League Of Nations Essay

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 reelection and by the Allies whom were looking to occupy German
territory. It became apparent that the Allies were far more concerned with
imperialism than the 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 reelection once
his prominence grew if the League was authorized. 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.

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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 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 of
making decisions, he refused to compromise his beliefs to Lodge. However, public
opinion still favored the treaty (with some reservations) and when the Senate
voted it down, they were forced to revote by the public. Lodge then entered into
secret negotiations with the Democrats, which landed him in an accusation of
treachery, and Lodge eventually dropped these negotiations. Wilson then directed
his democratic following to reject the treaty, but they felt the pact could no
longer be ratified, thus many vote in favor of it. The public never being able
to directly express their views of the treaty gained the opportunity when
Harding ran for president, whom was anti-League. This outcome was the end all to
the Varsaille Treaty. Ultimately, many factors led to the demise of the
Versialle Treaty. Had Wilson not been so hard headed and willing to compromise
the treaty might have survived. Had he involved the Republicans in the original
peace conference the treaty may have serviced and Lodge may have not pushed him
into a corner. With two different concerns, Wilson’s being the League of
Nations and Lodge’s being and avoidance of division within the Republican
Party, the two refused to negotiate with each other. And ultimately Republicans
had little to gain through a Democratic treaty, designed to “make the world
safe for Democracy.” Wilson’s stroke intensified the odds against the treaty
and with the public still in favor of isolation its failure was inevitable.


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