Unit 5 Class Notes- imperialism and wwi american Expansionism

Debate Over the League of Nations-

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Debate Over the League of Nations- The greatest obstacle to the Treaty was its inclusion of the League of Nations

  • Most members of Congress opposed to the Treaty wanted to turn back to America’s isolationism, and feared that the League of Nation’s usurped Congress’ sole power to declare war

Wilson Refuses to Compromise…Killing the Treaty Himself- Wilson may have had better luck getting the Senate to compromise on the League of Nations had he included Republicans in the treaty delegation. But he didn’t. Instead, Wilson dug in his heals and set out in September 1919 on an 8,000 mile tour, giving 34 speeches in three weeks, in an attempt to bend public opinion in favor of the U.S. joining the League of Nations. This would turn out to be a disastrous decision.

  • On Oct. 2nd 1919, Wilson suffered a stroke

    • He was partially paralyzed, unable to meet with his cabinet for two months.

  • Nov. 1919- Senator Lodge introduced a number of amendments to the Treaty, when it came up for a vote.

    • President Wilson instructed all Democrats to vote against the treaty with the Lodge amendments.

    • The Senate rejected Lodge’s amendments, and ultimately failed to ratify the Treaty.

  • Public was so frustrated, that the Senate was forced to bring the Treaty up for ratification a second time, in March 1920.

    • The Treaty was brought up again, and again it contained Lodges reservations.

    • It could only be passed if it included the Lodge amendments

      • President Wilson again asked all loyal Democrats to vote down the Treaty.

  • On March 19, 1920, the Senate again rejected the Treaty, killing it once and for all.

    • The U.S. would sign a separate treaty with Germany in 1921

***The main consequence of the Senate’s refusal to ratify the Treaty of Versailles was that the League of Nations was greatly weakened

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