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Wilson and the End of the War

Wilson and the End of the War

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Wilson and the End of the War

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  1. Wilson and the End of the War

  2. Wilson’s vision • 14 Points • Higher realism? • New Diplomacy • Permanent American role in world affairs • Why?

  3. European goals • Keep Germany down • Revenge and payment for war: France (Alsace Lorraine), Britain (reparations), Italy (Trieste), Japan (China and Racial Equality) • Keep Russian Revolution out • Self determination of peoples? • Security pledge from United States

  4. Agreements at Versailles • War Guilt: Kriegschuldfrage • Reparations: Germany must pay (finally determined at 33 billion gold Reichsmark) • Territorial adjustments (Germany lost 10 % of its territory and 15 % of its prewar population) • Self determination of peoples: New nation states in Eastern Europe • Diplomatic isolation of Russia: Cordon sanitaire • League of Nations

  5. Wilson’s Problems • Wanted League of Nations: Europeans took advantage of this • Wilson misread his popularity both in Europe and in the United States • Article X of the League of Nations Charter • No congressional input • Henry Cabot Lodge (friend of TR) • Bad health

  6. Wilson’s failure • Europeans imposed punitive peace • Lodge able to block ratification of Versailles Treaty • Wilson suffered stroke while speaking for League, leaving his wife in control. Won’t compromise (inflexibility symptomatic of stroke victims) • United States eventually signed separate peace treaty with Germany: No security agreement for Europe • Germany’s first representative government saddled with Diktat, Reparations and “Ruckstoss” PR problem • United States turns inward from international commitments and away from domestic reforms.