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Ch. 23, Section 5: Searching for Peace

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1 Ch. 23, Section 5: Searching for Peace
Main Idea: Strong opposition greeted President Wilson’s plan for peace. Key Terms: Fourteen Points League of Nations Reparation

2 I. After the War A. Enormous problems had to be overcome after the war. 1. Much of Europe was devastated and had to be rebuilt. 2. People had to deal with the deaths of nearly 10 million soldiers and millions of civilians who died worldwide. 3. Europe faced social and political turmoil. Millions were homeless in Austria-Hungary. Civil war raged in Russia. In Poland, Czechoslovakia, Turkey, Russia and Austria-Hungary, where national boundaries were not defined, people struggled to form independent nations.

3 I. After the War cont. B. President Woodrow Wilson outlined a proposal for peace at the Paris Peace Conference in January 1919 known as the Fourteen Points. The plan reflected President Wilson’s strong faith in the ability of governments to fairly resolve problems. 1. Several points dealt with readjusting the boundaries in Europe and creating new nations from the collapsed empires of Turkey, Russia, and Austria-Hungary. These points reflected “national self-determination,” or President Wilson’s belief in the people’s right to decide how to be governed. 2. Several other points dealt with conducting international relations, including free trade, freedom of the seas, an end to secret treaties, reducing and limiting arms, and the peaceful settlement of disputes over colonies. 3. The last point created the League of Nations, whose goal was to preserve peace and prevent future wars.

4 I. After the War cont. C. Problems arose over the Fourteen Points Plan. 1. The plan interfered with competing interests of individual nations in deciding how to divide territory. The many people involved in the division had strong ideas about which other ethnic groups they could an could not live alongside. 2. Some of the points were vague. They did not propose concrete solutions to difficult problems.

5 II. The Peace Conference
A. The negotiations at the peace conference took place among the Big Four nations: the United States, Britain, France, and Italy. Neither Germany nor Russia was invited. B. The Allies disagreed as to the terms of a peace treaty. Wilson hoped his Fourteen Points plan would be accepted, but many compromises had to be made. European Allies wanted revenge fro the damage Germany caused to their countries.

6 II. The Peace Conference cont.
C. The Allies also discussed dealing with the new Bolshevik regime in Russia. France, Britain, and the U.S. sent troops to Russia, fearing the spread of communism and supporting the anti-Bolshevik fighting for control. D. Germany and the Allies signed the Treaty of Versailles in June The terms said 1. Germany had to accept full responsibility for the war and pay billions of dollars in reparations to the Allies for damages caused in the war. 2. Germany had to completely disarm and give up overseas colonies and some territory in Europe.

7 II. The Peace Conference cont.
E. The treaty also carved up the collapsed Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires. New nations were created, and old ones were restored Many of the new borders were disputed though, leading to future conflicts. F. The treaty included the creation of the League of Nations, although other points of President’ Wilson’s plan were rejected. The president hoped that including the League would correct any mistakes in the rest of the treaty.

8 III. Opposition at Home A. The Treaty of Versailles was presented to the U.S. Senate for ratification in It was rejected in In 1921 the U.S. signed a separate peace treaty with each of the Central Powers. The U.S. did not join the League of Nations. B. Many Americans felt the treaty dealt too harshly with Germany, and they did not want to participate in the League of Nations. They felt the League was a permanent commitment to international affairs that would prevent America from setting its own foreign policy.

9 III. Opposition at Home cont.
C. The most powerful opponent was Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He delayed a vote so opponents could present their cases, and he proposed a number of reservations that would limit America’s obligations. D. President Wilson went on a national speaking tour to gain support for the treaty and for the League. In late September, he had a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. Even so, he considered running for a third term. E. In March 1920, the Senate voted on the treaty with Lodge’s changes. President Wilson asked Democrats to vote against it. With so much opposition, the treaty did not pass.


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