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the world at war

“What we demand . . . is that the world be made fit and safe to live in; and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which, like our own, wishes to live its own life, determine its own institutions, be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression.”

- Woodrow Wilson, 1918

The world at war

18.4 Peace Without Victory

focus your thoughts
Focus Your Thoughts . . .

What do you think will be some of the immediate effects of the “War to End All Wars” . . .

Politically? Economically? Socially?

Why was this considered a war ‘without victory’, even though the Allied Powers were victorious?

wilson s fourteen points
Wilson’s Fourteen Points
  • The destruction and massive loss of life of WWI was shocking . . .
  • President Wilson wanted a “just and lasting peace”
  • His plan for world peace was referred to as the Fourteen Points
the first five points
The First Five Points
  • Open diplomacy
  • Freedom of the seas
  • Removal of trade barriers
  • Reduction of military arms
  • Proposed a fair system to resolved disputes over colonies
  • The next eight dealt directly with ‘self-determination’
    • The right of people to determine their own political status
      • Example: Wilson wanted the different ethnic groups within Austria-Hungary to be able to form their own nations
the fourteenth point
The Fourteenth Point
  • Called for the establishment of the ‘League of Nations’
    • The League would be an organization of nations that would work together to settle disputes, protect democracy, and prevent war
the components of the fourteen points
The Components of the Fourteen Points
  • Applied the principles of progressivism to foreign policy
    • The ideals of free trade, democracy, and self-determination are all things which the Progressives fought for . . .
  • Most importantly, the Fourteen Points declared that the foreign policy of democratic nation should be based on morality, not just what was best for that nation

Review: Who formed the Progressive Party??

(Hint: He’s a BAMF)

paris peace conference
Paris Peace Conference
  • President Wilson led the group of American negotiators who attended the peace conference in 1919
  • President Wilson enjoyed a heroes welcome in Paris; he was the first U.S. President ever to visit Europe while in office

President Wilson arrives in Paris

the conference opens
The Conference Opens
  • The Conference began on January 12, 1919
  • Leaders from thirty-two nations – representing about three-quarters of the world’s population – attended the conference
  • The Big Four dominated negotiations
    • The leaders of the victorious Allied Powers
      • David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister
      • Georges Clemenceau, French Premier
      • Vittorio Orlando, Italian Prime Minister
conflicting needs
Conflicting Needs

President Wilson

The Other Allied Powers

  • Deal openly
  • Trade fairly
  • Reduce arsenals
  • Punish Germany
  • Still others came seeking independence, hoping to build new nations
    • Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland
the treaty of versailles
The Treaty of Versailles
  • The Allied Powers eventually reached a consensus
  • They presented their peace agreement to Germany in May of 1919
  • The Treaty:
    • Forced Germany to disarm its military forces
    • Required Germany to pay the Allies ‘reparations’
      • Payments for damages and expenses
    • Demanded Germany accept sole responsibility for WWI
    • Created nine new nations
      • Included Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Poland
    • Included some of Wilson’s Fourteen Points
      • The establishment of the League of Nations
    • Required the Central Powers to surrender all its colonies to the Allied Powers
  • Germany strongly protested the terms, but was threatened with French military action, and signed the Treaty on June 28, 1919
the fight over the treaty
The Fight Over the Treaty
  • Wilson returned to the U.S. on July 8, 1919
  • The Treaty had to be approved by the Senate
    • The Senate immediately divided into three groups:
      • Democrats who supported immediate ratification
      • The ‘irreconcilables’, who urged outright rejection of participation in the League of Nations
      • The ‘reservationists’, who would ratify the treaty only if changes were made
        • Focused their criticism on the part of the League of Nations which required its members to use military force to carry out its decisions

How do you think Wilson responded to this opposition?

wilson s response
Wilson’s Response
  • Wilson refused to compromise with the reservationists and took his case directly to the American people
    • In twenty-two days, Wilson traveled 8,000 miles and made thirty-two speeches

“I can predict with absolute certainty that within another generation there will be another world war if the nations of the world do not concert [agree upon] the method by which to prevent it.”

wilson s health deteriorates
Wilson’s Health Deteriorates
  • Wilson’s speaking schedule took a heavy toll on his health, and on September 25, 1919, he collapsed
  • In early October, he suffered a stroke and never fully recovered
  • He finished out the rest of his term living privately in the White House, cut off from everyone except his wife and closest aides
  • After Wilson left office in 1921, the United States signed separate peace treaties Austria, Germany, and Hungary
  • The United States never joined the League of Nations!!!!!

As you know, the United States never joined the League of Nations President Wilson fought so desperately for; consider Wilson’s prophetic words from our earlier slide:

“I can predict with absolute certainty that within another generation there will be another world war if the nations of the world do not concert [agree upon] the method by which to prevent it.”

The League of Nations dissolved in 1946 during WWII and was later replaced by the United Nations, which the United States did join.

Was Wilson right?

Did the United State’s failure to join the League of Nations lead to the second world war? Why or why not?

What were some other contributing factors?