Once World War I came to a close, many decided they never wanted to go through such a terrible war again. In fact, they even said that World War I was “the war to end all wars. ” They wanted to bring peace throughout the nations, something that would ensure that they would never have reason to fight again, at least not nearly as bad as the Great War had been. President Woodrow Wilson was a strong supporter of a peace between all continents, even constructing a 14 Point Plan that would focus on bringing peace to the world.
As a result, when the League of Nations came into being, he fully supported the Treaty of Versailles, which would not only induct the United States into the League, but also hold every single one of the signers to their promise of peace and unity. President Wilson brought this to the attention of the United States government, and though the Treaty of Versailles supported many of Wilson’s points from his 14 Point Plan, it was unsuccessful in passing. Though Wilson was very stubborn in trying to get the treaty passed, the strength of the opposing forces was too great, and Senate declined the passing of the treaty.
When going overseas to meet with the League of Nations and discuss the entirety of the Treaty of Versailles, Wilson failed to bring any Republican Senators with him, which hurt his chances of getting the treaty pass from the get go. After all, most of the Senators at this time were Republican. In Document H, W. E. B. DuBois spoke specifically about this, saying, “Because of the idiotic way in which the stubbornness of Woodrow Wilson and the political fortunes of the Republicans became involved, the United States was not represented.
” Because he ignored the Republicans, it was hard to sell the idea of the treaty to them and they ended up opposing it. Though Wilson claimed in Document G that “[the founders of the government] thought of America as the light of the world as created to lead the world in the assertion of the rights of peoples and the rights of free nations…this light the opponents of the League would clench,” many people didn’t agree.
In fact, America had been an isolationist nation for so long that many doubted it could work for the betterment of their country if they started getting involved in the affairs of others. One argument was that the organization wasn’t adequate enough to be successful, as stated by Jane Addams in Document I. Many were even afraid that by joining the League, “our people shall be submitted to a tribunal created other than by our own people and give it an international army subject to its direction and control to enforce its decree” (Document A.)
Basically, they were afraid that the American people would lose the right to govern their own country. They didn’t see that the treaty could possibly actually bring peace throughout the entire world, but that “it does much to intensify and nothing to heal the old and ugly dissensions” (Document B. ) Even Herbert Hoover, a friend of Wilson’s and someone who wanted the treaty to be passed, had his doubts about whether or not the Senate would approve.
“I believe that the Covenant will steadily lose ground in popular support if it is not put into constructive operation at once because the American public will not appreciate the saving values of the Covenant as distinguished from the wrongs imposed in the Treaty…” (Document D. ) In conclusion, the Treaty of Versailles would’ve passed most likely, had it not been for the strong opposition of the liberal and conservative forces. Though Wilson was trying his hardest and did remain stubborn throughout the entire case, his efforts fell to nothing and the United States would never join the League of Nations.