Wilson and His Peacemakers: American Diplomacy at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919

By Arthur Walworth | Go to book overview

10

Defense of the Covenant

During Wilson's absence from Europe and while the mood of the people he had wooed there turned from optimism to bewilderment and impatience, Charles Seymour viewed the situation in historical perspective. "Unless the United States undertakes the burden of helping to keep peace over here," he wrote, "another war is inevitable, and the past three years prove that we are vitally concerned in any European war.... What people at home seem to fail to realize is that the war has brought Europe, and with her the world, to the very brink of complete demoralization ; you can't realize it until you come here and read the telegrams from Central Europe. It is far worse than after any war of recent or even medieval history because of the interdependence of nations at the beginning of the twentieth century." 1.

When Wilson returned to America, however, he found that he had to contend with more than general ignorance of the extremity of Europe's plight. The president was obliged under the Constitution to be in Washington to pass upon legislation enacted during the final days of the old Congress before it adjourned on March 4. There was danger of a fatal clash between Wilson and his Republican adversaries, and in particular with Henry Cabot Lodge, who would be chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the incoming Congress. 2.

In a discussion of domestic politics on the first day of 1919 Wilson and House had agreed that their cause would be hurt if the president acceded to the Republican desire that he call an extra session of the new Congress. 3. But they differed upon an aspect of strategy that was vital. Wilson showed a belligerent determination to veto any legislation that his adversaries might propose. House, on the contrary, advised that the president say in a magnanimous way that he would leave the Republicans free to carry out the mandate that they had received from the voters in the congressional election of 1918. Thus, the colonel reasoned, the opposition would receive a large share of the blame that was, in his opinion, sure to be heaped upon men in a position of responsibility. Observing that Wilson found it hard to give up the extraordinary power that had come to him out of the necessity of winning the war, House doubted that he would act on the advice given. Actually, the president was not eager to hold out olive branches to those who questioned the practical validity of the doctrine upon which he based his leadership and power. It was hard, he wrote

____________________
1.
Seymour, Letters from the Paris Peace Conference, pp. 179-180. Reprinted with the permission of the Yale University Press.
2.
"Events had long since precluded even the possibility of Lodge and Wilson listening to one another," W. C. Widenor, Henry Cabot Lodge and the Search for an American Foreign Policy, p. 299.
3.
House diary, January 1, 1919. "The Republicans, of course, want an extra session for two reasons: first, in order to get the offices when they reorganize the House and Senate; and secondly, to be in session so they can embarrass the president. Since Roosevelt died, every Republican senator thinks he is a presidential possibility, and therefore arises to give his views on every subject. On the Democratic side, we have no organization," letter, Polk to Lansing, March 3, 1919, Y.H.C.

-181-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Wilson and His Peacemakers: American Diplomacy at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 618

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.