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Tag: Treaty of Versailles

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb

Another day has dawned. On this day, we witnessed a couple events surrounding World War I. Before the entry of U.S. troops into that conflict, we witnessed development of two support units for General Pershing’s expeditionary force seeking the Mexican raiders led by Pancho Villa. Following World War I, this day, in the U.S. Senate, witnessed the second attempt to gain ratification of the Treaty of Versailles was defeated led by Republican forces under the leadership of Henry Cabot Lodge. This marked not only a defeat of the program of President Woodrow Wilson, but also a repudiation of the U.S. as a active participant in the international community of nations.

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This day also witness the manufacture of the one millionth Jeep, that ubiquitous army vehicle, to the U.S. Army. More recently, this day witnessed the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom in the second Persian Gulf War. On the lighter side, this was a day of two major firsts for television: the first Academy Awards Ceremony, hosted by Bob Hope, televised live and later this day would witness the first televising of the day-to-day business of our Congress on C-SPAN. That was this day in history, the 19th of March…

    
A More Detailed Look at Today’s Event History:

The major events of the day took place just before and just after World War I. Prior to that world conflict, taking place mainly in western Europe, we were, in 1916, embroiled in a conflict along the southern borders of the U.S. between Texas and Arizona. Pancho Villa, leading an army of Mexican peasants, would raid towns across the U.S.–Mexico border. One of the most famous of these raids was on the border town of Columbus, New Mexico; during this raid the town was burned to the ground. General John "Black Jack" Pershing and his expeditionary force received orders to pursue and capture and/or kill Pancho Villa. Two new military groups participated in this campaign of the Mexican American War. These two new support units were the motorized cavalry under Lt. George Patton and the founding of the first U.S. air combat force, the First Aero Squadron, based in Columbus, New Mexico; this town was the site of one of Pancho Villa’s more famous border raids. The Aero Squadron served primarily scouting duties during this campaign. They would serve well over France in the conflict taking Place over France.

1st_aero

Following the end of the First World War in 1919, the United States, England and France would draft the formal treaty that the Germans were forced to sign. This document, the Treaty of Versailles, called for the formation of a League of Nations after the model set forth by Woodrow Wilson in his 14 Points. This treaty was designed to protect and expand the colonial empires of England and France under the guise of create "Protectorates" overseen by each of these powers. The U.S. also received some protectorates, especially in the Pacific, but we were not at that time a colonial power.

The problem, however, was this treaty required ratification by the U.S. Senate, which was in control of anti-Wilson Republicans led by men like Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr. The latter was especially active, in 1920, when this treaty came up for ratification a second time. This Senate action marked not only a defeat of the program of President Woodrow Wilson, but also a repudiation of the U.S. as a active participant in the international community of nations. We would never formally join the League of Nations and we would suffer, along with the democratic countries of Europe, the pains of war again when Adolf Hitler came into power as German Chancellor in 1933.

Two additional military events celebrated milestones on this day as well. In 1952, during the Korean War, the one millionth Jeep was manufactured. The jeep was introduced as an all-purpose, all-terrain vehicle to provide our troops with mobility during World War II and the Korean War. This milestone in the manufacturing of the functional, no-frills vehicle was a celebration of the success of a concept — mobility on the battlefield.

More recently, we witnessed on this day in 2003, the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom by President George W. Bush. This operation was part of the second Persian Gulf War and part of the U.S. war on terrorism following the attacks of 9-11 in New York City, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon in Virginia. Unlike the first Persian Gulf War, this military action was basically an U.S. action with a loose coalition of western European allies, especially the United Kingdom. Also, unlike the first Persian Gulf War, there was no coalition or support by our friends in the Arab world. While successful in removing Saddam Hussein from power, it has not bring real brought democracy or real freedom to that troubled country.

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We also witnessed a couple of firsts in the television arena. In 1953, we witnessed the first live showing of the annual Academy Awards show. This 25th edition of the awards ceremony was hosted for the first time by Bob Hope and was the occasion of Cecil B. DeMilles winning the Best Picture award for "The Greatest Show on Earth." The ceremony was broadcast by NBC Television. Also on this day, in 1979, the country witnessed the first live broadcast of the day-to-day activities of the U.S. House of Representatives; these broadcasts were carried by C-SPAN.

And that was this day in history. It was filled with several significant events that have shaped and molded this great country of ours!

We now will proceed to examine some of the events that are associated with day in history... GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1574 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Woodrow Wilson:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/w/woodrow_wilson.html ]

    

“A conservative is a man who just sits and thinks, mostly sits.”
— Woodrow Wilson

“A conservative is someone who makes no changes and consults his grandmother when in doubt.”
— Woodrow Wilson

“Absolute identity with one’s cause is the first and great condition of successful leadership.”
— Woodrow Wilson

“A little group of willful men, representing no opinion but their own, have rendered the great government of the United States helpless and contemptible.”
— Woodrow Wilson

“America lives in the heart of every man everywhere who wishes to find a region where he will be free to work out his destiny as he chooses.”
— Woodrow Wilson

“America was established not to create wealth but to realize a vision, to realize an ideal – to discover and maintain liberty among men.”
— Woodrow Wilson

continue reading…

                  Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbToday’s events direct our attention to the exploration of boundaries, both physical barriers and cultural “walls”. In several cases from the early 20th century, events related to the conquering of new lands came to the forefront. Several explorers (Yes, Heather, I know that these were men, but the women’s movement had not yet reached parity) achieved new firsts: discovering the Hawaiian Islands, reaching the South Pole, and settling Australia. At these were firsts for European, white males; the native populations had known about them for centuries if not millennia!

Aan_de_Zuidpool_-_p1913-160

There have also been breakthroughs on the cultural front. The post-World War I Peace Conference sought to forge a new world order that would live at peace with each other; World War I would become the War to End All Wars, after all. The Treaty of Versailles created a League of Nations to be a forum to forge and ensure this understanding. Then, of course, there were the events of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s breaking down the colored ceiling that kept African Americans from the mainstream.

About the time of our Revolutionary War (1778), an English Explorer, Captain James Cook explored the great expanses of the Pacific Oceans with two ships — the HMS Resolution and the HMS Discovery. in this year, Cook and his small fleet passed by the islands of Oahu and Kauai of the Hawaiian Island group. He would later return to land and explore these islands, and to eventually be killed on one. It is interesting to note that another phase of this exploration of the Pacific took his group along the West coast of North America, along what would become California, Oregon, and Washington.

But the discovery that captured the heart and soul of the populace was the exploration of Antarctica during the first decades of the 20th century. This quest for the South Pole pitted a team lead by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen against the team lead by the British Explorer Robert Falcon Scott. These two men started their trek toward this last conquest of the significant quests of 20th century, at least on earth. Scott reached the South Pole on this day, but found Amundsen’s tent and the Norwegian flag flying; he was a week late. Both parties would lose their lives to the harsh storms on this forbidding continent. Interestingly, the photographer who accompanied Scott’s party would have his undeveloped film found by the 1958 Commonwealth Trans–Antarctic Expedition and these photographs have recently gone on exhibit for public viewing.

Mass_demonstration_in_front_of_the_Reichstag_against_the_Treaty_of_Versailles

The Peace Conference following World War I started out to implement a “peace with understanding” in accordance with the Fourteen Points of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. However, the colonial powers (Britain and France) had suffered tremendous losses during the prolonged battles and their leaders, Sir David Lloyd George and Georges Clemenceau, would hi-jack the process to protect their current world-wide empire and even expanding it from the remnants of the Ottoman Empire and German holdings in Africa. Thus, the Treaty of Versailles did set up the League of Nations, but put major reparation costs on the German People. Thus, what started out as a quest for lasting world peace and ended setting the stage for World War II twenty years later.

Finally, on the Civil Rights front found the appointment of the first African American Cabinet member, Charles Weaver (Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development) in 1966 and President Ronald Reagan signing legislation to set aside second Monday of January as “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day” for this country. King lead a series of marches in the south and a number of rallies in the north, including his famous gathering at the Washington Monument and his “I have a dream” speech. By the end of the decade of the 1960s, African Americans would survive the Watts Riots of 1965 and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., in Memphis in 1968 to take their rightful place in American society. A major cultural barrier, as well as the Jim Crow laws that had deprived them of their Constitutional Rights since Reconstruction, had fallen. New meaning had been brought to the words: “One Nation, Under God”.

But let us jump into a brief view of the significant events that have occurred on this day… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1392 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Versailles:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/versailles.html ]

    

“If the constitutional treaty is rejected it will be back to square one, just at a time when we want Europe to be a more effective force for good in the world, when we need to buttress ourselves against the pressures and insecurities of globalization..”
— Peter Mandelson

“Are ideals confined to this deformed experiment upon a noble purpose, tainted, as it is, with bargains and tied to a peace treaty which might have been disposed of long ago to the great benefit of the world if it had not been compelled to carry this rider on its back?”
— Henry Cabot Lodge

“It was my dream, and probably the dream of every one of us, to bring about a revision of the Versailles Treaty by peaceful means, which was provided for in that very treaty.”
— Hans Frank

“I would point out that Japan’s proposal at the Versailles Peace Conference on the principle of racial equality was rejected by delegates such as those from Britain and the United States.”
— Hideki Tojo

“As a consequence of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, the officer corps of the old army became part of this class, as did that part of the younger generation who, in the old Germany, would have become officers or civil servants.”
— Gustav Stresemann

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary:

JerryPhotoDuring the first vote on the ratification of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles that included the League of Nations, a coalition of Republicans lead by Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge and Democrats almost gathered the two-thirds vote to successfully ratify the treaty. This ratification would have been with the modification to Article X which related to the deployment of League of Nations peacekeeping forces without Senate confirmation. The failure to ratify left the end of World War I “hanging”.

President Wilson’s campaign for popular support for the League of Nations was cut short by a stroke. When Harding won the presidency in 1920, his isolationist stand bode poorly for another chance for ratification; the previous coalition was no longer intact. The Knox-Porter Resolution was passed the accept the terms of the armistice to formerly end our involvement in World War I. We had reentered our national cocoon!

Mass_demonstration_in_front_of_the_Reichstag_against_the_Treaty_of_Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles was ratified by the other allies. And almost more important than the treaty was the creation of the League of Nations. Even though the latter was limited by the absence of the United States, the mandates included the protection of the French and British empires an the division of the German colonies between the two victors.

The hard lesson to learn from this experience still haunts us. We are a world power, but are somewhat capricious our exercise of that power. We have been involved in regional undeclared wars that drain our resources but don’t necessarily enhance our standing in the international community. Someday we will perhaps learn our lesson.

So, let’s start our exploration of the role of Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge in the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3109 Words ]
    

   

Quotations Related to HENRY CABOT LODGE:

    

“I would rather see the United States respected than loved by other nations.”
— Henry Cabot Lodge

“Recognition of belligerency as an expression of sympathy is all very well.”
— Henry Cabot Lodge

“We should never suffer Cuba to pass from the hands of Spain to any other European power.”
— Henry Cabot Lodge

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary:

JerryPhotoWe look today at a great experiment in international understanding that failed. It is not always the successes that are important; The League of Nations was proposed for the “right” reasons but was circumvented by the realities of weak human nature. Incorporated into The Treaty of Versailles, this international governmental organization failed on three fronts: social engineering of the map of Europe, the quest of both the British & French Empires or lands in the Middle East and Africa, and by the rapid retreat by the United States back into isolationism.

The League of Nations was the outgrowth of President Woodrow Wilson’s “Fourteen Point”. The French and the British, in their demand to place the entire blame for World War I on Germany, sought a way to acquire German and Ottoman territories for their own empires, they supported the League of Nations Mandates. Therefore, the two empires were able to use Wilson’s principles to “legally” accomplish their goals.

The_Gap_in_the_Bridge

But probably the most critical shortfall was the lack of American participation. The failure to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, of which the League of Nations was a part, left the keystone of leadership out of the organization. The Republican leaders in the Legislature sought to return to the isolated little enclave found here. The brief venture into Europe’s war and the treaty process was rejected and would be our approach to our response to the family of nations until the so-called “surprise” attack on Pearl Harbor.

But, enough of this background. Let’s get our exploration of the League of Nations started…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4228 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to LEAGUE OF NATIONS:

 

“The real history of the U.N. lies in the perceived failure of the League of Nations.”
— Joel Diemond

“There was a sense among Roosevelt’s generation the League of Nations had failed.”
— David Woolner

“Thus, there can be no real disarmament except on the basis of the collective peace system of the League of Nations.”
— Arthur Henderson

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary

We examine today the efforts of President Woodrow Wilson to institute a lasting peace after World War I. Wilson saw this as the “war to end all wars” and sought an honorable eace among the combatants through his FOURTEEN POINTS. This was a lofty idea.

However, France and Great Britain manipulated Wilson to effectively restore and extend their empire. Concurrently, these two powers wanted to saddle the Germn people and their leaders with the full blame and cost of the conflict. Wilson and the United States were considered a junior partner in the Allied cause. They seemingly accepted Wilson’s FOURTEEN POINTS and the founding of the League of Nations.

This situation was further complicated by the Republicans gaining a majority status in the U.S. Senate. This led to a failure to ratify the Versailles Treaty and the joining of the League of Nations. America was withdrawing back into its cocoon of isolationism that would last until the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

NOTE: To cover this topic, my post today is a bit longer than normal. It was not possible to set forth this story in a shorter post

So, let’s start our exploration of Woodrow Wilson’s presidency and efforts to forge a fair and lasting peace…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4784 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to WOODROW WILSON

“A conservative is a man who just sits and thinks, mostly sits.”
— Woodrow Wilson

“A conservative is someone who makes no changes and consults his grandmother when in doubt.”
— Woodrow Wilson

“Absolute identity with one’s cause is the first and great condition of successful leadership.”
— Woodrow Wilson

continue reading…