CHAPTER 11—SECTION 4
WILSON FIGHTS FOR PEACE
I. Wilson Presents His Plan
A. January 1919—Peace Treaty signing at the Palace of Versailles near Paris.
1. Wilson arrives and receives a hero’s welcome.
2. Wilson had a plan for world peace called the Fourteen Points.
a) The first 5 tried to prevent another war like WWI.
i) There should be no secret treaties between nations.
ii) Freedom of the seas should be maintained by all.
iii) Tariffs should be lowered or eliminated to encourage
iv) Arms should be reduced to the lowest point for
v) Colonial polices should concern themselves about
colonial people as well as imperial powers.
b) The next 8 points had to deal with boundary changes.
i) Groups that claimed ethnic identities should be allowed
to form own countries.
c) The 14 point called for a League of Nations
i) An international organization to stop crises before they
started a war.
B. Allies Reject Wilson’s Plan
1. While Wilson was a famous scholar on domestic affairs—he was naïve
about international affairs.
2. The Allies overwhelmingly rejected Wilson’s plan—saying it was too
soft on Germany.
a) French premier Georges Clemenceau had been through two
German occupations of France and didn’t want another.
b) British Prime Minister David Lloyd George had just won
reelection on the slogan “Make Germany Pay”
c) The Italians wanted control of Austrian-held territory.
3. Unlike other peace conferences, none of the central powers was there
to defend itself. Neither were smaller Allied countries.
a) Russia was out as well because it was now communist.
b) So the big 4 countries, US, England, France, and Italy
c) Wilson gave up most of his 14 points in order to get
approval of his League of Nations.
II. Debating the Treaty of Versailles
A. Provisions of the Treaty
1. On June 28, 1919, leaders of the Big 4 and the defeated countries met
to sign the treaty.
2. The Treaty of Versailles established 9 new countries including…
3. It carved up the Ottoman Empire and gave them to France and Britain
as temporary colonies
a) They were to control them until they were ready for self-rule
b) The countries that formed were Iraq, Palestine, Jordan, Syria,
4. The treaty banned Germany from having an army.
a) Also returned the region of Alsace-Lorraine to France
b) And pay reparations (war damages) of 33 billion to the Allies.
B. The Treaty’s Weaknesses
1. The harsh treatment of Germany led to problems that eventually led to
World War II.
2. It humiliated Germany with a war-guilt clause, which forced Germany
to admit sole responsibility for starting World War I. (How did war
3. There was no way Germany could afford to pay the reparations
4. Germany’s colonial territories in the Pacific were taken away (could
have paid the bill)
5. Even though Russia was an ally for 3 years, it lost more territory than
a) Finland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia all from Russia
b) Russia became the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
in 1922 and vowed to regain the territories.
6. The treaty also ignored the demands of colonized people for self-rule.
C. Opposition to the Treaty
1. Wilson came home and faced strong opposition to the treaty.
2. Some like Herbert Hoover thought it was too harsh.
3. Others thought it was a sell-out to keep imperialism alive.
D. Debate Over the League of Nations
1. The main thing Americans hated was the League of Nations
a) Some thought it threatened the US policy of isolationism.
b) Others didn’t like the idea for joint military and economic
action against aggression.
E. Wilson refuses to Compromise
1. Wilson went on an 8000 mile tour to promote the peace plan
2. He delivered 34 speeches in 3 weeks explaining why the US should
join the League of Nations.
3. Wilson took the trip despite being ill—he then suffered a stroke and lay
paralyzed for 2 months unable to speak.
4. Wilson refused to compromise to changes the Senate wanted to make.
a) Because of this, the treaty failed to pass the Senate twice.
b) The US then made a separate treaty with Germany in 1921 after
Wilson was not president.
c) The US never joined the League of Nations
III. The Legacy of War
A. The US was forever changed because of the war.
1. It was seen as a world power.
2. Women and African Americans saw social changes.
3. In Europe, the first Communist government came to power
a) Fascist governments set up in Germany, Italy, Spain.
4. Americans called WWI the War to end all wars in hope that
there would never be a huge war like that.
5. Hatred among European countries led some to want to fight more.
6. Anger in Germany over the treaty led for some to seek revenge.
a) One angry German veteran of World War I wrote books in his
i) “It should not be that 2 million Germans died in vain”
ii) “No, we do not pardon, we demand revenge!”
The author—Adolf Hitler.