T H E A P P E A L TO THE
P E O P L E
"I am ready to fight from now until all the fight has been taken out of me by death to redeem the faith and promises of the United States." WOODROW WILSON at Spokane, Washington, September 12, 1919.
W I L S O N'S D E C I S I O N to make a spectacular stumping tour across the country in behalf of the treaty was one of the most momentous decisions of his entire career, perhaps the most momentous. As it turned out, the tour was a disastrous blunder. It not only wrecked Wilson's health, but in a very real sense helped wreck the League of Nations, and with it the hopes of humanity.
The decision to make the trip is generally represented as a sudden impulse, an act of desperation, a supreme effort to build up a backfire of public opinion against the stubborn senators and thus save the treaty.
It was undoubtedly an act of desperation, but it was clearly not a sudden impulse. More than two months before returning from Paris the President stated that he expected to make a tour of the country, but he could not yet be certain that he would. There were even earlier intimations in the newspapers that he was going to barnstorm from the Potomac to the. Pacific.
When Wilson reached home in July it was taken for granted that he would make his "swing around the circle." The question was not: Will he? It was: When will he? The anti-League senators were aware of his plan, and somewhat uneasy about it. Senator Moses proposed that the Foreign Relations Committee take advantage of the President's gracious offer to appear before it by requesting that he come every day at ten o'clock,