AP Treaty of Versailles
Wilson was preparing for an idea of
peace, prosperity and cooperation for
the entire world before the war was
even over. “Make the World safe for
Democracy” An new World Order with
the US playing a very important role—
the World’s Moral Policeman.
He spelled out his plan in a speech that
was called the Fourteen Points speech
• President Wilson wanted a fair peace policy.—
Wilson’s plan for lasting peace:
• --end to secret agreements (alliances)
• --freedom of the seas
• --reduction of armaments
• --self determination for ethnic groups—yet no
formula for how to implement it
• Very progressive-like
• The most important part of his plan was a
peacekeeping organization called A League of
Nations—a new organization of nations that
would mediate international disputes and act
against aggressors—he hoped to create a
world of peaceful nations in which future wars
could be avoided.
Midterm Elections 1918
• The Republicans captured both houses of
congress—a signal that domestic issues were
more important that international issues.
• Republicans were also mad because Wilson
will take no Republicans to Europe with him
to negotiate the treaty.
• Henry Cabot Lodge
Treaty of Versailles
• In January 1919, a peace conference began in
Paris to try to resolve the complicated issues
arising from WWI.
• All leaders of the countries involved were
present except Germany.
• The Big Four-US, Britain, France and Italy –
Wilson treated like a Hero from the West
Who Died and made you King??
• Everyone else at the peace talks thought that
Wilson’s plan was too easy on Germany—they
wanted Germany to paid—they wanted to
impose a harsh treaty on Germany.
• Wilson made many concessions in order to get
the support of the other Allied leaders for the
creation of the League of Nations.
The US Senate Rejects the Treaty
• Wilson had hoped the League of Nations
would prevent future wars, but his opponents
in Congress argued that it would drag the
country into unnecessary military
• He needed 2/3 of the Senate and rejected any
Hit the Road
• Convinced that the American people were on his
side, he took his case to the road.
• Traveling over 8000 miles in 3 weeks, speaking up
to 4 times a day, with little time to rest he had a
stroke in Pueblo Co.
• His wife took the reigns for over 18 months.
• Unable to fight for his beloved League of Nations,
and unwilling to compromise after years of total
control, he refused to sign the watered down
version of the Treaty.
• In the end a harsh treaty was imposed on
Germany which led to resentment, economic
difficulties and eventually WWII.
Why Did the Treaty not Pass?
Senator Cabot Lodge’s hatred toward Wilson
American people unwilling to take a more
significant role in the world
• A full commitment to the League would have
surrendered American freedom on a variety of
issues—bring the nation into conflicts that did
not represent our vital interest or potentially
erode Congress’ right to declare war.
• In the end, Americans became tired of
Wilson’s moralizing and disillusioned with
world affairs. The small gains made in WWI
came at a terrible cost. Once again Americans
heeded Washington's’ advice to avoid
European entanglements and returned to
• We raised our tariffs and restricted our
• Dissolution of 4 empires—Russian Empire,
Ottoman Empire, German Empire and AustriaHungary.
• 9 new countries were formed out of these—
Yugoslavia, Poland, and Czechoslovakia