Wilson and the Peacemakers: Combining Woodrow Wilson and the Lost Peace and Woodrow Wilson and the Great Betrayal

By Thomas A. Bailey | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

COMPROMISE WITHOUT
CONCESSION

"The Anglo-Saxon ided of Government is founded on the principle of compromise. No public official can have his own way all the time." EX-PRESIDENT TAFT, January 16, 1920.


1

THE AMERICAN people have long preened themselves on their Anglo-Saxon genius for compromise, and their historical scroll bears the names of such immortal compromisers as Henry Clay and Daniel Webster. Yet both Wilson and the senators had been unable to tread in these illustrious footsteps. We had become the laughingstock of the world, and our vaunted Constitution was seemingly on trial before the bar of international opinion. American sentiment was plainly disgusted with the political dodges of both Democrats and Republicans.

A number of distinguished'slied political and educational leaders urged compromise, among them Taft, Wickersham, Lowell, and Hoover. An appeal from the League of Free Nations Association urged the President to accept the necessary reservations and get the treaty into operation; he had done his duty, and any responsibility for reservations would rest with their authors, not with him. Among the signers of this appeal were Cardinal Gibbons, David Hunter Miller ( Wilson's thief assistant in framing the Covenant at Paris), Dr. Isaiah Bowman (one of the leading American experts at Paris), and Ray Stannard Baker, director of the American Press Bureau in Paris, and destined to be Wilson's able and sympathetic biographer.

Various other groups and organizations, during December and January, petitioned for speedy ratification. The League to Enforce Peace continued its widespread propaganda; universities, church groups, and labor organizations added their

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