The Versaille Treaty, an agreement for peaceful terms among the warringnations of World War I, was extinguished by the insatiable desires of allparties involved. Woodrow Wilson, an inflexible, idealistic, righteous Presidentwas up against the vengeful Allies. Each with their own imperialistic views,conflicted as peace negotiations began. Wilson wanting to “make the world safefor Democracy” swooped into Paris to negotiate his Fourteen Points, leavingthe Republicans impotent state back in the United States. Thus, Wilson’s ideasfaced great opposition by the Big Business Republican Party fearful he was goingto run for reelection and by the Allies whom were looking to occupy Germanterritory. It became apparent that the Allies were far more concerned withimperialism than the idealism Wilson pushed for in the League of Nations.Order now
ThisLeague 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 theRepublicans, which led to the Wilson -Lodge feud, the ultimate cause ofdestruction. Woodrow Wilson was thought to have a Messiah complex due to hisdesire to dictate peace and his unwillingness to compromise. At the end of WorldWar I he compiled Fourteen Points, ultimately as propaganda.
His main goal wasto “make the world safe for Democracy,” in other words, extend America’spower and ideals through foreign nations. Of these Fourteen Points the mostimportant was the League of Nations, an attempt to reorder the world. However, agreat opponent of this “Wilsonian League” was Henry Cabot Lodge, aRepublican opponent. Ultimately, many of the obstacles Wilson faced could havebeen over come had he publicly admitted he was not running for reelection oncehis prominence grew if the League was authorized. He also would have avoideddefeat if he had been more willing to compromise with the republicans and addedon 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 inControl of both houses opposition was immense. Once the Senate denied theLeague, Wilson returned to Paris for modifications, but once again he facedresistance. France was looking to obtain the German Rhineland; likewise Franceand Japan were looking to gain territory.
The outcome was the sacrifice of manyof Wilson’s Fourteen Points to establish a stronghold for the League ofNation. However, the modified treaty was undermined by the return of soldierswhen it was apparent that “wartime idealism” had plummeted and the war fordemocracy had failed seeing that the Allies “greedy Imperialists. ” Theillibreals, foreign groups and anti-British all had different views of thetreaty, but ultimately it didn’t matter because it only brought more attentionto an immerging “problem. ” Republicans felt they had the right to revise thetreaty when it returned from Paris because they had had no representative in atPeace Conference in France due to Wilson and also because their soldiers hadfought in the war. This sort of division was what defeated the Treaty, Americansoldiers had not fought, Republican and Democrat soldiers had. Thus Lodgedelayed the treaty by holding hearings in which foreign representatives sightedtheir objections to the pact.
Lodge then began to tact reservations on thetreaty. However not all approved, many mild reservationists felt that Lodge’sreservation were too strong. They could have been persuaded by the Wilson tojoin the Democratic side, but he didn’t defer to them. In an attempt to fightLodge’s reservations, Wilson toured across the country, however this is whatbrought the ultimate demise of the Versaille Treaty. After a powerful speech onthe behalf of the League of Nations, Wilson suffered a stroke. With no Leader inthe Senate to replace him, Lodge had control.
Once Wilson was even capable ofmaking decisions, he refused to compromise his beliefs to Lodge. However, publicopinion still favored the treaty (with some reservations) and when the Senatevoted it down, they were forced to revote by the public. Lodge then entered intosecret negotiations with the Democrats, which landed him in an accusation oftreachery, and Lodge eventually dropped these negotiations. Wilson then directedhis democratic following to reject the treaty, but they felt the pact could nolonger be ratified, thus many vote in favor of it. The public never being ableto directly express their views of the treaty gained the opportunity whenHarding ran for president, whom was anti-League. This outcome was the end all tothe Varsaille Treaty.
Ultimately, many factors led to the demise of theVersialle Treaty. Had Wilson not been so hard headed and willing to compromisethe treaty might have survived. Had he involved the Republicans in the originalpeace conference the treaty may have serviced and Lodge may have not pushed himinto a corner. With two different concerns, Wilson’s being the League ofNations and Lodge’s being and avoidance of division within the RepublicanParty, the two refused to negotiate with each other.
And ultimately Republicanshad little to gain through a Democratic treaty, designed to “make the worldsafe for Democracy. ” Wilson’s stroke intensified the odds against the treatyand with the public still in favor of isolation its failure was inevitable.