The Legacy of Woodrow Wilson: American War Aims in World War I

By David M. Esposito | Go to book overview

Rhineland and interment of the German fleet ( Britain had graciously accommodated it at Scapa Flow when no neutral country would harbor it), House threw away important bargaining chips. 34

By the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, when the Armistice went into effect, there were over two million American soldiers in France. The AEF was larger than the British expedition in France. If the war had persisted and the American reinforcement continued as planned, there would have been more Americans in French trenches than Frenchmen fighting for France. 35 Although U.S. forces won no single outstanding victory, the AEF's timely arrival prevented German victory. German ambitions, while not as quite as grandiose as Wilson suspected, were checked by the combined might of the Allied and Associated Powers. As he demanded, Germany reformed its government after the kaiser fled into exile in the Netherlands. The territorial adjustments that the Allies desired were not secured by American arms; they would have to wait until the peace conference, where U.S. financial and military power should predominate. Just about everything that force of arms, finance, and industry could accomplish for Wilson's international agenda in wartime had been achieved. It remained up to the peacemaking process to see if his highest hopes for mankind could be realized.


NOTES
1.
AWC memo, October 19,1917, WCD 1060-119.
2.
Baker to House, July 18, 1917, House Papers.
3.
Baker to Guy Mason, July 29, 1917, Box 2, Baker Papers. This letter is misfiled in the "G" folder.
4.
Baker to Wilson, August 25, 1917, with Pershing to Baker August 24, 1917 enclosed, PWW, XLIV, 51-2.
5.
Fowler, Wiseman, 43-4.
6.
Wilson to House, July 21, 1917, House Papers; Viviani angered Wilson in May by saying that France wanted territorial concessions and an indemnity from Germany. Wilson replied coolly that he preferred a peace without victory. Kaspi, Les Temps, 141.
7.
Rothwell, British War Aims, 105-6.
8.
Cecil to Balfour, August 25, 1917. Quoted in Rothwell, British War Aims, 101-2.

-129-

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The Legacy of Woodrow Wilson: American War Aims in World War I
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Chapter 1 - Containment 1917 1
  • Notes 10
  • Chapter 2 - Most Terrible of All Wars 13
  • Notes 24
  • Chapter 3 - A Cruel and Unmanly Business 27
  • Notes 36
  • Chapter 4 - Not One Chance in Thousands 39
  • Notes 56
  • Chapter 5 - Toward an American Neutrality 61
  • Notes 80
  • Chapter 6 - These People Have One God -- Force 83
  • Notes 93
  • Chapter 7 - The Sun Rises in the West 97
  • Notes 111
  • Chapter 8 - Force Without Stint or Limit 117
  • Notes 129
  • Chapter 9 - Venomous Victories 133
  • Notes 141
  • Bibliography 143
  • Index 155
  • About the Author *
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