Woodrow Wilson


AP History Final Paper


January 16, 2004


The ineptitude and stubbornness of President Wilson, not the strength in the opposition forces, both liberal and conservative, resulted in the Senate defeat of the Treaty of Versailles. His stubborn behavior was shown publicly on numerous occasions.


His first mistake and stubborn behavior showed even before the treaty was drawn up. When he sailed to Paris for the creation of the treaty, he did not bring one member from any other party than his own. This angered the Republicans and didn’t help any matters of their accepting the Fourteen Points. Another example occurred after the Senate’s original rejection of the treaty; his speechmaking tour of 1919. It was meant to attempt to sway the opinions of the American people to get their senators to vote for the treaty. It was a good thought but not effective because of the “Battalion of Death” that followed him. All it did was confuse the American people and fire up the growing animosity of the republicans. He even said he was willing to die for the sake of new world order, and he almost did when he had a stroke related to physical and nervous exhaustion. After all the touring and hullabaloo, he again was stubborn and refused to accept any Republican alterations of the treaty. Senator Lodge, whom Wilson despised, suggested that they revise Article X of the Fourteen Points because of the moral bond that it required the United States to have on the occasion that one of its allied countries was in need of war help. The congress wanted to keep the choice of declaring war for itself and not for others to tell it when to do so. They were also afraid that Britain would dominate the league and end up dictating the United States and all other countries in the league. These revisions were not extreme by any means, and Wilson was simply stubborn and uncooperative with the suggestions made by the Republicans, considering that he was willing to make reparations suggested by Democrats. After all, it was the least that he could do, since he neglected to take any of them along to try to incorporate their ideas in the treaty to begin with. After all opinions were voiced, there was a Senate vote for or against the treaty. Wilson was too weak to lead the Democrats anymore, but he could still do his best to ruin the Republican cause. He asked all loyal Democrats to vote against the “Lodge Reservations”, and they all sightlessly did so.


The incompetence and obstinacy of President Wilson, not the vigor in the opposition forces, both liberal and conservative, was the reason for the Senate defeat of the Treaty of Versailles. His stubborn behavior was shown publicly on numerous occasions. His immaturity about the entire issue of allowing others to add their input into the document was ridiculous. As proven by all these points, it was truly President Wilson’s inflexibility and stubbornness that prevented the Treaty of Versailles from being passed.