Wilson's Fourteen Points
First five points called for aa) open diplomacy. bb) freedom of the seas.ce) the removal of trade barriers. dd) disarmament. ee) the impartial adjustment of colonial claims based upon the best interests of the colonial populations involved. Most of the remainder called on the Central Powers to evacuate occupied lands and endorsed self-determination for various ethnic nationalities within the decaying empires of central Europe.
Point Thirteen endorsed an independent Poland with access to the sea. The adoption of this point by creating this contributed much to the coming of World War II.
League of Nations
Point Fourteen - the capstone of Wilson's thinking - called for a general association of nations to secure guarantees of independence and territorial integrity to all countries
Big Four Leaders
Although the peace conference included delegates from all the countries that had declared war or broken relations with Germany, the "Big Four" - Prime Minister David Lloyd George of Britain, Premier Georges Clemenceau of France, Prime Minister Vittorio Orlando of Italy, and Wilson - dominated the proceedings. In the presence of these tough-minded politicians, Wilson's altruistic and progressive-minded program faced vigorous opposition. All three prime ministers manifested a determination to punish and weaken Germany.
Senator Henry Cabot Lodge
Unfortunately for Wilson's plans, the concept of the League of Nations stirred opposition at home. Opponents - led by this guy -- rallied around the Senator. He drew up a statement of opposition - the "Round Robin" - which thirty-four of his fellow senators signed. With their votes in his pocket, Lodge could block any treaty that Wilson brought home. Wilson stubbornly refused to accept the seriousness of Lodge's challenge and responded that the Senator must either accept the Covenant of the League - or destroy the entire treaty.
In order to secure concessions concerning the League of Nations from his European counterparts, Wilson was forced to make compromises regarding the taking of German territory by the Allies. He also compromised on the issue of German reparations. Ultimately, the Allies forced Germany and the other Central Powers to make major territorial concessions. Even worse, they compelled Germany to accept complete responsibility for starting the war and they imposed $33 billion in war reparations on the shattered German state.
opposition to Wilson's League consisted of sixteen Senators (fourteen Republicans, two Democrats) - mainly western and midwestern progressives - who opposed the League on principle and were determined to block American participation. William E. Borah of Idaho, Hiram W. Johnson of California, and Robert M. La Follette of Wisconsin led this group.
Led by Lodge, these guys were prepared to go part of the way with Wilson, but insisted on limiting American participation in the League and its actions. The "reservationists" voiced particular concern about Article X of the League Covenant which called for collective action against aggressors. Article X might mean the use of American troops in a war without congressional approval. This possibility, the reservationists suggested, raised a serious constitutional question.
Wilson agreed to accept any of these which the Senate might choose to adopt, but he refused to reopen European negotiations. Besides, he added, the United States had a veto in the League Council, and hence could not be forced to do anything it opposed. He refused to make further concessions. Instead, he chose to take his case directly before the American people.
Esch-Cummings Transportation Act of 1920
The United States government quickly extracted itself from "war socialism" in industry, communications, and transport, but this act attempted to preserve some of the advantages of unified operation. This legislation reversed previous attempts to enforce competition. Instead, it encouraged further railroad consolidation.
Boston Police Strike
This became the best known of the post-war disputes, because it inadvertently launched a presidential career. Governor Calvin Coolidge mobilized the National Guard and tersely observed that "There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time." The strike failed, the entire police force was fired, and Coolidge became the Republican candidate for vice president in 1920 — largely because the national public warmly embraced his sentiments.
Red Summer of 1919
The summer of 1919 also brought a season of race riots, both in the North and the South. Racial tensions partly derived from fears that black soldiers returning from Europe had been "French-women ruined" and partly from economic competition for scarce jobs. The ongoing migration of African- Americans to northern cities further contributed to escalating tensions, as did intensified segregation in the South. In the South, lynchings increased from forty-eight in 1917 to seventy-eight in 1919. Many of the victims still wore their military uniforms. These tensions resulted in this summer being called this.
Black teenager. Before July had ended, an even worse riot broke out in Chicago. This riot began at a Lake Michigan beach when a black teenager swam into an area of the lake normally reserved for whites. Someone threw a rock which struck him in the head, and he drowned. The incident touched off five days of rioting which left thirty-eight dead and 537 injured.
City where the Red Summer climaxed. When black tenant farmers attempted to organize a union, local whites used force to block it. In the subsequent violence, five whites and several dozen blacks died. During the Red Summer, riots rocked twenty-five American cities and the death toll exceeded 120.
The impact of this revolution strengthened public reactions to the labor and racial unrest of 1919. Many Americans feared that the upheavals of the time represented the prelude to a revolution in the United States.
Communist and Communist Labor Parties
The anti-German hysteria of the war years quickly transformed itself into a full blown "Red Scare." Popular fears about a Communist threat might have remained latent had it not been for the actions of a lunatic fringe. In April, 1919, the post office intercepted forty bombs addressed to prominent Americans.
Attorney-General A. Mitchell Palmer
Bomb in the Red Scare was sent to his house - nearly killing Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Although no evidence directly linked the Communists to the bombings, many Americans began to see "Reds" everywhere. Many of these began to condone attacks on all kinds of minorities in retaliation.
General Intelligence Division
As it had done with the Espionage and Sedition Acts during the war, the government soon gave this public sentiment the stamp of legal approval. Attorney-General Palmer - who had once been a progressive congressman with pro-labor leanings - harbored a deep distrust of aliens and a powerful desire for the presidency. He established this under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover to gather information which could be used to secure the deportation of radical aliens.
These raids began in November, 1919, when Justice Department agents began to round up and deport - without hearings - foreign born anarchists, Socialists, Communists, criminals, and public charges. On January 2, 1920, the government rounded up some 6,000 people - many without warrants - and about half were held in custody. The Red Scare, however, soon began to fade.
It led to a continuing crusade for "100% Americanism" and restrictions on immigration. It left a stigma on labor unions and contributed to a corporate sponsored anti-union, open-shop campaign known as the "American Plan."