History 416

League of Nations Fight

September 28, 2005



I. Aftermath of 1916


1. The Issues (debates over preparedness and concept of league of nations)


            2. Decision for War (changing context of European events; Wilsonian appeal to nationalism)


3. The War at Home (key decisions—draft, war finance, civil liberties, economic policy; divided progressive movement)


II. The Course of War


            1. US and World War I (difficulties of mobilization; Wilson and war aims—the Fourteen Points address; mobilization of AEF; Trotsky and Russian international affairs; Brest-Litovsk; new German offensive; tipping the military scales; Wilson and the Western Allies; collapse of Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Empire; uncertainty of victory)


            2. Wilson and the Postwar World (1918 elections and personal setback?; Paris Peace delegation; international pressures—France, England, Japan; domestic pressures—Round Robin, cracks in progressive base; the first Versailles Treaty—controversies: Shantung, reparations, Article X, Monroe Doctrine; forced concessions and Article XXI)


            3. The US and the Russian Revolution (Wilson, Lenin, and the competition for international reform sentiment; the Bolsheviks and WWI; the decision to intervene—European interests, fear of Japan, importance of Czechs, anti-communism; the effects of intervention—hardening of anti-radical sentiment; confrontation with Congress; disillusion of progressives—Johnson, Robins; origins of the Cold War?)


III. Battle for the League


            1. The Rejection of Versailles (the Lodge reservations; the irreconcilables; the mild reservationists; WW and failure to lead public opinion; refusal to compromise; key issues: Article X, Article XI, Shantung; swing around the circle; WW stroke and Senate rejection)


            2. The Postwar Drift (Latin America and the collapse of the progressive consensus—Root, Wilson and alternatives to intervention; Fall and anti-radical mood; 1919 crisis; anti-interventionist coalition; battle for US public opinion; Haiti, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica)