Chapter V
Triumph: The League of Nations (1918-1920)

In the great political struggle over the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations, conservatives wielded the weapon of nationalism with a skill born of the movements for preparedness and intervention. Strikes and radical activity in 1919, as well as the Presidential campaign coming up in the following year, gave anti-League, stalwart Republicans further incentive for a supreme effort against the Wilson Administration. Other elements disaffected by Wilson's peacemaking--Western progressives, Americans of Irish, Italian, and German antecedents--probably played the dominant role in gaining the final defeat of the Treaty and Covenant, but the conservatives achieved the striking ideological victory of establishing their own nationalistic approach as the predominant note of the anti-League position.

James M. Beck played a prominent role in this stalwart achievement and in the election of Harding, which emphasized the triumph of nationalism and conservatism. By 1920 the conservative political tradition--and his own standing within the party--seemed stronger than at any time since the beginning of the century.


I

WALTER LIPPMANN and James M. Beck were among those contributing papers to a symposium on the implications of the war held by the American Academy of Political and Social

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