Essay On The Treaty Of Versailles Dbq

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World War I, at its time, was the most violent and destructive war in human history. Afterwards, the Allies convened at the Paris Peace Conference to ensure that such total and utter demolition and loss of human life would never happen again. At this conference, they created the Treaty of Versailles, a peace treaty which dictated the terms of Germany’s surrender. America’s greatest concern with this treaty was Article X, a clause which stated the terms of the League of Nations. This was incredibly controversial, as it dictated that the nations who ratified the treaty would be required to involve themselves in conflicts which may not necessarily pertain to them. Understanding the potential infringement upon Congress’ right to declare war, thereby …show more content…

Wilson believed Article X was the “inevitable logical center of the whole system of . . . the League of Nations (Document B).” Wilson was taught from a young age not to “compromise with wrong (Bailey).” He saw the senators not only as being wrong, but as being “lesser intellects” and “pygmy-minded (Bailey).” This sense of superiority caused Wilson to underestimate the strength of the opposition and the legitimacy of their argument against Article X. He steadfastly refused to compromise on any aspect of the League of Nations, despite the Senate having concerns about Article X being unconstitutional (Document D). Senator William Borah made a speech in 1918 in which he described the League of Nations as using “force to destroy force, conflict to prevent conflict, militarism to destroy militarism, war to prevent war (Document A).” The senator’s qualms were not assuaged by Wilson’s continued persistence in enacting his exact version of the League of Nations, nor were those of other senators who feared the hypocrisy that Borah noticed would cripple the league to a point of uselessness. Wilson was already on poor terms with the Senate as he made a “brutally direct appeal for a Democratic Congress in October, 1918 (Bailey).” He also had previously announced he was sailing to France which made the Senate think he had a “Messiah complex (Bailey).” Wilson’s stubbornness led the senators to dislike him both as a person and a politician. Many senators, such as Henry Cabot Lodge, were “in favor of a league of nations (Bailey).” These senators only wanted to modify the treaty, and Herbert Hoover himself implored Wilson to accept the reservations passed by the Senate (Document C). However, Wilson would not ratify anything that was not exactly as he and the other international delegates had composed it. Wilson’s lack of

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