent and detestable , even if it were possible even if it enriched ourselves, even if did not sow the decay of the whole civilized life of Europe.

45 Based on the excerpt / document do you thin John Maynard Keynes is for or against the Treaty ratification For or Against ??? Seeds for future war sewn in the treaty

46 J.M. Keynes foresees that the Treaty’s destruction of Germany will lead to the decay of European civilization.

47 1b.WEB Du Bois “The League of Nations”, Crisis, 1921
Forty-one nations , including nearly every Negro and mulatto and colored government of the world , have met in Geneva and formed the assembly of the League of Nations. This is the most forward –looking event of the century. Because of the idiotic way in which the stubbornness of Woodrow Wilson and the political fortunes of the Republicans become involved, the United States was not represented , but despite its tumult and shouting this nation must join and join on the terms which the World lays down. The idea that we single-handed can dictate terms to the World or stay out of the World , is an idea born of the folly of fools.

48 WEB Du Bois “The League of Nations”, Crisis, 1921
Liberal- represent the disappointment and dismay that lingered in the years after the treaty fight. Editorial in the NAACP periodical Crisis one can still hear echoes of the hopes that Wilson had raise when he spoke of anti colonialism and self determination of his 14 points. Du Bois still on the road to being radicalized wishes a plague on both the Internationalist and Reservationists houses but his sympathies still rest with the League

49 W. E. B. Du Bois editorial in Crisis argues that U. S
W.E.B. Du Bois editorial in Crisis argues that U.S. must join League and that both Wilson and Republicans are responsible for the defeat of the Treaty.

50 1b.Jane Addams Peace and Bread in time of War, 1922
The League of nations afforded a wide difference of opinion in every group. The Woman’s Peace Party held its annual meeting in Chicago in the spring of 1920 and found our branches fairly divided upon the subject…. The difference of opinion was limited always as to the existing League and never for a moment did anyone doubt the need for continued effort to bring about an adequate international organization.

51 Jane Addams after noting the sharp division of opinion among members of the Women’s Peace Party regarding the treaty itself notes that her (liberal) group is still virtually unanimous on the need for an “adequate international organization.”

52 Jane Addams admits that women are divided on the League of Nations, but some international organization is needed.

53 2. Lodge supported ratification amended Republican Internationalist
Reservationists? – supported ratification with amendments (mostly Republicans led by Lodge) Republican Internationalist Liberal – foreign policy

54 2. Herbert Hoover (R) to Wilson, November 19, 1919
“I take the liberty of urging upon you the desirability of accepting the reservations now passed …. I have the belief that with the League once in motion it can within itself and from experience and public education develop such measures as will make it effective. I am impressed with the desperate necessity of early ratification. The delays have already seriously imperiled the economic recuperation of Europe. In this we are vitally interested from every point of view. I believe that the Covenant will steadily lose ground in popular support if it is not put into constructive operation at once because the American public will not appreciate the saving values of the Covenant as distinguished from the wrongs imposed in the Treaty….”

55 Herbert Hoover’s letter asks President Wilson to accept reservations ; peace can be developed with reservations and public support may decline over time.

56 based on the bride’s homeliness (undesirable “Foreign Entanglements”) and the groom’s (Uncle Sam) nervous look Political Cartoon can be interpreted as pro-Reservationists grasp the cartoon’s viewpoint, not merely as descriptive

57 Cartoon shows U.S. Senate opposing foreign entanglements and infringement of its Constitutional rights. Show you understand this issue – remember Lodge – Hitchcock reservations re: Article X

58 3. Irreconcilables opposed ratification Conservative - Isolationist
many of the “irreconcilables” were progressive although they were “isolationist” (conservative) when it came to the Treaty of Versailles

59 3. William Borah Idaho Senator (Irreconcilable) speech in US Senate , December 6, 1918
The first proposition connected with the proposed league is that of a tribunal to settle the matters of controversy which may arise between the different nations. Will anyone advocate that those matters which are of vital importance to our people shall be submitted to a tribunal created other than by our own people and give it an international army subject to its direction and control to enforce its decrees? I doubt if anyone will advocate that … If you do not do so, Mr. President, what will your league amount to? … In its last analysis the proposition is force to destroy force, conflict to prevent conflict, militarism to destroy militarism, war to prevent war. In its last analysis it must be that -- if it has any sanction behind its judgment at all. There is where the difficulty lies…

60 Senator Borah’s isolationist position that fears loss of U. S
Senator Borah’s isolationist position that fears loss of U.S. sovereignty and contends that Treaty encourages the use of force, conflict , militarism, and war.

61 WRITE YOUR ESSAY 45 minutes

62 I. Attempts to mediate a peace in Europe, 1916-17

63 1916- Wilson offered to mediate a peace
Britain rejected the proposal Therefore never extended to the Central Powers

64 B. The Development of Wilson’s Ideas on a peace settlement
Formation of a world federation (an association of nations ) to end future wars 1917 – Peace without Victory speech to Congress a. US had a right to a voice in the peace talks at the end of the war as a neutral whose rights had been violated b. US would insist upon a just and lasting peace i. No victor’s peace ii. Peace without victory

65 3. Difficulties in Wilson’s position
A. “impartial mediator” inconsistent with US policies toward Britain B. the US as a powerful neutral 1. by March 1917 Wilson had concluded that the US could play an important role in the peace negotiations only by becoming a belligerent

66 II. Wilson as spokesman for the Allies

67 Declaration of the Fourteen Points (basis for a just peace)
1. First five points aimed at elimination of the fundamental causes of war a. abandonment of secret diplomacy b. freedom of the seas c. elimination of economic barriers d. reduction of armaments e. recognition of subject colonial peoples rights

68 2. Next 8 points dealt with various territorial restitution and adjustments, and with the political self determination of peoples 3. Last point , Wilson felt most important, creation of “ a general association of nations…under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.” 4. Wilson closed by stating that the Allies would never make peace with a German Government controlled by the military ; invitation to the German people to revolt

69 B. The Fourteen Points and the Armistice
1. October 4, 1918 – Germany asked Wilson to arrange for the negotiation of an armistice and a treaty based on the Fourteen Points 2. November 11, 1918 Armistice signed Germany forced to agree to Provisions designed to ensure that she would not start war again in the near future Surrender her navy and heavy armaments of all types Allied forces occupied portions of German territory British blockade was continued until June 1919

70 III. Wilson’s Troubles on the Home Front

71 Republican Victory in the Election of 1918
1. Republicans won control of both houses of Congress a. Negated his claim to speaking for the whole American people b. Although continued to be the spokesman for the Allies

72 B. Costly Mistakes Before the Peace Conference
December 1918 : Wilson Decided he would attend the peace conference in person Hoped to be the presiding officer at the conference

73 Costly mistakes…. Selection of a Democratic Delegation
Treaty would have to be ratified by a Republican-controlled Senate Failure to Consult Senators Attitude toward the senate extremely arrogant cost him support of Democrats as well as Republican Senators Failure to Understand European Economic Problems Primarily concerned with political aspects of the formation of a league of nations

74 IV. Wilson’s Reception in Europe

75 Accepted as a great democratic champion by the people of Europe
B. Example of misunderstandings: 1.French people supported Wilson’s idea of a just peace but… a. A just and lasting peace for France would strip and dismember Germany b. Not what Wilson had in mind

76 V. Wilson’s Defeats at the Paris Conference

77 Character of the Conference itself
1. Not actually a “peace” conference The defeated powers were not allowed to send delegates Decisions made by a small minority of delegates 1. A committee of 10 out of the 32 victor nations set up 2. The committee of 10 turned into the “Big Four” who met in secret violation of one of the 14 Points that called for “open covenants, openly arrived at” a. France – Clemenceau b. Britain – Lloyd George c. Italy – Orlando d. US – Wilson Passions and hatreds of war would dominate the conference

78 B. French and British demands for revenge
Georges Clemenceau a. Alsace-Lorraine b. “Mr. Wilson bores me with his Fourteen Points; why , God Almighty has only ten !” David Lloyd George a. German Reparations b. “When I talk to Woodrow Wilson, I always feel that I am addressing Jesus Christ !”

79 C. Secret Agreements Among the Allies
Dating back to 1915 , a. provided for dismemberment of German and Austrian empires b. Distribution of the spoils among the victors Critics claimed that Wilson should have insisted that the Allies give up these treaties as a condition of US participation and aid a. Wilson claimed he had no knowledge of these secret agreements

80 D. Difficulties with the Fourteen Points
Principle of Self Determination a. Polish Corridor b. Ethnic groups in Central Europe & the Balkans Wilson’s faith in the League of Nations to establish security and prevent war not shared by European governments a. Member nations: i. not required to give up any of their sovereignty ii. Would retain the right to maintain their own armed forces

81 E. The Treaty of Versailles
1. June, 1919 a. Presented to Germans b. Signed by Germany after protest of harsh conditions and ultimatum : sign or Allies would resume war against Germany

82 Robert Lansing US Secretary of State
Memorandum not made public until 1945 Regarded the treaty as too harsh , the League used to enforce the harsh conditions , and the arbitrary placing of peoples under government not of their choosing would lead to future war

83 VI. Analysis of Alternative Solutions
Would the treaty have ensured peace if it had been based entirely on Wilson’s plan?

84 Wilson’s Peace Program
Germany retain colonies Few boundaries in Europe would have been drawn differently Japan would not have been awarded the Shantung Peninsula No reparations would have been imposed on defeated German nations

85 B. These differences would probably not have prevented the outbreak of future wars because…
The League of Nations was inadequate as a guarantor of peace. No provision designed to deal with the basic problems of imperialism Wilson’s program would not have achieved correction or removal of the fundamental economic causes of the war

86 VII. The Fight for Ratification in the U.S.
July 1919 submitted to the Senate

87 Reasons for Hostility to the treaty
1. Small group , led by Senator Robert M. La Follette , opposed ratification on idealistic grounds , seeing in the treaty a betrayal of Wilsonian idealism 2. Personal feelings of Wilson’s enemies in both parties ; his aloofness

88 3.Opposition by certain national groups
Irish Americans opposed as Ireland remained under British Rule German Americans opposed because of harsh conditions on Germany 4.Traditional American attitude of avoiding involvement in the affairs of Europe 1. Now that Germany defeated, semblance of balance of power restored, feeling of security ; desire for isolationism 5. Partisan politics 1. Republican leaders opposed in part due to Wilson’s actions towards Republicans in Congress

89 B. Four Groups of Opinion in the Senate
23 Senators a. Supported Wilson and wanted the treaty ratified without changes or reservations Approved of the treaty but would accept moderate changes a. Mostly Democrats Group led by Henry Cabot Lodge a. Insisted on drastic changes and reservations b. Mostly Republicans Irreconcilably opposed smallest group a. La Follette, Hiram Johnson and William Borah

90 C. Defeat of the Treaty The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee recommended ratifications with 42 amendments Wilson went on tour for public support of the un-amended treat Suffered a physical collapse (stroke) Mrs. Wilson served as his unofficial secretary Compromise might have secured passage Vote : 49 for / 35 against (less that 2/3 needed) i. 12 of 35 against were the “irreconcilables” ii. 23 of the 35 against were Wilson’s friends who he told not to vote for a compromise Wilson partly responsible for defeat If Wilson not so stubborn about compromise the treaty would have been accepted without basic alterations

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