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attempts made at peace
“What attemps were made to achieve a
lasting peace in Europe between the years
By: Paul Portelli
This Essay will Disscuss why the “peace treaties” of WW1 cause not peace but War. Focusing mainly on the Treaty of Versaille, Woodrow Willson and the league of nations. How the triple anntont where more intrested in imperialism instead of idealism.
The Versaille Treaty, an agreement for peaceful terms among the warring nations of World War I, was extinguished by the insatiable desires of all parties involved. Woodrow Wilson, an inflexible, idealistic, righteous President was up against the vengeful Allies. Each with their own imperialistic views, conflicted as peace negotiations began. Wilson wanting to “make the world safe for Democracy” swooped into Paris to negotiate his Fourteen Points, leaving the Republicans impotent state back in the United States. Thus, Wilson’s ideas faced great opposition by the Big Business Republican Party fearful he was going to run for re-election and by the Allies whom were looking to occupy German territory.
It became apparent that the Allies were far more concerned with imperialism than idealism Wilson pushed for in the League of Nations. This League leads to the basic understanding to the failure of the Versaille Treaty. The League of Nations faced great resistance first by the Allies and later the Republicans, which led to the Wilson -Lodge feud, the ultimate cause of destruction. Woodrow Wilson was thought to have a Messiah complex due to his desire to dictate peace and his unwillingness to compromise. At the end of World War I he compiled Fourteen Points, ultimately as propaganda. His main goal was to “make the world safe for Democracy,” in other words, extend America’s power and ideals through foreign nations. Of these Fourteen Points the most important was the League of Nations, an attempt to reorder the world.
However, a great opponent of this “Wilsonian League” was Henry Cabot Lodge, a Republican opponent. Ultimately, many of the obstacles Wilson faced could have been over come had he publicly admitted he was not running for re-election once his prominence grew if the League was authorised. He also would have avoided defeat if he had been more willing to compromise with the republicans and added on a few revisions. Once the treaty was fabricated it met Republican opposition. In 1918 Wilson had appealed for a Democratic Congress to support his policy, however, due to issues at home the voters did the opposite.
With Republicans in Control of both houses of American Government opposition was immense. Once the Senate denied the League, Wilson returned to Paris for modifications, but once again he faced resistance. France was looking to obtain the German Rhineland; likewise France and Japan were looking to gain territory. The outcome was the sacrifice of many of Wilson’s Fourteen Points to establish a stronghold for the League of Nation. However, the modified treaty was undermined by the return of soldiers when it was apparent that “wartime idealism” had plummeted and the war for democracy had failed seeing that the Allies “greedy Imperialists.” The illibreals, foreign groups and anti-British all had different views of the treaty, but ultimately it didn’t matter because it only brought more attention to an immerging “problem.” Republicans felt they had the right to revise the treaty when it returned from Paris because they had had no representative in at Peace Conference in France due to Wilson and also because their soldiers had fought in the war. This sort of division was what defeated the Treaty, American soldiers had not fought, Republican and Democrat soldiers had. Thus Lodge delayed the treaty by holding hearings in which foreign representatives sighted their objections to the pact.
Lodge then began to tact reservations on the treaty. However not all approved, many mild reservationists felt that Lodge’s reservation were too strong. They could have been persuaded by the Wilson to join the Democratic side, but he didn’t defer to them. In an attempt to fight Lodge’s reservations, Wilson toured across the country, however this is what brought the ultimate demise of the Versaille Treaty. After a powerful speech on the behalf of the League of Nations, Wilson suffered a stroke. With no Leader in the Senate to replace him, Lodge had control. Once Wilson was even capable
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International relations, Foreign relations, Law, Crime of aggression, Laws of war, International criminal law, Military law, War crimes, War of aggression, League of Nations, Paris Peace Conference, Treaty of Versailles
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