Council of Four from the Paris Peace Conference: from left to right, Lloyd George of England, Orlando of Italy, Clemenceau of France, Wilson of the United States.
President Wilson expected World War I to usher in an era "safe for democracy." But his peacemaking efforts illustrated the tensions in democratic foreign policymaking. Abroad, the likes of Lloyd George, Clemenceau, and Orlando pressed Wilson to support a hard-line peace against Germany. At home, the likes of Henry Cabot Lodge, Hiram Johnson, and Asle Gronna demanded a peace settlement more in line with their view of traditional American ideals. The result: a peace treaty that compromised Wilson's ideals and then failed to win approval from the Senate.

We'll be reading four documents for today's class: the clearest elucidation of Wilson's postwar vision, the 14 Points address; the League of Nations covenant (read it all once, but focus on Articles 10, 11, 15, and 16); and a sampling of the debate over the Versailles Treaty, which set up the League.

bullet 14 Points Address (1918)
bullet The League of Nations Covenant (1919)
bullet Wilson defends the League (1919)
bullet Henry Cabot Lodge attacks the League (1919)
eur1914.gif (182029 bytes) Europe before the war
eur1924.gif (199406 bytes) Europe after Versailles

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