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Title: Woodrow Wilson and the World War - A Chronicle of Our Own Times.
Author: Seymour, Charles
Language: English
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  TEXTBOOK EDITION

  THE YALE CHRONICLES
  OF AMERICA SERIES

  ALLEN JOHNSON
  EDITOR

  GERHARD R. LOMER
  CHARLES W. JEFFERYS
  ASSISTANT EDITORS



  WOODROW WILSON
  AND THE WORLD WAR

  A CHRONICLE OF OUR OWN TIMES
  BY CHARLES SEYMOUR
  1921

  [Illustration]

  TORONTO: GLASGOW, BROOK & CO.
  NEW YORK: UNITED STATES PUBLISHERS
  ASSOCIATION, INC.



  _Copyright, 1921, by Yale University Press_

  Printed in the United States of America


+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|Transcribers note: In this plain text the breve has been rendered as [)c]|
+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+


  CONTENTS


    I. WILSON THE EXECUTIVE                   Page   1

   II. NEUTRALITY                              "    27

  III. THE SUBMARINE                           "    47

   IV. PLOTS AND PREPAREDNESS                  "    71

    V. AMERICA DECIDES                         "    94

   VI. THE NATION IN ARMS                      "   116

  VII. THE HOME FRONT                          "   150

 VIII. THE FIGHTING FRONT                      "   192

   IX. THE PATH TO PEACE                       "   228

    X. WAYS OF THE PEACE CONFERENCE            "   254

   XI. BALANCE OF POWER OR LEAGUE OF NATIONS?  "   281

  XII. THE SETTLEMENT                          "   310

 XIII. THE SENATE AND THE TREATY               "   330

  XIV. CONCLUSION                              "   352

       BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE                    "   361

       INDEX                                   "   367



WOODROW WILSON AND THE WORLD WAR

CHAPTER I

WILSON THE EXECUTIVE


When, on March 4, 1913, Woodrow Wilson entered the White House, the first
Democratic president elected in twenty years, no one could have guessed
the importance of the rôle which he was destined to play. While business
men and industrial leaders bewailed the mischance that had brought into
power a man whose attitude towards vested interests was reputed none too
friendly, they looked upon him as a temporary inconvenience. Nor did the
increasingly large body of independent voters, disgusted by the
"stand-pattism" of the Republican machine, regard Wilson much more
seriously; rather did they place their confidence in a reinvigoration of
the Grand Old Party through the progressive leadership of Roosevelt,
whose enthusiasm and practical vision had attracted the approval of more
than four million voters in the preceding election, despite his lack of
an adequate political organization. Even those who supported Wilson most
whole-heartedly believed that his work would lie entirely within the
field of domestic reform; little did they imagine that he would play a
part in world affairs larger than had fallen to any citizen of the United
States since the birth of the country.

The new President was fifty-six years old. His background was primarily
academic, a fact which, together with his Scotch-Irish ancestry, the
Presbyterian tradition of his family, and his early years spent in the
South, explains much in his character at the time when he entered upon
the general political stage. After graduating from Princeton in 1879,
where his career gave little indication of extraordinary promise, he
studied law, and for a time his shingle hung out in Atlanta. He seemed
unfitted by nature, however, for either pleasure or success in the
practice of the law. Reserved and cold, except with his intimates, he was
incapable of attracting clients in a profession and locality where
ability to "mix" was a prime qualification. A certain lack of tolerance
for the failings of his fellow mortals may have combined with his
Presbyterian conscience to disgust him with the hard give-and-take of the
struggling lawyer's life. He sought escape in graduate work in history
and politics at Johns Hopkins, where, in 1886, he received his Ph.D. for
a thesis entitled _Congressional Government_, a study remarkable for
clear thinking and felicitous expression. These qualities characterized
his work as a professor at Bryn Mawr and Wesleyan and paved his path to
an appointment on the Princeton faculty in 1890, as Professor of
Jurisprudence and Politics.

Despite his early distaste to the career of practicing lawyer, Wilson was
by no means the man to bury himself in academic research. He lacked the
scrupulous patience and the willingness to submerge his own personality
which are characteristic of the scientific scholar. His gift was for
generalization, and his writings were marked by clarity of thought and
wealth of phrase, rather than by profundity. But such qualities brought
him remarkable success as a lecturer and essayist, and constant practice
gave him a fluency, a vocal control, and a power of verbal expression
which assured distinction at the frequent public meetings and dinners
where he was called upon to speak. Professional interest in the science
of government furnished him with topics of far wider import than the
ordinary pedagogue cares to handle, and he became, even as professor,
well known outside of Princeton. His influence, already broad in the
educational and not without some recognition in the political world, was
extended in 1902, when he was chosen President of the University.

During the succeeding eight years Wilson enjoyed his first taste of
executive power, and certain traits which he then displayed deserve brief
notice. Although a "conservative" in his advocacy of the maintenance of
the old-time curriculum, based upon the ancient languages and mathematics,
and in his opposition to the free elective system, he proved an inflexible
reformer as regards methods of instruction, the efficiency of which he was
determined to establish. He showed a ruthless resolution to eliminate what
he looked upon as undemocratic social habits among the undergraduates, and
did not hesitate to cut loose from tradition, regardless of the prejudice
thereby aroused against him. As an executive he evoked intense admiration
and virulent dislike; the Board of Trustees and the alumni body were alike
divided between enthusiastic support and bitter anathematization of the
measures he proposed. What seems obvious is that many graduates
sympathized with his purposes but were alienated by his methods. His
strength lay chiefly in the force of his appeal to democratic sentiment;
his weakness in complete inability to conciliate opponents.

At the moment when the issue of the struggle at Princeton was still
undecided, opportunity was given Wilson to enter political life; an
ambition for such a career had evidently stirred him in early days and
was doubtless resuscitated by his success as a public speaker. While
President of Princeton he had frequently touched upon public issues, and
so early as 1906 Colonel George Harvey had mentioned him as a possible
President of the United States. From that time he was often considered as
available for political office, and in 1910, with New Jersey stirred by a
strong popular movement against boss-rule, he was tendered the nomination
for Governor of that State. He accepted and proved an ideal candidate.
Though supported by the Democratic machine, which planned to elect a
reformer and then control him, Wilson won the adherence of independents
and progressive Republicans by his promise to break the power of the boss
system, and by the clarity of his plans for reform. His appeals to the
spirit of democracy and morality, while they voiced nothing new in an
electoral campaign, rang with unusual strength and sincerity. The State,
which had gone Republican by eighty-two thousand two years before, now
elected Wilson its Governor by a plurality of forty-nine thousand.

He retained office in New Jersey for only two years. During that period he
achieved a high degree of success. Had he served longer it is impossible
to say what might have been his ultimate position, for as at Princeton,
elements of opposition had begun to coalesce against him and he had found
no means to disarm them. As Governor, he at once declared himself head of
the party and by a display of firm activity dominated the machine. The
Democratic boss, Senator James Smith, was sternly enjoined from seeking
reëlection to the Senate, and when, in defiance of promises and the wish
of the voters as expressed at the primaries, he attempted to run, Wilson
entered the lists and so influenced public opinion and the Legislature
that the head of the machine received only four votes. Attempts of the
Democratic machine to combine with the Republicans, in order to nullify
the reforms which Wilson had promised in his campaign, proved equally
futile. With strong popular support, constantly exercising his influence
both in party conferences and on the Legislature, the Governor was able to
translate into law the most important of the measures demanded by the
progressives. He himself summed up the essence of the situation when he
said: "The moment the forces in New Jersey that had resisted reform
realized that the people were backing new men who meant what they had
said, they realized that they dare not resist them. It was not the
personal force of the new officials; it was the moral strength of their
backing that accomplished the extraordinary result." Supreme confidence in
the force of public opinion exerted by the common man characterizes much
of Wilson's political philosophy, and the position in the world which he
was to enjoy for some months towards the end of the war rested upon the
same basis.

In 1912 came the presidential election. The split in the Republican
forces promised if it did not absolutely guarantee the election of a
Democrat, and when the party convention met at Baltimore in June,
excitement was more than ordinarily intense. The conservative elements in
the party were divided. The radicals looked to Bryan for leadership,
although his nomination seemed out of the question. Wilson had stamped
himself as an anti-machine progressive, and if the machine conservatives
threatened he might hope for support from the Nebraskan orator. From the
first the real contest appeared to be between Wilson and Champ Clark, who
although hardly a conservative, was backed for the moment by the machine
leaders. The deciding power was in Bryan's hand, and as the strife
between conservatives and radicals waxed hot, he turned to the support of
Wilson. On the forty-sixth ballot Wilson was nominated. With division in
the Republican ranks, with his record in New Jersey for legislative
accomplishment, and winning many independent votes through a succession
of effective campaign speeches, Wilson more than fulfilled the highest of
Democratic hopes. He received on election day only a minority of all the
votes cast, but his majority in the electoral college was overwhelming.

       *       *       *       *       *

The personality of an American President has seldom undergone so much
analysis with such unsatisfactory results; almost every discussion of
Wilson's characteristics leads to the generation of heat rather than
light. Indeed the historian of the future may ask whether it is as
important, in this age of democracy, to know exactly what sort of man he
was as to know what the people thought he was. And yet in the case of a
statesman who was to play a rôle of supreme importance in the affairs of
the country and the world, it is perhaps more than a matter of merely
personal interest to underline his salient traits. Let it be premised
that a logical and satisfactory analysis is well-nigh impossible, for his
nature is self-contradictory, subject to gusts of temperament, and he
himself has pictured the struggle that has gone on between the impulsive
Irish and the cautious Scotch elements in him. Thus it is that he has
handled similar problems in different ways at different times, and has
produced upon different persons diametrically opposed impressions.

As an executive, perhaps his most notable characteristic is the will to
dominate. This does not mean that he is the egocentric autocrat pictured
by his opponents, for in conference he is apt to be tolerant of the
opinions of others, by no means dictatorial in manner, and apparently
anxious to obtain facts on both sides of the argument. An unfriendly
critic, Mr. E. J. Dillon, has said of him at Paris that "he was a very
good listener, an intelligent questioner, and amenable to argument
whenever he felt free to give practical effect to his conclusions."
Similar evidence has been offered by members of his Cabinet. But
unquestionably, in reaching a conclusion he resents pressure and he
permits no one to make up his mind for him; he is, said the German
Ambassador, "a recluse and lonely worker." One of his enthusiastic
admirers has written: "Once in possession of every fact in the case, the
President withdraws, commences the business of consideration, comparison,
and assessment, and then emerges with a decision." From such a decision
it is difficult to shake him and continued opposition serves merely to
stiffen his resolution. Wherever the responsibility is his, he insists
upon the finality of his judgment. Those who have worked with him have
remarked upon his eagerness, once he has decided a course of action, to
carry it into practical effect. The President of the Czecho-Slovak
Republic, Thomas G. Masaryk, said that of all the men he had met, "your
visionary, idealistic President is by far and away the most intensely
practical." One of the Big Four at Paris remarked: "Wilson works. The
rest of us play, comparatively speaking. We Europeans can't keep up with
a man who travels a straight path with such a swift stride, never looking
to right or left." But with all his eagerness for practical effect he is
notably less efficient in the execution than in the formation of
policies.

Wilson lacks, furthermore, the power of quick decision which is apt to
characterize the masterful executive. He is slow to make up his mind, a
trait that results partly, perhaps, from his Scotch blood and partly from
his academic training. Except for his steadfast adherence to what he
regards as basic principles, he might rightly be termed an opportunist.
For he is prone to temporize, anxious to prevent an issue from approaching
a crisis, evidently in the hope that something may "turn up" to improve
the situation and obviate the necessity of conflict. "Watchful waiting" in
the Mexican crises and his attitude towards the belligerents during the
first two years of the European war are cases in point. There are
instances of impulsive action on his part, when he has not waited for
advice or troubled to acquire exact knowledge of the facts underlying a
situation, but such occasions have been infrequent.

Wilson's dislike of advice has been widely advertized. It is probably
closer to the truth to say that he is naturally suspicious of advisers
unless he is certain that their basic point of view is the same as his
own. This is quite different from saying that he wants only opinions that
coincide with his own and that he immediately dispenses with advisers who
disagree with him. Colonel House, for example, who for five years exerted
constant influence on his policy, frequently advanced opinions quite at
variance from those of the President, but such differences did not weaken
House's influence inasmuch as Wilson felt that they were both starting
from the same angle towards the same point. Prejudiced though he seemed
to be against "financiers," Wilson took the opinions of Thomas W. Lamont
at Paris, because the underlying object of both, the acquisition of a
secure peace, was identical. It is true, however, that with the exception
of Colonel House, Wilson's advisers have been in the main purveyors of
facts rather than colleagues in the formation of policies. Wilson has
generally been anxious to receive facts which might help him to build his
policy, as will be attested by those who worked with him at Paris.[1] But
he was less interested in the opinions of his advisers, especially when
it came to principles and not details, for he decides principles for
himself. In this sense his Cabinet was composed of subordinates rather
than counselors. Such an attitude is, of course, characteristic of most
modern executives and has been intensified by war conditions. The summary
disregard of Lansing, shown by Wilson at Paris, was less striking than
the snubbing of Balfour by Lloyd George, or the cold brutality with which
Clemenceau treated the other French delegates.

[Footnote 1: Mr. Lamont says of the President at Paris: "I never saw a
man more ready and anxious to consult than he.... President Wilson did
not have a well-organized secretarial staff. He did far too much of the
work himself, studying until late at night papers and documents that he
should have largely delegated to some discreet aides. He was by all odds,
the hardest worked man at the Conference; but the failure to delegate
more of his work was not due to any inherent distrust that he had of
men--and certainly not to any desire to 'run the whole show' himself--but
simply to the lack of facility in knowing how to delegate work on a large
scale. In execution we all have a blind spot in some part of our eye.
President Wilson's was in his inability to use men; an inability, mind
you, not a refusal. On the contrary, when any of us volunteered or
insisted upon taking responsibility off his shoulders he was delighted."]

General conviction of Wilson's autocratic nature has been intensified by
his choice of assistants, who have not as a rule enjoyed public
confidence. He debarred himself from success in the matter of
appointments, in the first place, by limiting his range of choice through
unwillingness to have about him those who did not share his point of
view. It is more epigrammatic than exact to say that he was the sole unit
in the Government giving value to a row of ciphers, for his Cabinet, as
a whole, was not composed of weak men. But the fact that the members of
his Cabinet accepted implicitly his firm creed that the Cabinet ought to
be an executive and not a political council, that it depended upon the
President's policy, and that its main function should be merely to carry
that policy into effect, gave to the public some justification for its
belief that Wilson's was a "one-man" Government. This belief was further
intensified by the President's extreme sensitiveness to hostile
criticism, which more than anything else hindered frank interchange of
opinion between himself and strong personalities. On more than one
occasion he seemed to regard opposition as tantamount to personal
hostility, an attitude which at times was not entirely unjustified. In
the matter of minor appointments Wilson failed generally of success
because he consistently refused to take a personal interest, leaving them
to subordinates and admitting that political necessities must go far to
determine the choice. Even in such an important problem as the
appointment of the Peace Commission the President seems to have made his
selection almost at haphazard. Many of his war appointments proved
ultimately to be wise. But it is noteworthy that such men as Garfield,
Baruch, and McCormick, who amply justified their choice, were appointed
because Wilson knew personally their capacity and not because of previous
success along special lines which would entitle them to public
confidence.

The obstinacy of the President has become proverbial. The square chin,
unconsciously protruded in argument, indicates definitely his capacity,
as a British critic has put it, "to dig his toes in and hold on." On
matters of method, however, where a basic principle is not involved, he
is flexible. According as you approve or disapprove of him, he is
"capable of development" or "inconsistent." Thus he completely changed
front on the question of preparedness from 1914 to 1916. When the
question of the initiative and referendum arose in Oregon, his attitude
was the reverse of what it had been as professor of politics. When
matters of detail are under discussion, he has displayed much willingness
for and some skill in compromise, as was abundantly illustrated at Paris.
But when he thinks that a principle is at stake, he prefers to accept any
consequences, no matter how disastrous to his policy; witness his refusal
to accept the Lodge reservation on Article X of the League Covenant.

All those included within the small circle of Wilson's intimates attest
the charm and magnetism of his personality. The breadth of his reading is
reflected in his conversation, which is enlivened by anecdotes that
illustrate his points effectively and illumined by a sense of humor which
some of his friends regard as his most salient trait. His manner is
marked by extreme courtesy and, in view of the fixity of his opinions, a
surprising lack of abruptness or dogmatism. But he has never been able to
capitalize such personal advantages in his political relations. Apart
from his intimates he is shy and reserved. The antithesis of Roosevelt,
who loved to meet new individualities, Wilson has the college professor's
shrinking from social contacts, and is not at ease in the presence of
those with whom he is not familiar. Naturally, therefore, he lacks
completely Roosevelt's capacity to make friends, and there is in him no
trace of his predecessor's power to find exactly the right compliment for
the right person. Under Roosevelt the White House opened its doors to
every one who could bring the President anything of interest, whether in
the field of science, literature, politics, or sport; and the Chief
Magistrate, no matter who his guest, instantly found a common ground for
discussion. That capacity Wilson did not possess. Furthermore his health
was precarious and he was physically incapable of carrying the burden of
the constant interviews that characterized the life of his immediate
predecessors in the presidential office. He lived the life of a recluse
and rarely received any one but friends of the family at the White House
dinner table.

While he thus saved himself from the social intercourse which for
Roosevelt was a relaxation but which for him would have proved a nervous
and physical drain, Wilson deprived himself of the political advantages
that might have been derived from more extensive hospitality. He was
unable to influence Congressmen except by reason of his authority as head
of the party or nation. He lost many a chance of removing political
opposition through the personal appeal which is so flattering and
effective. He seems to have thought that if his policy was right in
itself, Congressmen ought to vote for it, without the satisfaction of
personal arguments, a singular misappreciation of human nature. The same
was true of his relations with the Washington correspondents; he was never
able to establish a man to man basis of intercourse. This incapacity in
the vital matter of human contacts was, perhaps, his greatest political
weakness. If he had been able to arouse warm personal devotion in his
followers, if he could have inflamed them with enthusiasm such as that
inspired by Roosevelt, rather than mere admiration, Wilson would have
found his political task immeasurably lightened. It is not surprising that
his mistakes in tactics should have been so numerous. His isolation and
dependence upon tactical advisers, such as Tumulty and Burleson, lacking
broad vision, led him into serious errors, most of which--such as his
appeal for a Democratic Congress in 1918, his selection of the personnel
of the Peace Commission, his refusal to compromise with the "mild
reservationist Senators" in the summer of 1919--were committed,
significantly, when he was not in immediate contact with Colonel House.

The political strength of Wilson did not result primarily from
intellectual power. His mind is neither profound nor subtle. His serious
writings are sound but not characterized by originality, nor in his
policies is there anything to indicate creative genius. He thinks straight
and possesses the ability to concentrate on a single line of effort. He is
skillful in catching an idea and adapting it to his purposes. Combined
with his power of expression and his talent for making phrases, such
qualities were of great assistance to him. But the real strength of the
President lay rather in his gift of sensing what the common people wanted
and his ability to put it into words for them. Few of his speeches are
great; many of them are marred by tactless phrases, such as "too proud to
fight" and "peace without victory." But nearly all of them express
honestly the desires of the masses. His strength in New Jersey and the
extraordinary effect produced in Europe by his war speeches might be cited
as evidence of this peculiar power. He sought above everything to catch
the trend of inarticulate rather than vociferous opinion. If one objects
that his patience under German outrages was not truly representative, we
must remember that opinion was slow in crystallizing, that his policy was
endorsed by the election of 1916, and that when he finally advocated war
in April, 1917, the country entered the struggle practically a unit.

But it is obvious that, however much political strength was assured the
President by his instinctive appreciation of popular feeling, this was
largely offset by the _gaucherie_ of his political tactics. He had a genius
for alienating persons who should have supported him and who agreed in
general with the broad lines of his policies. Few men in public life have
so thoroughly aroused the dislike of "the man in the street." Admitting
that much of Wilson's unpopularity resulted from misunderstanding, from the
feeling that he was a different sort, perhaps a "highbrow," the degree of
dislike felt for him becomes almost inexplicable in the case of a President
who, from all the evidence, was willing to sacrifice everything for what he
considered to be the benefit of the common man. He might almost repeat
Robespierre's final bitter and puzzled phrase: "To die for the people and
to be abhorred by them." So keen was the irritation aroused by Wilson's
methods and personality that many a citizen stated frankly that he
preferred to see Wilsonian policies which he approved meet defeat, rather
than see them carried to success by Wilson. This executive failing of the
President was destined to jeopardize the greatest of his policies and to
result in the personal tragedy of Wilson himself.

Certain large political principles stand out in Wilson's writings and
career as Governor and President. Of these the most striking, perhaps, is
his conviction that the President of the United States must be something
more than a mere executive superintendent. The entire responsibility for
the administration of government, he believed, should rest upon the
President, and in order to meet that responsibility, he must keep the
reins of control in his own hands. In his first essays and in his later
writings Wilson expressed his disgust with the system of congressional
committees which threw enormous power into the hands of irresponsible
professional politicians, and called for a President who would break that
system and exercise greater directive authority. For a time he seemed,
under the influence of Bagehot, to have believed in the feasibility of
introducing something like the parliamentary system into the government
of the United States. To the last he regarded the President as a sort of
Prime Minister, at the head of his party in the Legislature and able to
count absolutely upon its loyalty. More than this, he believed that the
President should take a large share of responsibility for the legislative
programme and ought to push this programme through by all means at his
disposal. Such a creed appeared in his early writings and was largely
carried into operation during his administration. We find him bringing
all possible pressure upon the New Jersey Legislature in order to redeem
his campaign pledges. When elected President, he went directly to
Congress with his message, instead of sending it to be read. Time and
again he intervened to forward his special legislative interests by
direct influence.

Both in his writings and in his actions Wilson has always advocated
government by party. Theoretically and in practice he has been opposed to
coalition government, for, in his belief, it divides responsibility.
Although by no means an advocate of the old-type spoils system, rewards
for party service seem to him essential. Curiously enough, while
insisting that the President is the leader of his party like a Prime
Minister, he has also described him, with an apparent lack of logic, as
the leader of the country. Because Wilson has thus confused party and
people, it is easy to understand why he has at times claimed to represent
the nation when, in reality, he was merely representing partisan views.
Such an attitude is naturally irritating to the Opposition and explains
something of the virulence that characterized the attacks made upon him
in 1918 and later.

Wilson's political sentiments are tinged by a constant and intense
interest in the common man. More than once he has insisted that it was
more important to know what was said by the fireside than what was said
in the council chamber. His strongest political weapon, he believes, has
been the appeal over the heads of politicians to public opinion. His
dislike of cliques and his strong prejudice against anything that savors
of special privilege shone clear in his attack upon the Princeton club
system, and the same light has not infrequently dazzled his vision as
President. Thus, while by no means a radical, he instinctively turned to
the support of labor in its struggles with capital because of the abuse
of its privilege by capital in the past and regardless of more recent
abuse of its power by labor. Similarly at the Peace Conference his
sympathies were naturally with every weak state and every minority group.

Such tendencies may have been strengthened by the intensity of his
religious convictions. There have been few men holding high office in
recent times so deeply and constantly affected by Christian faith as
Woodrow Wilson. The son of a clergyman and subjected during his early
years to the most lively and devout sort of Presbyterianism, he preserved
in his own family circle, in later years, a similar atmosphere. Nor was
his conviction of the immanence and spiritual guidance of the Deity ever
divorced from his professional and public life. We can discover in his
presidential speeches many indications of his belief that the duties he
had undertaken were laid upon him by God and that he might not deviate
from what seemed to him the straight and appointed path. There is
something reminiscent of Calvin in the stern and unswerving determination
not to compromise for the sake of ephemeral advantage. This aspect of
Wilson has been caught by a British critic, J. M. Keynes, who describes
the President as a Nonconformist minister, whose thought and temperament
were essentially theological, not intellectual, "with all the strength
and weakness of that manner of thought, feeling, and expression." The
observation is exact, although it does not in itself completely explain
Wilson. Certainly nothing could be more characteristic of the President
than the text of a Baccalaureate sermon which he preached at Princeton in
1907: "And be ye not conformed to this world." He believed with intensity
that each individual must set up for himself a moral standard, which he
must rigidly maintain regardless of the opinions of the community.

Entirely natural, therefore, is the emphasis which he has placed, whether
as President of Princeton or of the United States, upon moral rather
than material virtues. This, indeed, has been the essence of his
political idealism. Such an emphasis has been for him at once a source of
political strength and of weakness. The moralist unquestionably secures
wide popular support; but he also wearies his audience, and many a voter
has turned from Wilson in the spirit that led the Athenian to vote for
the ostracism of Aristides, because he was tired of hearing him called
"the Just." Whatever the immediate political effects, the country owes to
Wilson a debt, which historians will doubtless acknowledge, for his
insistence that morality must go hand in hand with public policy, that as
with individuals, so with governments, true greatness is won by service
rather than by acquisition, by sacrifice rather than by aggression.
Wilson and Treitschke are at opposite poles.

During his academic career Wilson seems to have displayed little interest
in foreign affairs, and his knowledge of European politics, although
sufficient for him to produce an admirable handbook on governments,
including foreign as well as our own, was probably not profound. During
his first year in the White House, he was typical of the Democratic
party, which then approved the political isolation of the United States,
abhorred the kind of commercial imperialism summed up in the phrase
"dollar diplomacy," and apparently believed that the essence of foreign
policy was to keep one's own hands clean. The development of Wilson from
this parochial point of view to one which centers his whole being upon a
policy of unselfish international service, forms, to a large extent, the
main thread of the narrative which follows.



CHAPTER II

NEUTRALITY


Despite the wars and rumors of wars in Europe after 1910, few Americans
perceived the gathering of the clouds, and probably not one in ten
thousand felt more than an ordinary thrill of interest on the morning of
June 29, 1914, when they read that the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of
Austria had been assassinated. Nor, a month later, when it became obvious
that the resulting crisis was to precipitate another war in the Balkans,
did most Americans realize that the world was hovering on the brink of
momentous events. Not even when the most dire forebodings were realized
and the great powers of Europe were drawn into the quarrel, could America
appreciate its significance. Crowds gazed upon the bulletin boards and
tried to picture the steady advance of German field-gray through the
streets of Liège, asked their neighbors what were these French 75's, and
endeavored to locate Mons and Verdun on inadequate maps. Interest could
not be more intense, but it was the interest of the moving-picture
devotee. Even the romantic voyage of the _Kronprinzessin Cecilie_ with
her cargo of gold, seeking to elude the roving British cruisers, seemed
merely theatrical. It was a tremendous show and we were the spectators.
Only the closing of the Stock Exchange lent an air of reality to the
crisis.

It was true that the Spanish War had made of the United States a world
power, but so firmly rooted in American minds was the principle of
complete political isolation from European affairs that the typical
citizen could not imagine any cataclysm on the other side of the Atlantic
so engrossing as to engage the active participation of his country. The
whole course of American history had deepened the general feeling of
aloofness from Europe and heightened the effect of the advice given by
the first President when he warned the country to avoid entangling
alliances. In the early nineteenth century the United States was a
country apart, for in the days when there was neither steamship nor
telegraph the Atlantic in truth separated the New World from the Old.
After the close of the "second war of independence," in 1815, the
possibility of foreign complications seemed remote. The attention of the
young nation was directed to domestic concerns, to the building up of
manufactures, to the extension of the frontiers westward. The American
nation turned its back to the Atlantic. There was a steady and welcome
stream of immigrants from Europe, but there was little speculation or
interest as to its headwaters.

Governmental relations with European states were disturbed at times by
crises of greater or less importance. The proximity of the United States
to and interest in Cuba compelled the Government to recognize the
political existence of Spain; a French army was ordered out of Mexico
when it was felt to be a menace; the presence of immigrant Irish in large
numbers always gave a note of uncertainty to the national attitude
towards Great Britain. The export of cotton from the Southern States
created industrial relations of such importance with Great Britain that,
during the Civil War, after the establishment of the blockade on the
Confederate coast, wisdom and forbearance were needed on both sides to
prevent the breaking out of armed conflict. But during the last third of
the century, which was marked in this country by an extraordinary
industrial evolution and an increased interest in domestic
administrative issues, the attitude of the United States towards Europe,
except during the brief Venezuelan crisis and the war with Spain, was
generally characterized by the indifference which is the natural outcome
of geographical separation.

In diplomatic language American foreign policy, so far as Europe was
concerned, was based upon the principle of "non-intervention." The right
to manage their affairs in their own way without interference was conceded
to European Governments and a reciprocal attitude was expected of them.
The American Government followed strictly the purpose of not participating
in any political arrangements made between European states regarding
European issues. Early in the life of the nation Jefferson had correlated
the double aspect of this policy: "Our first and fundamental maxim," he
said, "should be never to entangle ourselves in the broils of Europe; our
second, never to suffer Europe to intermeddle with cis-Atlantic affairs."
The influence of John Quincy Adams crystallized this double policy in the
Monroe Doctrine, which, as compensation for denying to European states the
right to intervene in American politics, sacrificed the generous
sympathies of many Americans, among them President Monroe himself, with
the republican movements across the Atlantic. With the continued and
increasing importance of the Monroe Doctrine as a principle of national
policy, the natural and reciprocal aspect of that doctrine, implying
political isolation from Europe, became more deeply imbedded in the
national consciousness.

There was, it is true, another aspect to American foreign policy besides
the European, namely, that concerning the Pacific and the Far East, which,
as diplomatic historians have pointed out, does not seem to have been
affected by the tradition of isolation. Since the day when the western
frontier was pushed to the Golden Gate, the United States has taken an
active interest in problems of the Pacific. Alaska was purchased from
Russia. An American seaman was the first to open the trade of Japan to the
outside world and thus precipitated the great revolution which has touched
every aspect of Far Eastern questions. American traders watched carefully
the commercial development of Oriental ports, in which Americans have
played an active rôle. In China and in the maintenance of the open door
especially, has America taken the keenest interest. It is a matter of
pride that American policy, always of a purely commercial and peaceful
nature, showed itself less aggressive than that of some European states.
But the Government insisted upon the recognition of American interest in
every Far Eastern issue that might be raised, and was ready to intervene
with those of Europe in moments of crisis or danger.

A fairly clear-cut distinction might thus be made between American
pretensions in the different parts of the world. In the Americas the
nation claimed that sort of preëminence which was implied by the Monroe
Doctrine, a preëminence which as regards the Latin-American states north
of the Orinoco many felt must be actively enforced, in view of special
interests in the Caribbean. In the Far East the United States claimed an
equality of status with the European powers. In the rest of the world,
Europe, Africa, the Levant, the traditional American policy of abstention
held good absolutely, at least until the close of the century.

The war with Spain affected American foreign policy vitally. The holding
of the Philippines, even if it were to prove merely temporary, created new
relations with all the great powers, of Europe as of Asia; American
Caribbean interests were strengthened; and the victory over a European
power, even one of a second class in material strength, necessarily
altered the traditional attitude of the nation towards the other states of
Europe and theirs towards it. This change was stimulated by the close
attention which American merchants and bankers began to give to European
combinations and policies, particularly to the exploitation of thinly
populated districts by European states. Even before the Spanish War a
keen-sighted student of foreign affairs, Richard Olney, had declared that
the American people could not assume an attitude of indifference towards
European politics and that the hegemony of a single continental state
would be disastrous to their prosperity if not to their safety. Conversely
Europeans began to watch America with greater care. The victory over Spain
was resented and the fear of American commercial development began to
spread. The Kaiser had even talked of a continental customs union to meet
American competition. On the other hand, Great Britain, which had
displayed a benevolent attitude during the Spanish War and whose admiral
at Manila had perhaps blocked German interference, showed an increasing
desire for a close understanding. The friendship of the United States,
itself once a British dependency, for the British colonies was natural
and American interests in the Far East had much in common with those of
Great Britain.

External evidence of the new place of the United States in the world might
be found in the position taken by Roosevelt as peacemaker between Russia
and Japan, and, more significantly, in the rôle played by the American
representative, Henry White, at the Conference of Algeciras in 1906. Not
merely did the American Government consent to discuss matters essentially
European in character, but its attitude proved almost decisive in the
settlement then drafted. It is true that the Senate, in approving that
settlement, refused to assume responsibility for its maintenance and
reiterated its adherence to traditional policy. But those who watched
developments with intelligent eyes must have agreed with Roosevelt when he
said: "We have no choice, we people of the United States, as to whether we
shall play a great part in the affairs of the world. That has been decided
for us by fate, by the march of events." Yet it may be questioned whether
the average American, during the first decade of the twentieth century,
realized the change that had come over relations with Europe. The majority
of citizens certainly felt that anything happening east of the Atlantic
was none of their business, just as everything that occurred in the
Americas was entirely outside the scope of European interference.

There is little to show that Woodrow Wilson, at the time when he entered
upon his duties as President, was one of the few Americans who fully
appreciated the new international position of the United States and its
consequences, even had there been no war. The Democratic platform of 1912
hardly mentioned foreign policy, and Wilson's Inaugural contained no
reference to anything except domestic matters. Certain problems inherited
from the previous Administration forced upon the President, however, the
formulation, if not of a policy, at least of an attitude. The questions of
the Panama Canal tolls and Japanese immigration, the Mexican situation,
the Philippines, general relations with Latin-America, all demanded
attention. In each case Wilson displayed a willingness to sacrifice, a
desire to avoid stressing the material strength of the United States, an
anxiety to compromise, which matched in spirit the finest traditions of
American foreign policy, which has generally been marked by high ideals.
Many of his countrymen, possibly without adequate study or command of the
facts, supposed that Wilson was inspired less by positive ideals than by
the belief that no problem of a foreign nature was worth a quarrel. People
liked the principle contained in the sentence: "We can afford to exercise
the self-restraint of a really great nation which realizes its own
strength and scorns to misuse it." But they also wondered whether the
passivity of the Government did not in part proceed from the fact that the
President could not make up his mind what he wanted to do. They looked
upon his handling of the Mexican situation as clear evidence of a lack of
policy. Nevertheless the country as a whole, without expressing enthusiasm
for Wilson's attitude, was obviously pleased by his attempts to avoid
foreign entanglements, and in the early summer of 1914 the eyes of the
nation were focused upon domestic issues.

Then came the war in Europe.

       *       *       *       *       *

Today, after the long years of stress and struggle in which the crimes of
Germany have received full advertisement, few Americans will admit that
they did not perceive during that first week of August, 1914, the
complete significance of the moral issues involved in the European war.
They read back into their thoughts of those early days the realization
which, in truth, came only later, that Germany was the brutal aggressor
attacking those aspects of modern civilization which are dear to America.
In fact there were not many then who grasped the essential truth that the
cause defended by Great Britain and France was indeed that of America and
that their defeat would bring the United States face to face with vital
danger, both material and moral.

Partisanship, of course, was not lacking and frequently it was of an
earnest kind; in view of the large number of European-born who enjoyed
citizenship, sympathy with one side or the other was inevitably warm.
West of the Mississippi it was some time before the masses were stirred
from their indifference to and their ignorance of the struggle. But on
the Atlantic seaboard and in the Middle West opinion became sharply
divided. The middle-class German-Americans naturally espoused with some
vehemence the justice of the Fatherland's cause. German intellectuals of
influence, such as Hugo Münsterberg, inveighed against the hypocrisy and
the decadence of the Entente powers. Many Americans who had lived or had
been educated in Germany, some professors who had been brought into
contact with the Kaiser explained the "essentially defensive character"
of Germany's struggle against the threatening Slav. Certain of the
politically active Irish elements, anxious to discredit the British, also
lent their support to the German cause.

On the Atlantic coast, however, the general trend of opinion ran strongly
in favor of the Entente. The brave defense of the Belgians at Liège
against terrible odds evoked warm sympathy; the stories of the atrocities
committed by the invading Germans, constantly more frequent and more
brutal in character, enhanced that feeling. The valorous retreat of the
French and their last-ditch stand on the Marne compelled admiration.
Moreover, the school histories of the United States with their emphasis
upon La Fayette and the aid given by the French in the first fight for
liberty proved to be of no small importance in the molding of sympathy.
Business men naturally favored Great Britain, both because of financial
relationships and because of their dislike and fear of German commercial
methods.

But in all this partisanship there was little appreciation of the peril
that might result from German victory and no articulate demand that the
United States intervene. Warm sympathy might be given to one side or the
other, but the almost universal opinion was that the war was none of our
business. Even Theodore Roosevelt, who later was to be one of the most
determined advocates of American intervention on the side of the Entente,
writing for _The Outlook_ in September, 1914, congratulated the country
on its separation from European quarrels, which made possible the
preservation of our peace.

Whatever the trend of public opinion, President Wilson would have
insisted upon neutrality. Everything in his character and policy demanded
the maintenance of peace. He had entered office with a broad programme of
social reform in view, and the attainment of his ideals depended upon
domestic tranquillity. He was, furthermore, a real pacifist, believing
that war is debasing morally and disastrous economically. Finally, he was
convinced that the United States was consecrated to a special task,
namely, the inspiration of politics by moral factors; if the nation was
to accomplish this task its example must be a higher example than one of
force. Unquestionably he looked forward to acting as mediator in the
struggle and thus securing for the country and himself new prestige such
as had come in Roosevelt's mediation between Russia and Japan. But the
main thought in his mind was, first, the preservation of peace for the
sake of peace; and next, to attain the supreme glory of showing the world
that greatness and peaceableness are complementary in national character
and not antithetic. "We are champions of peace and of concord," he said,
"and we should be very jealous of this distinction which we have sought
to earn."

Wilson's determination was strengthened by his obvious failure to
distinguish between the war aims of the two sides. He did not at first see
the moral issue involved. He was anxious to "reserve judgment until the
end of the war, when all its events and circumstances can be seen in their
entirety and in their true relations." When appeals and protests were sent
to him from Germany, Belgium, and France dealing with infractions of the
law and practice of nations, he was willing to return a response to
Germany, which had confessedly committed an international wrong, identical
with that sent to Belgium which had suffered from that wrong. Wilson has
himself confessed that "America did not at first see the full meaning of
the war. It looked like a natural raking out of the pent-up jealousies and
rivalries of the complicated politics of Europe.... We, at the distance
of America, looked on at first without a full comprehension of what the
plot was getting into."[2] That the aims of the belligerent powers might
affect the conscience or the fortunes of America he did not perceive. He
urged us not to be "thrown off our balance by a war with which we have
nothing to do, whose causes cannot touch us, whose very existence affords
us opportunities of friendship and disinterested service which should make
us ashamed of any thought of hostility or fearful preparation for
trouble." Hence his proclamation of neutrality, which was universally
accepted as right. Hence, also, his adjuration to be "impartial in thought
as well as in action," which was not so universally accepted and marks,
perhaps, a definite rift between Wilson and the bulk of educated opinion
in the Northeast.

[Footnote 2: Speech on the _George Washington_, July 4, 1919.]

During the early days of August Wilson had proclaimed his desire to act
as mediator between the warring forces, although he must have realized
that the suggestion would prove fruitless at that moment. Again, after
the battle of the Marne, he took advantage of German discouragement,
apparently receiving a hint from Johann von Bernstorff, German
Ambassador in Washington, to sound the belligerents on the possibility of
an arrangement. Failing a second time to elicit serious consideration of
peace, he withdrew to wait for a better opportunity. Thus the Germans,
beaten back from Paris, vainly pounded the allied lines on the Yser; the
Russians, after forcing their path through Galicia, defended Warsaw with
desperation; while Wilson kept himself and his country strictly aloof
from the conflict.

But no mere desires or declarations could prevent the war from touching
America, and each day made more apparent the difficulties and the dangers
of neutrality. The Atlantic no longer separated the two worlds. In
September and October the British Government, taking advantage of the
naval supremacy assured by their fleet, issued Orders in Council designed
to provide for close control of neutral commerce and to prevent the
importation of contraband into Germany. British supervision of war-time
trade has always been strict and its interpretation of the meaning of
contraband broad; the present instance was no exception. American ships
and cargoes were seized and confiscated to an extent which, while it
doubtless seemed justified to the British, who were fighting for their
lives, evoked a chorus of bitter complaints from American producers and
exporters. Commerce with neutral countries of Europe threatened to become
completely interrupted. On the 21st of October and again on the 26th of
December, the State Department sent notes of protest to the British
Government. The tone of the discussion was notably sharpened by the
seizure of the _Wilhelmina_, supposedly an American ship, though, as
later developed, she had been chartered by a German agent in New York,
Dr. Heinrich F. Albert, in order to bring the Anglo-American dispute to a
head.

How far the interference with our trade by the British might have
embittered relations, if other issues had not seemed more pressing, no one
can say. Precisely at the moment when business men were beginning to call
upon Wilson for a sturdier defense of American commercial rights, a
controversy with Germany eclipsed, at least from the eye of the general
public, all other foreign questions. From the moment when the defeat on
the Marne showed the Germans that victory was not likely to come quickly
to their arms, the Berlin Government realized the importance of preventing
the export of American munitions. Since the allies held control of the
seas an embargo on such export would be entirely to German advantage, and
the head of German propaganda in this country, a former Colonial
Secretary, Dr. Bernhard Dernburg, attempted to mobilize German-American
sentiment and to bring pressure upon Congressmen through their
constituents in favor of such an embargo. It was easy to allege that the
export of arms, since they went to the allied camp alone, was on its face,
unneutral. Several Senators approved the embargo, among them the chairman
of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, William J. Stone of Missouri.
Against the proposed embargo Wilson set his face steadfastly. He perceived
the fallacy of the German argument and insisted that to prevent the export
of arms would be itself unneutral. The inability of the Central Powers to
import arms from the United States resulted from their inferiority on the
high seas; the Government would be departing from its position of
impartiality if it failed to keep American markets open to every nation of
the world, belligerent or neutral. The United States could not change the
rules in the middle of the game for the advantage of one side. The perfect
legality of Wilson's decision has been frankly recognized since the war by
the German Ambassador.

But the execution of German military plans demanded that the allied
shortage in munitions, upon which the Teutons counted for success in the
spring campaigns, should not be replenished from American sources.
Failing to budge Wilson on the proposal of an embargo, they launched
themselves upon a more reckless course. On February 4, 1915, the German
Admiralty issued a proclamation to the effect that after the 18th of
February, German submarines would destroy every enemy merchant vessel
found in the waters about the British Isles, which were declared a "war
zone"; and that it might not be possible to provide for the safety of
crew or passengers of destroyed vessels. Neutral ships were warned of the
danger of destruction if they entered the zone. The excuse alleged for
this decided departure from the custom of nations was the British
blockade upon foodstuffs, which had been declared as a result of the
control of food in Germany by the Government. Here was quite a different
matter from British interference with American trade-rights; for if the
German threat were carried into effect it signified not merely the
destruction or loss of property, for which restitution might be made, but
the possible drowning of American citizens, perhaps women and children,
who would be entirely within their rights in traveling upon merchant
vessels and to whom the Government owed protection.

Wilson's reply was prompt and definite. "If the commanders of German
vessels of war should ... destroy on the high seas an American vessel or
the lives of American citizens, it would be difficult for the Government
of the United States to view the act in any other light than as an
indefensible violation of neutral rights.... The Government of the United
States would be constrained to hold the Imperial German Government to a
strict accountability for such acts of their naval authorities and to take
any steps it might be necessary to take to safeguard American lives and
property and to secure to American citizens the full enjoyment of their
acknowledged rights on the high seas." It was the clearest of warnings.
Would Germany heed it? And if she did not, would Wilson surrender his
pacific ideals and take the nation into war?



CHAPTER III

THE SUBMARINE


Early in the winter of 1914-1915 President Wilson apparently foresaw
something of the complications likely to arise from the measures and
counter-measures taken by the belligerents to secure control of overseas
commerce, and sent his personal adviser, Colonel House, across the
Atlantic to study the possibilities of reaching a _modus vivendi_. There
was no man so well qualified for the mission. Edward Mandell House was a
Texan by birth, but a cosmopolitan by nature. His hobby was practical
politics; his avocation the study of history and government. His
catholicity of taste is indicated by the nature of his library, which
includes numerous volumes not merely on the social sciences but also on
philosophy and poetry. His intellectual background was thus no less
favorable than his political for the post which he assumed as Wilson's
personal adviser. Disqualified by physical delicacy from entering the
political arena himself and consistently refusing office, he had for
years controlled the political stage in his own State; in 1912,
exercising strong influence in the national party organization, he had
done much to crystallize sentiment in favor of Wilson as presidential
candidate. Slight in stature, quiet in manner and voice, disliking
personal publicity, with an almost uncanny instinct for divining the
motives that actuate men, he possessed that which Wilson lacked--the
capacity to "mix," to meet his fellow mortals, no matter what their
estate, on a common ground.

Courteous and engaging, Colonel House was an unexcelled negotiator: he
had a genius for compromise, as perfect a control of his emotions as of
his facial expression, and a pacific magnetism that soothed into
reasonableness the most heated interlocutor. His range of acquaintance in
the United States was unparalleled. Abroad, previous to the war, he had
discussed international relations with the Kaiser and the chief statesmen
of France and England. His experience of American politics and knowledge
of foreign affairs, whether derived from men or from books, were matched
by an almost unerring penetration in the analysis of a political
situation, domestic or European. As a liberal idealist and pacifist, he
saw eye to eye with Wilson; his sense of political actualities, however,
was infinitely more keen.

But even the skill of Colonel House was not sufficient to induce Germany
to hold her hand, and, as spring advanced, it became increasingly clear
that she was resolved to carry her threats of unrestricted submarine
warfare into effect. The quality of Wilson's pacifism was about to be put
to the test. In March a British steamer, the _Falaba_, was sunk and an
American citizen drowned; some weeks later an American boat, the
_Cushing_, was attacked by a German airplane; and on the 1st of May,
another American steamer, the _Gulflight_, was sunk by a submarine with
the loss of two American lives. When was Wilson going to translate into
action his summary warning of "strict accountability?" Even as the
question was asked, we heard that the Germans had sunk the _Lusitania_.
On the 7th of May, 1915, at two in the afternoon, the pride of the
British merchant marine was struck by two torpedoes fired from a German
submarine. She sank in half an hour. More than eleven hundred of her
passengers and crew were drowned, among them one hundred and twenty-four
Americans, men, women, and children.

The cry that went up from America was one of anguish, but still more one
of rage. This attack upon non-combatant travelers, citizens of a neutral
state, had been callously premeditated and ruthlessly executed in cold
blood. The German Government had given frigid warning, in a newspaper
advertisement, of its intention to affront the custom of nations and the
laws of humanity. A wave of the bitterest anti-German feeling swept down
the Atlantic coast and out to the Mississippi; for the first time there
became apparent a definite trend of opinion demanding the entrance of the
United States into the war on the side of the Entente. On that day Wilson
might have won a declaration of war, so strong was popular sentiment; and
despite the comparative indifference of the Missouri valley and the Far
West, he might have aroused enthusiasm if not unity.

But a declaration of war then would, in all probability, have been a
mistake. Entrance into the war at that time would have been based upon
neither judgment nor ideals, but merely upon emotion. The American people
were in no way prepared to bring material aid to the cause of justice,
nor did the nation yet appreciate the moral issues involved. It would
have been a war of revenge for American lives lost. The President was by
temperament disinclined to listen to the passionate demands for
intervention, and, as historian, he must have had in mind the error
committed by McKinley when he permitted the declaration of war on Spain,
after the sinking of the _Maine_ in 1898. Sober afterthought has
generally agreed that Wilson was right. But he was himself led into a
serious error that produced consequences which were not soon to be
dissipated. Speaking three days after the event, when the world looked to
him to express the soul of America, and dealing with the spirit of
Americanism, he permitted an unfortunate phrase to enter his address and
to cloud his purpose. "There is such a thing," he said, "as a man being
too proud to fight." The phrase was by no means essential to the main
points of his address; it was preceded by one of greater importance,
namely that "the example of America must be a special example ... of
peace because peace is the healing and elevating influence of the world
and strife is not." It was followed by another of equal importance, that
a nation may be so much in the right "that it does not need to convince
others by force that it is right." These two phrases expressed what was
in the President's mind clearly and definitely: the United States was
consecrated to ideals which could not be carried into effect through
force, unless every other method dictated by supreme patience had failed.
But the world did not notice them. All that it remembered was that the
United States was "too proud to fight." What did this mean to the average
man except that the country was afraid to fight? The peoples of the
Entente powers were contemptuous; Germans were reassured; Americans were
humiliated.

Wilson the phrase-maker was betrayed by a phrase, and it was to pursue him
like a Fury. The chorus of indignation and shame aroused by this phrase
covered completely the determination and skill with which he entered upon
the diplomatic struggle with Germany. His purpose was definite. He had
gone on record in February that the United States Government would protect
the rights of American citizens, and he was bound to secure from Germany a
promise that merchant ships should not be torpedoed without warning or
assuring the lives of crew and passengers. And yet by virtue of his
pacific principles this promise could not be forcibly extracted until
every other possible method had been attempted in vain. Unquestionably he
was supported in his policy by many, perhaps most, thoughtful people,
although wherever support was given him in the East it was generally
grudging. Such a representative and judicial mind as that of ex-President
Taft favored cool consideration and careful action. But the difficulties
encountered by the President were tremendous. On the one hand he met the
bitter denunciations of the group, constantly increasing in numbers, which
demanded our immediate intervention on the side of the Entente. Led by
Roosevelt, who no longer felt as in the previous September, that the
United States had no immediate interest in the war, this group included
influential men of business and many writers. They had lost patience with
Wilson's patience. His policy was, in their opinion, that of a coward. On
the other hand, Wilson was assailed by pro-Germans and die-hard pacifists;
the former believed that the British blockade justified Germany's
submarine warfare; the latter were afraid even of strong language in
diplomatic notes, lest it lead to war. At the very outset of the
diplomatic controversy with Germany, before the second _Lusitania_ note
was dispatched, the Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan, resigned,
in the belief that the President's tone was too peremptory. For Bryan was
willing to arbitrate even Germany's right to drown American citizens on
the high seas. The defection of this influential politician a year
previous would have weakened Wilson seriously, but by now the President
had won secure control of the party. He was, indeed, strengthened
diplomatically by Bryan's resignation, as the latter, in a conversation
with the Austrian Ambassador, had given the impression that American
protests need not be taken over-seriously. His continuance in office might
have encouraged German leaders to adopt a bolder tone.

From the very beginning of his attempts to obtain from Germany a disavowal
for the sinking of the _Lusitania_ and a promise not to sink without
warning, the President took his stand upon high ground. Not merely did he
insist upon the rights guaranteed to neutrals by the law of nations; he
took the controversy out of the class of ordinary subjects of diplomatic
discussion and contended "for nothing less high and sacred than the rights
of humanity." To this he recurred in each of his notes. Germany avoided
the issue. At first she insisted that the _Lusitania_ was armed, carrying
explosives of war, transporting troops from Canada, and thus virtually
acting as a naval auxiliary. After the falsity of this assertion was
shown, she adduced the restrictions placed by Great Britain on neutral
trade as excuse for submarine operations, and contended that the
circumstances of naval warfare in the twentieth century had so changed
that the principles of international law no longer held good.

Each time Wilson returned to his point that the "rights of neutrals are
based upon principle, not upon expediency, and the principles are
immutable. Illegal and inhuman acts ... are manifestly indefensible when
they deprive neutrals of their acknowledged rights, particularly when
they violate the right to life itself. If a belligerent cannot retaliate
against an enemy without injuring the lives of neutrals, as well as their
property, humanity, as well as justice and a due regard for the dignity
of neutral powers should dictate that the practice be discontinued."
Wilson terminated his third note to Germany with a warning, which had the
tone, if not the form, of an ultimatum: there must be a scrupulous
observance of neutral rights in this critical matter, as repetition of
"acts in contravention of those rights must be regarded by the Government
of the United States, when they affect American citizens, as deliberately
unfriendly."

The exchange of notes consumed much time and proved a severe test for
American patience. The first _Lusitania_ note was sent on the 13th of
May and it was not until the 1st of September that the German Government
finally gave a pledge that was acceptable to Wilson. In the meantime
there had been continued sinkings, or attempts to sink, in clear
violation of the principles for which the President was contending. The
_Nebraskan_, the _Armenian_, the _Orduna_, were subjected to submarine
attacks. On the 19th of August the _Arabic_ was sunk and two Americans
lost. The ridicule heaped upon the President by the British and certain
sections of the American press, for his writing of diplomatic notes, was
only equaled by the sense of humiliation experienced by pro-Entente
elements in this country. _Punch_ issued a cartoon in which Uncle Sam
pointed to Wilson as having outstripped the record made by Job for
patience. Nevertheless Wilson obtained the main point for which he was
striving. On September 1, 1915, the German Government gave the definite
pledge that "Liners will not be sunk by our submarines without warning
and without safety of the lives of non-combatants, provided that the
liners do not try to escape or offer resistance." Wilson had sought to
safeguard a principle by compelling from Germany a written acknowledgment
of its validity. So much he had won and without the exercise of force.
Even those whose nerves were most overwrought by the long-drawn-out
negotiations, admitted that it was a diplomatic victory.

The victory was not clean-cut, for Germany had not yet disavowed the
sinking of the _Lusitania_, nor did the category "liners" seem to include
all merchant vessels. How real was even the partial victory remained to
be seen. Within three days of the German pledge the _Hesperian_ was sunk
and an American citizen drowned. On the 7th of November the _Ancona_ was
torpedoed in the Mediterranean by an Austrian submarine with the loss of
more American lives. It is true that after each case a disavowal was made
and a renewal of promises vouchsafed. But it seemed obvious that Germany
was merely playing for time and also that she counted upon pro-German and
pacifist agitation in this country. For a brief period it appeared as if
her hopes were not to be entirely disappointed. British merchant vessels,
following long-established custom, had for some months been armed for
purposes of defense. The German Government on February 10, 1916,
announced that henceforward such armed merchantmen would be regarded as
auxiliary cruisers and would be sunk without warning. It was unfortunate
that Robert Lansing, who had succeeded Bryan as Secretary of State, had
proposed on January 18, 1916, to the diplomatic representatives of the
Allied forces that they cease the arming of merchantmen as a means of
securing from Germany a pledge which would cover all merchantmen as well
as passenger liners; this proposal gave to Germany a new opportunity for
raising the issue of the submarine. But either Lansing's proposal had
been made without Mr. Wilson's sanction or the President changed his
mind, since on the 10th of February Wilson declared that he intended to
recognize the right of merchantmen to arm for purposes of defense. Once
more he insisted that the rules of war could not be changed during war
for the advantage of one side.

His declaration led at once to something like a revolt of Congress.
Already some of those who especially feared intervention had been
suffering from an attack of panic as a result of Wilson's recent decision
to support the preparedness movement. They were further terrified by the
possibility that some American citizen traveling on an armed merchantman
might lose his life and that the demand for entrance into the war might
thus become irresistible. Bryanites, pro-German propagandists, and Irish
combined against the President, and were reinforced by all the
discontented elements who hoped to break Wilson's control of the
Democratic party. The combination seemed like a new cave of Adullam.
Resolutions were introduced in the Senate by Thomas P. Gore and in the
House by Jeff McLemore, based upon suggestions made by Bryan nine months
before, that American citizens should be warned not to travel on armed
merchant vessels. Senator Stone, of the Foreign Relations Committee,
supported these resolutions and it appeared probable that Germany would
find her strongest support in the American Congress.

Wilson struck sharply. Not merely his leadership of the party and the
country was at stake, but also that moral leadership of neutral nations
and the world toward which the struggle with Germany was to take him.
Refusing to receive Senator Stone, he sent him a letter in which the
cardinal points of his position were underlined. "Once accept a single
abatement of right," he insisted, "and many other humiliations would
certainly follow, and the whole fine fabric of international law might
crumble under our hands piece by piece. What we are now contending for in
this matter is the very essence of the things that have made America a
sovereign nation. She cannot yield them without conceding her own
impotency as a Nation and making virtual surrender of her independent
position among the nations of the world." This definite enunciation was
in effect an appeal to the American people, which came as a relief to
those who had suffered from presidential patience under German outrages.
The storm of public feeling aroused against the rebellious Congressmen
was such that Wilson's victory became assured. Demanding concrete
justification of his stand, he insisted that the resolutions be put to
the vote. The issue was somewhat confused in the Senate so that the vote
was not decisive; but in the House the McLemore resolution was defeated
by a vote of 276 to 142.

And yet the submarine issue was not finally closed. Less than a month
after the rights of American citizens were thus maintained, the British
passenger steamer _Sussex_, crossing the English Channel, was torpedoed
without warning. It was the clearest violation of the pledge given by the
German Government the previous September. Once again Wilson acted without
precipitancy. He waited until the Germans should present explanations
and thereafter took more than a week in which to formulate his decision.
Finally, on April 19, 1916, he called the two houses of Congress in joint
session to lay before them his note to Germany. Unlike his _Lusitania_
notes, this was a definite ultimatum, clearly warranted by the undeniable
fact that Germany had broken a solemn pledge. After recounting the long
list of events which had so sorely tried American patience, Wilson
concluded that "unless the Imperial German Government should now
immediately declare and effect an abandonment of its present methods of
warfare against passenger and freight carrying vessels this Government
can have no choice but to sever diplomatic relations with the Government
of the German Empire altogether." The force of the ultimatum was
emphasized by the general tone of the note, in which, as in the
_Lusitania_ notes, the President spoke not so much for the legal rights
of the United States, as in behalf of the moral rights of all humanity.
He stressed the "principles of humanity as embodied in the law of
nations," and excoriated the "inhumanity of submarine warfare"; he
terminated by stating that the United States would contemplate a
diplomatic break with reluctance, but would feel constrained to take the
step "in behalf of humanity and the rights of neutral nations." This note
of emphasis upon America's duty to mankind rather than to herself formed
the main theme of a speech delivered two days previous: "America will
have forgotten her traditions whenever upon any occasion she fights
merely for herself under such circumstances as will show that she has
forgotten to fight for all mankind. And the only excuse that America can
ever have for the assertion of her physical force is that she asserts it
in behalf of the interests of humanity."

Germany yielded before Wilson's ultimatum, though with bad grace, and
promised that no more merchant ships would be sunk "without warning and
without saving human lives." But she also tried to make her promise
conditional upon the cessation by Great Britain of methods of warfare
which Germany called illegal, implying that her pledge might be withdrawn
at her pleasure: "the German Government ... must reserve itself complete
liberty of action." This condition Wilson, in taking note of Germany's
pledge, definitely waved aside: "the Government of the United States
notifies the Imperial Government that it cannot for a moment entertain,
much less discuss, a suggestion that respect by German naval authorities
for the rights of American citizens upon the high seas should in any way
or in the slightest degree be made contingent upon the conduct of any
other government affecting the rights of neutrals and non-combatants.
Responsibility in such matters is single, not joint; absolute, not
relative." By its silence the German Government seemed to acquiesce and
the crisis was over. The country had been close to war, but intervention
might yet be avoided if Germany kept her word. That, however, was a
condition upon which people were learning not to rely.

It is obvious that by the early summer of 1916 President Wilson's
attitude on foreign affairs had undergone a notable transformation from
that parochial spirit of 1914 which had led him to declare that the war
was no concern of America; he had given over completely the tradition
that if we keep our own hands clean we fulfill our duty. He had begun to
elaborate an idealistic policy of service to the world, not unreminiscent
of the altruistic schemes of Clay and Webster for assisting oppressed
republicans in Europe during the first third of the nineteenth century.
Wilson, like those statesmen, had always felt that the position of the
United States in the world was of a special sort, quite different from
that of the European states, and circumstances were forcing him to take
the stand that the nation must assume the lead in the world in order to
ensure the operation of the principles that Americans believe in. "We are
in some sort and by the force of circumstances the responsible spokesman
of the rights of humanity." He still opposed active intervention in the
war; the mission of the United States was a higher one than could
adequately be fulfilled through war; the kind of service we could best
give was not fighting. Yet he was brought to admit, even before the
_Sussex_ crisis (February 26, 1916), that in the last instance war might
be necessary if the American people were to assume the rôle of champion
of liberty in the world at large, as they had championed it in the
Americas; for the rights of humanity must be made secure against menace:
"America ought to keep out of this war ... at the expense of everything
except this single thing upon which her character and history are
founded, her sense of humanity and justice.... Valor withholds itself
from all small implications and entanglements and waits for the great
opportunity, when the sword will flash as if it carried the light of
heaven upon its blade." Thus the possibility of ultimate force was
implied. Eighteen months previous, peace had been for Wilson an end in
itself. Now it was subordinated to the greater end implied in maintaining
the principle of justice in the world.

During this period popular sentiment also underwent a notable
development. Americans reacted sharply to German threats and outrages,
and were thrown off their comfortable balance by the events which touched
American honor and safety so closely. Like Wilson, they were shaken out
of that sense of isolation which enveloped them in 1914, and they were
thus prepared for the reception of broader ideals. The process of
education was slow and difficult. It was hampered by the confusion of
foreign issues. Propagandists took advantage of the controversy with
Great Britain in order to obscure the principles upon which the
discussions with Germany were based. The increasing stringency of British
control of commerce and the blacklisting of various American firms by the
British authorities resulted in numerous American protests and to some
warmth of feeling. Wilson was no particular friend of the British, but he
rightly insisted upon the distinction between the dispute with Germany,
which involved the common right of humanity to life, and that with Great
Britain, which involved merely rights of property. Nevertheless that
distinction was blurred in the minds of many Americans, and their
perception of the new ideals of foreign policy was necessarily confused.

The education of the American people to the significance of the issue was
also hampered by the material change that came over the country during
the latter part of 1915 and the spring of 1916. The influx of gold and
the ease with which fortunes were accumulated could not but have
widespread effects. The European war came at a moment when the United
States was passing through a period of comparatively hard times.
Stringency was naturally increased by the liquidation of foreign
investments in 1914 and the closing of European markets to American
commerce. Business was dull. But this condition was rapidly altered
through the placing of large contracts by the Entente Governments and the
most extensive buying by foreign purchasers. New markets were found among
the neutral states, which were unable to buy in Europe. Naturally there
developed a rapid extension of industrial activities. New manufacturing
concerns grew up, large and small, as a result of these adventitious
conditions, which paid enormous returns. Activities upon the stock market
were unparalleled. New and sudden fortunes were made; millionaires
became common. The whole world was debtor to America and a golden stream
flowed across the Atlantic. Prices rose rapidly and wages followed.

Inevitably materialism conquered, at least for the moment. The demand for
luxuries was only equaled by the craze for entertainment. Artisans and
shopgirls invaded the jewelry stores of Fifth Avenue. Metropolitan life
was a succession of luncheons and teas, where fertile brains were busied
with the invention of new dancing steps rather than the issues of the
European war. Cabarets were crowded and seats for midnight beauty shows
must be secured well in advance or by means of gargantuan tips to
plutocratic head waiters. Much of the materialism was simply external. In
every town American women by the thousand gave lavishly of their time and
strength to knit and roll bandages for the fighters and wounded overseas.
America was collecting millions for the relief of Belgium, Serbia, and
for the Red Cross. The American Ambulance in France was served by men
imbued with the spirit of sacrifice. Thousands of American youths
enlisted in the Canadian forces. The general atmosphere of the country,
however, was heavy with amusement and money-making. Not yet did America
fully realize that the war was a struggle of ideals which must concern
every one closely. In such an atmosphere the idealistic policy of Wilson
was not easily understood.

The President himself cannot escape a large share of the blame for
America's blindness to the issue. During the first twelve months of the
war, when the country looked to him for leadership, he had, purposely or
otherwise, fostered the forces of pacifism and encouraged the advocates
of national isolation. He had underlined the separation of the United
States from everything that went on in Europe and insisted that in the
issues of the war the American people had no interest. In deference to
the spirit of pacifism that engrossed the Middle West, he had opposed the
movement for military preparedness. When, late in 1915, Wilson changed
his attitude and attempted to arouse the country to a sense of American
interest in world affairs and to the need of preparing to accept
responsibility, he encountered the opposition of forces which he himself
had helped to vitalize.

Popular education, especially upon the Atlantic coast, was further
hampered by the personal irritation which the President aroused. Disliked
when inaugurated, he had attracted bitter enmity among the business men
who dominate opinion in New England and the Eastern States. They accused
him of truckling to labor. They were wearied by his idealism, which
seemed to them all words and no deeds. They regarded his handling of
foreign affairs, whether in the Mexican or submarine crises, as weak and
vacillating. He was, in Rooseveltian nomenclature, a "pussyfooter." Hence
grew up the tradition, which was destined to endure among many elements
of opinion, that everything advocated by Wilson must, simply by reason of
its authorship, be essentially wrong. The men of Boston, New York, and
Philadelphia were beginning to give over their attitude of isolation and
admit with Roosevelt that the United States ought to stand with the
Entente. The Wilsonian doctrine of service to the world, however, was not
to their taste, partly because they did not like Wilson.

It was to the rural districts of the upper Mississippi and to the South
that the President looked most eagerly for support of his new policy.
These were the regions where indifference to and ignorance of foreign
affairs had been most conspicuous, but they were also the regions where
the President's personal influence was strongest; finally they were the
districts where extreme pacifism was most deeply embedded. If Wilson's
championship of the rights of liberty throughout the world could be
accomplished by pacific methods, they would follow him; but if it meant
war, no one could guarantee what their attitude might be. Bryan was
popular in those parts. As yet Wilson, while he had formulated his policy
in broad terms, had not indicated the methods or mechanism by which his
principles were to be put into operation. He would without question
encounter strong opposition among the German-Americans; he would find the
attitude of the Irish foes of the Entente hostile; he would find the
Pacific coast more interested in Japanese immigration than in the ideals
of the European war. Fortunately events were to unify the heterogeneous
elements of the country, at least for the moment, in a way that
simplified greatly the President's problem. Not the least of the unifying
forces was to be found in German psychology, which led the Imperial
Government to believe that the United States could be rendered helpless
through the intrigues of German spies.



CHAPTER IV

PLOTS AND PREPAREDNESS


The Government of the German Empire was inspired by a spirit that was at
once modern and medieval, and this contradictory spirit manifested itself
in the ways and means employed to win the sympathy of the United States
and to prevent it, as a neutral power, from assisting the Entente.
Germany worked on the one hand by means of open propaganda, which is the
method of modern commercial advertisement translated into the political
field, and on the other by secret intrigue reminiscent of the days of
Louis XI. Her propaganda took the form of organized campaigns to
influence opinion through speeches, pamphlets, and books, which were
designed to convince the country of the justice of Germany's cause and
the dangers of becoming the catspaw of the Entente. Her plans of intrigue
were directed towards the use of German-Americans or German spies to
assist in the return of German officers from this country, to hinder the
transport of Canadian troops, to destroy communications, and to hamper
the output of munitions for the Entente by strikes, incendiary fires, and
explosions.

During the first weeks of the war a German press bureau was established
in New York for the distribution of pro-German literature and the support
of the German-American press. Its activities were chiefly directed by Dr.
Bernhard Dernburg, who defended Germany from the charge of responsibility
for the war and expatiated upon her efficiency and the beneficence of her
culture in the same breath that he attacked the commercial greed of Great
Britain, the cruel autocracy of Russia, and the imperialistic designs of
Japan in the Pacific. Its pamphlets went so far as to excoriate allied
methods of warfare and to level accusations of inhumanity against the
Belgians. It distributed broadcast throughout the country an appeal
signed by ninety-three German professors and intellectuals, and
countersigned by a few notable Americans, which besought the American
people not to be deceived by the "lies and calumnies" of the enemies of
Germany.

This propaganda left all cold except those who already sympathized with
Germany. Indeed it reacted unfavorably against the German cause, as soon
as the well-authenticated reports came of German atrocities in Belgium,
of the burning of the Louvain library, and of the shelling of Rheims
cathedral. The efforts of German agents then shifted, concentrating in an
attack upon the United States Government for its alleged unneutral
attitude in permitting the export of munitions to the Entente. In some
sections of the country they were able to arouse an opinion favorable to
the establishment of an embargo. In the Senate, on December 10, 1914, a
bill was offered by John D. Works of California providing for the
prohibition of the sale of war supplies to any belligerent nation and a
similar bill was fathered in the House by Charles L. Bartlett of Georgia.
These efforts were warmly supported by various associations, some of
which were admittedly German-American societies, although the majority
attempted to conceal their partisan feeling under such titles as
_American Independence Union_ and _American Neutrality League_. The
latter effectively displayed its interest in America and in neutrality by
tumultuous singing of _Deutschland über Alles_ and _Die Wacht am Rhein_.
Of sincerely pacifist organizations there were not a few, among which
should not be forgotten the fantastic effort of Henry Ford in December,
1915, to end the war by sending a "Peace Ship" to Europe, designed to
arouse such public opinion abroad in favor of peace that "the boys would
be out of the trenches by Christmas." The ship sailed, but the
expedition, which was characterized by equal amounts of honesty and
foolishness, broke up shortly in dissension. For the most part pacifism
and pro-Germanism went hand in hand--a tragic alliance of good and evil
which was to hamper later efforts to evolve an international organization
for the preservation of peace.

The attempts of German propagandists to influence the policy of the
Government met, as we have seen, the stubborn resolve of the President
not to favor one camp of the belligerents by a departure from
international custom and law during the progress of the war. Their
efforts, however, were not entirely relaxed. Appeals were made to workmen
to stop the war by refusing to manufacture munitions; vigorous campaigns
were conducted to discredit the Administration by creating the belief
that it was discriminating in favor of the British. But more and more
Germany took to secret intrigue, the strings of which were pulled by the
military and naval attachés, von Papen and Boy-Ed. The German Ambassador,
von Bernstorff, also took a lively interest in the plans to control
public opinion and later to hamper munitions production. With his
approval, German manufacturing companies were organized at Bridgeport and
elsewhere to buy up the machinery and supplies essential to the
production of powder, shrapnel, and surplus benzol; arrangements were
made with the Bosch Magneto Company to enter into contracts with the
Entente for fuses and at the last moment to refuse to complete the
contract. Von Bernstorff was careful to avoid active participation in
plots for the destruction of property; but his interest and complicity,
together with that of Dr. Heinrich F. Albert, Financial Adviser of the
German Embassy, are evidenced by the checks drawn on their joint account
and paid to convicted criminals.

One of the first of the plots was the attempted blowing up of the
international bridge at Vanceboro, Maine, on December 31, 1914. The
materials for this explosion were collected and the fuse set by a German
reservist lieutenant, Werner Horn, who admitted that he acted under the
orders of von Papen. Another plan of the German agents was the
destruction of the Welland Canal, which was entrusted to a brilliant and
erratic adventurer, von der Goltz, who later confessed that he was under
the supervision of von Papen and had secured his materials from Captain
Hans Tauscher, the agent in New York of the Hamburg-American Line. This
company was involved in securing false manifests for vessels that carried
coal and supplies to German cruisers, thus defrauding the United States,
and in obtaining false passports for German reservists and agents; it
acted, in fact, as an American branch of the German Admiralty. More
serious yet was an attempt of the naval attaché, Boy-Ed, to involve the
United States and Mexico in a dispute by a plot to bring back Huerta.
This unhappy Mexican leader was arrested on the Mexican border in June,
1915, and shortly afterwards died.

For some months the existence of such activities on the part of German
agents had been suspected by the public. A series of disclosures
followed. In July, 1915, Dr. Albert, while riding on a New York elevated
train, was so careless as to set his portfolio on the seat for a few
moments; it was speedily picked up by a fellow passenger who made a hasty
exit. Soon afterwards the chief contents of the portfolio were published.
They indicated the complicity of the German Embassy in different
attempts to control the American press and to influence public opinion,
and proved the energy of less notable agents in illegal undertakings.
Towards the end of August, the Austrian Ambassador, Dr. Constantin Dumba,
made use of an American correspondent, James F. J. Archibald by name, to
carry dispatches to the Central Empires. He was arrested by the British
authorities at Falmouth, and his effects proved Dumba's interest in plans
to organize strikes in American munitions plants. "It is my impression,"
wrote the Austrian Ambassador, "that we can disorganize and hold up for
months, if not entirely prevent, the manufacture of munitions in
Bethlehem and the Middle West, which in the opinion of the German
military attaché, is of great importance and amply outweighs the
expenditure of money involved." Archibald also carried a letter from von
Papen to his wife in which he wrote: "I always say to these idiotic
Yankees that they had better hold their tongues." Its publication did not
serve to allay the warmth of American feeling.

It was with great satisfaction, therefore, that the public learned in
September that President Wilson had requested the recall of Ambassador
Dumba in the following words: "By reason of the admitted purpose and
intent of Ambassador Dumba to conspire to cripple legitimate industries
of the people of the United States and to interrupt their legitimate
trade, and by reason of the flagrant diplomatic impropriety in employing
an American citizen protected by an American passport, as a secret bearer
of official despatches through the lines of the enemy of
Austria-Hungary.... Mr. Dumba is no longer acceptable to the Government
of the United States." The two German attachés were given a longer
shrift, but on the 30th of November von Bernstorff was told that they
were no longer acceptable; von Papen sailed on the 22d of December and
was followed a week later by Boy-Ed.

During the two preceding months there had been a constant series of
strikes and explosions in munitions plants and industrial works, and
public opinion was now thoroughly aroused. The feeling that Germany and
Austria were thus through their agents virtually carrying on warfare in
the United States was intensified by the revelations of Dr. Joseph
Gori[)c]ar, formerly an Austrian consul, but a Jugoslav who sympathized
with the Entente; according to his statement every Austrian consul in
the country was "a center of intrigue of the most criminal character."
His charges came at the moment when Americans were reading that the
number of strikes in munitions plants was unparalleled, no less than one
hundred and two in a few months, of which fifty were in Bridgeport,
which was known to be a center of German activities. Explosions and
fires at the plants of the Bethlehem Steel Company and the Baldwin
Locomotive Works, and at the Roebling wire-rope shop in Trenton were of
mysterious origin.

To what extent explosions in munitions plants were the result of German
incendiarism and not of an accidental nature, it is difficult to
determine. But the Department of Justice was so thoroughly convinced of
the far-reaching character of German plots that President Wilson, in his
annual message of December, 1915, frankly denounced the "hyphenates" who
lent their aid to such intrigues. "I am sorry to say that the gravest
threats against our national peace and safety have been uttered within
our own borders. There are citizens of the United States ... who have
poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national
life; who have sought to bring the authority and good name of our
Government into contempt, to destroy our industries wherever they thought
it effective for their vindictive purposes to strike at them, and to
debase our politics to the uses of foreign intrigue." His attack drew
forth the bitter resentment of the foreign language press, but was hailed
with delight in the East, where German intrigues aroused as great
excitement against the Fatherland as the submarine campaign. Nor was it
calmed by the continuance of fires and explosions and the evident
complicity of German officials. During the spring of 1916 a German agent,
von Igel, who occupied the former offices of von Papen, was arrested, and
the activities of Franz von Rintelen, who had placed incendiary bombs on
vessels leaving New York with food and supplies for the Allies, were
published. Taken in conjunction with the sinking of the _Sussex_, German
plots were now stimulating the American people to a keen sense of their
interest in the war, and preparing them effectively for a new attitude
toward foreign affairs in general.

It was inevitable that such revelations should have created a widespread
demand for increased military efficiency. The nation was approaching the
point where force might become necessary, and yet it was in no way
prepared for warfare, either on land or sea. During the first months of
the war the helplessness of the United States had been laid bare by
General Leonard Wood, who declared that we had never fought a really
first-class nation and "were pitifully unprepared, should such a calamity
be thrust upon us." The regular army "available to face such a crisis"
would be "just about equal to the police forces of Boston, New York, and
Philadelphia." The "preparedness movement" thus inaugurated was
crystallized by the formation of the National Security League, designed
to organize citizens in such a way "as may make practical an intelligent
expression of public opinion and may ensure for the nation an adequate
system of national defense." Pacifists and pro-Germans immediately
organized in opposition; and the movement was hampered by President
Wilson's unwillingness to coöperate in any way. He was flatly opposed, in
the autumn of 1914 and the spring of the following year, to compulsory
military service: "We will not ask our young men to spend the best years
of their lives making soldiers of themselves." He insisted that the
American people had always been able to defend themselves and should be
able to continue to do so without altering their military traditions. It
must not be forgotten that at this time Wilson still believed in absolute
isolation and refused to consider force as an element in our foreign
policy. His attitude was sufficient to render fruitless various
resolutions presented by Congressman Augustus P. Gardner and Senator
George E. Chamberlain, who proposed improvements in the military system.
Congress was pacifically-minded. This was the time when many Congressmen
were advocating an embargo on arms, and so far from desiring to learn how
to make and use munitions of war they concentrated their efforts on
methods of preventing their export to the Allies.

The preparedness movement, none the less, spread through the country and
the influence of the National Security League did much to inform the
public. In the summer of 1915 there was organized at Plattsburg, New
York, under the authority of General Wood, a civilian camp designed to
give some experience in the rudiments of military science. It was not
encouraged by the Administration, but at the end of the year the
President himself confessed that he had been converted. He was about to
abandon his policy of isolation for his new ideal of international
service, and he realized the logical necessity of supporting it by at
least a show of force. Mere negative "neutrality" no longer sufficed. His
fear that greater military strength might lead to an aggressive spirit in
the country had been obliterated by the attacks of submarines and by the
German plots. He admitted frankly that he had changed his mind. "I would
be ashamed," he said, "if I had not learned something in fourteen
months." To the surprise of many who had counted upon his pacific
tendencies to the end, he did what he had not heretofore done for any of
his policies; he left his desk in Washington and took to the platform.

During January and February, 1916, President Wilson delivered a
succession of speeches in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee, St.
Louis, and other places in the upper Mississippi Valley, emphasizing his
conversion to preparedness. Aware that his transformation would be
regarded as anti-German and tending to draw the United States into the
conflict, he apparently sought out pro-German and pacifist centers, and
for the first time utilized something of the traditional "patriotic"
style to rouse those citizens who, as yet, failed to appreciate the
significance of the international situation. "I know that you are
depending upon me to keep the nation out of war. So far I have done so,
and I pledge you my word that, God helping me, I will--if it is possible.
You have laid another duty upon me. You have bidden me see that nothing
stains or impairs the honor of the United States. And that is a matter
not within my control. That depends upon what others do, not upon what
the Government of the United States does, and therefore there may be at
any moment a time when I cannot both preserve the honor and the peace of
the United States. Do not exact of me an impossible and contradictory
thing, but stand ready and insist that everybody that represents you
should stand ready to provide the means for maintaining the honor of the
United States." And later: "America cannot be an ostrich with its head in
the sand. America cannot shut itself out from the rest of the world....
Do you want the situation to be such that all the President can do is to
write messages, to utter words of protest? If these breaches of
international law which are in daily danger of occurring should touch the
very vital interests and honor of the United States, do you wish to do
nothing about it? Do you wish to have all the world say that the flag of
the United States, which we all love, can be stained with impunity?" What
a transformation from those days of December, 1914, when he believed that
military preparation would prove that the American people had been thrown
off their balance by a war with which they had nothing to do! And what a
revelation of the wounds inflicted by the barbed taunts cast against the
President for his patience in the writing of diplomatic notes!

Had the President carried his enthusiasm into actual accomplishment and
provided for effective military and naval preparation, his claim to the
title of great statesman would be more clear. Unfortunately when it came
to forcing Congress to take the necessary steps, he failed. The inertia
and reluctance of pacifist or partisan representatives would have been
broken by Roosevelt. But Wilson did mere lip-service to the principle of
military efficiency. The bills introduced in Congress were denounced by
military experts as half-measures likely to produce no efficient result,
and the President, who in most matters was determined to dominate, in
this permitted congressional committees to have their way. The protests
of the Secretary of War, Lindley M. Garrison, led to his resignation; and
(most curious development) the President replaced him by a man, Newton D.
Baker, who, whatever his capacity, was generally known as a pacifist.
Wilson's intelligence told him that military preparation was necessary,
if his policy of international service was to be anything more than
academic; but his pacific instincts prevented him from securing real
military efficiency.

An example of the unreadiness of the United States was furnished in the
late spring and summer of 1916, when relations with Mexico became strained
almost to the breaking point. President Wilson's handling of the knotty
Mexican problem had been characteristic. He had temporized in the hope
that anything like a break might be avoided and was resolutely opposed to
formal armed intervention. But after refusing to recognize Huerta, who had
gained his position of provisional president of Mexico through the murder
of Madero, in which he was evidently implicated, the President had ordered
the occupation of Vera Cruz by United States troops in retaliation for the
arrest of an American landing party and Huerta's refusal to fire an
apologetic salute. Huerta was forced to give up his position and fled, but
the crisis continued and American-Mexican relations were not improved. The
country was left in the hands of three rival presidents, of whom Carranza
proved the strongest, and, after an attempt at mediation in which the
three chief South American powers participated, President Wilson decided
to recognize him. But Mexican conditions remained chaotic and American
interests in Mexico were either threatened or destroyed. In the spring of
1916 an attack on American territory led by a bandit, Francisco Villa,
again roused Wilson to action. He dispatched General John J. Pershing
across the border to pursue and catch Villa. The expedition was difficult,
but well-conducted; it extended far south of the frontier and provoked the
protests of Carranza. At the moment when Pershing's advance guard seemed
to have its hands on the bandit, orders were given to cease the pursuit.

The opponents of the Administration had some excuse for laughing at the
"inglorious and ineffectual war" thus waged. It had failed to result in
the capture of Villa and it gave rise to serious danger of an open break
with Mexico. On the 21st of June an attack at Carrizal by Carranza's
troops resulted in the capture of some United States cavalrymen and the
mobilization of the national guard troops for the protection of the
border. But President Wilson was not to be drawn into intervention. He
might be compelled to exercise force in carrying out his ideals of
international service against an international criminal like Germany; he
would not use it against a weaker neighbor and particularly at the moment
when the United States must be free to face European complications. But
the Mexican crisis proved definitely the weakness of the military system.
Though the regulars who accompanied Pershing proved their worth, the
clumsy inefficient mobilization of the National Guard, on the other hand,
indicated as plainly as possible the lack of trained troops and officers.

The President's determination not to intervene in Mexico probably assured
him many votes in the pacifist regions of the Middle West in the
presidential election of 1916. That he would be renominated by the
Democrats was a foregone conclusion. He had alienated the machine leaders
by his strict domination of Congress and the party; if he had permitted
certain political leaders to distribute offices for necessary organization
interests, he had seen to it, none the less, that the Democratic bosses
had no share in the determination of policies. Still they could not hope
to prevent his nomination. Whatever chance the party might have in the
coming election lay in the personal strength of Wilson with the masses. In
the South and the districts west of the Mississippi he was regarded as the
greatest Democrat since Jackson. His patience in dealing with Germany, as
with Carranza, convinced them of his desire for peace; the slogan, "He has
kept us out of war," was a powerful argument in those regions. His
attitude towards labor had been friendly, so that the support of the
unions in the large industrial centers might be expected. Placards were
posted showing a poor man's family with the caption, "He has protected me
and mine," in answer to the Republican posters which showed a widow and
orphans (presumably of a drowned American citizen) and the caption, "He
has neglected me and mine." The remnants of the Progressives, who were not
purely Roosevelt supporters, were attracted by Wilson's legislative
programme and record of accomplishment. He could look to an independent
vote such as no other Democrat could hope for.

Despite this strength, the Republican leaders, if they could succeed in
effecting a reunion of their party, awaited the results of the election
with confidence. They counted chiefly upon the personal unpopularity of
Wilson on the Atlantic seaboard and the normal Republican vote in the
industrial centers of the Middle West. His foreign policy, east of the
Mississippi, was generally looked upon as anæmic and nebulous. He had
permitted, so the Republicans contended, the honor of the country to be
stained and Americans to be destroyed, without effective action. His
early opposition to preparedness and the half-hearted measures of army
reform had proved his weakness, at least to the satisfaction of
Republican stump orators. He had won the hearty dislike of the bankers,
the manufacturers, and the merchants by his attacks on capitalist
interests and by his support of labor unions. The Clayton Act, which
exempted strikes from Federal injunctions, and the Adamson Act, which
granted, under threat, the immediate demands of the striking railroad
employees, were cited as clear proof of his demagogic character.
Furthermore, while he alienated the pro-Entente elements in New England
and the Eastern States, he had drawn upon himself the hatred of the
German-Americans by his attacks upon hyphenates and his refusal to accept
an embargo on American munitions.

Had the Republicans been willing to accept Theodore Roosevelt, victory
would probably have come to them. He alone could have gathered in the
Progressive and independent vote, and that of the Pacific coast, which
ultimately went to Wilson. But the Old Guard of the Republicans refused
to consider Roosevelt; they could not take a man who had broken party
lines four years before; above all they wanted a "safe and sane"
President, who would play the political game according to rule--the rule
of the bosses--and they knew that were Roosevelt elected they could not
hope to share in the spoils. The Republican convention ultimately settled
upon Charles E. Hughes, who certainly was not beloved by the bosses, but
who was regarded as "steadier" than Roosevelt. The latter, in order to
defeat Wilson, refused the offer of the Progressives, practically
disbanded the party he had created, and called upon his friends to return
with him to their first allegiance.

Hughes did not prove a strong candidate. Whereas Wilson had stated his
position on the German-American problem plainly, "I neither seek the
favor nor fear the displeasure of that small alien element among us which
puts loyalty to any foreign power before loyalty to the United States,"
Hughes was ordered by his party managers not to offend foreign-born
voters, and in his attempt to steer a middle course, gave a clear
impression of vacillation. Many of those who had been most thoroughly
disgusted with Wilson turned back to him again, as the weeks passed and
Hughes more and more sought refuge in vague generalizations. In a
campaign in which the issues were largely personal the Republican
candidate's failure to evolve a constructive policy greatly weakened him,
especially as Wilson had the advantage of the maxim that it is best not
to change horses in the middle of the stream. Finally, Hughes did not
prove adept in reconciling the Progressives. Indeed it was said to be a
political _gaucherie_ on his part, or that of his advisers, which
alienated the friends of Governor Hiram Johnson of California and threw
the electoral vote of that State to Wilson.

California turned the scale. When on the evening of the 7th of November
the first returns came in and it was seen that Wilson had lost New York
and Illinois, the election of Hughes was generally conceded. Even the
_New York Times_ and the _World_ admitted Wilson's defeat. But the next
morning, news from the west indicated that the President still had a
chance. Later in the day the chance grew larger; he had won Ohio;
Minnesota and California were doubtful. In both States voting was close;
if Wilson won either the election would be his. It was not until the 11th
of November that the returns from California definitely showed a small
Wilson plurality, and only on the 21st that the Republicans finally
abandoned hope. Wilson had secured 277 electoral votes to 254 for
Hughes. He had been saved by the pacifist Middle and Far West, in
combination with the South. But the victory meant something far different
from peace at any price.



CHAPTER V

AMERICA DECIDES


The presidential campaign of 1916, taken in conjunction with the
increasing tension of European relations, forced Wilson to a further
development of his international ideals and a more definite formulation of
the means by which to attain them. As we have observed, the spring of that
year saw him reject the doctrine of isolation. "We are participants," he
said on the 27th of May, "whether we would or not, in the life of the
world. The interests of all nations are our own also. We are partners with
the rest. What affects mankind is inevitably our affair as well as the
affair of the nations of Europe and of Asia." This recognition of our
interest in world affairs immediately took him considerably beyond the
position he had assumed during the earlier stages of the submarine
controversy. Until the spring of 1916 he had restricted his aims to the
championship of neutral and human rights in time of war. But now he began
to demand something more far-reaching, namely a system that would prevent
unjust war altogether and would protect the rights of all peoples in time
of peace. He insisted, in this same speech of the 27th of May, before the
League to Enforce Peace at Washington, "First that every people has a
right to choose the sovereignty under which they shall live.... Second,
that the small states of the world have a right to enjoy the same respect
for their sovereignty and for their territorial integrity that great and
powerful nations expect and insist upon. And, third, that the world has a
right to be free from every disturbance of its peace that has its origin
in aggression and disregard of the rights of peoples and nations." These
words sum up the gist of his international aims during the three following
years. His later speeches are merely refinement of details.

In order that these ends might be secured it was necessary that some
international system be inaugurated other than that which had permitted
the selfishness of the great powers to produce war in the past. In his
search for a concrete mechanism to realize his ideals and secure them
from violation, Wilson seized upon the essential principles of the
League to Enforce Peace, of which William Howard Taft was president. The
basis of permanent peace, Wilson insisted, could be found only by
substituting international coöperation in place of conflict, through a
mobilization of the public opinion of the world against international
lawbreakers: "an universal association of the nations to maintain the
inviolate security of the highway of the seas for the common and
unhindered use of all the nations of the world, and to prevent any war
begun either contrary to treaty covenants or without warning and full
submission of the causes to the opinion of the world--a virtual guarantee
of territorial integrity and political independence." These were the
principles and methods which formed the keynote of his foreign policy
until the end of the Peace Conference. The first part of the programme,
that which concerned the security of the seas and which originated in the
particular circumstances of 1915, faded from his sight to a large extent;
the second portion, more general in its nature, became of increasing
importance until, as Article X of the League Covenant, it seemed to him
the heart of the entire settlement.

The unselfish nature of his idealism, as well as his continued detachment
from both camps of the belligerents, was obvious. "We have nothing
material of any kind to ask for ourselves," he said, "and are quite aware
that we are in no sense or degree parties to the present quarrel. Our
interest is only in peace and in its future guarantees." But _noblesse
oblige_, and we must serve those who have not had our good fortune. "The
commands of democracy are as imperative as its privileges are wide and
generous. Its compulsion is upon us.... We are not worthy to stand here
unless we ourselves be in deed and truth real democrats and servants of
mankind."

That the United States might be drawn into the conflict evidently seemed
possible to the President, despite pacific whispers that came from
Germany in the spring and summer of 1916. There was a note of
apprehension in his speeches. No one could tell when the extremist
faction in Berlin might gain control and withdraw the _Sussex_ pledge.
The temper of Americans was being tried by continued sinkings, although
the exact circumstances of each case were difficult to determine. The
attacks made by the German U-53 immediately off the American coast and
the deportation of Belgian civilians into Germany made more difficult the
preservation of amicable relations. In view of the possibility of war
Wilson wanted to define the issue exactly. "We have never yet," he said
at Omaha, a peace center, on the 5th of October, "sufficiently formulated
our programme for America with regard to the part she is going to play in
the world, and it is imperative that she should formulate it at once....
It is very important that the statesmen of other parts of the world
should understand America.... We are holding off, not because we do not
feel concerned, but because when we exert the force of this nation we
want to know what we are exerting it for." Ten days later at Shadowlawn
he said: "Define the elements, let us know that we are not fighting for
the prevalence of this nation over that, for the ambitions of this group
of nations as compared with the ambitions of that group of nations; let
us once be convinced that we are called in to a great combination to
fight for the rights of mankind and America will unite her force and
spill her blood for the great things which she has always believed in and
followed." He thus gave warning that the United States might have to
fight. He wanted to be certain, however, that it did not fight as so many
other nations have fought, greedily or vindictively, but rather as in a
crusade and for clearly defined ideals.

His reëlection gave to the President an opportunity for bringing before
the world his international aims. He purposed not merely to end the
existing conflict but also to provide a basis for permanent peace and the
security of democracy. During the early summer of 1916 he had received
from Berlin hints that his mediation would not be unacceptable and it is
possible that he planned at that time new efforts to bring the war to a
close. But such a step was bound to be regarded as pro-German and in the
state of opinion immediately after the _Sussex_ crisis would have
produced a storm of American protests. Then the entrance of Rumania into
the war so encouraged the Entente powers that there seemed little chance
of winning French and British acceptance of mediation. The presidential
election further delayed any overt step towards peace negotiations.
Finally the wave of anti-German feeling that swept the United States in
November, on account of Belgian deportations, induced Wilson to hold back
the note which he had already drafted. But it was important not to delay
his pacific efforts over-long, since news came to Washington that unless
Germany could obtain a speedy peace the extremist group in Berlin would
insist upon a resumption of "ruthless" submarine warfare. In these
circumstances, early in December, the President prepared to issue his
note.

But Germany acted more rapidly. Warned of Wilson's purpose the Berlin
Government, on December 12, 1916, proposed negotiations. The occasion
seemed to them propitious. Rumania had gone down to disastrous defeat.
Russia was torn by corruption and popular discontent. On the western
front, if the Germans had failed at Verdun, they were aware of the deep
disappointment of the Allies at the paltry results of the great Somme
drive. German morale at home was weakening; but if the Allies could be
pictured as refusing all terms and determined upon the destruction of
Germany, the people would doubtless agree to the unrestricted use of the
submarine as purely defensive in character, even if it brought to the
Allies the questionable assistance of America. The German note itself
contained no definite terms. But its boastful tone permitted the
interpretation that Germany would consider no peace which did not leave
Central and Southeastern Europe under Teuton domination; the specific
terms later communicated to the American Government in secret, verified
this suspicion. A thinly veiled threat to neutral nations was to be read
between the lines of the German suggestion of negotiations.

Although it was obvious that he would be accused of acting in collusion
with Germany, President Wilson decided not to postpone the peace note
already planned. He looked upon the crisis as serious, for if peace were
not secured at this time the chances of the United States remaining out
of the war were constantly growing less. If he could compel a clear
definition of war aims on both sides, the mutual suspicion of the warring
peoples might be removed; the German people might perceive that the war
was not in reality for them one of defense; or finally the Allies, toward
whom Wilson was being driven by the threats of German extremists, might
define their position in such terms as would justify him before the world
in joining with them in a conflict not waged for selfish national
purposes but for the welfare of humanity. Issued on December 18, 1916,
his note summed up the chief points of his recently developed policy. It
emphasized the interest of the United States in the future peace of the
world, the irreparable injury to civilization that might result from a
further continuance of the existing struggle, the advantages that would
follow an explicit exposure of belligerent purposes, and the possibility
of making "the permanent concord of the nations a hope of the immediate
future, a concert of nations immediately practicable."

As a step towards peace the note was unsuccessful. Germany was evasive.
There was nothing her Government wanted less than the definite exposure
of her purposes that Wilson asked. Her leaders were anxious to begin
negotiations while German armies still held conquered territories as
pawns to be used at the peace table. They would not discuss a League of
Nations until Germany's continental position was secured. The Allies on
the other hand would not make peace with an unbeaten Germany, which
evidently persisted in the hope of dominating weaker nationalities and
said no word of reparations for the acknowledged wrongs committed.
Feeling ran high in England and France because Wilson's note had seemed
to place the belligerents on the same moral plane, in its statement that
the objects on both sides "are virtually the same, as stated in general
terms to their own people and to the world." The statement was verbally
accurate and rang with a certain grim irony which may have touched
Wilson's sense of humor. But the Allies were not in a state of mind to
appreciate such humor. Their official answer, however, was frank, and in
substance accepted the principles of permanent peace propounded by
Wilson. It was evident to most Americans that the main purpose of Germany
was to establish herself as the dominating power of the continent and
possibly of the world; the aim of the Allies, on the other hand, seemed
to be the peace of the world based upon democracy and justice rather than
material force.

The President's attempt thus cleared the air. It made plain to the
majority of Americans that in sympathy, at least, the United States must
be definitely aligned with Great Britain and France. Furthermore the
replies of the belligerents gave to Wilson an opportunity to inform the
world more definitely of the aims of the United States, in case it should
be drawn into the war. This he did in a speech delivered to the Senate on
January 22, 1917. America would play her part in world affairs, he said,
but the other nations must clearly understand the conditions of our
participation. The basis of peace must be the right of each individual
nation to decide its destiny for itself without interference from a
stronger alien power. "I am proposing as it were, that the nations should
with one accord adopt the doctrine of President Monroe as the doctrine of
the world: that no nation should seek to extend its polity over any
other nation or people, but that every people should be left free to
determine its own polity, its own way of development, unhindered,
unthreatened, unafraid, the little along with the great and powerful."
Instead of the old system of alliances there should be a general concert
of powers: "There is no entangling alliance in a concert of powers. When
all unite to act in the same sense and with the same purpose, all act in
the common interest and are free to live their own lives under a common
protection." As the result of such a concert no one power would dominate
the sea or the land; armaments might safely be limited; peace would be
organized by the major force of mankind. As a guarantee of future justice
and tranquillity the terms that settled the present war must be based
upon justice and not be of the sort ordinarily dictated by the victor to
the vanquished. It must be a "peace without victory." Thus while Wilson
warned Germany that her ambitions for continental domination would not be
tolerated, he also warned the Allies that they could not count upon the
United States to help them to crush Germany for their selfish individual
purposes.

This speech, despite the unfortunate phrase, "peace without victory," was
hailed in all liberal circles, amongst the Allies and in the United
States, as a noble charter of the new international order. Wilson had
expressed the hope that he was "speaking for the silent mass of mankind
everywhere who have as yet had no place or opportunity to speak their real
hearts out concerning the death and ruin they see to have come already
upon the persons and the homes they hold most dear." This hope was
doubtless realized. The first reaction in France and England was one of
rather puzzled contempt, if we may judge by the press. But the newspaper
writers soon found that what Wilson said many people had been thinking,
and waiting for some one to say. Hall Caine wrote to the _Public Ledger_,
"Let President Wilson take heart from the first reception of his
remarkable speech. The best opinion here is one of deep feeling and
profound admiration." From that moment Wilson began to approach the
position he was shortly to hold--that of moral leader of the world.

The President had been anxious to make plain his principles, before the
United States became involved in the conflict through the withdrawal of
German submarine pledges, as well as to convince the world that every
honest effort possible had been made to preserve the peace. He was only
just in time. Already the advocates of ruthlessness in Berlin had
persuaded the Kaiser and Bethmann-Hollweg. They recognized that the
resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare meant, in all probability,
the intervention of the United States, but they recked little of the
consequences. On January 16, 1917, the Kaiser telegraphed: "If a break
with America is unavoidable, it cannot be helped; we proceed." The same
day the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Zimmermann, telegraphed to the
German Minister in Mexico, instructing him to form an alliance with
Mexico in the event of war between Germany and the United States, and to
offer as bribe the States of New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas; he also
suggested the possibility of winning Japan from her allegiance to the
Entente and persuading her to enter this prospective alliance.

On the 31st of January, von Bernstorff threw off the mask. The German
Ambassador informed our Government of the withdrawal of the _Sussex_
pledge. On and after the 1st of February, German submarines would sink on
sight all ships met within a delimited zone around the British Isles and
in the Mediterranean. They would permit the sailing of a few American
steamships, however, provided they followed a certain defined route to
Falmouth and nowhere else, and provided there were marked "on ship's hull
and superstructure three vertical stripes one meter wide, to be painted
alternately white and red. Each mast should show a large flag checkered
white and red, and the stern the American national flag. Care should be
taken that during dark, national flag and painted marks are easily
recognizable from a distance, and that the boats are well lighted
throughout." Other conditions followed. There might sail one steamship a
week "in each direction, with arrival at Falmouth on Sunday and departure
from Falmouth on Wednesday." Furthermore the United States Government
must guarantee "that no contraband (according to the German contraband
list) is carried by those steamships." Such were the orders issued to the
United States. No native American could escape the humor of the
stipulations, which for a moment prevented the national irritation from
swelling into an outburst of deep-seated wrath.

There seems to have been little hesitation on the part of the President.
On April 19, 1916, he had warned Germany that unrestricted submarine
warfare meant a severance of diplomatic relations. Now, on February 3,
1917, addressing both houses of Congress, he announced that those
relations had been broken. Von Bernstorff was given his papers and the
American Ambassador, James W. Gerard, was recalled from Berlin. No other
course of action could have been contemplated in view of the formality of
the President's warning and the definiteness of Germany's defiance.
Despite the protests of scattered pacifists, the country was as nearly a
unit in its approval of Wilson's action as its heterogeneous national
character permitted. All the pent-up emotions of the past two years found
expression in quiet but unmistakable applause at the departure of the
German Ambassador.

The promptitude of the President's dismissal of von Bernstorff did not
conceal the disappointment which he experienced from Germany's revelation
of her true purposes. He seems to have hoped to the end that the German
liberals would succeed in bringing their Government to accept moderate
terms of peace. Even now he expressed the hope that Germany's actions
would not be such as to force the United States into the War: "I refuse
to believe that it is the intention of the German authorities to do in
fact what they have warned us they will feel at liberty to do.... Only
actual overt acts on their part can make me believe it even now." But
"if American ships and American lives should in fact be sacrificed by
their naval commanders in heedless contravention of the just and
reasonable understandings of international law and the obvious dictates
of humanity, I shall take the liberty of coming again before the Congress
to ask that authority be given me to use any means that may be necessary
for the protection of our seamen and our people in the prosecution of
their peaceful and legitimate errands on the high seas. I can do nothing
less. I take it for granted that all neutral governments will take the
same course." He was careful, moreover, to underline the fact that his
action was dictated always by a consistent desire for peace: "We wish to
serve no selfish ends. We seek merely to stand true alike in thought and
in action to the immemorial principles of our people.... These are the
bases of peace, not war. God grant we may not be challenged to defend
them by acts of willful injustice on the part of the Government of
Germany!"

But Germany proceeded heedlessly. Warned that American intervention would
result only from overt acts, the German Admiralty hastened to commit such
acts. From the 3d of February to the 1st of April, eight American vessels
were sunk by submarines and forty-eight American lives thus lost.
Because of the practical blockade of American ports which followed the
hesitation of American shipping interests to send boats unarmed into the
dangers of the "war zone," President Wilson came again to Congress on the
26th of February to ask authority to arm merchant vessels for purposes of
defense. Again he stressed his unwillingness to enter upon formal warfare
and emphasized the idealistic aspect of the issue: "It is not of material
interests merely that we are thinking. It is, rather, of fundamental
human rights, chief of all the right of life itself. I am thinking not
only of the rights of Americans to go and come about their proper
business by way of the sea, but also of something much deeper, much more
fundamental than that. I am thinking of those rights of humanity without
which there is no civilization.... I cannot imagine any man with American
principles at his heart hesitating to defend these things."

Blinded by prejudice and tradition, a handful of Senators, twelve
"willful men," as Wilson described them, blocked, through a filibuster,
the resolution granting the power requested by the President. But the
storm of popular obloquy which covered them proved that the nation as a
whole was determined to support him in the defense of American rights.
The country was stirred to the depths. The publication of the plans of
Germany for involving the United States in war with Mexico and Japan came
merely as added stimulus. So also of the story of the cruelties heaped by
the Germans on the American prisoners of the _Yarrowdale_. There was so
much of justice in the cause that passion was notable by its absence.
When finally on the 17th of March news came of the torpedoing of the
_Vigilancia_ without warning, America was prepared and calmly eager for
the President's demand that Congress recognize the existence of a state
of war.

The demand was made by Wilson in an extraordinary joint session of
Congress, held on the 2d of April. In this, possibly his greatest speech,
he was careful not to blur the idealistic principles which, since the
spring of 1916, he had been formulating. War existed because Germany by
its actions had thrust upon the United States the status of belligerent.
But the American people must meet the challenge with their purpose
clearly before them. "We must put excited feeling away. Our motive will
not be revenge or the victorious assertion of the physical might of the
nation, but only the vindication of right, of human right, of which we
are only a single champion.... The wrongs against which we now array
ourselves are no common wrongs; they cut to the very roots of human
life." He went on to define the objects of the war more specifically,
referring to his earlier addresses: "Our object now, as then, is to
vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world as
against selfish and autocratic power and to set up amongst the really
free and self-governed peoples of the world such a concert of purpose and
action as will henceforth ensure the observance of those principles."
Democracy must be the soul of the new international order: "A steadfast
concert for peace can never be maintained except by a partnership of
democratic nations. No autocratic government could be trusted to keep
faith within it or observe its covenants.... Only free peoples can hold
their purpose and their honor steady to a common end and prefer the
interests of mankind to any narrow interest of their own." Because the
existing German Government was clearly at odds with all such ideals, "We
are glad, now that we see the facts with no veil of false pretense about
them, to fight thus for the ultimate peace of the world and for the
liberation of its peoples, the German people included: for the rights of
nations great and small and the privilege of men everywhere to choose
their way of life and of obedience. The world must be made safe for
democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of
political liberty."

Wilson thus imagined the war as a crusade, the sort of crusade for
American ideals which Clay and Webster once imagined. He was in truth
originating nothing, but rather resuscitating the generous dreams which
had once inspired those statesmen. In conclusion, he reiterated his love
of peace. "But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight
for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts,--for
democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice
in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations,
for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as
shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at
last free." At the moment of the declaration of war Wilson was still the
man of peace, and the war upon which the nation was embarking was, in his
mind, a war to ensure peace. To such a task of peace and liberation, he
concluded in a peroration reminiscent of Lincoln and Luther, "we can
dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything that we are and
everything that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day
has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for
the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she
has treasured. God helping her, she can do no other."

How many Americans caught the real significance of Wilson's thought with
all its consequences is doubtful. The country certainly looked upon the
war as a crusade. But there was in the national emotion much that did not
accord with the ideals of Wilson. The people hated Germany for the
sinking of the _Lusitania_ and all the other submarine outrages, for her
crimes in Belgium, for the plots and explosions in this country, for the
Zimmermann note, and finally for her direct and insulting defiance of
American rights. They recognized that the Allies were fighting for
civilization; they sympathized with the democracies of Europe, of which,
since the Russian revolution of March, the Allied camp was composed, and
they wanted to help them. They feared for America's safety in the future,
if Germany won the war. Most Americans entered the struggle, therefore,
with a sober gladness, based partly on emotional, partly on quixotic, and
partly on selfish grounds. But nearly all fought rather to beat Germany
than to secure a new international order. Hence it was that after Germany
was beaten, Wilson was destined to discover that his idealistic preaching
had not fully penetrated, and that he had failed to educate his country,
as completely as he believed, to the ideal of a partnership of democratic
and peace-loving peoples as the essential condition of a new and safe
world.



CHAPTER VI

THE NATION IN ARMS


When Congress declared that the United States was in a state of war with
Germany, on April 6, 1917, the public opinion of the country was unified
to a far greater extent than at the beginning of any previous war. The
extreme patience displayed by President Wilson had its reward. When the
year opened the majority of citizens doubtless still hoped that peace was
possible. But German actions in February and March had gone far towards
the education of the popular mind, and the final speeches of the President
crystallized conviction. By April there were few Americans, except those
in whom pacifism was a mania, who were not convinced that war with Germany
was the only course consistent with either honor or safety. It is probable
that many did not understand exactly the ideals that actuated Wilson, but
nine persons out of ten believed it absolutely necessary to fight.

But, however firmly united, the country was completely unprepared for war
in a military sense, and must now pay the penalty for President Wilson's
opposition to adequate improvement of the military system in 1915 and for
the half-hearted measures taken in 1916. Total military forces, including
regular army, national guard, and reserves amounted to hardly three
hundred thousand men and less than ten thousand officers. Even the regular
army was by no means ready for immediate participation in the sort of
fighting demanded by the European war; and, even if adequate troops were
raised, the lack of trained officers would create the most serious
difficulties. No wonder that the German General Staff ranked the United
States, from the military point of view, somewhere between Belgium and
Portugal. Furthermore, military experts had been discouraged by the
attitude of the Administration. The Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker, had
failed, either through lack of administrative capacity or because of
pacifistic tendencies, to prepare his department adequately. He had done
nothing to rouse Congress or the nation from its attitude of indifference
towards preparation. By faith a pacifist, he had been opposed to universal
military service. An extreme liberal, he distrusted the professional
military type and was to find it difficult to coöperate with the captains
of industry whose assistance was essential.

Thus with a President and War Secretary, both of whom had been
instinctively opposed to a large army and who had expressed their fear of
the development of a militaristic spirit, and with a majority in Congress
favoring the traditional volunteer system, adherence to which had cost
the British thousands of lives that might better have been used at home,
the building of an effective army seemed a matter of extreme doubt. Great
credit must go to both President Wilson and Secretary Baker for sinking
their natural instincts and seeking, as well as following, the advice of
the military experts, who alone were capable of meeting the problems that
arose from a war for which the nation was not prepared.

The President must face not only the special problems caused by
unreadiness, but also the general difficulties which confront every
American war-President and which had tried nearly to the breaking-point
even the capacity of Lincoln. The President of the United States in time
of war is given the supreme unified command of the army and navy. But
while the responsibility is his, actual control often rests in the hands
of others. Members of Congress always take a keen interest in army
matters; many of them have been or are militia-men. They have always
opposed a single army which could be recruited, trained, and operated as
a unit, and approved the system of State militia which makes for
decentralization and gives to the separate States large influence in the
formation of military policy. Even the President's control of the Federal
army, regulars and volunteers, is limited by the decentralized
organization of the different army bureaus, which depend upon Congress
for their appropriations and which operate as almost independent and
frequently competing units. The creation of a single programme for the
army as a whole is thus a task of extreme difficulty.

President Wilson, as historian, was well aware of the tremendous price
that had been paid in past wars for such decentralization, accompanied as
it was, inevitably, by delays, misunderstandings, and mistakes. He was
determined to create a single coördinating command, and his war policies
were governed from beginning to end by this purpose. He set up no new
machinery, but utilized as his main instrument the General Staff, which
had been created in 1903 as a result of the blunders and confusion that
had been so painfully manifest in the Spanish War. When the United States
entered the World War the General Staff had by no means acquired the
importance expected by those who had created it.[3] But to it the
President turned, and it was this body enlarged in size and influence
that ultimately put into operation Wilson's policy of centralization. It
was in accordance with the advice of the men who composed the General
Staff that the President elaborated the larger lines of the military
programme, and they were the men who supervised the operation of details.

[Footnote 3: In April, 1917, the General Staff consisted of fifty-one
officers, only nineteen of whom were on duty in Washington. Of these,
eight were occupied with routine business, leaving but eleven free for
the real purpose for which the staff had been created--"the study of
military problems, the preparation of plans for national defense, and
utilization of the military forces in time of war."]

None of the processes which marked the transition of the United States
from a peace to a war basis are comprehensible unless we remember that
the President was constantly working to overcome the forces of
decentralization, and also that the military programme was always on an
emergency basis, shifting almost from week to week in accordance with
developments in Europe.

The original programme did not provide for an expeditionary force in
France. During the early days of participation in the war it was generally
believed that the chief contributions of the United States to Allied
victory would not be directly upon the fighting front. If the United
States concentrated its efforts upon financing the Allies, furnishing them
with food, shipping, and the munitions which had been promised--so many
persons argued--it would be doing far better than if it weakened
assistance of that sort by attempting to set up and maintain a large
fighting force of its own. The impression was unfortunately prevalent in
civilian circles that Germany was on her last legs, and that the outcome
of the war would be favorably settled before the United States could put
an effective army in the field. Military experts, on the other hand, more
thoroughly convinced of German strength, believed that the final campaigns
could not come before the summer of 1919, and did not expect to provide a
great expeditionary force previous to the spring of that year if indeed it
were ever sent. Thus from opposite points of view the amateur and the
professional deprecated haste in dispatching an army to France. From the
moment the United States entered the war, President Wilson certainly
seems to have resolved upon the preparation of an effective fighting
force, if we may judge from his insistence upon the selective draft,
although he did not expect that it would be used abroad. But it may be
asked whether he did not hope for the arrangement of a negotiated peace,
which if not "without victory" would at least leave Germany uncrushed. It
is probable that he did not yet perceive that "force to the utmost" would
be necessary before peace could be secured; that realization was to come
only in the dark days of 1918.

A few weeks after America's declaration of war, however, France and Great
Britain dispatched missions led by Balfour, Viviani, and Joffre, to
request earnestly that at least a small American force be sent overseas
at once for the moral effect upon dispirited France. The plea determined
the President to send General Pershing immediately with a force of about
two thousand, who were followed in June and July, 1917, by sufficient
additional forces to make up a division. Wilson had been authorized by
Congress, under the Selective Service Act, to send four volunteer
divisions abroad under the command of Roosevelt. But he refused to
interfere with the plans of the military experts, who strongly objected
to any volunteer forces whatever. Neither the valiant ex-President nor
the prospective volunteers were trained for the warfare of the moment,
and their presence in France would bring no practical good to the Allied
cause; moreover the officers whom Roosevelt requested were sorely needed
in American training camps.

General Pershing, to whom was now entrusted the military fortunes of the
American army abroad, was an officer fifty-seven years old, who had
undergone wide military and administrative experience in Cuba and the
Philippines; he had been given extraordinary promotion by President
Roosevelt, who had jumped him from the rank of captain to that of
Brigadier General; and he had been selected to lead the punitive force
dispatched in pursuit of Villa in the spring of 1916. Distinguished in
appearance, with superb carriage, thin lips, and squarely-chiselled chin,
he possessed military gifts of a sound rather than brilliant character. A
strict disciplinarian, he failed to win from his troops that affection
which the _poilus_ gave to Pétain, while he never displayed the genius
that compelled universal admiration for Foch. Neither ultimate success
nor the stories of his dramatic remarks (as at the grave of La Fayette:
"La Fayette, we are here!") succeeded in investing him with the heroic
halo that ought to come to a victorious commander. As time passes,
however, Pershing takes higher rank. His insistence upon soldierly
qualities, his unyielding determination to create American armies under
an independent command, his skill in building up a great organization,
his successful operations at St. Mihiel and in the Meuse-Argonne drive,
despite faulty staff work--all these facts become more plain as we
acquire perspective. If historians refuse to recognize him as a great
general, they will surely describe his talents as more than adequate to
the exigencies of the military situation.

The sending of the Pershing expedition did not at once alter
fundamentally the original programme for raising an army of about a
million men to be kept in the United States, as a reserve in case of
emergency. There was no intention of sending to France more troops than
would be needed to keep filled the ranks of the small expeditionary
force. But the urgent representations of the Allies and reports from
American officers induced a radical change in policy. The latter
emphasized the unsound military position of our Allies and insisted that
the deadlock could be broken and the war won only by putting a really
effective American army beside the French and British by the summer of
1918. A programme was drawn up in France and sent to the War Department,
according to which an army of thirty divisions should be sent abroad
before the end of that year. Throughout 1917 this plan remained rather a
hope than a definite programme and it was not until early in 1918 that it
was officially approved. It was thus of an emergency character and this
fact combined with the indefiniteness prevalent during the autumn of 1917
to produce extreme confusion. In July, 1918, an eighty-division programme
was adopted and more confusion resulted. Furthermore the entire problem
was complicated by the question as to whether or not ships could be found
for transportation. It had been assumed that it would take six months to
transport five hundred thousand troops. But in May, 1918, and thereafter
nearly three hundred thousand troops a month were carried to France,
largely through tonnage obtained from the British. Such a development of
transportation facilities was not and could not be foreseen. It increased
the confusion. In the face of such difficulties, the problems of
man-power, training, and supplies had to be met and ultimately solved,
largely through the centralization carried into effect by the General
Staff.

The problem of man-power had been carefully considered during the weeks
that preceded our entrance into the war and the declaration of war found
the Government prepared with a plan for a selective draft. On the 7th of
April, the day after the declaration of war, President Wilson insisted
that "the safety of the nation depended upon the measure."

Congress, however, was slow to accept the principle of conscription, and
the President encountered fierce opposition on the part of the advocates
of the volunteer system, who were led by men of such influence as Speaker
Champ Clark, House Leader Claude Kitchin, and the chairman of the House
Committee on Military Affairs, Stanley H. Dent. The President was
inflexible, declaring that the Administration would not "yield an inch of
any essential parts of the programme for raising an army by conscription,"
and exercised his personal influence to its fullest extent in order to
secure a favorable vote. He was ably seconded by Julius Kahn, the ranking
Republican member of the House Military Committee, who was himself born in
Germany. The failure of House and Senate to agree on the matter of age
liability delayed action for some weeks. Finally, on May 18, 1917, what
is popularly known as the Selective Service Act became law.

This Act gave to the President power to raise the regular army by
enlistment to 287,000 men, to take into the Federal service all members
of the national guard, and to raise by selective draft, in two
installments, a force of a million troops. All men between the ages of
twenty-one and thirty, both inclusive, were registered on the 5th of
June; this with the subsequent registration of men coming of age later,
produced an available body of more than ten millions. And when in the
following year, the draft age was extended to include all men between the
ages of eighteen and forty-five, both inclusive, thirteen millions more
were added. From this body the names of those who were to serve were
drawn by lot. All men registered were carefully classified, in order that
the first chosen might be those not merely best fitted for fighting, but
those whose absence on the firing line would least disturb the essential
economic life of the nation. Liberal exemptions were accorded, including
artisans employed in industries necessary to war production and men upon
whom others were dependent. On the 20th of July the first drawings were
made, and by the end of the year about half a million of the drafted men,
now called the National Army, were mustered in. In the meantime
enlistments in the regular army and the national guard had raised the
total number of troops to about a million and a quarter and of officers
to more than one hundred thousand. Less than a year later, when the
armistice was signed, the army included over three and a half millions,
of whom nearly two millions were in France.

The real military contribution of the United States to allied victory lay
in man-power. It could not of its own resources transport the troops nor
equip them completely, but the raising of an enormous number of fresh
forces, partially trained, it is true, but of excellent fighting caliber,
made possible the maneuvers of Foch that brought disaster to German arms.
When once these armies arrived in numbers on the battle-line in France,
the realization of the inexhaustible man-power of America did more than
anything else to revive the spirit of the Allies and discourage the
enemy.

Infinitely more difficult than the problem of man-power were those of
training and supplies. As we have seen, these problems were complicated
by the decision to send abroad an effective fighting force, a decision
which completely changed the entire military situation. The original
plan of maintaining an army only in the United States, as a reserve,
permitted the questions of camps, supplies, equipment, munitions, and
training to be undertaken at comparative leisure. But if a large army was
to be placed in France by 1918, these problems must be solved immediately
and upon an emergency basis. Hence resulted the confusion and expense
which nearly led to the breakdown of the whole programme in the winter of
1917-18. The War Department faced a dilemma. If it waited until supplies
were ready, the period of training would be too short. On the other hand,
if it threw the new draft armies immediately into the camps, assuming
that the camps could be prepared, the troops would lack the wool uniforms
and blankets necessary for protection, as well as the equipment with
which to drill. The second alternative appeared the less dangerous, and
in September the first draft calls were made and by December the camps
were filled.[4]

[Footnote 4: The size of the army raised in 1917 demanded the building of
enormous cantonments. Within three months of the first drawings sixteen
complete cities of barracks had sprung up, each to accommodate 40,000
inhabitants. They had their officers' quarters, hospitals, sewage
systems, filter plants, and garbage incinerators, electric lighting
plants, libraries, theaters. By the 4th of September the National Army
cantonments were ready for 430,000 men, two-thirds of the first draft. A
single camp involved the expenditure of approximately $11,000,000. Camp
Grant, at Rockford, Illinois, included 1600 buildings with space for
45,000 men and 12,000 horses. The water, which before use was tested and
filtered, was supplied from six huge wells drilled 175 feet deep, carried
through 38 miles of water main, and stored in reservoir tanks holding
550,000 gallons. For lighting purposes there were 1450 miles of electric
wire, 1200 poles, 35,000 incandescent lamps. During the period of
construction, 50 carloads of building material were daily unloaded, and
for several weeks an average of 500,000 board feet of lumber set up
daily. The entire construction of the camp demanded 50,000,000 feet of
lumber, 700 tons of nails, 4,000,000 feet of roofing, and 3,000,000
square feet of wall board.]

Many apprehensions were fulfilled in fact, when the terrible winter
weather came, the worst in years. The northern camps faced it with
insufficient clothing. Pneumonia made its invasion. Artillerymen were
trained with wooden guns; infantrymen with wooden rifles or antiquated
Krags. But all the time the essential training proceeded and the calls
for replacements sent by General Pershing in France were met.

The first and vital need was for officers to train the willing but
inexperienced recruits. To meet this need a series of officers' training
camps had been established in the spring of 1917 and continued for a year.
Each camp lasted for three months, where during twelve hours a day the
candidates for commissions, chiefly college graduates and young business
men, were put through the most intensive drill and withering study. All
told, more than eighty thousand commissions were granted through the
camps, and the story of the battlefields proved at once the caliber of
these amateur officers and the effectiveness of their training. Special
camps, such as the school of fire at Fort Sill, carried the officers a
step further, and when they went overseas they received in schools in
France instruction in the latest experience of the Allied armies. The
colleges of the country were also formed into training schools and
ultimately about 170,000 young men, under military age, in five hundred
institutions of learning, joined the Students' Army Training Corps.

In all the army schools French and British officers coöperated as
instructors and gave the value of their three years' experience on the
fighting front. But the traditions of the American regular army,
formulated in the Indian and frontier fights, rather than the siege
methods of the trenches, formed the basic principles of the instruction;
General Pershing was insistent that an offensive spirit must be instilled
into the new troops, a policy which received the enthusiastic endorsement
of the President. The development of "a self-reliant infantry by thorough
drill in the use of a rifle and in the tactics of open warfare" was always
uppermost in the mind of the commander of the expeditionary force, who
from first to last refused to approve the extreme specialization in trench
warfare that was advised by the British and the French.

The emergency nature of the military programme, resulting from the sudden
decision to send a large army to France, the decentralization of army
affairs, and the failure to prepare adequately in the years preceding
entrance into the war--all these factors made a shortage of supplies in
the training camps inevitable.

The first appropriation bill which was to provide the funds to purchase
clothing, blankets, and other necessities was not passed until the 15th of
June, leaving a pitifully brief space of time for the placing of contracts
and the manufacture and transport of supplies. Many factories had to be
built, and many delays resulted from the expansion of the Quartermaster
Department, which had not been manned or equipped for such an emergency.
The shortage of clothing was felt the more because of the extreme severity
of the winter. After the initial difficulties had been passed supplies of
this kind were furnished in profusion; but lack of preparation on the
part of the War Department and the slowness of Congress to appropriate
promptly produced a temporary situation of extreme discomfort and worse.
The provision of food supplies was arranged more successfully. Soldiers
would not be soldiers if they did not complain of their "chow." But the
quality and variety of the food given to the new troops reached a higher
degree than was reasonably to have been expected. The average soldier
gained from ten to twelve pounds after entering the service. Provision was
also made for his entertainment. Vaudeville, concerts, moving pictures
formed an element of camp life, much to the surprise of the visiting
French officers and Civil War veterans.

Americans naturally look back with pride to the making of their new army.
The draft was accomplished smoothly and rapidly. Demonstrations against
conscription, which in view of the Civil War draft riots had caused some
apprehension, were almost unheard of and never serious. Of the three
million called for service on the first draft, all but 150,000 were
accounted for, and of those missing most were aliens who had left to
enlist in their own armies. The problem of the slacker and of the
conscientious objector, although vexatious, was never serious. The
educative effect of the training upon the country was very considerable.
All ranks and classes were gathered in, representing at least fifty-six
different nationalities; artisans, millionaires, and hoboes bunked side by
side; the youthful plutocrat saw life from a new angle, the wild
mountaineer learned to read, the alien immigrant to speak English. Finally
the purpose of the training was achieved, for America sent over a force
that could fight successfully at the moment of crisis.

Amateur critics had assumed that the problem of raising an effective
number of troops would prove far more difficult than that of producing
the necessary equipment and munitions. It was generally believed that the
industrial genius of America was such that American factories could
provide all the artillery, small-arms, and aircraft that the armies could
use. The most fantastic prophecies were indulged in. Experience showed,
however, that it is easier to raise, train, and organize troops of
superior sort in a brief period than it is to arm them. It stands as a
matter of record that foreign artillery and machine guns alone made
possible the attack on the St. Mihiel salient and the advance in the
Argonne. As for military airplanes, had the Government relied upon those
of American manufacture there would have been no American squadrons
flying over the German lines previous to August, 1918, and not many
between then and the signing of the armistice.

Such a statement should not imply blanket criticism of the Ordnance
Department. The Government was perhaps slow, even after the United States
entered the war, to realize the serious character of the military
situation abroad and to appreciate the extent to which American aid would
be necessary to allied victory. Hence the changes in the military
programme which inevitably created confusion. But the decision to ensure
against unforeseen disaster by preparing heavily for 1919 and 1920 and
partially disregarding 1918 was based upon sound strategical reasoning.
The war was brought to a close sooner than had been expected; hence the
period of actual hostilities was devoted to laying down the foundations
of a munitions industry, and the munitions actually produced, in the
words of Assistant Secretary Crowell, "might almost be termed casual to
the main enterprise, pilots of the quantities to come." Such a policy was
possible because of the surplus production of the Allies. The latter
stated that their production of artillery was such that they could equip
all American divisions as they arrived in France during the year
1918.[5] This gave time "to build manufacturing capacity on a grand scale
without the necessity of immediate production, time to secure the best in
design, time to attain quality in the enormous outputs to come later as
opposed to early quantities of indifferent class."

[Footnote 5: As a result of the agreement thus made the United States
shipped overseas between the time of the declaration of war and the
signing of the armistice only 815 complete pieces of mobile artillery,
including all produced for France and Great Britain as well as for
American troops. Of the 75's only 181 complete units were shipped abroad,
the American Expeditionary Force securing 1828 from the French. Of the
155 millimeter howitzers none of American manufacture reached the front.
French deliveries amounted to 747.--_America's Munitions_, 1917-1918
(Report of Benedict Crowell, Assistant Secretary of War), p. 90.]

The lack of preparation in the matter of machine guns has received wide
publicity. In this, as in artillery, the deficiency was made good by the
Allies up to the final weeks of the war. In April, 1917, the army
possessed only a small number of machine guns entirely inadequate even
for the training of the new troops and half of which would not take
American service cartridges. Less than seven hundred machine rifles were
on hand. Manufacturing facilities for machine guns were limited; there
were only two factories in the United States actually producing in
quantity. Orders for four thousand Vickers had been placed the preceding
December, but deliveries had not been made by the beginning of April.
Either because of jealousy in the department, or because of justifiable
technical reasons, various experts demanded a better machine gun than any
used by the Allies, and Secretary Baker took the responsibility of
delaying matters so as to hold the competition recommended by a board of
investigation. This competition was planned for May 1, 1917, with the
result that we entered the war without having decided upon any type of
machine gun, and it was not until some weeks later that the Browning was
approved.

First deliveries of this gun could not be made until April, 1918, a year
after the declaration of war. In the meantime, the War Department
utilized existing facilities to the limit, and placed large orders for
Colt, Lewis, and Vickers machine guns. But the heavy machine guns and
automatic rifles used by our troops in the field were furnished by the
French and the British until May, 1918. During that month and June the
eleven American divisions that sailed were provided with American-made
Vickers, although they still used the French-made Chauchat automatic
rifles. After June, all American troops to sail received a full equipment
of Brownings, both heavy machine guns and automatic rifles. Altogether
27,000 heavy Brownings and 29,000 light Brownings were shipped to the
American Expeditionary Force, sufficient by the time of the armistice to
equip completely all the American troops in France. They were not used in
combat until the Meuse-Argonne battle, where they amply justified the
faith of General Pershing.

The policy of delaying production in order to obtain the best quality was
not followed in the case of the rifle, and the results unquestionably
justified the plan, ultimately adopted, of accepting a slightly inferior
type which could be produced at once in quantity. The American army
rifle, the Springfield, was generally regarded as the most accurate the
world had seen. Unfortunately there was little hope of expanding the
production of Springfields sufficiently to meet the necessities of the
new National Army. For several years previous to 1917 the Government,
with myopic vision, had cut down expenditures for the manufacture of
small-arms and ammunition, with the result that artisans skilled in
making Springfields had been scattered. Even if the two factories that
had been turning out Springfields could be restaffed, their combined
production would be insufficient. Private plants could not be utilized
for early quantity production, because of the time that would be taken in
building up an adequate manufacturing equipment and training the
artisans. Fortune intervened. It happened that three large American firms
were about to complete important contracts for supplying Enfield rifles
to the British Government. Their plants and skilled labor might be turned
to account, but the Enfield was not regarded as satisfactory, principally
because its ammunition was inferior to that taken by the Springfield. The
War Department decided to attempt a change in the bore of the Enfield so
that it would use Springfield cartridges, and to make other minor
simplifications and improvements. The experiment proved successful to the
highest degree. The modified Enfields were reported to be only slightly
inferior to the Springfields and by the end of December, 1917, five
thousand a day were being turned out. Altogether American manufactories
produced during the war about two and a half million rifles, of which all
but three hundred thousand were modified Enfields.

In the matter of airplane production the record is far less satisfactory.
It is, perhaps, too early to distribute with justice the blame for the
delays in production, and full cognizance should be taken of the
difficulties which had to be overcome. But whatever explanations are to be
found, it is an undeniable fact that not until August, 1918, three months
before the armistice, was an American squadron equipped with American
planes. The Allies had looked to America for the production of combat
planes in quantity and Congress, responding to popular enthusiasm, had in
the first days of the war appropriated more than half a billion dollars
for their manufacture. An Aircraft Production Board was organized, with
Howard E. Coffin as chairman, although the actual manufacture of the
machines was under the supervision of the Signal Corps. Promises were made
that by the spring of 1918 the Germans would be completely at the mercy of
American airmen.

But difficulties developed. A new type of motor had to be produced,
capable of serving in any kind of airplane; this was rapidly and
successfully accomplished, and in July, 1917, the Liberty Motor was
approved. But just as manufacturing was about to begin changes in the
design were demanded, with ensuing delays. There was confusion between
the jurisdiction of the Aircraft Board and that of the Signal Corps. The
organization of the latter was less efficient than had been expected,
and men who knew little or nothing of the technique of aircraft were
placed in charge of production. When orders were given for planes to be
constructed in France, seven thousand American machinists had to be sent
over to release the French machinists who were to work on these
contracts, with consequent delays to American production. Repeated
alterations in the designs of airplanes must be made to meet changing
requirements sent from the front, and large numbers of planes almost
ready for delivery had to be scrapped. Two of the types manufactured
proved to be unsatisfactory and were condemned, with an estimated loss of
twenty-six million dollars. Finally the bitter cold of the winter made it
difficult to secure the indispensable spruce from the northwestern
forests, and lumbering operations were hampered by extensive strikes,
which were said to have resulted from German intrigues.

General disappointment at the failure to produce airplanes in quantity by
the spring of 1918 was the more bitter because of the high hopes that had
been aroused by those in authority. Instead of confessing the serious
nature of the delays, the War Department attempted to conceal not merely
the mistakes made but the fact that airplanes could not possibly reach
France in any numbers before the autumn of 1918. Thus when at last, in
February, a single combat plane was completed and shipped, the War
Department issued the statement: "The first American-built battle planes
are to-day _en route_ to France. This first shipment, although not in
itself large, marks the final overcoming of many difficulties met in
building up a new and intricate industry." When General Wood returned
from France in March and reported that not one American-built plane was
in action there, and when the Senate investigation committee unearthed
the existence of all the delays, the disillusioned public gave vent to
fierce criticism. It was to some extent calmed by the appointment, in
April, of John D. Ryan, of the Anaconda Copper Company, as director of
aircraft production for the army. By this time many of the most serious
difficulties had been passed. When the armistice was signed about twelve
thousand airplanes had been produced by American plants, of which a third
were service-planes.[6]

[Footnote 6: Ayres. _The War with Germany_, 87-90.]

It is impossible here to trace the activities of the various departments
in the herculean task of arming the nation. But one should not forget
that there was much which never received wide publicity. The development
of ordnance carried with it the manufacture of quantities of ammunition
hitherto undreamt of, the building of railway and motorized artillery,
the improvement of sight and fire-control apparatus, the making of all
sorts of trench-warfare _matériel_. The Air Service had to concern itself
with the manufacture of radio telephones, armament for airplanes, the
synchronizing of machine guns to fire through propeller blades, airplane
bombs, air photography, and pyrotechnics. The Chemical Warfare Service
was busy with the making of toxic gases and gas defense equipment, using
the peach stones and cocoanut shells which every one was asked to save.
The enormous quantities of medical and dental supplies must be gathered
by the Quartermaster Department, which also had charge of the salvage
service and the thousand gargantuan household occupations, such as
laundering and incineration of garbage, that went with the maintenance of
the army in camp. The Signal Corps must produce wire, telegraphs,
telephones, switchboards, radio equipment, batteries, field glasses,
photographic outfits, and carrier pigeons.

Upon its navy the United States has always relied chiefly for defense and
in this branch of the service the country was better prepared for war in
1917 than in the army. Indeed when the nation entered the struggle many
persons believed that the sole practical fighting assistance the United
States should give the Allies would be upon the sea. Josephus Daniels,
the Secretary of the Navy, was a Southern politician, of limited
administrative experience and capacity. During the first years of his
appointment he had alienated navy officers through the introduction of
pet reforms and his frank advocacy of a little navy. Resiliency, however,
was one of his characteristics and he followed President Wilson in 1916,
when the latter demanded from Congress authority for an expansion in the
navy which seemed only prudent in view of international conditions.
Largely owing to the efforts of the Assistant Secretary, Franklin D.
Roosevelt, the months immediately preceding the declaration of war
witnessed strenuous preparations to render aid to the Allies in case the
United States should participate. Thereafter Secretary Daniels tended to
sink his personality and judgment in the conduct of the naval war and to
defer to the opinion of various officers, of whom Admiral William S.
Benson, Chief of Naval Operations was the most influential. When war was
declared two flotillas of destroyers were at once sent to Queenstown to
assist in chasing and sinking submarines, and were placed under the
command of Admiral William S. Sims. Battleships and cruisers followed,
though by no means with the expedition nor in the numbers desired by
Sims, who believed that by using practically the entire naval force at
once the submarine could be exterminated and the war ended.

At home, the Navy Department entered upon a process of expansion which
increased its personnel from 65,000 to 497,000 when the armistice was
signed. A rapid development in naval construction was planned, with
emphasis upon destroyers. The effects of this programme became visible
within a year; during the first nine months of 1918 no less than
eighty-three destroyers were launched, as against sixty-two for the
preceding nine years. Submarine chasers of a special design were built
and many private yachts taken over and adapted to the war against the
submarine. During the course of the war two battleships and twenty-eight
submarines were completed. Expansion in naval shipbuilding plans was
paralleled by the construction of giant docks; by camps sufficient for
the training of two hundred thousand men; and by a naval aircraft
factory from which a seaplane was turned out seven months after work on
the factory was begun. Naval aviators returning from the Channel coasts
superintended flying schools and undertook the patrol of our Atlantic
seaboard.

If much of these military preparations was not translated into
accomplishment before the war ended, it was because the United States was
preparing wisely for a long struggle and it seemed necessary that the
foundations should be broad and deep. "America was straining her energies
towards a goal," said the Director of Munitions, "toward the realization
of an ambition which, in the production of munitions, dropped the year
1918 almost out of consideration altogether, which indeed did not bring
the full weight of American men and _matériel_ into the struggle even in
1919, but which left it for 1920, if the enemy had not yet succumbed to
the growing American power, to witness the maximum strength of the United
States in the field." It was the knowledge of this preparation which, to
some extent, helped to convince the German General Staff of the futility
of further resistance and thus to bring the war to an early end.

The dependence of the United States upon the Allies for equipment and
munitions does not deserve the vitriolic anathemas of certain critics.
The country did not enter the struggle as if it expected to fight the war
single-handed. Distribution of labor and supplies between the United
States and the Allies was merely a wise and economic measure. At their
own request, the Allies were furnished with that which they most
needed--money, food, and man-power. In return they provided the United
States with the artillery and machine guns which they could spare and
which they could manufacture more cheaply and rapidly. Finally there is
the outstanding fact, of which America may always be proud, that this
heterogeneous democracy, organized, so far as organization existed, for
the pursuits of peace, was able in the space of sixteen months, to
provide an army capable of fighting successfully one of the most
difficult campaigns of the war, and that which led directly to the
military defeat of Germany.

The ultimate success of President Wilson's war policies could hardly have
been achieved except by the process of centralization which he never lost
from view. His insistence upon centralized responsibility and control in
political matters was paralleled in the military field. Nothing
illustrates this principle better than the centralization of the American
Expeditionary Force under the absolute and unquestioned command of General
Pershing. The latter was given free rein. The jealousies which so weakened
the Union armies during the first years of the Civil War were ruthlessly
repressed. No generals were sent to France of whom he did not approve.
When the Allies threatened to appeal to Washington over Pershing's head,
President Wilson turned a deaf ear.

In the United States, the President sought similar centralization through
the General Staff. It was this body which prepared the different plans for
the Draft Act, the Pershing expedition, and finally for the gigantic task
of putting a million men in France by the summer of 1918. To the staff was
given the formulation of the training programme along the lines
recommended by Pershing. Always, however, it was hampered by the multiple
responsibility that characterized the old-style army machine with its
bureau chiefs competing with each other, with the navy, and with the
Allies. Quartermaster Department, Ordnance Department, Signal Corps, and
the other bureaus were uncoördinated, and inevitable waste and
inefficiency followed all their operations. It was the crisis that arose
from the problem of supplies, in the winter of 1917, that furnished the
President with the opportunity to cut red-tape and secure the
centralization he desired. That opportunity came with the blanket powers
bestowed upon him by the Overman Act, the full significance of which can
only be appreciated after a consideration of the measures taken to
centralize the industrial resources of the nation.



CHAPTER VII

THE HOME FRONT


On May 18, 1917, President Wilson issued a proclamation in which are to
be found the following significant sentences:

    In the sense in which we have been wont to think of armies there are
    no armies in this struggle, there are entire nations armed. Thus,
    the men who remain to till the soil and man the factories are no
    less a part of the army that is in France than the men beneath the
    battle flags. It must be so with us. It is not an army that we must
    shape and train for war--it is a Nation. To this end our people must
    draw close in one compact front against a common foe. But this
    cannot be if each man pursues a private purpose. All must pursue one
    purpose. The Nation needs all men, but it needs each man, not in the
    field that will most pleasure him, but in the endeavor that will
    best serve the common good. Thus, though a sharpshooter pleases to
    operate a trip-hammer for the forging of great guns, and an expert
    machinist desires to march with the flag, the Nation is being served
    only when the sharpshooter marches and the machinist remains at his
    levers. The whole Nation must be a team, in which each man shall
    play the part for which he is best fitted.


If President Wilson deserves severe criticism for his failure to endorse
adequate plans of preparation for war while his country was at peace, he
should be given due credit for his appreciation that the home front must
be organized if the fighting front was to be victorious. He perceived
clearly that it was necessary to carry into the industrial life of the
nation that centralizing process which characterized his military policy.
That the nation at home was made to feel itself part of the fighting
forces and coöperated enthusiastically and effectively in the organization
of the national resources was not the least of the triumphs of the United
States. Such organization demanded great sacrifice, not merely of luxuries
or comforts, but of settled habits, which are difficult to break. It must
necessarily be of an emergency character, for the United States possessed
no bureaucratic system like that which obtains on the continent of Europe
for the centralization of trade, manufactures, food production, and the
thousand activities that form part of economic life. But the event proved
that both the spirit and the brains of the American people were equal to
the crisis.

The problem of coördinating the national industries for the supply of the
army was complicated by the military decentralization described in the
preceding chapter, which President Wilson was not able to remedy before
the final months of the war. The army did not form or state its
requirements as one body but through five supply bureaus, which acted
independently and in competition with each other. Bids for materials from
the different bureaus conflicted with each other, with those of the navy,
and of the Allies. Not merely was it essential that such demands should
be coördinated, but that some central committee should be able to say how
large was the total supply of any sort of materials, how soon they could
be produced, and to prevent the waste of such materials in unessential
production. If the army was decentralized, American industry as a whole
was in a state of complete chaos, so far as any central organization was
concerned. On the side of business every firm in every line of production
was competing in the manufacture of essential and unessential articles,
in transportation, and in bidding for and holding the necessary labor.
Mr. Wilson set himself the task of evolving order out of this chaos.

The President, as in the purely military problem where he utilized the
General Staff as his instrument, prepared to adapt existing machinery,
rather than to create a completely new organization. For a time he seems
to have believed that his Cabinet might serve the function. But it was
ill-adapted to handle the sort of problems that must be solved. It was
composed of men chosen largely for political reasons, and despite much
public complaint it had not been strengthened after Wilson's reëlection.
Franklin K. Lane, the Secretary of the Interior, was generally recognized
as a man of excellent business judgment, willing to listen to experts, and
capable of coöperating effectively with the economic leaders of the
country. His influence with the President, however, seemed to be
overshadowed by that of Newton D. Baker and William G. McAdoo, Secretaries
of War and of the Treasury, who had inspired the distrust of most business
men. McAdoo in particular alienated financial circles because of his
apparent suspicion of banking interest, and both, by their appeals to
laboring men, laid themselves open to the charge of demagogic tactics.
Robert Lansing, the Secretary of State, had won recognition as an expert
international lawyer of long experience, but he could not be expected to
exercise great influence, inasmuch as the President obviously intended to
remain his own foreign secretary. Albert S. Burleson, Postmaster-General,
was a politician, expert in the minor tactics of party, whose conduct of
the postal and telegraphic systems was destined to bring a storm of
protest upon the entire Administration. Thomas W. Gregory, the
Attorney-General, had gained entrance into the Cabinet by means of a
railroad suit which had roused the ire of the transportation interests.
The other members were, at that time, little known or spoken of. Wilson
spent much time and effort in defending his Cabinet members from attacks,
and yet it was believed that he rarely appealed to them for advice in the
formulation of policies. Thus the Cabinet as a whole lacked the very
qualities essential to a successful organizing committee: ability to
secure the coöperation and respect of the industrial leaders of the
country.

Titular functions of an organizing character, nevertheless, had been
conferred upon six members of the Cabinet in August, 1916, through the
creation of a "Council of National Defense"; they were charged with the
"coördination of industries and resources for the national security and
welfare." The actual labor of coördination, however, was to be exercised
by an advisory commission of seven, which included Howard E. Coffin, in
charge of munitions, Daniel Willard, president of the Baltimore and Ohio
Railroad, in charge of transportation, Julius Rosenwald, president of the
Sears-Roebuck Company, in charge of supplies including clothing, Bernard
M. Baruch, a versatile financial trader, in charge of metals, minerals,
and raw materials, Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation
of Labor, in charge of labor and the welfare of workers, Hollis Godfrey
in charge of engineering and education, and Franklin H. Martin in charge
of medicine. The commission at once prepared to lay down its programme,
to create sub-committees and technical boards, and to secure the
assistance of business leaders, without whose coöperation their task
could not be fulfilled.

Following plans developed by the Council of National Defense, experts in
every business likely to prove of importance were called upon to
coördinate and stimulate war necessities, to control their distribution,
to provide for the settlement of disputes between employers and
wage-earners, to fix prices, to conserve resources. Scientific and
technical experts were directed in their researches. The General Medical
Board and the Committee on Engineering and Education were supervised in
their mobilization of doctors and surgeons, engineers, physicists and
chemists, professors and graduate students in the university laboratories.
Everywhere and in all lines experience and brains were sought and
utilized. State Councils of Defense were created to oversee the work of
smaller units and to establish an effective means of communication between
the individual and the national Government. Naturally much
over-organization resulted and some waste of time and energy; but the
universal spirit of voluntary coöperation evoked by the Councils
overbalanced this loss and aided greatly in putting the country on an
effective war basis. As Wilson said, "beyond all question the highest and
best form of efficiency is the spontaneous coöperation of a free people."
In return for their efforts the people received an education in public
spirit and civic consciousness such as could have come in no other way.

Of the committees of the Council, that on munitions developed along the
most elaborate lines, becoming of such importance that on July 28, 1917,
it was reorganized as the War Industries Board. As such it gradually
absorbed most of the functions of the Council which were not transferred
to other agencies of the Government. During the autumn of 1917 the
activities of the Board underwent rapid extension, but it lacked the
power to enforce its decisions. As in the case of the General Staff, it
was important that it should have authority not merely to plan but also
to supervise and execute. Such a development was foreshadowed in the
reorganization of the Board in March, 1918, under the chairmanship of
Bernard M. Baruch, and when the President received the blanket authority
conferred by the Overman Act, he immediately invested the War Industries
Board with the centralizing power which seemed so necessary. Henceforth
it exercised an increasingly strict control over all the industries of
the country.

The purpose of the Board was, generally speaking, to secure for the
Government and the Allies the goods essential for making war
successfully, and to protect the civil needs of the country. The supply
of raw materials to the manufacturer as well as the delivery of finished
products was closely regulated by a system of priorities. The power of
the Board in its later development was dictatorial, inasmuch as it might
discipline any refractory producer or manufacturer by the withdrawal of
the assignments he expected. The leaders of each of the more important
industries were called into council, in order to determine resources and
needs, and the degree of preference to which each industry was entitled.
Some were especially favored, in order to stimulate production in a line
that was of particular importance or was failing to meet the exigencies
of the military situation; shipments to others of a less essential
character were deferred. Committees of the Board studied industrial
conditions and recommended the price that should be fixed for various
commodities; stability was thus artificially secured and profiteering
lessened. The Conservation Division worked out and enforced methods of
standardizing patterns in order to economize materials and labor. The
Steel Division coöperated with the manufacturers for the speeding-up of
production; and the Chemical Division, among other duties, stimulated the
vitally important supply of potash, dyes, and nitrates. Altogether it has
been roughly estimated that the industrial capacity of the country was
increased by twenty per cent through the organizing labors and authority
of the War Industries Board.

The success of this Board would have been impossible without the building
up of an extraordinary _esprit de corps_ among the men who were brought
face to face with these difficult problems of industry and commerce.
Their chairman relied, of course, upon the coöperation of the leaders of
"big business," who now, in the hour of the country's need, sank their
prejudice against governmental interference and gave freely of their
experience, brains, and administrative power. Men whose incomes were
measured in the hundreds of thousands forgot their own business and
worked at Washington on a salary of a dollar a year.

The same spirit of coöperation was evoked when it came to the conservation
and the production of food. If steel was to win the war, its burden could
not be supported without wheat, and for some months in 1917 and 1918
victory seemed to depend largely upon whether the Allies could find enough
to eat. Even in normal times Great Britain and France import large
quantities of foodstuffs; under war conditions they were necessarily
dependent upon foreign grain-producing countries. The surplus grain of the
Argentine and Australia was not available because of the length of the
voyage and the scarcity of shipping; the Russian wheat supply was cut off
by enemy control of the Dardanelles even before it was dissipated by
corrupt officials or reckless revolutionaries. The Allies, on the verge of
starvation, therefore looked to North America. Yet the stock of cereals
when the United States entered the war was at a lower level than it had
been for years and the number of food animals had also been reduced.

To meet the crisis President Wilson called upon one of the most
interesting and commanding personalities of modern times. Herbert Clark
Hoover was a Californian mining engineer, of broad experience in
Australia, China, and England, who in 1914 had been given control of
Allied Relief abroad. The following year he undertook the difficult and
delicate task of organizing food relief for Belgium. He was able to
arouse the enthusiastic sympathy of Americans, win financial support on a
large scale, procure the much-needed food, and provide for its effective
distribution among the suffering Belgians, in spite of the suspicions of
the Germans and the hindrances thrown in his path. A master organizer,
with keen flair for efficient subordinates, of broad vision never muddied
by details, with sound knowledge of business economics, and a gift for
dramatic appeal, Hoover was ideally fitted to conduct the greatest
experiment in economic organization the world had seen. Unsentimental
himself, he knew how to arouse emotion--a necessary quality, since the
food problem demanded heavy personal sacrifices which would touch every
individual; brusque in manner, he avoided giving the offense which
naturally follows any interference with the people's dinner and which
would destroy the essential spirit of voluntary coöperation.

Five days after the declaration of war, President Wilson, through the
Council of National Defense, named a committee on food supply, with Hoover
at its head, and shortly thereafter named him food commissioner. Hoover
began his work of educating the people to realize the necessity of economy
and extra-production; but he lacked the administrative powers which were
essential if his work was to prove effective, and it was not until August
that Congress passed the Lever Act which provided for strict control of
food under an administrator. This measure encountered strong opposition in
the Senate and from the farmers, who feared lest the provisions against
hoarding of food would prevent them from holding their products for high
prices. Wilson exerted his personal influence vigorously for the bill in
the face of congressional opposition, which demanded that large powers of
control should be given to a Senate committee of ten, and he was finally
successful in his appeal. He thereupon appointed Hoover Food Administrator
with practically unlimited powers, legalizing the work already begun on
his own initiative.

Hoover at once made arrangements to prevent the storage of wheat in large
quantities and to eliminate speculative dealings in wheat on the grain
exchanges. He then offered to buy the entire wheat crop at a fair price
and agreed with the millers to take flour at a fair advance on the price
of wheat. Fearful lest the farmers should be discouraged from planting the
following year, 1918, he offered to buy all the wheat that could be raised
at two dollars a bushel. If peace came before the crop was disposed of,
the Government might be compelled to take over the wheat at a higher price
than the market, but the offer was a necessary inducement to extensive
planting. In the meantime Hoover appealed to the country to utilize every
scrap of ground for the growing of food products. Every one of whatever
age and class turned gardener. The spacious and perfectly trimmed lawns of
the wealthy, as well as the weed-infested back yards of the poor, were dug
up and planted with potatoes or corn. Community gardens flourished in the
villages and outside of the larger towns, where men, women, and children
came out in the evening, after their regular work, to labor with rake and
hoe. There were perhaps two million "war gardens" over and beyond the
already established gardens, which unquestionably enabled many a citizen
to reduce his daily demands on the grocer, and stimulated his interest in
the problem of food conservation. As a result of Hoover's dealing with the
farmers, during the year 1917 the planted wheat acreage exceeded the
average of the preceding five years by thirty-five million acres, or by
about twelve per cent, and another additional five million acres were
planted in 1918. The result was the largest wheat crop in American history
except that of 1915, despite the killing cold of the winter of 1917 and
the withering drought of the summer of 1918. An increase in the number of
live stock was also secured and the production of milk, meat, and wool
showed a notable development.

Hoover achieved equal success in the problem of conserving food. He
realized that he must bring home to the individual housewife the need of
the closest economy, and he organized a nation-wide movement to secure
voluntary pledges that the rules and requests of the Food Administration
would be observed. People were asked to use other flours than wheat
whenever possible, to be sparing of sugar and meat, to utilize
substitutes, and rigidly to avoid waste. On every billboard and in all
the newspapers were to be seen appeals to save food. Housewives were
enrolled as "members of the Food Administration" and were given placards
to post in their windows announcing their membership and the willingness
of the family to abide by its requests. Certain days of the week were
designated as "wheatless" or "meatless" when voluntary demi-fasts were to
be observed, the nonobservance of which spelled social ostracism. To
"Hooverize" became a national habit, and children were denied a spoonful
of sugar on their cereal, "because Mr. Hoover would not like it." Hoover,
with his broad forehead, round face, compelling eyes, and underhung jaw,
became the benevolent bogey of the nation. It was a movement of general
renunciation such as no country had undergone except at the pinch of
biting necessity.[7] In the meantime prices were prevented from rapid
increase by a system of licenses, which tended to prevent hoarding or
speculation. Attempts to capitalize the need of the world for private
gain, or in common parlance, to "profiteer," were comparatively rare and
were adequately punished by revocation of license or by forced sale of
hoardings.

[Footnote 7: Restaurants and hotels coöperated; during a period of only
two months they were reported as having saved nine thousand tons of meat,
four thousand tons of flour, and a thousand tons of sugar. City garbage
plants announced a decrease in the amount of garbage collected ranging
from ten to thirteen per cent.]

As a result of the organization of food supply, the stimulation of
production, and the prevention of waste, America was able to save the
Entente nations, and, later, much of central and southeastern Europe from
starvation, without herself enduring anything worse than discomfort. The
Government was able at the same time to provide the troops in France with
food which, to the _poilus_ at least, seemed luxurious. When the United
States entered the war the country was prepared to export 20,000,000
bushels of wheat; instead it sent over 141,000,000. In four months, in
the summer of 1918, the American people saved out of their regular
consumption and sent abroad half a million tons of sugar. The autumn of
1918 saw an increase of nearly a million tons of pork products over what
was available the previous year. Altogether, during the crop year of
1918, America doubled the average amount of food sent to Europe
immediately before the war, notwithstanding unfavorable weather
conditions and the congestion of freight that resulted from other war
necessities. The total contribution in foodstuffs exported to Europe
that year amounted to a value of about two billion dollars. This was done
without food cards and with a minimum of edicts. It was the work of
education and conscience.

Fuel like food was a war necessity and there was equal need of
stimulating production by assuring a fair profit and of eliminating all
possible waste. Without the steam power provided by coal, raw materials
could not be transformed into the manufactured articles demanded by
military necessity, nor distributed by the railroads and steamships. Soon
after the declaration of war, a committee of coal operators, meeting
under the authorization of the Council of National Defense, drew up a
plan for the stimulation of coal production and its more economical
distribution. This committee voluntarily set a price for coal lower than
the current market price, in order to prevent a rise in manufacturing
costs; it was approved by the Secretary of the Interior, who warmly
praised the spirit of sacrifice displayed by the operators. Unfortunately
the Secretary of War, as chairman of the Council of National Defense,
repudiated the arrangement, on the ground that the price agreed upon was
too high. The operators were discouraged, because of the difficulty of
stimulating production under the lower price which Secretary Baker
insisted upon; they were further disappointed at the postponement of
plans for a zone system and an elimination of long cross hauls, designed
to relieve the load that would be thrown upon railroad transportation in
the coming winter.

In August, Wilson was empowered by the Lever Act to appoint a Fuel
Administrator and chose Harry A. Garfield, President of Williams College.
Conditions, however, became more confused. The fuel problem was one of
transportation quite as much as of production; the railroads were unable
to furnish the needed coal-cars, and because of an expensive and possibly
unfair system of car allotment, coal distribution was hampered. Add to
this the fact that numerous orders for coal shipments had been deferred
until autumn, in the belief that the Administration, which in the person
of Baker was not believed to look on the coal operators with favor, would
enforce low prices. Hence during the last three months of the year an
unprecedented amount of coal had to be shipped, and the congestion on the
competing railroads was such that the country faced a real coal famine.
In December, the Government recognized the obvious fact that the railroad
must be placed under one management, if the confusion in the whole
industrial situation were to be eliminated. President Wilson accordingly
announced that the Federal Government would take over the railroads for
the period of the war.

This measure came too late to save the country from the evil effects of
the fuel shortage. The penalty for the delays of the preceding summer had
to be paid, and it was the heavier because of the severity of the winter.
Overloaded trains were stalled and harbors froze over, imprisoning the
coal barges. Thirty-seven ships laden with essential military supplies
were held up in New York harbor for lack of fuel, and long strings of
empties blocked the sidings, while the shippers all over the country cried
for cars. To meet the crisis Garfield decreed that all manufacturing
plants east of the Mississippi should be shut down for five days and for a
series of Mondays, until the 25th of March. The order applied also to
places of amusement, private offices, and most stores, which were not
allowed to furnish heat. Munitions plants and essential industries, as
well as Government offices were naturally excepted. "Heatless Mondays"
caused great inconvenience and bitter criticism, for they came at the
moment when it was most important that the economic life of the nation
should be functioning at its greatest efficiency. But the embargo helped
to tide over the crisis. As in the case of food, the public, once it
appreciated the necessity of the situation, accepted it cheerfully.
Domestic economy was also widely preached and applied, to the slogan,
"Save a shovelful of coal a day." The elimination of electric
advertisements and the diminution of street lighting, served to lessen the
non-essential demand for coal; and the crisis also forced the introduction
of "daylight saving," the advancement of the clock by an hour, during the
months extending from March to October, thus saving artificial light.

In the meantime the Fuel Administration, the operators, and the miners
were coöperating to increase coal production. The enthusiasm of the mine
workers was stimulated by making them realize that they were indeed part
of the fighting forces. A competitive spirit was aroused and mining
conditions were bettered to keep them satisfied. Labor responded to the
call. Holidays were omitted and emulation between different shifts became
keen.[8] Increased production was paralleled by more efficient
distribution. A zone system, finally put into operation, eliminated
approximately 160,000,000 car miles. Local fuel administrators kept in
constant touch with the need of the localities under their jurisdiction,
studied methods of abolishing unnecessary manufacturing use of coal and
refused coal to non-essential industries.

[Footnote 8: In 1918 the average number of days worked by each miner in
the bituminous fields was greater by twelve than that of 1917, and by
twenty-five than that of 1916. During the half-year period from April to
September, 1918, bituminous production was twelve per cent greater than
in the corresponding period of the previous year, which had itself
established a record, despite the decrease in the number of mine
workers.]

Similar increase in the production and saving of oil was accomplished.
The oil-burning vessels of the allied navies and merchant marines, the
motor transport service of the armies, all made this necessary. In 1918
the production of oil in the United States was fourteen per cent greater
than in 1914. In response to an urgent cable from Marshal Foch, which
ran: "If you don't keep up your petrol supply we shall lose the war," a
series of "gasless Sundays" was suggested. For nearly two months, merely
at the request of the Fuel Administration and without any compulsion
except that arising from public opinion, Sunday motoring was practically
abandoned. That most crowded of motor thoroughfares, the Boston Post
Road from New York to Stamford, might have served as playground for a
kindergarten. The estimated saving of gasoline amounted to a million
barrels: about four per cent of the gasoline sent abroad in 1918 was
provided by the gasless Sundays.

Credit must be given the Fuel Administration for the large measure of
success which it finally secured. It was slow in its early organization
and at first failed to make full use of the volunteer committees of coal
operators and labor representatives who offered their assistance and
whose experience qualified them to give invaluable advice. But Garfield
showed his capacity for learning the basic facts of the situation, and
ultimately chose strong advisers. When he entered upon his duties he
found the crisis so far advanced that it could not be immediately solved.
Furthermore, in a situation which demanded the closest coöperation
between the Fuel and the Railroad Administration, he did not always
receive the assistance from the latter which he had a right to expect.

As a war measure, the temporary nationalization of the railroads was
probably necessary. Whatever the ultimate advantages of private ownership
and the system of competition, during the period of military necessity
perfect coördination was essential. Railroad facilities could not be
improved because new equipment, so far as it could be manufactured, had
to be sent abroad; the only solution of the problem of congestion seemed
to be an improvement of service. During the first nine months after the
declaration of war a notable increase in the amount of freight carried
was effected; nevertheless, as winter approached, it became obvious that
the roads were not operating as a unit and could not carry the load
demanded of them. Hence resulted the appointment of McAdoo in December,
1917, as Director-General, with power to operate all the railroads as a
single line.

During the spring of 1918 the Administration gradually overcame the worst
of the transportation problems. To the presidents and management of the
various railroads must go the chief share of credit for the successful
accomplishment of this titanic task. Despite their distrust of McAdoo and
their objections to his methods, they coöperated loyally with the
Railroad Administration in putting through the necessary measures of
coördination and in the elimination of the worst features of the former
competitive system. They adopted a permit system which prevented the
loading of freight unless it could be unloaded at its destination; they
insisted upon more rapid unloading of cars; they consolidated terminals
to facilitate the handling of cars; they curtailed circuitous routing of
freight; they reduced the use of Pullman cars for passenger service. As a
result, after May, 1918, congestion was diminished and during the summer
was no longer acute. This was accomplished despite the number of troops
moved, amounting during the first ten months of 1918 to six and a half
millions. In addition the railroads carried large quantities of food,
munitions, building materials for cantonments, and other supplies, most
of which converged upon eastern cities and ports. The increase in the
number of grain-carrying cars alone, from July to November, was 135,000
over the same period of the previous year.

Unquestionably the Government's administration of the railroads has a
darker side. Complaints were frequent that the Railroad Administration
sacrificed other interests for its own advantage. The future of the roads
was said not to be carefully safeguarded, and equipment and rolling stock
mishandled and allowed to deteriorate. Above all, at the moment when it
was quite as essential to preserve the morale of labor on the home front
as that of the troops in France, McAdoo made concessions to labor that
were more apt to destroy discipline and _esprit de corps_ than to
maintain them. The authority given for the unionization of railroad
employees, the stopping of piecework, the creation of shop committees,
weakened the control of the foremen and led to a loss of shop efficiency
which has been estimated at thirty per cent. Government control was
necessary, but in the form in which it came it proved costly.

During the months when manufacturing plants were built and their output
speeded up, when fuel and food were being produced in growing amounts,
when the stalled freight trains were being disentangled, there was
unceasing call for ocean-going tonnage. Food and war materials would be
of little use unless the United States had the ships in which to
transport them across the Atlantic. The Allies sorely needed American
help to replace the tonnage sunk by German submarines; during some
months, Allied shipping was being destroyed at the rate of six million
tons a year. Furthermore if an effective military force were to be
transported to France, according to the plans that germinated in the
summer of 1917, there would be need of every possible cubic inch of
tonnage. The entire military situation hinged upon the shipping problem.
Yet when the United States joined in war on Germany there was not a
shipyard in the country which would accept a new order; every inch of
available space was taken by the navy or private business.

In September, 1916, the United States Shipping Board had been organized
to operate the Emergency Fleet Corporation, which had been set up
primarily to develop trade with South America. This body now prepared a
gigantic programme of shipbuilding, which expanded as the need for
tonnage became more evident. By November 15, 1917, the Board planned for
1200 ships with dead weight tonnage of seven and a half millions. The
difficulties of building new yards, of collecting trained workmen and
technicians were undoubtedly great, but they might have been overcome
more easily had not unfortunate differences developed between William
Denman, the chairman of the Board, who advocated wooden ships, and
General George W. Goethals, the head of the Emergency Fleet Corporation,
who depended upon steel construction. The differences led to the
resignation of both and continued disorganization hampered the rapid
fulfillment of the programme Edward N. Hurley became chairman of the
Shipping Board, but it was not until the spring of 1918, when Charles M.
Schwab of the Bethlehem Steel Company was put in charge of the Emergency
Fleet Corporation as Director General of shipbuilding, that public
confidence in ultimate success seemed justified.

Much of the work accomplished during the latter days of the war was
spectacular. Waste lands along the Delaware overgrown with weeds were
transformed within a year into a shipyard with twenty-eight ways, a ship
under construction on each one, with a record of fourteen ships already
launched. The spirit of the workmen was voiced by the placard that hung
above the bulletin board announcing daily progress, which proclaimed,
"Three ships a week or bust." The Hog Island yards near Philadelphia and
the Fore River yards in Massachusetts became great cities with docks,
sidings, shops, offices, and huge stacks of building materials. Existing
yards, such as those on the Great Lakes, were enlarged so that in
fourteen months they sent to the ocean a fleet of 181 steel vessels. The
new ships were standardized and built on the "fabricated" system, which
provided for the manufacture of the various parts in different factories
and their assembling at the shipyards. In a single day, July 4, 1918,
there were launched in American shipyards ninety-five vessels, with a
dead weight tonnage of 474,464. In one of the Great Lakes yards a 5500
ton steel freighter was launched seventeen days after the keel was laid,
and seventeen days later was delivered to the Shipping Board, complete
and ready for service.

This work was not accomplished without tremendous expenditure and much
waste. The Shipping Board was careless in its financial management and
unwise in many of its methods. By introducing the cost plus system in the
letting of contracts it fostered extravagance and waste and increased and
intensified the industrial evils that had resulted from its operation in
the building of army cantonments. The contractors received the cost of
construction plus a percentage commission; obviously they had no incentive
to economize; the greater the expense the larger their commission. Hence
they willingly paid exorbitant prices for materials and agreed to "fancy"
wages. Not merely was the expense of securing the necessary tonnage
multiplied, but the cost of materials and labor in all other industries
was seriously enhanced. The high wages paid tended to destroy the
patriotic spirit of the shipworkers, who were enticed by greed rather
than by the glory of service. The effect on drafted soldiers was bound to
be unfortunate, for they could not but realize the injustice of a system
which gave them low pay for risking their lives, while their friends in
the shipyards received fabulous wages. Such aspects of the early days of
the Shipping Board were ruthlessly reformed by Schwab when he took
control of the Emergency Fleet Corporation. Appealing to the patriotism of
the workers he reduced costs and increased efficiency, according to some
critics, by thirty per cent, according to others, by no less than one
hundred and ten per cent.

By September, 1918, the Shipping Board had brought under its jurisdiction
2600 vessels with a total dead weight tonnage of more than ten millions.
Of this fleet, sixteen per cent had been built by the Emergency Fleet
Corporation. The remainder was represented by ships which the Board had
requisitioned when America entered the war, by the ships of Allied and
neutral countries which had been purchased and chartered, and by interned
enemy ships which had been seized. The last-named were damaged by their
crews at the time of the declaration of war, but were fitted for service
with little delay by a new process of electric welding. Such German boats
as the _Vaterland_, rechristened the _Leviathan_, and the _George
Washington_, together with smaller ships, furnished half a million tons
of German cargo-space. The ships which transported American soldiers were
not chiefly provided by the Shipping Board, more than fifty per cent
being represented by boats borrowed from Great Britain.[9]

[Footnote 9: In the last six months of the war over 1,500,000 men were
carried abroad as follows:
          44 per cent in United States ships
          51 per cent in British ships
           3 per cent in Italian ships
           2 per cent in French ships
The United States transports included 450,000 tons of German origin;
300,000 tons supplied by commandeered Dutch boats; and 718,000 tons
provided by the Emergency Fleet Corporation.]

More effective use of shipping was fostered by the War Trade Board, which
had been created six months after the declaration of war by the Trading
with the Enemy Act (October 6, 1917), and which, in conjunction with the
activities of the Alien Property Custodian, possessed full powers to
curtail enemy trade. It thereby obtained practical control of the foreign
commerce of this country, and was able both to conserve essential products
for American use and to secure and economize tonnage.

Such control was assured through a system of licenses for exports and
imports. No goods could be shipped into or out of the country without a
license, which was granted by the War Trade Board only after investigation
of the character of the shipment and its destination or source. The
earlier export of goods which had found their way to Germany through
neutral countries was thus curtailed and the blockade on Germany became
strangling. Products necessary to military effectiveness were secured from
neutral states in return for permission to buy essentials here. Two
millions of tonnage were obtained from neutral states for the use of the
United States and Great Britain. Trade in non-essentials with the Orient
and South America was limited, extra bottoms were thus acquired, and the
production of non-essentials at home discouraged. Altogether, the War
Trade Board exercised tremendous powers which, however necessary, might
have provoked intense resentment in business circles; but these powers
were enforced with a tact and discretion characteristic of the head of the
Board, Vance McCormick, who was able successfully to avoid the irritation
that might have been expected from such governmental interference with
freedom of commerce.

The problem of labor was obviously one that must be faced by each of the
war boards or administrations, and nearly all of them were compelled to
establish some sort of labor division or tribunal within each separate
field. The demands made upon the labor market by war industry were heavy,
for the withdrawal of labor into the army created an inevitable scarcity
at the moment when production must be increased, and the different
industries naturally were brought to bid against each other; the value of
any wage scale was constantly affected by the rising prices, while the
introduction of inexperienced workmen and women affected the conditions
of piecework, so that the question of wages and conditions of labor gave
rise to numerous discussions. The Labor Committee of the Council of
National Defense had undertaken to meet such problems as early as
February, 1917, but it was not until the beginning of the next year that
the Department of Labor underwent a notable reorganization with the
purpose of effecting the coördination necessary to complete success.

Unlike the food, fuel, and transportation problems, which were solved
through new administrations not connected with the Department of
Agriculture, the Bureau of Mines, or the Interstate Commerce Commission
respectively, that of labor was met by new bureaus and boards which were
organic parts of the existing Department of Labor. In January, 1918, that
Department undertook the formulation and administration of a national war
labor policy. Shortly afterwards delegates of the National Industrial
Conference Board and of the American Federation of Labor, representing
capital and labor, worked out a unanimous report upon the principles to
be followed in labor adjustment. To enforce these recommendations the
President, on April 9, 1918, appointed a National War Labor Board, which
until November sat as a court of final appeal in labor disputes. An index
of the importance of the Board was given by the choice of ex-President
Taft as one of its chairmen. A month later, a War Labor Policies Board
was added to the system to lay down general rules for the use of the War
Labor Board in the rendering of its judgments.

Not merely enthusiasm and brains enabled America to make the
extraordinary efforts demanded by the exigencies of war. Behind every
line of activity lay the need of money: and the raising of money in
amounts so large that they passed the comprehension of the average
citizen, forms one of the most romantic stories of the war. It is the
story of the enthusiastic coöperation of rich and poor: Wall Street and
the humblest foreign immigrants gave of their utmost in the attempt to
provide the all-important funds for America and her associates in the
war. Citizens accepted the weight of income and excess profit taxes far
heavier than any American had previously dreamed of. They were asked in
addition to buy government bonds to a total of fourteen billions, and
they responded by oversubscribing this amount by nearly five billions. Of
the funds needed for financing the war, the Government planned to raise
about a third by taxation, and the remainder by the sale of bonds and
certificates maturing in from five to thirty years. It would have proved
the financial statesmanship of McAdoo had he dared to raise a larger
proportion by taxation; for thus much of the inflation which inevitably
resulted from the bond issues might have been avoided. But the Government
feared alike for its popularity and for the immediate effect upon
business, which could not safely be discouraged. As it was, the excess
profit taxes aroused great complaint. The amount raised in direct
taxation represented a larger proportion of the war budget than any
foreign nation had been able to secure from tax revenues.

In seeking to sell its bonds the Government, rather against its will, was
compelled to rely largely upon the capitalists. The large popular
subscriptions would have been impossible but for the assistance and
enthusiasm shown by the banks in the selling campaign. Wall Street and
the bankers of the country were well prepared and responded with all
their strength, a response which deserves the greater credit when we
remember the lack of sympathy which had existed between financial circles
and President Wilson's Administration. Largely under banking auspices the
greatest selling campaign on record was inaugurated. Bonds were placed on
sale at street corners, in theaters, and restaurants; disposed of by
eminent operatic stars, moving-picture favorites, and wounded heroes from
the front. Steeple jacks attracted crowds by their perilous antics, in
order to start the bidding for subscriptions. Villages and isolated
farmhouses were canvassed. The banks used their entire machinery to
induce subscriptions, offering to advance the subscription price. When
during the first loan campaign the rather unwise optimism of the Treasury
cooled enthusiasm for a moment, by making it appear that the loan could
be floated without effort, Wall Street took up the load. The first loan
was oversubscribed by a billion. The success of the three loans that
followed was equally great; the fourth, coming in October, 1918, was set
for six billion dollars, the largest amount that had ever been asked of
any people, and after a three weeks' campaign, seven billions were
subscribed. Quite as notable as the amount raised was the progressive
increase in the number of subscribers, which ranged from four million
individuals in the first loan to more than twenty-one millions in the
fourth. Equally notable, as indicating the educative effect of the war
and of the sale of these Liberty Bonds, was the successful effort to
encourage thrift. War Savings societies were instituted and children
saved their pennies and nickels to buy twenty-five cent "thrift stamps"
which might be accumulated to secure interest-bearing savings
certificates. Down to November 1, 1918, the sale of such stamps totalled
$834,253,000, with a maturity value of more than a billion dollars.

The successful organizing of national resources to supply military
demands obviously depended, in the last instance, upon the education of
the people to a desire for service and sacrifice. The Liberty Loan
campaigns, the appeals of Hoover, and the Fuel Administration, all were
of importance in producing such morale. In addition the Council of
National Defense, through the Committee on Public Information, spread
pamphlets emphasizing the issues of the war and the objects for which we
were fighting. At every theater and moving-picture show, in the factories
during the noon hours, volunteer speakers told briefly of the needs of
the Government and appealed for coöperation. These were the so-called
"Four Minute Men." The most noted artists gave their talent to covering
the billboards with patriotic and informative posters. Blue Devils who
had fought at Verdun, captured tanks, and airplanes, were paraded in
order to bring home the realities of the life and death struggle in which
America was engaged. The popular response was inspiring. In the face of
the national enthusiasm the much-vaunted plans of the German Government
for raising civil disturbance fell to the ground. Labor was sometimes
disorganized by German propaganda; destruction of property or war
material was accomplished by German agents; and valuable information
sometimes leaked out to the enemy. But the danger was always kept in
check by the Department of Justice and also by a far-reaching citizen
organization, the American Protective League. Equally surprising was the
lack of opposition to the war on the part of pacifists and socialists. It
was rare to find the "sedition" for which some of them were punished,
perhaps over-promptly, translated from words to actions.

       *       *       *       *       *

The organization of the industrial resources of the nation was
complicated by the same conditions that affected the purely military
problems--decentralization and the emergency demands that resulted from
the sudden decision to send a large expeditionary force to France. The
various organizing boards were so many individual solutions for
individual problems. At the beginning of the war the Council of National
Defense represented the only attempt at a central business organization,
and as time went on the importance and the influence of the Council
diminished. The effects of decentralization became painfully apparent
during the bitter cold of the winter months, when the fuel,
transportation, and food crises combined to threaten almost complete
paralysis of the economic and military mobilization.

The distrust and discouragement that followed brought forth furious
attacks upon the President's war policies, led not merely by Roosevelt
and Republican enemies of the Administration, but by Democratic Senators.
The root of the whole difficulty, they contended, lay in the fact that
Wilson had no policy. They demanded practically the abdication of the
presidential control of military affairs, either through the creation of
a Ministry of Munitions or of a War Cabinet. In either case Congress
would control the situation through its definition of the powers of the
new organization and the appointment of its personnel.

President Wilson utilized the revolt to secure the complete
centralization toward which he had been aiming. He fought the new
proposals on the ground that they merely introduced new machinery to
complicate the war organization, and he insisted that true policy
demanded rather an increase in the efficiency of existing machinery. If
the General Staff and the War Industries Board were given power to
supervise and execute as well as to plan, the country would have the
machinery at hand capable of forming a central organization, which could
determine in the first place what was wanted and where, and in the second
place how it could be supplied. All that was necessary was to give the
President a free hand to effect any transfer of organization, funds, or
functions in any of the existing departments of government, without being
compelled to apply to Congress in each case.

The struggle between Wilson and his opponents was sharp, but the
President carried the day. He exerted to the full his influence on
Congress and utilized skillfully the argument that at this moment of
crisis a swapping of horses might easily prove fatal. Opposing
Congressmen drew back at the thought of shouldering the responsibility
which they knew the President would throw upon them if he were defeated.
On May 20, 1918, the Overman Act became law, giving to the President the
blanket powers which he demanded and which he immediately used to
centralize the military and industrial organization. Bureau chiefs were
bitter in their disapproval; the National Guard grumbled, even as it
fought its best battles in France; politicians saw their chance of
influencing military affairs disappear; business men complained of the
economic dictatorship thus secured by the President. But Mr. Wilson was
at last in a position to effect that which seemed to him of greatest
importance--the concentration of responsibility and authority.

Upon the shoulders of the President, accordingly, must rest in the last
instance the major portion of the blame and the credit to be distributed
for the mistakes and the achievements of the military and economic
organization. He took no part in the working out of details. Once the
development of any committee of organization had been started, he left
the control of it entirely to those who had been placed in charge. But he
would have been untrue to his nature if he had not at all times been
determined to keep the reins of supreme control in his own hands. His
opponents insisted that the organization was formed in spite of him. It
is probable that he did not himself perceive the crying need for
centralization so clearly in 1917 as he did in 1918; and the protests of
his political opponents doubtless brought the realization of its
necessity more definitely home to him. But there is no evidence to
indicate that the process of centralization was forced upon him against
his will and much to show that he sought always that concentration of
responsibility and power which he insisted upon in politics. The task was
herculean; ironically enough it was facilitated by the revolt against his
war policies which resulted in the Senate investigation and the Overman
Act. His tactics were by no means above reproach, and his entire policy
nearly went on the rocks in the winter of 1917 because of his inability
to treat successfully with the Senate and with Republican Congressmen.

When all is said, however, the organization that was developed during the
last six months of the war transported and maintained in Europe more than
a million and a half American soldiers; at home it maintained two
millions more, ready to sail at the earliest opportunity; and it was
prepared to raise and equip an army of five and a half millions by June
30, 1920. The process had been slow and the results were not apparent for
many months. Furthermore, because of the intensity of the danger and the
absolute need of victory, cherished traditions were sacrificed and steps
taken which were to cost much later on; for the price of these
achievements was inevitable reaction and social unrest. But with all the
mistakes and all the cost, the fact still remains that the most gigantic
transformation of history--the transformation of an unmilitary and
peace-loving nation of ninety million souls into a belligerent power--was
successfully accomplished.



CHAPTER VIII

THE FIGHTING FRONT


The encouragement given to the Allies by the entrance of the United
States into the war injected a temporary ray of brightness into the
situation abroad, but with the realization that long months must elapse
before American aid could prove effective, came deep disappointment. The
spring of 1917 did not bring the expected success to the French and
British on the western front; and the summer and autumn carried intense
discouragement. Hindenburg, early in the spring, executed a skillful
retreat on the Somme front, which gave to the Allies the territory to
which their previous capture of Peronne and Bapaume entitled them. But
the Germans, losing some square miles, saved their troops and supplies.
British attacks on the north gained little ground at terrible cost. The
French offensive, planned by Nivelle, which was designed to break the
German line, had to be given up after bloody checks. There was mutiny in
the French armies and the morale of the civilian population sank.

The hopes that had been aroused by the Russian revolution were seen to be
deceptive; instead of a national movement directed towards a more active
struggle against Germany, it now appeared in its true colors as a demand
for peace and land above everything. The Brusilov attack, which the
Allies insisted upon, proved to be a flash in the pan and ended with the
complete military demoralization of Russian armies. The collapse of the
Italian forces at Caporetto followed. Italy was not merely unable to
distract the attention of the Central Powers by a determined offensive
against Austria, but she threatened to become a liability; no one knew
how many French divisions might have to be diverted to aid in the defense
of the new Piave front. General Byng's break of the German lines at
Cambrai was more than offset by the equally brilliant German
counter-attack. And every day the submarine was taking its toll of Allied
shipping.

Following the Italian débâcle, the Bolshevik revolution of November
indicated that Russia would wholly withdraw and that that great potential
source of man-power for the Allies could no longer be counted upon.
Allied leaders realized that Germany would be able to transfer large
numbers of troops to the western front, and became seriously alarmed.
"The Allies are very weak," cabled General Pershing, on the 2d of
December, "and we must come to their relief this year, 1918. The year
after may be too late. It is very doubtful if they can hold on until 1919
unless we give them a lot of support this year." Showing that the
schedule of troop shipments would be inadequate and complaining that the
actual shipments were not even being kept up to programme, Pershing
insisted upon the importance of the most strenuous efforts to secure
extra tonnage, which alone would make it possible for the American army
to take a proper share in the military operations of 1918.

The serious representations of General Pershing were reinforced by
Colonel House when he returned from abroad on the 15th of December. For
six weeks he had been in conference, as head of a war mission, with the
Allied political and military leaders, who now realized the necessity of
unity of plan. Because of his personal intimacy with French and British
statesmen and his acknowledged skill in negotiations, House had done
much to bring about Allied harmony and to pave the way for a supreme
military command. Like Pershing, he was convinced of the danger
threatening the Allies, and from the moment of his return began the
speeding-up process, which was to result in the presence of a large
American force on the battle front at the moment of crisis in the early
summer of 1918.

Tonnage was obviously the vital factor upon which effective military
assistance depended. The United States had the men, although they were
not completely trained, but the apparent impossibility of transporting
them formed the great obstacle. The problem could not have been solved
without the assistance of the Allies. With the threat of the German
drive, and especially after the first German victories of 1918, they
began to appreciate the necessity of sacrificing everything to the
tonnage necessary to transport American soldiers to France. After long
hesitation they agreed to a pooling of Allied tonnage for this purpose.
Most of the Allied ships ultimately furnished the United States were
provided by the British, whose transports carried a million American
troops to France. French and Italian boats transported 112,000; our own
transports, 927,000.

Thus by relying largely upon the shipping assistance of our associates in
the war we were able to respond to the demands of General Pershing and,
later, Marshal Foch. And thus came about the extraordinary development of
our military programme from the thirty to the eighty and one hundred
division plans, which resulted in tremendous confusion, but which also
ultimately ensured Allied victory in 1918. Until the end of the year
1917, we had put into France only 195,000 troops, including 7500 marines,
an average of about 28,000 a month. From December to February the average
rose to 48,000; from March to May it was 149,000; and from June to August
it was 290,000 men a month. During the four months from May to August
inclusive, 1,117,000 American troops were transported to France.

Altogether about two million Americans were sent to France, without the
loss of a single man while under the escort of United States vessels. No
navy troop transports were torpedoed on east-bound trips although three
were sunk on the return trip with loss of 138 lives. To the American and
British navies must go the credit for carrying through this stupendous
feat, and in the work of assuring the safety of the troop transports the
navy of the United States may claim recognition for the larger share,
since 82 per cent of the escorts furnished were American cruisers and
destroyers. It was a nerve-racking and tantalizing experience--the troop
ships sailing in echelon formation, preceded, followed, and flanked by
destroyers; at night every glimmer of light eclipsed, the ships speeding
ahead in perfect blackness, each inch of the sea swept by watchful eyes
to discover the telltale ripple of a periscope or the trail of a torpedo,
gun crews on the alert, depth bombs ready. Nor was the crossing anything
like a vacation yachting cruise for the doughboys transported, packed as
they were like sardines two and three decks below the waterline, brought
up in shifts to catch a brief taste of fresh air, assailed at once by
homesickness, seasickness, and fears of drowning like rats in a trap.

The work of the navy was far more extensive, moreover, than the safe
convoying of troop ships, important though that was. The very first
contingent of American overseas fighting forces was made up of two
flotillas of destroyers, which upon the declaration of war had been sent
to Queenstown where they were placed under the command of Admiral William
S. Sims. Their main function was to hunt submarines, which, since the
decree of the 1st of February, had succeeded in committing frightful
ravages upon Allied commerce and seriously threatened to starve the
British Isles. Admiral Sims was two years older than Pershing and as
typical a sailor as the former was soldier. With his bluff and genial,
yet dignified, manner, his rubicund complexion, closely-trimmed white
beard, and piercing eyes, no one could have mistaken his calling. Free of
speech, frank in praise and criticism, abounding in indiscretions, he
possessed the capacity to make the warmest friends and enemies. He was an
ardent admirer of the British, rejoiced in fighting with them, and
ashamed that our Navy Department was unwilling to send more adequate and
immediate assistance to their fleet. Sims's international reputation as
an expert in naval affairs was of long standing. Naval officers in every
country of Europe knew of him as the inventor of a system of fire control
which had been adopted by the great navies of the world, and it was
largely because of his studies and devices that the extraordinary records
of the American fleets at target practice had been secured. The British
naval officers reciprocated Sims's admiration for them, and, according to
popular belief, it was at their special request that he had been sent to
command our overseas naval forces. No one else could have obtained such
effective coöperation between the British and American fleets.

While at first the major portion of the American fleet was retained in
home waters for the protection of American coasts and ports, a policy
which aroused the stinging criticism of Admiral Sims, gradually the fleet
added strength to the Allied navies in their patrol of European coasts
and the bottling-up of the German high seas fleet. Destroyer bases were
maintained at Queenstown, Brest, and Gibraltar, from which were
dispatched constant patrols. Individual destroyers, during the first year
of service overseas, steamed a total of 60,000 miles. Their crews were on
the watch in the dirtiest weather, unable to sleep, tossed and battered
by the incessant rolling, without warm food, facing the constant peril of
being swept overboard and knowing that their boat could not stop to pick
them up. American submarine-chasers and converted yachts, mine-sweepers
on their beneficent and hazardous duty, were equally active. Naval
aviators coöperated with the British to patrol the coasts in search of
submarines. Late in 1917, six battleships were sent to join the British
Grand Fleet, which was watching for the Germans in the North Sea, thus
constituting about twelve per cent of the guarding naval force. More
important, perhaps, was the American plan for laying a mine barrage from
the Scotch coast across to Norwegian waters. The Ordnance Bureau of the
navy, despite the discouragement of British experts, manufactured the
mines, 100,000 of them, and shipped them abroad in parts ready for final
assembling. The American navy was responsible for eighty per cent of the
laying of the barrage, which when finished was 245 miles long and twenty
miles wide. The complete story of the achievements of the navy cannot now
be told in detail. It was not always inspiring, for numerous mistakes
were made. Confusion of counsels in the Naval Board left one important
bombing squadron so bereft of supplies that after an expenditure of four
millions only two bombs were dropped in the entire course of its
operations. But there are also to be remembered the unheralded stories of
heroism and skill, such as the dash of the submarine-chasers and
destroyers through the mine fields at Durazzo, and the work of our naval
guns in the attack on Zeebrugge.

The armies, safely brought to France, were meanwhile undergoing the
essential intensive training, and the task of organizing the service of
supply was being undertaken. The training given in the United States
before sailing had been in the ordinary forms of drill and tactics; now
it was necessary that there should be greater specialization. Numerous
schools for the training of officers were established. For the troops the
plan for training allowed, according to the intent of General Pershing,
"a division one month for acclimatization and instruction in small units
from battalions down, a second month in quiet trench sectors by
battalion, and a third month after it came out of the trenches when it
should be trained as a complete division in war of movement."[10] The
entire process of training was a compromise between speed and efficiency.
During the latter months of the war many of the American troops were put
on the battle-line when they were by no means sufficiently trained.
Certain draft units were transported and thrown up to the front after
experience of a most superficial character; there are instances of men
going into action without knowing how to load their rifles or adjust
their gas masks properly. But on the whole the training given was
surprisingly effective in view of the speed with which it was
accomplished. American skill with the rifle won the envy of foreign
officers, and the value of American troops in open warfare was soon to be
acknowledged by the Germans.

[Footnote 10: This plan could not be fulfilled for troops coming to
France in 1918, because of lack of time.]

The same sort of centralization sought by Wilson in America obviously
became necessary in France with the expanding plans for an enormous army.
In February, 1918, the Service of Supply was organized. With its
headquarters at Tours, the S. O. S. was responsible for securing,
organizing, and distributing all the food, equipment, building materials,
and other necessities demanded by the expeditionary force. In order to
provide for the quantities of essential supplies and to avoid the
congestion of the chief ports of France, certain ports were especially
allotted to our army, of which the most important were St. Nazaire,
Bordeaux, and Brest. The first, a somnolent fishing village, was
transformed by the energy of American engineers into a first-class port
with enormous docks, warehouses, and supply depots; Brest rose in the
space of twelve months from the rank of a second-class port to one that
matched Hamburg in the extent of its shipping. In all, more than a dozen
ports were used by the Americans and in each extensive improvements and
enlargements proved necessary. At Bordeaux not more than two ships a
week, of any size, could conveniently be unloaded prior to June, 1917.
Eight months later, docks a mile long had been constructed, concrete
platforms and electric cranes set up; within a year fourteen ships could
be unloaded simultaneously, the rate of speed being determined only by
the number of stevedores. For unloading purposes regiments of negroes
were stationed at each port.

A few miles back from the coast were the base depots where the materials
were stored as they came from the ships. Thence distribution was made to
the intermediate depots in the cities of supply, and finally to the
depots immediately behind the fighting front. All these depots involved
enormous building operations; at first the lumber was shipped, but later,
American lumber jacks were brought over to cut French forests. At one
supply depot three hundred buildings were put up, covering an area of six
square miles, operated by 20,000 men, and holding in storage a hundred
million dollars' worth of supplies. For distribution purposes it proved
necessary for American engineers to take over the construction and
maintenance of communications. At first American engines and cars were
operated under French supervision; but ultimately many miles of French
railroads were taken over bodily by the American army and many more built
by American engineers. More than 400 miles of inland waterways were also
used by American armies. This transportation system was operated by
American experts of all grades from brakemen to railroad presidents,
numbering altogether more than 70,000.

In order to meet the difficulty of securing tonnage for supplies and to
avoid competition with the Allies, a General Purchasing Board was created
for the coördination of all purchases. Agents of this board were
stationed in the Allied countries, in Switzerland, Holland, and Spain,
who reconnoitered resources, analyzed requirements, issued forecasts of
supplies, supervised the claims of foreign governments on American raw
materials, and procured civilian manual labor. Following the
establishment of the supreme interallied command, the Interallied Board
of Supplies was organized in the summer of 1918, with the American
purchasing agent as a member. Other activities of the S. O. S., too
numerous to recount in detail, included such important tasks as the
reclassification of personnel, the installation and operation of a
general service of telephone and telegraph communication, with 115,500
kilometers of lines, and the renting and requisitioning of the land and
buildings needed by the armies. It was a gigantic business undertaking,
organized at top speed, involving tremendous expenditure. Its success
would have been impossible without the coöperation of hundreds of men of
business, who found in it a sphere of service which enabled the army to
utilize the proverbial American genius for meeting large problems of
economic organization. At the time of the armistice the S. O. S. reached
a numerical strength in personnel of 668,000, including 23,000 civilian
employees.

From the first, Pershing had been determined that the American
Expeditionary Force should ultimately operate as an independent unit,
although in close coöperation with the Allies. During the autumn of 1917
the disasters in Italy and the military demoralization of Russia had led
to the formation of the Supreme Military Council of the Allies, upon
which the United States was represented by General Tasker Bliss, whose
rough visage and gruff manner gave little indication of his wide
interests. Few suspected that this soldierly character took secret
pleasure in the reading of Latin poets. The coördination that resulted
from the creation of the Supreme Council, however, proved insufficient to
meet the crisis of the spring of 1918.

On the 21st of March, the Germans attacked in overwhelming force the
southern extremity of the British lines, near where they joined the
French, and disastrously defeated General Gough's army. The break-through
was clean and the advance made by the endless waves of German
shock-troops appalling. Within eight days the enemy had swept forward to
a depth of fifty-six kilometers, threatening the capture of Amiens and
the separation of the French and British. As the initial momentum of the
onslaught was lost, the Allied line was re-formed with the help of French
reserves under Fayolle. But the Allies had been and still were close to
disaster. Complete unity of command was essential. It was plain also, in
the words of Pershing's report, that because of the inroads made upon
British and French reserves, "defeat stared them in the face unless the
new American troops should prove more immediately available than even the
most optimistic had dared to hope." The first necessity was satisfied
early in April. The extremity of the danger reinforced the demand long
made by the French, and supported by President Wilson through Colonel
House, that a generalissimo be appointed. The British finally sank their
objection, and on the 28th of March it was agreed that General Ferdinand
Foch should be made commander-in-chief of all the Allied armies with the
powers necessary for the strategic direction of all military operations.
The decision was ratified on the 3d and approved by President Wilson on
the 16th of April.

General Foch had long been recognized as an eminent student of strategy,
and he had proved his practical capacity in 1914 and later. It was he who
commanded the French army that broke the German line at the marshes of
St. Gond, in the battle of the Marne, thus assuring victory to Joffre,
and he had later in the year secured fresh laurels in the first battle of
the Yser. At the moment of extreme danger to Italy, after Caporetto, in
1917, he had been chosen to command the assisting force sent down by the
French. Unsentimental and unswayed by political factors, he was
temperamentally and intellectually the ideal man for the post of supreme
Allied commander; he was furthermore supported by the capacity of General
Pétain, the French commander-in-chief, and by a remarkable group of army
commanders, among whom Fayolle, Mangin, and Gouraud were to win
particular fame. But he lacked troops, the Germans disposing of 200
divisions as against 162 Allied divisions.

Hence the hurry call sent to America and hence the heavy sacrifice now
forced upon Pershing. Much against his will and only as a result of
extreme pressure, the American commander-in-chief agreed to a temporary
continuance of the brigading of American troops with the British and the
French. He had felt all along that "there was every reason why we could
not allow them to be scattered among our Allies, even by divisions, much
less as replacements, except by pressure of pure necessity." He disliked
the emphasis placed by the Allies upon training for trench warfare; he
feared the effect of the lack of homogeneity which would render the mixed
divisions "difficult to maneuver and almost certain to break up under the
stress of defeat," and he believed that the creation of independent
American armies "would be a severe blow to German morale." When the pinch
of necessity came, however, Pershing sank his objections to amalgamation
and, to his credit, agreed with a _beau geste_ and fine phrase which
concealed the differences between the Allied chiefs and won the heartiest
sympathy from France and England. The principle of an independent American
force, however, Pershing insisted upon, and he made clear that the
amalgamation of our troops with the French and British was merely a
temporary expedient.

Immediately after the stabilization of the battle-line near Amiens, the
Germans began their second great drive, this time against the British
along the Lys, in Flanders. The initial success of the attack, which began
on the 9th of April, was undeniable, and Sir Douglas Haig himself admitted
the danger of the moment: "Every position must be held to the last man.
There must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in
the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end. The safety
of our homes and the freedom of mankind depend alike upon the conduct of
each one of us at this critical moment." The value of Allied unity of
command now became apparent, for heavy French reinforcements were brought
up in time to help stave off the German drive on the Channel Ports.

But still the demand went up for more men and ships. "Scrap before
shipping every pound that takes tonnage and is not necessary to the
killing of Germans," wrote a French military authority. "Send the most
infantry by the shortest route to the hottest corner. No matter what flag
they fight under, so long as it is an Allied flag." On the 27th of May
the Germans caught Foch by surprise and launched a violent attack on the
Chemin des Dames, between Soissons and Berry-au-Bac. This formed the
third phase of their great offensive. In four days they pushed before
them the tired French divisions, sent into that sector to recuperate, a
distance of fifty kilometers and reached the Marne. Again, as in 1914,
Paris began to empty, fearful of capture. A statement sent to Wilson on
the 2d of June and signed by Clemenceau, Lloyd George, and Orlando, read
as follows: "There is great danger of the war being lost unless the
numerical inferiority of the Allies can be remedied as rapidly as
possible by the advent of American troops.... We are satisfied that
General Foch ... is not over-estimating the needs of the case." Such was
the peril of the Allies. But in the month of May 245,000 Americans had
been landed, and in the following month there were to be 278,000 more.

Previous to June, 1918, the participation of American troops in military
operations had been of comparative unimportance and less for tactical
purposes than as a part of their training. In October, 1917, the First
Division had been sent into trenches on the quiet Lorraine front and had
engaged in raids and counter-raids. Three other divisions, the Second, the
Forty-second, or "Rainbow," and the Twenty-sixth from New England,
followed, and by March, 1918, they were all described by Pershing as
"equal to any demands of battle action." On the 29th of April, the
last-named division was engaged in something more serious than a mere raid
at Seicheprey, near St. Mihiel; the number of prisoners lost indicated
lack of experience, but the vigor of the American counter-attack proved
definitely the will to fight. That belligerent spirit was equally
displayed by various engineering units which, during the break of General
Gough's army before the German assault of March, near St. Quentin, had
dropped their tools, seized rifles, and, hastily organizing to cover the
retreat, had secured valuable respite for various fleeing units.

More important yet, because of the moral effect achieved, was the
engagement at Cantigny near Montdidier, on the 28th of May. The Americans
launched their attack with skill as well as dash, and stood firm against
the violence of the German reaction; this they met without assistance
from the French, who had been called to oppose the German advance on the
Marne. Pershing spoke of the "desperate efforts" of the enemy at
Cantigny, "determined at all costs to counteract the most excellent
effect the American success had produced." For three days guns of all
calibers were vainly concentrated upon the new positions. Coming at the
moment of extreme discouragement, Cantigny was of an importance entirely
out of proportion to the numbers involved. For months France had been
awaiting American assistance. A year before the French had seen Pershing
and the first few doughboys, but the long delay had caused them to lose
the confidence which that sight had aroused. Now suddenly came the news
that the Americans were arriving in tremendous numbers and from Cantigny,
north and south along the lines, spread the report: "These men will
fight."

Four days later at Château-Thierry,[11] Americans proved not merely the
moral but the practical value of their assistance. The German drive of the
27th of May, beginning on the Chemin des Dames, had pushed south to the
Marne and westward towards Meaux. The French falling back in haste had
maintained their lines intact, but were pessimistic as to the possibility
of stopping the enemy advance. On the 31st of May, German vanguard units
entered Château-Thierry, crossed the river, and planned to secure the
bridges. At this moment American machine gunners of the Third Division
came up with a battalion of French colonials in support, drove the Germans
back to the north bank, covered the retreat of the French forces across
the Marne, on the following day, and gave time to blow up the bridges. On
the same day, the 1st of June, northwest of Château-Thierry, the Second
Division came into line to support the wearied French, and as the latter
came filtering back and through, soon found itself meeting direct German
assaults. Stretching across the road to Paris, with the French too weak to
make a stand, it blocked the German advance. Even so, the danger was not
entirely parried, since the enemy held strong positions from Vaux
northwest to Veuilly, which, when German reinforcements came up, would
enable them to deliver deadly assaults. Those positions had to be taken.
From the 6th to the 11th of June, American troops, among them marine
regiments, struck viciously, concentrating against the railroad
embankment at Bouresches and the hill of Belleau Woods. The stiffness of
the German defense, maintained by their best troops, was overcome by
fearless rushing of machine-gun nests, ruthless mopping-up of isolated
stragglers, and a final clearing of the Woods by heavy artillery fire. On
the 18th of June the Americans took the approaches to Torcy and on the 1st
of July the village of Vaux. If the attack on Belleau Woods proved their
courage, the capture of Vaux vindicated their skill, for losses were
negligible.

[Footnote 11: The reader should distinguish the defensive operations at
Château-Thierry, on the 1st of June, from the attack launched from this
sector in July. Both are known as the battle of Château-Thierry.]

The Allied line was now in a position to contest actively any deepening
of the Marne salient to the west, and American troops had so clearly
proved their quality that Pershing could with justice demand a radical
revision of the Allied opinion that American soldiers were fit only for
the defense. His confidence in their fighting capacity was soon further
put to the test and vindicated. On the 15th of July the Germans opened
the fourth and last of their great drives, with tremendous artillery fire
from Rheims to the Marne. They hoped to capture the former, swing far to
the south and west, and, if they failed to take Paris, at least to draw
sufficient troops from Flanders and Picardy as to assure a successful
drive on Amiens and the Channel Ports. For the first time, however, the
element of surprise in their attack was lacking. At the eastern end of
the battle-line General Gouraud, with whom were fighting the Forty-second
Division and four colored regiments, warned of the moment of attack,
withdrew his front lines and permitted the Germans to shell empty
trenches; all important positions he held firmly. On the Marne, east of
Château-Thierry, the enemy succeeded in crossing the river in the early
morning. At various points the American line was compelled to yield,
although one of the American regiments stood its ground while on either
flank the Germans, who had gained a footing on the south bank, pressed
forward; it was, according to Pershing's report, "one of the most
brilliant pages in our military annals." At noon, heedless of the warning
given by the French commander, American reinforcements launched a strong
counter-attack and drove the enemy back to the river; on the next morning
no Germans were to be found on the south bank in front of the American
troops. During the next two days German efforts to press forward were
unrelaxing but in vain, and on the 18th of July, Foch launched his
counter-offensive.

The inherent weakness of the Marne salient from the German point of view
and the opportunity which it offered the Allied command had not been
forgotten by the generalissimo. Foch waited until the enemy had spent his
strength in the attacks around Rheims and on the Marne, then struck
fiercely between Soissons and Château-Thierry. The spearhead of the main
drive was composed of the First and Second American Divisions,
immediately to the south of Soissons, who were operating under Mangin
with the First French Moroccan Division between them. Straightway,
without the orthodox preliminary artillery fire, a deep thrust was made
against the western side of the salient; near Soissons, despite fierce
resistance, advances of from eight to ten kilometers and large numbers of
prisoners were reported in the first twenty-four hours. "Due to the
magnificent dash and powers displayed on the field of Soissons by our
First and Second Divisions," said Pershing, "the tide of war was
definitely turned in favor of the Allies." Further to the south, the
Fourth and Twenty-sixth Divisions crossed the road running from
Château-Thierry to Soissons, pushing east; while from the southern bank
of the Marne, the Third Division pushed north across the river. It was
obvious to the Germans that retreat from the perilous salient must
proceed at once, especially as Franco-British counter-attacks on the
eastern side threatened to close it at the neck and cut the main line of
German withdrawal. The retreat was executed with great skill and valor.
While holding on the sides, the enemy forces were slowly pulled back from
the apex, striving to win time to save artillery, although they must
perforce lose or destroy great quantities of ammunition. Against the
retreating foe fresh American divisions were hurled. On the 25th of July
the Forty-second division relieved the Twenty-sixth, advancing toward the
Vesle, with elements of the Twenty-eighth, until relieved on August 3d,
by the Fourth Division. Farther east the Thirty-second had relieved the
Third. The Americans had to face withering fire from machine-gun nests
and fight hand to hand in the crumbled streets of the Champagne villages.
Here were carried on some of the fiercest conflicts of American military
history. Finally on the 6th of August the Germans reached the line of the
Vesle, their retreat secured, although their losses had been terrific.
But the pause was only momentary. Before they could bring up
replacements, the British launched their great drive south of the Somme,
the American Twenty-eighth, Thirty-second, and Seventy-seventh divisions
crossed the Vesle pushing the Germans before them, and there began what
Ludendorff in his memoirs calls "the last phase."

Pershing had not lost sight of his original object, which was to assemble
the American divisions into a separate army. After the victories of July,
which wiped out the Marne salient, and those of August, which put the
enemy definitely on the defensive, he felt that "the emergency which had
justified the dispersion of our divisions had passed." Soon after the
successful British attack, south of Amiens, he overcame the objections of
Foch and concluded arrangements for the organization of this army, which
was to operate in the Lorraine sector.[12] It contained 600,000 men,
fourteen American divisions and two French. On the 30th of August the
sector was established and preparations made for the offensive, the first
step in which was to be the wiping out of the St. Mihiel salient. This
salient had existed since 1914, when the Germans, failing to storm the
scarp protecting Verdun on the east, had driven a wedge across the lower
heights to the south. The elimination of this wedge would have great
moral effect; it would free the Paris-Nancy railway from artillery fire;
and would assure Pershing an excellent base for attack against the
Metz-Sedan railway system and the Briey iron basin. The German positions
were naturally strong and had withstood violent French attacks in 1915.
But there was only one effective line of retreat and the enemy, if he
persisted in holding the apex of the salient, risked losing his entire
defending force, should the sides be pressed in from the south and west.

[Footnote 12: Allied opposition to an American army was so strong as to
bring threats of an appeal to Wilson. The President steadfastly supported
Pershing.]

On the 12th of September the attack was launched. It was originally
planned for the 15th, but word was brought that the Germans were about to
retire at a rate which would have left none of them in the salient by
that date. Hence the attack was advanced by three days. The attempted
withdrawal secured the retreat of the German main force, but they were
unable to save their rear guard. After four hours of vigorous artillery
preparation, with the largest assemblage of aviation ever engaged in a
single operation (mainly British and French) and with American heavy guns
throwing into confusion all rail movements behind the German lines, the
advancing Americans immediately overwhelmed all of the enemy that
attempted to hold their ground. By the afternoon of the second day the
salient was extinguished, 16,000 prisoners were taken, 443 guns and large
stores of supplies captured. American casualties totaled less than 7000.
The effects of the victory were incalculable. Apart from the material
results, hope of which had motivated the attack, the moral influence of
the battle of St. Mihiel in the making of American armies and the
discouragement of the German High Command was of the first importance.
"An American army was an accomplished fact," wrote Pershing, "and the
enemy had felt its power. No form of propaganda could overcome the
depressing effect on the morale of the enemy of this demonstration of our
ability to organize a large American force and drive it successfully
through his defense. It gave our troops implicit confidence in their
superiority and raised their morale to the highest pitch. For the first
time wire entanglements ceased to be regarded as impassable barriers and
open-warfare training, which had been so urgently insisted upon, proved
to be the correct doctrine."

The victory of St. Mihiel was merely the necessary prelude to greater
things. During the first week of September the Allied command decided
that the general offensive movement of their armies should be pressed as
rapidly as possible, converging upon the main line of German retreat
through Mezières and Sedan. The British were to pursue the attack in the
direction of Cambrai, the center of the French armies, west of Rheims,
was to drive the enemy beyond the Aisne, while the Americans were to
attack through the Argonne and on both sides of the Meuse, aiming for
Sedan. Pershing was given his choice of the Champagne or Argonne sectors,
and chose the latter, which was the more difficult, insisting that no
other Allied troops possessed the offensive spirit which would be
necessary for success. In the meantime a new American army was to be
organized, to operate south of Verdun and against Metz, in the spring of
1919; in fact this was designed to be the chief American effort. As
matters turned out this second American army was ready to make its
offensive early in November, but in September none of the Allied chiefs
expressed the opinion that the final victory could be achieved in 1918.
Such were the difficulties of terrain in the Argonne advance that the
French did not believe that the attack could be pushed much beyond
Montfaucon, between the forest and the Meuse, before winter forced a
cessation of active operations.

The defensive importance of the Argonne for the Germans could hardly be
overestimated, for if the railway line running through Sedan and Mezières
were severed, they would be cut in two by the Ardennes and would be
unable to withdraw from France the bulk of their forces, which, left
without supplies, would suffer inevitable disaster. As a consequence the
Argonne had been strengthened by elaborate fortifications which, taken in
conjunction with the natural terrain, densely wooded, covered with rugged
heights, and marked by ridges running east and west, made it apparently
impregnable. The dense undergrowth, the bowlders, and the ravines offered
ideal spots for machine-gun nests. The Germans had the exact range of
each important position.

But Pershing's confidence in the offensive valor of the Americans was
amply justified. On the morning of the 26th of September the initial
attack was delivered, the main force of the blow falling east of the
forest, where the natural strength of the enemy positions was less
formidable. By noon of the second day Montfaucon was captured, and by the
29th all the immediate objectives of the attack were secured. Losses were
heavy, staff work was frequently open to severe criticism, communications
were broken at times, the infantry had not always received adequate
artillery support, but the success of the drive was undeniable. Before the
American troops, however, still lay two more lines of defense, the Freya
and Kriemhilde, and the Germans were bringing up their best divisions. On
the 4th of October the attack was renewed, in coöperation with the French
under Gouraud to the west of the forest who pressed forward actively; a
week's more bitter fighting saw the Argonne itself cleared of the enemy.
Hard struggles ensued, particularly around Grandpré, which was taken and
retaken, while on the east of the Meuse the enemy was pushed back. By the
end of the month the Kriemhilde line had been broken and the great railway
artery was threatened. On the 1st of November the third phase of the great
advance began. The desperate efforts of the Germans to hold were never
relaxed, but by the evening of that day the American troops broke through
their last defense and forced rapid retreat. Motor trucks were hurriedly
brought up for the pursuit, and by the fifth the enemy's withdrawal became
general. Two days later Americans held the heights which dominated Sedan,
the strategic goal, and the German line of communications was as good as
severed.

The converging offensive planned by Foch had succeeded. At Cambrai, Le
Câtelet, and St. Quentin, the British, with whom were operating four
American divisions (the Twenty-seventh, Thirtieth, Thirty-seventh, and
Ninety-first), had broken the Hindenburg line; the French had pushed the
Germans back from Laon, north of the Aisne, and with the British were
driving them into the narrow neck of the bottle; and now the French and
Americans, by their Argonne-Meuse advance had closed the neck. The enemy
faced an appalling disaster. A few weeks, if not days, of continued
fighting meant the most striking military débâcle of history. Germany's
allies had fallen from her. Turkey, Bulgaria, and Austria-Hungary had
sued for peace and agreed to cease fighting on what amounted to terms of
unconditional surrender. At home, the German Government faced revolution;
the Kaiser was about to abdicate and flee. On the 6th of November, the
Berlin Government begged for an immediate armistice and five days later
agreed to the stringent terms which the Allies presented. On the 11th of
November, at eleven in the morning, firing ceased. Until the last second
the battle raged with a useless intensity dictated by stern military
tradition: then perfect quiet on the battle front.

At the present moment we lack the perspective, perhaps, to evaluate
exactly the share of credit which the American Expeditionary Force
deserves for the Allied military victory of 1918. Previous to June the
military contribution of the United States had no material effects. The
defense of Château-Thierry at the beginning of the month and the
operations there and at Belleau Woods had, however, important practical
as well as moral effects. The fighting was of a purely local character,
but it came at a critical moment and at a critical spot. It was a crisis
when the importance of standing firm could not be overestimated, and the
defensive capacity of the French had been seriously weakened. The advance
of American divisions with the French in the clearing of the Marne sector
was of the first military importance. The Americans were better qualified
than any European troops, at that stage of the war, to carry through
offensive operations. They were fearless not merely because of natural
hardihood, but through ignorance of danger; they were fresh and
undefeated, physically and morally capable of undergoing the gruelling
punishment delivered by the rearguards of the retreating Germans; their
training had been primarily for open warfare. The same qualities were
essential for the arduous and deadly task of breaking the German line in
the Argonne, which was the finishing blow on the western battlefields.

The defects of the American armies have been emphasized by European
experts. They point especially to the faulty staff-work, apparent in the
Argonne particularly, which resulted in heavy losses. Staff-officers in
numerous instances seem to have been ill-trained and at times positively
unequal to the exigencies of the campaign. Mistakes in selection account
for this to some degree, for men were appointed who were not equipped
temperamentally or intellectually for the positions given them. Equally
frequent were mistakes in the distribution of staff-officers. It is a
notable fact, however, that such mistakes resulted from inexperience and
ignorance and not from the intrusion of politics. President Wilson
guaranteed to General Pershing complete immunity from the pleas of
politicians and in no war fought by the United States have political
factors played a rôle of such insignificance.

Finally, and aside from the fighting qualities of the rank and file and
certain defects of the higher command, the Americans represented numbers;
and without the tremendous numerical force transported to Europe in the
spring and summer, the plans of Foch could not have been completed. We
have the testimony of the Allied chiefs in June that without American
man-power they faced defeat. It is equally obvious that without the
1,390,000 American troops which, by November, had appeared on the
fighting line, the autumn of 1918 would not have witnessed the military
triumph of the Allies.



CHAPTER IX

THE PATH TO PEACE


The armistice of November 11, 1918, resulted directly from the military
defeat of German armies in France, following upon the collapse of Turkey,
Bulgaria, and Austria-Hungary. But there were many circumstances other
than military that led to Germany's downfall, and by no means of least
importance were the moral issues so constantly stressed by Wilson. His
speeches had been carefully distributed through the Central Empires; they
had done much to arouse the subject peoples of Austria-Hungary to revolt
for their freedom, and also to weaken the morale of the German people. The
value of Wilson's "verbiage drives" was questioned in this country.
Abroad, his insistence upon a peace of justice was generally reckoned a
vital moral force in the political movements that supplemented the
victories of Marshal Foch. Jugoslavs consented to coöperate with their
Italian enemies because they felt that "Wilson's justice" would guarantee
a fair court for their aspirations in the Adriatic; Magyars and Austrians
threw down their arms in the belief that his promise to "be as just to
enemies as to friends" secured a better future than they could hope for
through the continuance of the war; the leaders of the German Reichstag
demanded the Kaiser's abdication in November, under the impression that
Wilson had laid it down as a condition of peace.

From the time when the United States entered the war it was obvious that
Wilson placed less emphasis upon defeating Germany than upon securing a
just peace. Military victory meant nothing to him except as the road to
peace. In his first war speeches the President, much to the irritation of
many Americans, insisted that the United States was fighting the
government and not the people of Germany. "We have no quarrel," he said,
"with the German people. We have no feeling towards them but one of
sympathy and friendship." In his Flag Day address he was careful not to
attack "Germany" but only "the military masters under whom Germany is
bleeding." Certain effects of this attitude were to be seen in the
Reichstag revolt of July, 1917, led by that most sensitive of political
weathercocks, Matthias Erzberger, which was designed to take political
control out of the hands of the military clique. That crisis, however,
was safely survived by Ludendorff, who remained supreme. President Wilson
then returned to the attack in his reply to the Pope's peace proposals of
August. "The object of this war is to deliver the free peoples of the
world from the menace and the actual power of a vast military
establishment controlled by an irresponsible government.... This power is
not the German people. It is the ruthless master of the German people....
We cannot take the word of the present rulers of Germany as a guarantee
of anything that is to endure, unless explicitly supported by such
conclusive evidence of the will and purpose of the German people
themselves as the other peoples of the world would be justified in
accepting."

There was serpentine wisdom in these words, for their very vagueness
attracted German liberals. Wilson did not demand a republic; he did not
insist upon the Kaiser's abdication, for which Germany was not then
prepared; all that he asked was a government responsible to the people,
and more and more the Germans were demanding that themselves.
Furthermore, he again laid stress upon the fact that the Germans need not
fear vengeance such as the Allies had threatened. "Punitive damages, the
dismemberment of empires, the establishment of selfish and exclusive
economic leagues, we deem inexpedient." The appeal was fruitless in its
immediate effects, for the political party leaders were still dominated
by the military; but ultimately, in conjunction with a dozen other
appeals, its influence acted like a subtle corrosive upon the German will
to conquer.

Still less successful were the attempts to win Austria away from her ally
by secret diplomatic conversations. In these neither President Wilson nor
his personal adviser, Colonel House, placed great confidence. They had
been undertaken by the French through Prince Sixtus of Bourbon, and in
August, 1917, Major Armand of France discussed with the Austrian emissary,
Revertata, possible means of bringing about peace between Austria and the
Allies. Lloyd George enthusiastically approved this attempt to drive a
wedge between Austria and Germany, was anxious to send Lord Reading as
intermediary, and, upon the refusal of the latter to undertake the
mission, actually dispatched General Smuts to Switzerland. The Emperor
Carl seemed sincerely anxious to make sacrifices for peace and was urged
by liberal counselors, such as Förster and Lammasch, in whom the Allies
had confidence, to meet many of the demands of his discontented Slav
subjects by granting autonomy to the Czechs, Poles, and Jugoslavs.
Negotiations were hampered by the belief of the Italians that immediate
peace with Austria would prevent them from securing the territories they
coveted; by the sullen obstinacy of the Magyars, who were jealous of their
mastery over the Hungarian Slavs, and above all, as Colonel House had
foreseen, by Austria's fear of Germany. In fact it was a stern ultimatum
sent by Ludendorff that brought the wavering Carl back to his allegiance.

In the autumn of 1917, however, talk of peace was in the air and a
definite demand for its consideration was made in a noteworthy speech by
Lord Lansdowne, a Conservative leader in England. Negotiations were
inaugurated between Germany and the new Bolshevik Government of Russia,
and for a few weeks at the beginning of the new year the war-weary world
seemed close to the possibility of a general understanding. For the first
time Lloyd George outlined in specific language the main terms that would
be considered by the Allies. It was President Wilson's opportunity.
Careless of securing an overwhelming military victory, indeed unwilling to
crush Germany, anxious to pledge the Entente to his programme in this
moment of their discouragement, he formulated on January 8, 1918, his
Fourteen Points, upon which he declared the final peace settlement should
be based. His speech was at once an appeal to the liberals and
peace-hungry of the Central Empires, a warning to the military clique in
Germany then preparing to enforce degrading terms upon Russia, and a
notification to the Allies that the United States could not be counted
upon to fight for selfish national interests. He reiterated the principles
which had actuated the United States when it entered the war: "What we
demand in this war, therefore, is nothing peculiar to ourselves. It is
that the world be made fit and safe to live in; and particularly that it
be made safe for every peace-loving nation which, like our own, wishes to
live its own life, determine its own institutions, be assured of justice
and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and
selfish aggression. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in
this interest, and for our own part we see very clearly that unless
justice be done to others it will not be done to us."

Of the Fourteen Points into which he then divided his peace programme,
the first five were general in nature. The first insisted upon open
diplomacy, to begin with the approaching Peace Conference: "Open
covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no
private international understandings of any kind." Next came "absolute
freedom of navigation upon the seas ... alike in peace and in war." Then
"the removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the
establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations
consenting to the peace." There followed a demand for the reduction of
armaments "to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety." The
fifth point called for an "impartial adjustment of all colonial claims,
based upon ... the interests of the populations concerned" as well as
"the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined."

These generalizations were not so much God-given tables which must
determine the international law of the future as they were subtle
inducements to cease fighting; they were idealistic in tone, but
intensely practical in purpose. They guaranteed to any Germans who
wanted peace that there would be protection against British "navalism,"
against the threatened Allied economic boycott, as well as a chance of
the return of the conquered colonies. The force of their seductiveness
was proved, when, many months later, in October, 1918, defeated Germany
grasped at them as a drowning man at a straw. At the same time Wilson
offered to liberals the world over the hope of ending the old-style
secret diplomacy, and to business men and labor the termination of the
system of competitive armaments, with their economic and moral waste. No
one would suggest that Wilson did not believe in the idealism of these
first five points; no one should forget, however, that they were
carefully drafted with the political situation of the moment definitely
in view. They might be construed as a charter for future international
relations, but they were designed primarily to serve as a diplomatic
weapon for the present.

Each of the succeeding eight points was more special in character, and
dealt with the territorial and political problems of the warring states.
They provided for the evacuation and restoration of all conquered
territories in Europe, including Russia, Belgium, France, and the Balkan
States. The sovereignty of Belgium should be unlimited in future; the
"wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine
... should be righted"; Italian frontiers should be readjusted "along
clearly recognizable lines of nationality"; the peoples of Austria-Hungary
"should be accorded the freest opportunity of autonomous development"; the
relations of the Balkan States should be determined "along historically
established lines of allegiance and nationality"; nationalities under
Turkish rule should receive opportunity for security of life and
autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened
to all nations under international guarantees; an independent Polish state
should be erected to "include the territories inhabited by indisputably
Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to
the sea."

Generally speaking these stipulations seemed to guarantee the moderate
war aims of the Entente and corresponded closely to the demands made by
Lloyd George; they certainly repudiated the extreme purposes attributed
to German imperialists. And yet these eight points were so vague and
capable of such diverse interpretation that, like the first five general
points, they might prove not unattractive to liberals in Germany and
Austria. France was not definitely promised Alsace-Lorraine; any hint at
the dismemberment of Austria-Hungary was carefully avoided; the
readjustment of Italian frontiers might mean much or little. What were
"historically established lines of allegiance and nationality" in the
Balkans? And if Poland were to include only populations "indisputably
Polish," was it possible to assure them "free and secure access to the
sea"? The political advantage in such generalities was obvious. But there
was also great danger. The time might come when both belligerent camps
would accept the Fourteen Points and would still be uncertain of their
meaning and application. The struggle for definite interpretation would
be the real test. The President's fourteenth and last point, however, was
unmistakable and expressed the ideal nearest his heart: "A general
association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the
purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and
territorial integrity to great and small states alike."

Later events have magnified the significance of this notable speech of
the 8th of January. It was a striking bid for peace, which indeed was not
far away and it ultimately formed the general basis of the peace terms
actually drafted. But it contained nothing new. Its definition of the
conditions of peace was vague; its formulation of principles followed
exactly along the lines developed by President Wilson ever since he had
adopted the idea of a League of Nations founded upon international
justice. His summing up of the main principle underlying his whole policy
was merely the echo of his speeches for the past twelve-month: "The
principle of justice to all peoples and nationalities, and their right to
live on equal terms of liberty and safety with one another, whether they
be strong or weak." The importance of the speech does not lie in its
novelty but in its timeliness. It came at a moment when the world was
anxiously listening and the undeniable idealism of its content assured to
President Wilson, at least temporarily, the moral leadership of mankind.
Unfortunately as the event proved, it promised more than could ever be
secured by any single man. The President was to pay the price for his
leadership later when he encountered the full force of the reaction.

As a step toward immediate peace the speech of the Fourteen Points
failed. What might have been the result had von Hertling, Chancellor of
Germany, and Czernin, in Austria, possessed full powers, it is difficult
to say. But the military masters of Germany could not resist the
temptation which the surrender of Russia brought before their eyes. By
securing the eastern front and releasing prisoners as well as troops
there, they would be able to establish a crushing superiority in the
west; France would be annihilated before the American armies could count,
if indeed they were ever raised. Hence the heavy terms of Brest-Litovsk
and Bucharest and the preparations for the great drive of March. As
Wilson said, "The tragical circumstance is that this one party in Germany
is apparently willing and able to send millions of men to their death to
prevent what all the world now sees to be just." Thus Germany lost her
last chance to emerge from the war uncrushed.

The ruthless policy followed by Ludendorff and his associates gave the
President new opportunities to appeal to the peoples of the Central
Empires. He incorporated in his speeches the phrases of the German
Socialists. "Self-Determination" and "No annexations and no indemnities"
were phrases that had been made in Germany before Russia imported them;
and when they formed the text of presidential addresses, many Germans,
despite themselves, doubtless felt a twinge of sympathy. Coupled with
these appeals went the President's warnings that if they persisted in
tying up their fortunes with those of their rulers, they must share the
penalties. If Germany insisted upon making force alone the deciding
element, then he must accept the challenge and abide the issue. "There
is, therefore, but one response possible from us: Force, Force to the
utmost, Force without stint or limit, the righteous and triumphant Force
which shall make Right the law of the world and cast every selfish
dominion down in the dust." Neither the appeals nor the warnings of
Wilson had any effect apparent at the moment, and yet the seed was sown.
During the victorious German drives of March, April, and May, opinion to
the east of the Rhine seemed to have rallied firmly behind the Teuton
Government; but with the first slight setbacks of the following month the
process of crumbling began. An American economist and banker, Henry C.
Emery, then prisoner in Germany, tells of the pessimism prevalent as
early as June and the whispers of the approaching fall of the Kaiser. In
his memoirs Ludendorff lays the failure of the German armies in August to
the complete breakdown of the national spirit.

The end came with extraordinary speed. Already in September, after the
defection of Bulgaria and the startling success of Foch's converging
movement on Sedan, Germany knew that she was defeated. The Berlin
Government turned to Wilson and on the 5th of October requested an
armistice. At the same time Austria-Hungary made a similar request
offering to negotiate on the basis of the Fourteen Points. Wilson's
position was delicate. He knew in September that the end was near and
prepared for the situation in some degree by sending Colonel House abroad
to be ready to discuss armistice terms with the Allies. But the sudden
character of the German collapse had intoxicated public opinion to such
an extent that the political idealism which he had voiced ran the risk of
becoming swamped. If Germany were indeed helpless and the Allies
triumphant, there was the danger that, in the flush of victory, all the
promises of a just peace would be forgotten. He must provide against such
a contingency. On the other hand he must secure guarantees that Germany
had indeed thrown off her militaristic cloak, as Prince Max of Baden, the
new Chancellor, insisted; and also that under cover of an armistice she
might not effect a withdrawal of her defeated armies, only to renew the
struggle under more favorable conditions on her own borders. He was
caught between the danger of German fraud and Allied exuberance.

There ensued a month of negotiations, during which the military victory of
the Allies was further assured, as described in the preceding pages. The
German Government was first asked by Wilson if it accepted the Fourteen
Points and the similar stipulations made by the President in subsequent
addresses. Replying in the affirmative, Prince Max then promised to
acquiesce in armistice terms that would leave the military situation
unchanged, and further agreed to order a cessation of unrestricted
submarine warfare and of the wanton destruction caused by the German
armies in their retreat. Finally he declared in answer to Wilson's demand,
that the request for an armistice and peace came from a government "which
is free from any arbitrary and irresponsible influence, and is supported
by the approval of an overwhelming majority of the German people." The
President then formally transmitted the correspondence to the Allies, and
Colonel House entered upon discussions to establish with them the
understanding that the basis of the peace negotiations would be the
Wilsonian programme. He was successful; and the Fourteen Points, with
reservation of the second, "Freedom of the seas," were accepted by the
Allied governments. The Allies, on the other hand, secured President
Wilson's approval of the principle that "compensation will be made by
Germany for all damage done to the civilian population of the Allies and
their property by the aggression of Germany by land, by sea, and from the
air." Upon this understanding the details of the armistice were left to
the military leaders. The terms as fixed reflected the military situation
on the fighting front and the political situation in Germany and placed
Germany entirely in the power of the victors without possibility of
renewing the war. The conditions laid down were so stringent that until
the last moment a refusal by the German delegates seemed imminent; but on
the 11th of November, just before the expiration of the time limit allowed
them, they accepted the inevitable.

It is a mistake to regard the armistice as forced upon the Allies by
President Wilson. Many persons abroad, as in this country, felt, it is
true, that it was wrong to permit the peaceful withdrawal of the German
armies, even though the full military advantages of victory were secured
by the armistice conditions; the Allies ought, they argued, to impress
on the Germans the magnitude of their defeat on the field of battle, and
this could not be done so long as German soil had been free from warfare.
General Pershing was strongly opposed to the granting of an armistice.
The Allied chiefs knew, however, that although the continuation of the
fighting would lead to the surrender of a great German force, every day
would cost the victorious armies a heavy toll of killed and wounded, and
the advantage to be gained thereby was at least questionable. This fact
was emphasized even by Marshal Foch. They hesitated, certainly, to accept
the Fourteen Points as the basis for peace, for they feared lest the
interpretation put upon them at the Peace Conference might rob them of
what they believed to be the just fruits of victory. In both France and
England there was, it is true, a body of liberal opinion which would not
brook open repudiation of the ideals that Wilson had sponsored during the
war and to which Allied ministers had themselves paid tribute. In each
country there was another group demanding a "peace of annihilation," with
the payment of all war costs by the defeated, but Lloyd George and
Clemenceau feared at the moment to raise this issue. Both England and
France were dependent upon American assistance for the immediate future
as they had been during the war. They needed American food, raw
materials, and money. A break with Wilson, who for the moment was the
popular hero of Europe, taken in conjunction with an economic crisis,
might be the signal for domestic disturbances if not revolution.

Thus with Germany helpless and the Allies at least outwardly accepting
his peace programme, Woodrow Wilson seemed to be master of the situation.
And yet his power was more apparent than real. Apart from that moral
influence which he exercised over the European liberals and which among
some of the working classes was so extreme that candles were burnt before
his picture, but which also was inevitably unstable and evanescent,
Wilson's power rested upon the fact that he was President of the United
States. But the nation was no longer united behind him or his policy, if
indeed it had ever been so. That hatred and distrust which had marked the
electoral campaign of 1916, and which, stifled for the moment by entrance
into the war, had flamed out early in 1918 in the attack upon his war
administration, now in the autumn threatened an explosion of popular
disapprobation in some parts of the country. Men had long whispered
"autocrat" but had generally been silenced during the war by the
admonition not to weaken the government by factious criticism. Now they
began to shout it from the house-tops. Because of his inability to grasp
the importance of either tact or tactics, the President made the way of
his opponents easy for them.

Shortly before the Congressional elections of November, at the moment
when he felt the need of national support in order to strengthen his
position with the Allies, the President was prevailed upon to issue an
appeal to the electors, asking them to vote for Democratic candidates on
the ground that the nation ought to have unified leadership in the coming
moment of crisis, and that a Republican Congress would divide the
leadership. There was nothing novel in such an appeal; in 1898, McKinley
had begged for a Republican Congress on the ground that "this is no time
for divided councils," the same ground as that taken by Wilson in 1918.
Roosevelt in the same year (1898) had said: "Remember that whether you
will or not your votes this year will be viewed by the nations of Europe
from one standpoint only.... A refusal to sustain the President this year
will, in their eyes, be read as a refusal to sustain the war and to
sustain the efforts of the peace commission." Wilson's appeal in 1918 was
merely an echo of Roosevelt's in 1898. Yet it was a mistake in tactics.
It enabled the Republicans to assert that, whereas they had sunk partisan
differences during the war in order to secure the victory of the nation,
Wilson was now capitalizing the war and foreign problems to win a
partisan advantage. The result of the elections was Republican success,
assuring to that party a slight majority in the Senate and a goodly
majority in the House after March 4, 1919.

The President made other tactical mistakes. Instead of taking the Senate
into his confidence by entering upon numerous conferences with its
leaders, he stood upon the letter of the Constitution and gave the clear
impression that he would conduct the peace negotiations himself without
Senatorial assistance, leaving the Senators merely their constitutional
privilege of "advice and consent" when a treaty should be laid before
them. He would have done better to remember a remarkable passage in one of
his own lectures, delivered ten years before. Speaking of the difficulty
of bringing pressure to bear upon the Senate, he had said that there is a
"course which the President may follow, and which one or two Presidents
of unusual political sagacity have followed, with the satisfactory
results that were to have been expected. He may himself be less stiff and
offish, may himself act in the true spirit of the Constitution and
establish intimate relations of confidence with the Senate on his own
initiative, not carrying his plans to completion and then laying them in
final form before the Senate to be accepted or rejected, but keeping
himself in confidential communication with the leaders of the Senate while
his plans are in course, when their advice will be of service to him and
his information of the greatest service to them, in order that there may
be veritable counsel and a real accommodation of views, instead of a final
challenge and contest." Had Wilson in 1918, and after, followed his own
advice, the outcome might have been different. But nothing describes so
perfectly the exact opposite of his attitude as the passage quoted above.

The President might at least have assuaged the sense of injury that
rankled in the hearts of the Senators by asking for their advice in the
appointment of the Peace Commission. Instead he kept his own counsel. He
decided to go to Paris himself as head of the Commission, and chose for
his associates men who were not qualified to win for him the support
that he needed in the Senate or in the country. Robert Lansing, as
Secretary of State, was a necessary appointment. Colonel House was
probably the best-fitted man in America for the approaching negotiations,
alike by his temperament, by the breadth of his knowledge of foreign
questions, and by his intimacy with foreign statesmen. But at least two
places on the Commission should have been given to eminent Republicans
and to men universally known and respected. If Wilson was unwilling to
select members of the Senate, he might have heeded public opinion which
called definitely for William Howard Taft and Elihu Root. Both were
pledged to the most important item of Wilson's programme, the League of
Nations; both exercised wide influence in the country and in the
Republican party. The Senate, with a Republican majority, would almost
certainly ratify any treaty which they had signed. But the President, for
reasons of a purely negative character, passed them over and with what
looked to the public like mere carelessness, chose General Tasker Howard
Bliss and Henry White, formerly Ambassador to Rome and Paris under
Presidents Roosevelt and Taft. Both were men of ability and experience,
but neither enjoyed the particular confidence of the American people;
and what Americans chiefly wanted was the assurance of persons they knew
and trusted, that the peace was right. In the existing state of public
opinion, the assurance of the President was not in itself sufficient.

President Wilson's decision to go to Paris as a member of the Commission
aroused still fiercer opposition, but had reasons infinitely more cogent.
He knew that there would be great difficulty in translating his ideals
into fact at the Peace Conference. He believed that he could count upon
the support of liberal opinion in Europe, but realized that the leading
politicians had not yet been won sincerely to his policy. The pledge they
had given to accept the Fourteen Points might mean much or little;
everything depended upon interpretation. A peace of justice and a League
of Nations still hung in the balance. At this moment, with Germany clearly
helpless, opinion abroad appeared to be tending, naturally enough, toward
the old-style division of the spoils among the victors. More than one
influential French and British newspaper began to sound the cry _Væ
victis_. Moreover, in America broke forth a chorus of encouragement to the
Allies to pay no attention to Wilsonian idealism. On the 27th of
November, shortly before the Commission sailed, Roosevelt wrote: "Our
Allies and our enemies and Mr. Wilson himself should all understand that
Mr. Wilson has no authority whatever to speak for the American people at
this time. His leadership has just been emphatically repudiated by
them.... Mr. Wilson and his Fourteen Points and his four supplementary
points and his five complementary points and all his utterances every
which way have ceased to have any shadow of right to be accepted as
expressive of the will of the American people.... Let them [the Allies]
impose their common will on the nations responsible for the hideous
disaster which has almost wrecked mankind." It was frank encouragement to
the Allies, coming from the American who, with Wilson, was best-known
abroad, to divide the spoils and to disregard all promises to introduce a
new international order, and it must have brought joy to Clemenceau and
Sonnino.

Wilson feared that having won the war the United States might lose the
peace: not by softness towards Germany--as yet there was no danger of
that--but by forgetting the ideals for which it had entered the war, by
forgetting that a peace of injustice sows the seeds of the next war, and
by a relapse into the old bankrupt system of the Balance of Power. He
realized that the peoples of France, England, and Italy had felt the
pinch of war as the American people had never done, and that it was
demanding too much of human nature to expect that their attitude would be
one of moderation. He knew that in the negotiations Clemenceau and
Sonnino would be definitely opposed to his programme and that he could
not count upon Lloyd George. He decided therefore that he must himself go
to Paris to fight for his ideals. The decision was one of tremendous
significance. At the moment when domestic problems of reconstruction
would be most acute, an American President was going to leave the country
because of the interest of America in European affairs. The United States
was now so much a part of the world system that domestic issues seemed of
less importance than the danger that Europe might fall back into the old
international system which had proved unable to keep the peace. The
President's voyage to France was the clearest manifestation yet
vouchsafed of the settled position of the United States as a world power.

If the justice of his policy and the necessity of full participation in
the peace as in the war be admitted, Wilson was probably right in going
to Paris. No one else could have secured so much of his programme. No
one else was possessed of the political power or the personal prestige
which belonged to him. The history of the Conference was to show that
when he absented himself in February and after he left Paris in June, his
subordinates found great difficulty in meeting Allied opposition. But the
decision of the President to attend the Peace Conference furnished fresh
material for criticism at home. It was a new thing in our history; people
did not understand the importance of the issues involved and attributed
his voyage to vanity. Unquestionably it weakened Wilson in America as
much as it strengthened him abroad. When on the 4th of December, the
presidential ship, _George Washington_, sailed out of New York harbor,
saluted by the wild shrieks of a thousand sirens and the showers of
glittering white papers streaming from the windows of the skyscrapers,
preceded by the battleship _Pennsylvania_, flanked by destroyers, with
acrobatic airplanes and a stately dirigible overhead, external enthusiasm
was apparently at its height. But Wilson left behind him glowing embers
of intense opposition which, during the next six months, were to be
fanned into a dangerous flame.



CHAPTER X

WAYS OF THE PEACE CONFERENCE


On Friday, December 13, 1918, the _George Washington_ steamed slowly into
Brest harbor through a long double line of gray battleships and
destroyers, greeted by the thunder of presidential salutes and the blare
of marine bands. Europe thrilled with emotion, which was half curiosity
and half genuine enthusiasm: it was to see and applaud the man who during
the past eighteen months had crystallized in speech the undefined thought
of the Allied world, who represented (at least in European eyes) the
strength and idealism of America, and who stood, for the moment, as the
political Messiah to liberals in every country of the Old World, victors
or defeated. The intensity of the curiosity as well as the sincerity of
the enthusiasm was attested on the following day, when President Wilson
drove through the streets of Paris, welcomed by the vociferous plaudits
of the close-packed crowd. It was for him a public triumph, no greater
than that accorded to King Albert of Belgium and certainly less
demonstrative than the jubilations of armistice night, but nevertheless
undeniably sweet to the President, who looked to popular opinion as the
bulwark upon which he must rely during the difficult days ahead.

Further triumphs awaited him in his trips to England and to Italy. In
London and Rome, as in Paris, he was the object of demonstrations which
at times became almost delirious; more than once his admirers must have
been reminded of the Biblical phrase that alludes to the honor of a
prophet outside his own country. The emotion of Europe is not difficult
to understand. The man in the street was ready to shout, for the war was
finished and the miseries of the peace that was no peace were not yet
realized, Wilson stood for Justice above everything, and the people of
each country believed whole-heartedly that their particular demands were
just; the President, therefore, must stand with them. To Frenchmen it was
obvious that he must approve the "simple justice" of the claim that
Germany pay the entire cost of the war; Italians were convinced that he
would sanction their "just" demand for the annexation of Fiume. So long
as Justice remained something abstract his popularity remained secure.
Could he retain it when concrete issues arose? As early as the beginning
of January ebullitions of approval became less frequent. Discordant
voices were audible suggesting that Wilson was too prone to sacrifice the
material necessities of the war-burdened nations to his idealistic
notions. People asked why he failed to visit Belgium and the devastated
regions of France, so as to see for himself what sufferings had been
endured. And the historian may well inquire if it were because he had not
gauged the depth of feeling aroused by German war practices, or because
he had determined to show the Germans that he would not let his judgment
be clouded by emotion. Whatever the explanation, his popularity suffered.

Without question the original strength of President Wilson's position,
resting in part upon the warmth of popular feeling, which is ever
uncertain, was undermined by the delays that marked the opening of the
Peace Conference. Such delays may have resulted in part from the purpose
of the Allied leaders, who wished to permit public enthusiasm for Wilson
to cool; they may also have been caused in part by the differences that
developed over the incorporation of the League of Nations in the Treaty.
But a prime cause of delay is to be found in the fact that a Peace
Conference of this character was a new experience and the statesmen
assembled were not quite sure how to conduct it. Too little thought had
been given to the problem of organization, and the plans which had been
drawn up by the French and Americans were apparently forgotten. The host
of diplomatic attachés and technical advisers, who crowded the Quai
d'Orsay and the hotels of Paris, had only a vague notion as to their
duties and waited uneasily, wondering why their chiefs did not set them
to work. In truth the making of peace was to be characterized by a
looseness of organization, a failure to coördinate, and a waste of time
and energy resulting from slipshod methods. In the deliberations of the
Conference there was a curious mixture of efficiency and ineffectiveness;
a wealth of information upon the topics under discussion and an inability
to concentrate that information. Important decisions were made and
forgotten in the welter of conferential disorganization.

No one could complain that delays were caused by the kind of gay frivolity
that characterized the Vienna Congress a hundred years ago. The
atmosphere of the Paris Conference was more like that of a convention of
traveling salesmen. The Hotel Crillon, home of the American Commission,
was gray and gaunt as the State, War, and Navy Building in Washington.
Banquets were rare; state balls unheard of. The President who had separate
headquarters, first in the Parc Monceau and later on the Place des États
Unis, avoided the orthodox diversions of diplomacy and labored with an
intensity that was destined to result in physical collapse. The very dress
of the delegates mirrored their businesslike attitude: high silk hats were
seldom seen; Lloyd George appeared in the plainest of bowlers and Colonel
House in his simple, black felt. Experts worked far into the early morning
hours in order that principals might have statistics; principals labored
even on Easter Day, and were roused from their beds at four in the morning
to answer telegrams. Unique departure in the history of diplomacy: this
was a working Peace Conference!

Each of the different commissions had brought to Paris a staff of attachés
and experts, upon whom the principal delegates were to rely in questions
of fact, and who were themselves to decide points of detail in drafting
the economic and political clauses of the treaties and in determining new
boundaries. The expert staff of the American Commission had been carefully
selected and was generally regarded as equal to that of any other power.
Compared with the foreign experts, its members lacked experience in
diplomatic methods, no doubt, but they were as well or better equipped
with exact information. There is an instance of an American expert on a
minor commission asking that a decision be altered in view of new facts
just brought to light, and offering to place those facts in detail before
the commission. "I suggest," said a foreign delegate, "that we accept the
amendment without investigation. Hitherto the facts presented by the
Americans have been irrefutable; it would be waste of time to investigate
them."

Such men as Hoover, Hurley, and Gompers were at hand to give their expert
opinions on questions which they had mastered during the course of the
war. Norman Davis and Thomas Lamont acted as financial advisers. Baruch
and McCormick brought the wealth of experience which resulted from their
administration of the War Industries and War Trade Boards. The foresight
of Colonel House, furthermore, had gathered together a group of men who,
organized since the summer of 1917 in what had been called "The
Inquiry," had been studying the conditions that would determine new
political boundaries on the basis of justice and practicability. The
principal delegates could not be expected to know the details that would
decide the disposition of Danzig, the fate of Fiume, the division of the
Banat of Temesvar. They would need some one to tell them the amount of
coal produced in the Saar Basin, the location of mines in Teschen, the
ethnic character of eastern Galicia, the difference between Slovaks and
Ruthenians. It was all very well to come to the Conference with demands
for justice, but our commissioners must have cold facts to support those
demands. The fact that exact information was available, and played a rôle
in the decisions of the Conference, marks a step forward in the history
of diplomatic relations.

Contrary to general expectation and rumor, Wilson, although he
disregarded the American Commissioners, except Colonel House, made
constant use of the various experts. On the _George Washington_ he had
told a group of them that he would rely absolutely upon the results of
their investigations. "Tell me what's right," he had said, "and I'll
fight for it. Give me a guaranteed position." During the negotiations he
called in the experts for daily consultations; they sat behind him at the
sessions of the Council of Ten and on the sofa beside him in the Council
of Four. Their advice was not always followed to the letter; in the
Shantung issue it was reluctantly discarded; but in such important
matters as the Fiume problem, Wilson rested his case wholly upon the
knowledge and opinions of the experts.

In defiance of the example of the Congress of Vienna, which never
formally gathered in plenary session, the Paris Conference met with all
delegates for the first time, on January 18, 1919. It was a picturesque
scene, cast in the long Clock Room of the Quai d'Orsay, the conventional
black of the majority of delegates broken by the horizon-blue uniform of
Marshal Foch, the natty red-trimmed khaki of British staff officers, and
the white flowing robes and golden headdress of the Arabian Emir Faisal;
down the center of the room ran the traditionally diplomatic green baize
tables behind which sat the delegates; attachés and press correspondents
crowded into the corners or peered around the curtains of adjoining
rooms; at the end, in front of the white marble fireplace, sat the
dominating personalities of the Allied world. But such plenary sessions
were not to witness the actual work of the Conference, nor was Wilson's
demand for "open covenants openly arrived at" to be translated literally
into accomplishment. To conduct the Peace Conference by sessions open to
the public was obviously not feasible. There were too many delegates.
Time, which was precious beyond evaluation, would be lost in the making
of speeches for home consumption. More time would be lost in translation
of the Babel of languages. Frankness and directness of negotiation would
be impossible, for if the papers should print what the delegates said
about each other there would be a national crisis every day. Finally, a
congress is by nature ill-adapted for the study of intricate
international problems, as was later to be illustrated in the history of
the United States Senate.

The representatives of the larger European Powers had assumed that the
direction of the Conference would be taken by a small executive committee,
corresponding to the Supreme War Council, and to this President Wilson
agreed. Such a committee would necessarily meet in secret, in order that
it might not be hampered by formalities and that there might be frank
speech. Only a brief communiqué, stating the subject of discussion and
the decision reached, would be issued to the press. The committee would
provide for the executive measures that must be taken to oppose the growth
of economic and political anarchy in central and southeastern Europe,
would distribute the problems that were to be studied by special
commissions, and would formulate or approve the solutions to those
problems. It would supervise the drafting of the treaties and present them
to the plenary conference in practically final form. Since the bulk of the
fighting had been carried by the major powers and since they would
guarantee the peace, this supreme council of the Conference was composed
of two representatives of the major five, France, Great Britain, the
United States, Italy, and Japan, the last-named now entering the sacred
coterie of "Great Powers." Among the delegates of the smaller powers there
was lively dissatisfaction at the exclusion from the inner council of such
states as Belgium and Serbia, which had been invaded by the enemy and had
made heavy sacrifices in the war: they complained also that the number of
delegates allotted them was insufficient. Already, it was whispered, the
phrases that dealt with the "rights of small nations" were being
forgotten, and this peace congress was to be but a repetition of those
previous diplomatic assemblies where the spoils went to the strong. But
Wilson, who was regarded as the defender of the rights of the small
states, agreed with Clemenceau that practical necessity demanded an
executive council of restricted numbers, and felt that such a body could
be trusted to see that effective justice was secured. In truth the
President was almost as much impressed by the extreme nationalistic ardor
of the small powers, as a source of future danger, as he was by the
selfishness of the large.

The Supreme Council, during the early days of the Conference, was
generally known as the Council of Ten. It met in the study of Stephane
Pichon, the French Foreign Minister, which opened on to the garden of the
French Foreign Office, and which, with its panelled walls, covered with
gorgeous Gobelins picturing Ruben's story of Marie de' Medici, its
stately brocaded chairs, and old-rose and gray Aubusson carpets, was
redolent of old-time diplomacy. In the center, behind a massive desk, sat
the president of the Conference, Georges Clemenceau--short, squat,
round-shouldered, with heavy white eyebrows and mustache serving
perfectly to conceal the expression both of eyes and of mouth. Ordinarily
he rested immobile, his hands folded in the eternal gray gloves, on his
face an expression of bored tolerance, the expression of a man who, after
half a century in the political arena of France, had little to learn
either of men or of affairs, even from a Peace Conference. Skeptical in
attitude, a cold listener, obviously impermeable to mere verbiage and
affected by the logic of facts alone, he had a ruthless finger ready to
poke into the interstices of a loosely-woven argument. Clemenceau spoke
but rarely, in low even tones, with a paucity and awkwardness of gesture
surprising in a Latin; he was chary of eloquence, disdaining the obvious
arts of the rhetor, but he had at his command an endless string of biting
epigrams, and his satire wounded with a touch so sharp that it was
scarcely felt or seen except by the unfortunate recipient. Upon
infrequent occasion, in the course of hot debate, some one would pierce
his armor and touch him upon the unguarded quick; then the man was
transformed, the eyebrows would shoot up, the eyes flash, the mustache
bristle, the voice vibrate, and the invective which he poured forth
scalded like molten lead. One understood at such a moment why he was
called "the Tiger." But such outbursts were rare. More characteristic of
his method of debate was the low-voiced ironical phrase, when his arid
humor crackled like a wireless message.

Clemenceau dwarfed the other French delegates, with a single exception,
not alone by the magic of his personality but by the grip which he had on
the imagination of France. The people remembered that long career,
beginning with the early days of the Republic and culminating with the
miracle of the political salvation he brought to France in the dark days
of 1917, when the morale of the nation was near the breaking-point, and
which made possible the military victory of Foch. France was grateful. He
had no political party in the Chamber upon which to rely, but the nation
was behind him, at least for the moment. "If I should die now," he is
reported to have said during the early days of the Conference, "France
would give me a great funeral. If I live six months, no one knows what
may happen." For Clemenceau was a realist; he did not permit himself the
luxury of being deceived even by the good qualities of his own
countrymen. If he feared anything it was the domination of politics by
the impractical. Mankind must be taken as it is and not as we should like
it to be. He was troubled by what he called the "noble simplicity" of
Wilson. Statesmen must be inspired by the sacred egotism which provides
for the material safety and progress of their own nation. Above all, in
his mind, France was particularly vulnerable and thus must insist upon
particular means of defense against the secular enemy across the Rhine.

Behind Clemenceau, in the Council, hovered his friend and Foreign
Secretary, Stephane Pichon. More in evidence, however, was André Tardieu,
who alone of the French delegates remained undwarfed by the Prime
Minister. Journalist, politician, captain of Blue Devils, Franco-American
Commissioner, now the youngest of the French peace commission, Tardieu,
more than any one else supplied the motive energy that carried the treaty
to completion. Debonair and genial, excessively practical, he was the
"troubleman" of the Conference: when difficulties arose over the Saar, or
Fiume, or reparations, Tardieu was called in to work with a special
committee and find a compromise. Not a regular member of the Council of
Ten, he was nevertheless at Clemenceau's elbow, and especially after the
attempt on the latter's life, he labored day and night on the details
which were too much for the strength and time of the older man.

On Clemenceau's right, and half facing him, sat the two American
delegates, Wilson and Lansing. The President, to the surprise of many, was
by no means the awkward college professor lost among practical
politicians. His speech was slow and his manner might almost be called
ponderous, but the advisers who whispered over his shoulder, during the
course of the debate, attested the rapidity with which his mind operates
and his skill in catching the points suggested. There was far less of the
dogmatic doctrinaire in his attitude than had been looked for.
Occasionally his remarks bordered upon the sententious, but he never
"orated," invariably using a conversational tone; many of his points were
driven home by humorous allusions or anecdotes rather than by didactic
logic. Like that of the other delegates his manner was informal. During
the cold days of late January he walked about the room during discussions
in order to keep his feet warm. Indeed the proceedings of the Council of
Ten were characterized by a noted absence of stiffness. It was evidently
expected that the prestige which Wilson possessed among the masses would
evaporate in this inner council; but nothing of the kind was apparent. It
was not uninteresting to note that when a point was raised every one
looked involuntarily to see how it would be taken by the President; and
when the delegates of the smaller Powers appeared before the Council they
addressed their remarks almost directly at him. Lansing spoke seldom, but
then with force and conviction, and was evidently more troubled than
Wilson by the compromises with expediency which the Americans were
compelled to make. His attention was never distracted by the sketches
which he drew without ceasing, during the course of the debates--grotesque
and humorous figures, much in demand by every one present as mementos of
the Conference.

Next on the right sat David Lloyd George, with thick gray hair and
snapping Celtic eyes. Alert and magnetic, he was on the edge of his
chair, questioning and interrupting. Frankly ignorant of the details of
continental geography and politics, naïve in his inquiries, he possessed
the capacity for acquiring effective information at lightning speed.
Unfortunately he was not over-critical and the source of his information
was not invariably the highest authority; he was prone to accept the
views of journalists rather than those of his own Foreign Office.
Effervescent as a bottle just rid of its cork, he was also unstable,
twisting and veering in his suggestions; not so much blown about by the
winds of hostile criticism, to which he paid but little attention, as
carried on by the shifting tides of political events at home. For his eye
was always across the Channel, calculating the domestic effect of each
treaty provision. Few could resist his personal magnetism in conversation
and no one would deny him the title of master-politician of his age.
During the first weeks of the Conference, Wilson seems to have fallen
under the spell of Lloyd George to some extent, who showed himself quite
as liberal as the President in many instances. But Wilson was clearly
troubled by the Welshman's mercurial policy, and before he finally left
for America, found relief in the solid consistency of Clemenceau. He
always knew where the French Premier stood, no matter how much he might
differ from him in point of view.

Beside Lloyd George, a perfect foil, sat Arthur J. Balfour, assuming the
attitude habitual to him after long years in the House of Commons--head on
the back of his chair, body reclining at a comfortable angle, long legs
stretched in front, hands grasping the lapels of his coat, eyes at
frequent intervals closed. Rising, he overtopped every one present, white
and bent though he was, in physical stature as he did also in pure
intellectual power. Graceful in tone and expression his outlook was the
philosophical, possibly over-tolerant for the exigencies of the situation,
although upon occasion his judgment proved a valuable counterweight to the
hasty enthusiasm of Lloyd George. But Balfour, like Lansing, was sometimes
treated with scant consideration by his chief and by no means exercised
the influence which his experience and capacity would lead one to expect.

On the right of the British delegates sat the two Japanese, silent,
observant, their features immobile as the Sphinx. It was a bold man who
would attempt to guess the thoughts masked by their impassive faces. They
waited for the strategic moment when they were to present their special
claims; until then they attended all meetings, scarcely speaking a word,
unwilling to commit themselves. Upon one occasion, in a minor commission,
the Japanese delegate held the deciding vote, the other four delegations
being tied; when asked by the chairman how he voted, whether with the
French and Americans or with the British and Italians, the Japanese
responded simply, "Yes." Next the Japanese, but facing Clemenceau and
about twelve feet from him, were the Italians: Sonnino with his
close-cropped white bullet head and heavy drooping mustache, his great
Roman nose coming down to meet an equally strong out-jutting chin, his jaw
set like a steel latch. The hawklike appearance of the man was softened in
debate by the urbanity of his manner and the modulations of his voice.
Orlando was less distinctive in appearance and character. Eloquent and
warm-hearted, he was troubled by the consciousness that failure to secure
the full extent of Italian claims spelled the downfall of his ministry in
Rome. It is of some historical importance that Sonnino, who spoke perfect
English with just a trace of Etonian inflection, was the more obstinate in
his demands; Orlando, who showed himself inclined to compromise, spoke no
English and therefore could come into intellectual contact with Wilson and
Lloyd George only through the medium of an interpreter.

Proceedings were necessarily in both French and English, because none of
the big men except Clemenceau and Sonnino used the two languages with
comfort. The interpreter, Mantoux, who sat behind Clemenceau, was no mere
translator. A few notes scribbled on a pad were sufficient for him to
render the sense of a speech with keen accuracy and frequently with a
fire and a pungency that surpassed the original. He spoke always in the
first person as though the points made in debate were his own, and the
carrying of each particular point the ideal nearest his heart. Behind the
principals, the "Olympians," as they came to be called, were the experts
and attachés, with long rolls of maps and complex tables of statistics,
ready to answer questions of detailed facts. In truth there was more
reference to sources of exact information by the chief delegates than
would have been expected by the student of former diplomatic practices.

In the center of the room, facing the Olympians, stood or sat the
particular claimant or expert witness of the séance. Now it might be
Marshal Foch, with wrinkled, weary, war-worn visage, and thin rumpled
hair, in shabby uniform, telling of Germany's failure to fulfill the
armistice conditions; one would meet him later in the corridor
outside--like Grant, he was apt to have the stump of a black cigar in the
corner of his mouth--usually shaking his head ominously over the failure
of the politicians to treat Germany with the requisite severity. Or the
claimant before the Ten might be the grave, self-contained Venizelos,
once outlaw and revolutionary, now, after many turns of fortune's wheel,
master of Greece and perhaps the greatest statesman of them all. Then
again would appear the boyish Foreign Minister of the Czecho-Slovak
Republic, Edward Benes, winning friends on all sides by his frank
sincerity and ready smile; or, perfect contrast, the blackbearded
Bratiano of Rumania, claiming the enforcement of the secret treaty that
was to double the area of his state. Later, Paderewski came from Warsaw,
his art sacrificed on the altar of patriotism, leonine in appearance, but
surprisingly untemperamental in diplomatic negotiation.

To each of these and to many others who presented problems for immediate
settlement the Council listened, for it had not merely to draw up
treaties and provide for the future peace of the world, but also to meet
crises of the moment. The starving populations of central and
southeastern Europe must be fed; tiny wars that had sprung up between
smaller nationalities must be attended to and armistice commissions
dispatched; the rehabilitation of railroads and river transportation
demanded attention; coal mines must be operated and labor difficulties
adjusted. This economic renaissance had to be accomplished in face of
nationalistic quarrels and the social unrest that threatened to spread
the poison of communistic revolution as far west as the Rhine and the
Adriatic.

From the beginning it was clear that the actual drafting of the treaty
clauses would have to be undertaken by special commissions. The work
could never be completed except by a subdivision of labor and the
assignment of particular problems to especially competent groups. As the
Council of Ten faced the situation, they decided that the number of the
commissions must be increased. By the beginning of February the work was
largely subdivided. There was a commission headed by President Wilson
working on the League of Nations, while others studied such problems as
responsibility for the war, reparations, international labor legislation,
international control of ports, waterways, and railways, financial and
economic problems, military, naval, and aerial questions. When the
Council of Ten found themselves puzzled by the conflicting territorial
claims of different Allied nations, they decided to create also special
territorial commissions to study boundaries and to report their
recommendations back to the Supreme Council. It was President Wilson,
chafing at the early delays of the Conference, who eagerly adopted a
suggestion of Colonel House to the effect that time might be saved if
the experts of the different states attacked boundary problems and thus
relieved the strain upon the time and nerves of the Olympians, who could
not be expected to know or understand the details of each question. The
suggestion was approved by the chiefs of the Allied governments. There
were five such territorial commissions, which were in turn subdivided,
while a single central territorial commission was appointed to coördinate
the reports.

The more important commissions, such as that upon the League of Nations,
were composed of plenipotentiaries and included generally representatives
from the smaller states. The reparations, financial, and labor
commissions were made up of business men and financiers, the American
representatives including such figures as Lamont, Norman Davis, Baruch,
and McCormick. The territorial commissions were composed of the
representatives of the four principal Powers; most of the European
delegates, who were in some cases also plenipotentiaries, were chosen
from the staffs of the Foreign Offices, and included such men as Sir Eyre
Crowe, Jules Cambon, Tardieu, and Salvago Raggi. The American delegates
were generally members of the Inquiry, men who had been working on these
very problems for more than a year. The special commissions worked with
care and assiduity, and their decisions rested generally on facts
established after long discussion. To this extent, at least, the Paris
Conference was characterized by a new spirit in diplomacy.

Upon the reports of these commissions were based the draft articles of
the treaties, which were then referred back to the Supreme Council. By
the time the reports were finished, that body had divided into two
smaller bodies: the Council of Foreign Ministers, and the Council of
Premiers, composed of Clemenceau, Lloyd George, Wilson, and Orlando. The
latter body, which came to be known as the Council of Four, or,
colloquially, the "Big Four," naturally assumed complete direction. It
was unfortunate certainly that a congress which had started with the cry
of "open covenants" should thus find itself practically resolved into a
committee of four. Disappointed liberals have assumed that the inner
council was formed with the object of separating President Wilson from
contact with popular ideas and bringing him to acceptance of the
old-style peace desired by Clemenceau. In reality the Council of Four was
simply a revival of the informal committee which had sat during the
autumn of 1918, when Colonel House, Lloyd George, and Clemenceau had met
by themselves to formulate the policy to be adopted when Germany
presented her demand for an armistice. When Wilson left Paris in
February, Colonel House, who became chiefly responsible for the American
side of negotiations, found the Council of Ten unwieldy. It was attended
by as many as thirty or forty persons, some of whom seemed inclined to
spread colored accounts of what was going on, and the very size of the
meeting tended toward the making of speeches and the slowing-down of
progress. Furthermore, at that time Clemenceau, confined to his house by
the wound inflicted by a would-be assassin, was unable to attend the
sessions of the Council of Ten. It was natural, therefore, that the three
statesmen who had worked so effectively the preceding autumn should now
renew their private conferences. When Wilson returned to Paris in March,
and learned from Colonel House how much more rapidly the small committee
was able to dispose of vexatious questions, he readily agreed to it. Nor
is there any valid evidence extant to show that his influence was
seriously impaired by the change, although the sessions of the Council of
Four took on a greater appearance of secrecy than had been desired by
Colonel House.

The Council of Four acted as a board of review and direction rather than
of dictators. When the reports of the expert commissions were unanimous
they were generally accepted with little or no alteration. When a divided
report was sent up, the Four were compelled to reach a compromise, since
every delay threatened to give new opportunity to the forces of social
disorder in Germany and southeastern Europe. The Council met ordinarily
in the house used by President Wilson, on the Place des États-Unis. Some
of the conferences were held in a small room downstairs without the
presence of secretaries or advisers; frequently, however, the experts
were called in to meet with the chiefs in the large front room upstairs,
and would often monopolize the discussion, the Four playing the part of
listeners merely. Formality was dispensed with. During a debate upon the
southern boundary of Austria, President Wilson might have been seen on
all fours, kneeling on the floor and tracing out the suggested frontier
on a huge map, while other peace commissioners and experts surrounded
him, also on their hands and knees. Hours of labor were long. There was,
certainly, much discussion that hinged upon selfish nationalist
interests, but also much that was inspired by a sincere desire to secure
the solution that would permanently restore the tranquillity of Europe.

The presence of President Wilson did much to maintain the idealism that
jostled national self-seeking in the final drafting of the treaties.
Though he lacked the political brilliance of Lloyd George and had not the
suppressed but irresistible vehemence that characterized Clemenceau, his
very simplicity of argument availed much. He was not destined to carry
through the full programme of idealism as set out in the Fourteen Points,
at least not as interpreted by most liberals. He could not secure the
peace of reconciliation which he had planned, but even with his
popularity in France, Belgium, and Italy lost, and his prestige dimmed,
he retained such a strong position in the Council of Four that he was
able to block some of the more extreme propositions advanced by
imperialist elements, and, more positively, to secure what he had most at
heart, the League of Nations. Whether he yielded more than he gained is a
question which demands more detailed consideration.



CHAPTER XI

BALANCE OF POWER OR LEAGUE OF NATIONS?


Whatever mistakes President Wilson made at Paris, he did not greatly
underestimate the difficulties of his task when he set forth from the
United States. The liberal utterances of the Allied chiefs during the war
had never succeeded in winning his sincere confidence; more than once he
had even intimated that he did not consider their governments completely
representative of public opinion. He anticipated a struggle with
Clemenceau and Lloyd George over the amount of indemnity which was to be
demanded from Germany, as well as over the territory of which she was to
be deprived. Their formal approval of the Fourteen Points had been a cause
of intense satisfaction to him, but he realized definitely that they would
make every effort to interpret them in terms of purely national
self-interest. This he regarded as the greatest difficulty to be met at
Paris. The second difficulty lay in the extreme demands that were being
made by the smaller nationalities, now liberated from Teuton dominion or
overlordship. Poland, Rumania, Serbia, Greece, were all asking for
territory which could only be assigned to them on the ancient principle of
the division of spoils among the victors. The spirit of nationalism which
had played a rôle of so much importance in the antecedents of the war, as
well as in the downfall of the Central Empires, now threatened to ruin the
peace. As we have seen, it was partly because of this second danger that
Wilson agreed to the exclusion of the smaller states from the Supreme
Council of the Allies.

Upon the details of the treaties, whether of an economic or a territorial
character, the President did not at first lay great stress. He was
interested chiefly in the spirit that lay behind the treaties. The peace,
he insisted, must be one of justice and, if possible, one of
reconciliation. More concretely, the great point of importance was the
establishment of a League of Nations; for the President believed that
only through the building up of a new international system, based upon
the concert of all democratic states, could permanent justice and amity
be secured. Only a new system could suffice to prevent the injustice
that great states work upon small, and to stamp out the germs of future
war. It would be the single specific factor that would make this treaty
different from and better than treaties of the past. The ultimate origin
of the great war was less to be sought in the aspirations and malevolence
of Germany, he believed, than in the disorganized international system of
Europe. Unless that were radically reformed, unless a régime of
diplomatic coöperation were substituted for the Balance of Power, neither
justice nor peace could last. The old system had failed too often.

Wilson does not seem to have formulated definitely before he reached
Paris the kind of League which he desired to see created. He was opposed
to such intricate machinery as that proposed by the League to Enforce
Peace, and favored an extremely simple organization which might evolve
naturally to meet conditions of the future. The chief organ of a League,
he felt, should be an executive council, possibly composed of the
ambassadors to some small neutral power. If trouble threatened in any
quarter, the council was to interfere at once and propose a settlement.
If this proved unsuccessful, a commercial boycott might be instituted
against the offending state: it was to be outlawed, and, as Wilson said,
"outlaws are not popular now." He regarded it as important that the
German colonies should not be divided among the Allies, but should be
given to the League, to be administered possibly through some smaller
power; for an institution, he felt, is always stabilized by the
possession of property.

Such were, broadly speaking, the ideas which seemed uppermost in the
President's mind when he landed in France, and which he was determined
should form the basis of the peace. He anticipated opposition, and he was
in a measure prepared to fight for his ideals. But he failed adequately
to appreciate the confusion which had fallen upon Europe, after four
years and more of war, and which made the need of a speedy settlement so
imperative. If he had gauged more accurately the difficulties of his task
he would have been more insistent upon the drafting of a quick
preliminary peace, embodying merely general articles, and leaving all the
details of the settlement to be worked out by experts at their leisure.
He might thus have utilized his popularity and influence when it was at
its height, and have avoided the loss of prestige which inevitably
followed upon the discussion of specific issues, when he was compelled
to take a stand opposed to the national aspirations of the various
states. Such a general preliminary treaty would have gone far towards
restoring a basis for the resumption of normal political and economic
activity; it would have permitted Wilson to return to the United States
as the unquestioned leader of the world; it would have blunted the edge
of senatorial opposition; and finally it might have enabled him to avoid
the controversies with Allied leaders which compelled him to surrender
much of his original programme in a series of compromises.

It is only fair to Wilson to remember that his original plan, in
November, was to secure such a preliminary treaty, which was to embody
merely the general lines of a territorial settlement and the disarmament
of the enemy. The delays which postponed the treaty were not entirely his
fault. Arriving in France on the 13th of December, he expected that the
Conference would convene on the seventeenth, the date originally set. But
days passed and neither the French nor the British took steps toward the
opening of negotiations. They had not even appointed their delegates.
Lloyd George sent messages of welcome from across the Channel, but
explained that domestic affairs detained him in England. Conscious of the
struggle that was likely to arise between the "practical" aspirations of
Europe and the "idealism" of America, the Allied leaders evidently were
in no hurry to give to the exponent of the ideal the advantage of the
popular support that he enjoyed during the early days following his
arrival upon European shores. Hence it was not until the second week of
January that the delegations began to assemble at Paris. In the interval
Wilson had become involved in various detailed problems and he had lost
the opportunity, if indeed it ever offered, to demand immediate agreement
on preliminary terms of peace.

Notwithstanding the delays, the President secured an early triumph in the
matter which he had closest at heart, namely, a League of Nations and its
incorporation in the Treaty. Clemenceau had taken issue publicly with
Wilson. When the President, in the course of his English speeches,
affirmed that this was the first necessity of a world which had seen the
system of alliances fail too often, the French Premier replied in the
Chamber of Deputies, on the 29th of December, that for his part he held
to the old principle of alliances which had saved France in the past and
must save her in the future, and that his sense of the practical would
not be affected by the "_noble candeur_" of President Wilson. The polite
sneer that underlay the latter phrase aroused the wrath of the more
radical deputies, but the Chamber gave Clemenceau an overwhelming vote of
confidence as he thus threw down the gage. In the meantime Lloyd George
had shown himself apparently indifferent to the League and much more
interested in what were beginning to be called the "practical issues."

With the opening of the Conference, however, it soon became apparent that
Wilson had secured the support of the British delegates. It is possible
that a trade had been tacitly consummated. Certain it is that the
"freedom of the seas," which the British delegates were determined should
not enter into the issues of the Peace Conference and which had
threatened to make the chief difficulty between British and Americans,
was never openly discussed. Had Wilson decided to drop or postpone this
most indefinite of his Fourteen Points, on the understanding that the
British would give their support to the League? At all events, the League
of Nations was given an important place on the programme of
deliberations, and at the second of the plenary sessions of the
Conference, held on January 25, 1919, the principle of a League was
approved without a dissentient voice; it was also decided that the
League should be made an integral part of the Treaty. Wilson, in addition
to acquiring British support had won that of the Italians, to whom he had
promised his aid in securing the Brenner frontier in the Tyrol.
Clemenceau, according to an American delegate, "had climbed on the
band-wagon."

The President's victory was emphasized when he also won the Europeans and
the representatives of the British overseas Dominions to acceptance of
the principle of "mandatories," according to which the German colonies
were not to be distributed as spoils amongst the victors, but to become
the property of the League and to be administered by the mandatory
states, not for their own benefit but for that of the colonies. The
victory was not complete, since Wilson's first intention had been that
the mandatory states should not be the great powers, but such states as
Holland or one of the Scandinavian nations. He was compelled to admit the
right of the British and French to take over the colonies as mandatories.
Even so, the struggle over the issue was intense, Premier Hughes of
Australia leading the demand that the German colonies should be given
outright to the Allies and the British self-governing Dominions. Again
the support of Lloyd George brought success to the American policy.

In order to assure his victory in the foundation of a League of Nations,
it was necessary that before returning home Wilson should see some
definite scheme elaborated. Until the 14th of February he labored with
the special committee appointed to draft a specific plan, which included
much of the best political talent of the world: Lord Robert Cecil,
General Smuts, Venizelos, Léon Bourgeois. In order to avoid the criticism
that consideration of a League was delaying the preparation of peace
terms, the commission met in the evenings so as not to interrupt the
regular meetings of the Council of Ten. It was a _tour de force_, this
elaboration of a charter for the new international order, in less than
three weeks. At times the task seemed hopeless as one deadlock after
another developed. Wilson, who presided over the commission, lacked the
skill and courage displayed by Clemenceau in his conduct of the plenary
sessions, and proved unable to prevent fruitless discussion; possibly he
feared lest he be regarded as autocratic in pushing his pet plan. At all
events precious moments were dissipated in long speeches, and general
principles threatened to be lost in a maze of details. With but two days
left before the plenary session of the Conference and the date set for
Wilson's sailing, the commission had approved only six of the
twenty-seven articles of the Covenant. Fortune intervened. The presence
of Wilson was demanded at the Council of Ten and his place as chairman
was taken by Lord Robert Cecil. The latter showed himself effective. Ably
seconded by Colonel House, he passed over all details and pushed the
final stages of the report through at top speed; on the 14th of February
the Covenant of the League was completed. It was sanctioned by the
plenary session of the Conference that afternoon, and in the evening
Wilson left for America with the document in his pocket. Doubtless it
seemed to him that the major portion of his task had been accomplished.

The mechanism of the League thus proposed is said to have been largely
evolved by Smuts and Cecil, but it coincided roughly with the ideas that
Wilson had already conceived. Much of the language of the Covenant is
Wilson's; its form was mainly determined by the British and American
legal experts, C. J. B. Hurst and D. H. Miller. It provided for an
executive council representing nine powers, and a deliberative assembly
of all the members of the League. The Council must meet annually and
take under advisement any matters threatening to disturb international
peace. Its recommendations must be unanimous. The Assembly was entirely
without executive power. The members of the League were to agree not to
make war without first submitting the matter under dispute to arbitration
or to the consideration of the Council. Failure to abide by this
agreement would constitute an act of war against the League, which upon
recommendation of the Council, might boycott the offending state
economically or exercise military force against it. The Covenant declared
it "to be the friendly right of each Member of the League to bring to the
attention of the Assembly or of the Council any circumstance whatever
affecting international relations which threatens to disturb
international peace or the good understanding between nations upon which
peace depends." The members of the League, furthermore, undertook "to
respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial
integrity and existing independence of all members of the League. In case
of any such aggression the Council shall advise upon the means by which
this obligation shall be fulfilled" (Article X). These two provisions
embodied the particular contributions of Wilson to the Covenant, who
believed that the capacity of the League to preserve justice and peace
depended chiefly upon them. The Covenant also provided in some measure
for military and naval disarmament by giving to the Council the right to
recommend the size of the force to be maintained by each member of the
League, and it attacked secret diplomacy by abrogating previous
obligations inconsistent with the Covenant and by providing that every
future treaty must be registered and published.

If the President expected to be hailed at home as conquering hero, he was
destined to bitter disappointment. He must now pay the price for those
tactical mistakes which had aroused opinion against him in the previous
autumn. The elements which he had antagonized by his war-policies, by his
demand for a Democratic Congress, by his failure to coöperate with the
Senate in the formulation of American policy and in the appointment of
the Peace Commission, and which had opposed his departure in person to
Paris--all those elements now had their chance. Having won a difficult
victory over reactionary forces in Europe, Wilson was now compelled to
begin the struggle over again at home. And whereas at Paris he had
displayed some skill in negotiation and an attitude of conciliation even
when firm in his principles, upon his return he adopted a tone which
showed that he had failed to gauge the temper of the people. He probably
had behind him the majority of the independent thinkers, even many who
disliked him personally but who appreciated the importance and the value
of the task he was trying to carry through. The mass of the people,
however, understood little of what was going on at Paris. The situation
abroad was complex and it had not been clarified adequately by the press.
Opinion needed to be educated. It wanted to know why a League was
necessary and whether its elaboration was postponing peace and the return
of the doughboys. Why must the League be incorporated in the Treaty? And
did the League put the United States at the mercy of European politicians
and would it involve our country in a series of European wars in which we
had no interest?

What followed must be counted as little less than a tragedy. The man of
academic antecedents with masterly powers of exposition, who had voiced
popular thought during the years of the war so admirably, now failed
completely as an educator of opinion. The President might have shown that
the League Covenant, instead of postponing peace, was really essential to
a settlement, since it was to facilitate solutions of various territorial
problems which might otherwise hold the Conference in debate for months.
He could have demonstrated with a dramatic vigor which the facts made
possible, the anarchical condition of Europe and the need for some sort of
international system of coöperation if a new cataclysm was to be avoided,
and he might have pictured the inevitable repercussive effect of such a
cataclysm upon America. He might have shown that in order to give effect
to the terms of the Treaty, it was necessary that the League Covenant
should be included within it. He could have emphasized the fact that the
Covenant took from Congress no constitutional powers, that the Council of
the League, on which the United States was represented, must be unanimous
before taking action, and then could only make recommendations. But the
President failed to explain the situation in terms comprehensible to the
average man. However adequate his addresses seemed to those who understood
the situation abroad, they left the American public cold. His final speech
in the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City was especially
unfortunate, for his statement that he would bring back the Treaty and the
League so intertwined that no one could separate them sounded like a
threat. At the moment when he needed the most enthusiastic support to curb
the opposition of the Senate, he alienated thousands and lost the chance
to convince tens of thousands.

These developments did not pass unnoticed in Europe. Clemenceau and Lloyd
George had yielded to Wilson during the first weeks of the Conference
because they could not afford to separate their fortunes from the United
States, upon whom they depended for economic support, and because an open
break with Wilson would weaken their own position with liberals in France
and England. But now it became apparent to them that Wilson's position at
home was so unstable that they might be justified in adopting a stronger
tone. Each of them could point to the tangible evidence of victorious
elections and votes of confidence. President Wilson could not. The party
in the Senate which, after the 4th of March, would hold the majority,
expressly repudiated Wilson's policy. When the President returned to
Paris, on the 14th of March, he found a different atmosphere. The League
was no longer the central topic of discussion. Concrete questions were
uppermost. How much should Germany pay? What territory should be taken
from her? How was the Kaiser to be punished? Wilson had been given the
satisfaction of securing approval for the principle of the League. Now he
must permit the Conference to satisfy the practical aspirations of
France, England, and Italy.

It is a tribute to the personality of Wilson that by his presence at this
critical juncture, when the attitude of the Allies differed but slightly,
if at all, from that of the powers at the Congress of Vienna, he was able
to bring back something of the spirit of justice which had been so
frequently and loudly declaimed before the armistice, and to repress at
least in some degree the excessive claims which demanded satisfaction in
the treaties. The plans which, during his absence, had been evolved for
the separation of the Covenant from the Treaty and for its postponement,
and which had received the hearty support of several French and British
diplomats, were quickly dropped. Wilson was able to announce without
contradiction, that the Covenant would be an integral part of the Treaty,
as decided on the 25th of January. Far more difficult was the situation
that resulted from French and British plans for indemnities from Germany,
and from the French territorial claims on the Rhine. In each of these
matters Wilson could secure nothing better than a compromise.

From the day when peace dawned upon Europe, the question that had touched
Allied peoples most closely was, How much will Germany pay? It was not so
much the shout of the brutal victor greedy for loot, as the involuntary
cry of nations which had seen their homes and factories pulverized, their
ships sunk, the flower of their youth killed and maimed, and which now
faced years of crushing taxation. They had carried the load of war
gallantly and they would enter the struggle for recuperation courageously.
But they would not endure that the enemy, which had forced these miseries
upon them, should not make good the material damage that had been done.
What was the meaning of the word justice, if the innocent victors were to
emerge from the war with keener sufferings and more gloomy future than the
guilty defeated? Another question stirred the mind of every Frenchman. For
generations the eastern frontier of France had lain open to the invasion
of the Teuton hordes. The memory of Prussian brutality in 1814 had been
kept alive in every school; the horrors of 1870 had been told and retold
by participants and eye-witnesses; and the world had seen the German
crimes of 1914. From all France the cry went up, How long? It would be the
most criminal stupidity if advantage were not taken of the momentary
helplessness of the inevitable enemy in order to make that vulnerable
frontier secure. This was not the end. Some day the struggle would be
renewed. Already, within two months of the armistice, the French General
Staff were considering mobilization plans for the next war. France must be
made safe while she had the chance.

These feelings had such a hold on the people that the statesmen of Europe
would have been over-thrown on the day they forgot them. Popular
sentiment was reënforced by practical considerations less justifiable.
Crushing indemnities would not merely ease the load of Allied taxation
and furnish capital for rapid commercial development; they would also
remove Germany as an economic competitor. French control of all territory
west of the Rhine would not only assure France against the danger of
another German invasion, but would also provide her capitalists with a
preponderating economic advantage in regions by no means French in
character. Such selfish interests the Americans strove to set aside,
although they never forgot their desire to secure as complete justice
for the Allies as seemed compatible with a stable and tranquil
settlement.

In the matter of indemnities, or reparations as they came to be called,
the experts of the various powers soon established the fact that Germany
would be unable to pay the total bill of reparation, even at the most
conservative reckoning. There was a long discussion as to whether or not
the costs of war, aside from material damage done, that had been incurred
by the Allies, should be included in the amount that Germany was to pay.
It was finally determined, in accordance with the arguments of the
American financial delegates who were warmly supported by President
Wilson, that such war costs should be excluded. On the other hand it was
agreed that pensions might properly be made part of Germany's reparation
bill. The two items of damages and pensions were calculated by the
American experts as amounting to a total figure of not less than
$30,000,000,000 present capital sum, which Germany ought to pay.

The next step was to determine how much Germany could be made to pay. By
drafting too severe terms German trade might be destroyed completely and
Germany left without the economic capacity to make the money that was to
pay the bill. It was obvious to careful students that the total amount
which she could turn over to the Allies could not be much more than the
excess of her exports over imports; and that even if payments were
extended over twenty or thirty years their value for purposes of
reparation would probably not much exceed twenty-five billion dollars.
Lloyd George in his election pledges had promised that the complete
reparations account would be settled by the enemy; neither he nor
Clemenceau dared to confess that the sum which could be exacted from
Germany would fall far below their early promises. The British experts,
Sumner and Cunliffe, continued to encourage Lloyd George in his belief
that Germany could afford to pay something in the neighborhood of a
hundred billion dollars, and the French Finance Minister, Klotz, was
equally optimistic. At first, accordingly, Allied demands on Germany
seemed likely to be fantastic.

The Americans, on the other hand, were infinitely more conservative in
their estimates of what Germany could pay. Even after certain Allied
experts, including Montagu and Loucheur, affirmed the necessity of scaling
down the suggested sum of reparations, the difference between the
American proposals and those of the Allies was serious.[13] Political
considerations, however, interposed, and preventing the settling of a
definite total sum which Germany must pay. Neither Lloyd George nor
Clemenceau dared to go to their constituents with the truth, namely that
Germany could not possibly pay the enormous indemnities which the
politicians had led the people to expect. (Lloyd George, for example, had
stated the sum that Germany must pay at about $120,000,000,000.) Both the
chiefs of state asserted that they were almost certain to be turned out of
office as a result, with consequent confusion in the Peace Conference, and
a prolongation of the crisis. The only escape seemed to be in a
postponement of the problem by not naming any definite sum which Germany
must pay, but requiring her to acknowledge full liability. The
disadvantages of this method were apparent to the President and his
financial advisers, for it was clear that the economic stability of the
world could not be restored until the world knew how much Germany was
going to pay.

[Footnote 13: At first the French and British refused to name any
specific sum that might be collected from Germany, requesting the
Americans to submit estimates. The latter named $5,000,000,000 as
representing a sum that might be collected prior to May 1, 1921, and
thereafter a capital sum as high as $25,000,000,000, always provided that
the other clauses in the treaty did not too greatly drain Germany's
resources. After some weeks of discussion the French experts stated that
if the figures could be revised up to $40,000,000,000 they would
recommend them to their chiefs. The British refused to accept a figure
below $47,000,000,000.]

Equally difficult was the problem of the French frontier. The return of
Alsace-Lorraine to France was unanimously approved. The French claimed in
addition, the districts of the Saar, with their valuable coal-fields, a
portion of which had been left to France after the first abdication of
Napoleon but annexed to Prussia after his defeat at Waterloo; and they
contended that if the German territories west of the Rhine were not to be
annexed to France, they must at least be separated from Germany, which
had secured a threatening military position mainly through their
possession. American experts had felt inclined to grant a part of the
Saar region to France as compensation for the wanton destruction of
French mines at Lens and Valenciennes by the Germans; but both Wilson and
Lloyd George were opposed to absolute annexation of the district which
the French demanded, including, as it did, more than six hundred thousand
Germans and no French. Wilson was definitely hostile to any attempt to
separate from the Fatherland such purely German territory as that on the
left bank of the Rhine. The Allies, as well as himself, had given
assurances that they did not aim at the dismemberment of Germany, and it
was on the basis of such assurances that the Germans had asked for an
armistice. Wilson admitted that from the point of view of military
strategy the argument of Foch was unanswerable, under the old conditions;
but he insisted that the League of Nations would obviate the necessity of
the strategic protection asked for.

The struggle over these issues nearly broke the back of the Conference.
If Clemenceau had yielded in January when the League was demanded by
Wilson, it was with the mental reservation that when the "practical"
issues came up, the victory should be his. The French press were not slow
to give support to their Government, and within a short time the
President, so recently a popular idol, found himself anathematized as a
pro-German and the sole obstacle to a speedy and satisfactory peace. The
more noisy section of the British press followed suit. Liberals were
silenced and American idealism was cursed as meddlesome myopia. For some
days the deadlock appeared interminable and likely to become fatal. In a
contest of obstinacy even Wilson could be matched by Clemenceau. The
increasing bitterness of French attacks upon the Americans began to tell
upon Wilson; for the first time his physical strength seemed likely to
collapse under the strain. Matters were brought to a head by a bold
stroke, on the 7th of April, when Wilson ordered the _George Washington_
to sail for Brest. The inference was plain: the President would leave the
Conference unless the Allies abated their claims.

The week of strain was followed by one of adjustment. Fearing an open
break with America, Allied leaders showed themselves anxious to find a
compromise, and Wilson himself was willing to meet them part way, since
he realized that without France and England his new international system
could never operate. Colonel House found opportunity for his tested skill
and common sense as a mediator, and he was assisted by Tardieu, who
proved himself to be fertile in suggestions for a practical middle
course. As in the case of all compromises, the solutions satisfied no one
completely. But clearly some sort of treaty had to be framed, if the
world were to resume normal life and if the spread of social revolution
were to be checked. At least the compromises had the virtue of winning
unanimity, without which Europe could not be saved.

The indemnity problem was settled, at least for the moment, by postponing
a final definite statement of the total amount that Germany must pay. It
was decided that the sum of five billion dollars (twenty billion gold
marks), in cash or kind, should be demanded from Germany as an initial
payment, to be made before May 1, 1921. Certain abatements were to be
permitted the Germans, since this sum was to include the expenses of the
army of occupation, which were reckoned as in the neighborhood of a
billion dollars; and supplies of food and raw materials, which Germany
might need to purchase, could be paid for out of that sum. In the second
place, Germany was required to deliver interest-bearing bonds to a further
amount of ten billions; and, if the initial payment of cash fell short of
five billions by reason of permitted deductions, the amount of bonds was
to be so increased as to bring the total payments in cash, kind, or bonds,
up to fifteen billions by May 1, 1921. If a Reparations Commission, the
decisions of which Germany must agree to accept, should be satisfied that
more yet could be paid, a third issue of bonds, amounting to a further ten
billions might be exacted. Even this total of twenty-five billions was not
to be regarded as final, if Germany's capacity to pay more were determined
by the Reparations Commission. Germany was required to acknowledge full
liability, and the total sum which she might theoretically have to pay was
reckoned by a British expert as between thirty-two and forty-four
billions. The Reparations Commission, however, was given the power to
recommend abatements as well as increased payments; upon the wisdom of its
members the practical application of the treaty would obviously
depend.[14]

[Footnote 14: The proposal of a permanent commission for handling the
whole matter of reparations was made first by an American financial
adviser, John Foster Dulles. The idea was accepted by Lloyd George and
Clemenceau as an efficacious method of enabling them to postpone the
decision of a definite sum to be paid by Germany until the political
situation in France and Great Britain should be more favorable.]

In truth the reparations clauses of the treaty, which compelled Germany
to hand over what was practically a blank check to the Allies,
represented no victory for Wilson. But he had at least prevented the
imposition of the crushing indemnities that had been proposed, and which
must have been followed by political and economic consequences hardly
short of disastrous. As for the eastern frontier of France, it was agreed
that the right of property in the coal mines of the Saar district should
be given outright to France, as partial but immediate compensation for
the damage done at Lens and elsewhere. But the district itself was to be
placed under the League of Nations and a plebiscite at the end of fifteen
years was to determine its final destiny. The territory on the left bank
of the Rhine was left to Germany, but it was to be demilitarized
entirely, a condition which also applied to a zone fifty kilometers broad
to the east of the Rhine. The bridgeheads on the Rhine, as well as the
German districts to the west of the river, were to be occupied for
periods extending from five to fifteen years, in order to ensure the
execution of the treaty by the Germans. The French press contended that
Clemenceau had made over-great concessions, protesting that the League
would be utterly unable to protect France against sudden attack,
especially since the Covenant had not provided for a general military
force. In return for these concessions by Clemenceau, Wilson gave an
extraordinary _quid pro quo_. He who had declaimed vigorously against all
special alliances now agreed that until the League was capable of
offering to France the protection she asked, there should be a separate
treaty between France, Great Britain, and the United States, according to
which the two latter powers should promise to come to the defense of
France in case of sudden and unprovoked attack by Germany. The treaty
did not, according to Wilson, constitute a definite alliance but merely
an "undertaking," but it laid him open to the charge of serious
inconsistency.

Thus was passed, by means of compromise, the most serious crisis of the
Conference. In France Wilson never recovered the popularity which he then
lost by his opposition to French demands. In many quarters of Great
Britain and the United States, on the other hand, he was attacked by
liberals for having surrendered to the forces of reaction. In the
Conference, however, he had maintained his prestige, and most moderates
who understood the situation felt that he had done as well as or better
than could be expected. He had by no means had his way in the matter of
reparations or frontiers, but he had gone far towards a vindication of
his principles by avoiding a defeat under circumstances where the odds
were against him. More he probably could not have obtained and no other
American at that time could have secured so much. The sole alternative
would have been for the American delegates to withdraw from the
Conference. Such a step might have had the most disastrous consequences.
It was true, or Europe believed it to be true, that the Conference
represented for the moment the single rallying-point of the elements of
social order on the Continent. The withdrawal of the Americans would have
shattered its waning prestige, discouraged liberals in every country, and
perhaps have led to its dissolution. Nearly every one in Paris was
convinced that the break-up of the Conference would be the signal for
widespread communistic revolt throughout central Europe. By his broad
concessions President Wilson had sacrificed some of his principles, but
he had held the Conference together, the supreme importance of which
seemed at the time difficult to over-emphasize. Having weathered this
crisis the Conference could now meet the storms that were to arise from
the demands of the Italians and the Japanese.

Wilson himself was to be encouraged in the midst of those difficulties by
the triumph accorded him on the 28th of April. On that day the plenary
session of the Conference adopted without a word of dissent the revised
Covenant of the League of Nations, including the amendment that formally
recognized the validity of the Monroe Doctrine.



CHAPTER XII

THE SETTLEMENT


President Wilson's success in securing approval for the League as the
basis of the Peace Treaty was his greatest triumph at Paris; and it was
accentuated by the acceptance of certain of the amendments that were
demanded in America, while those which the French and Japanese insisted
upon were discarded or postponed. In comparison with this success, he
doubtless regarded his concessions in the matter of reparations and the
special Franco-British-American alliance as mere details. His task,
however, was by no means completed, since Italian and Japanese claims
threatened to bring on crises of almost equal danger.

From the early days of the Conference there had been interested
speculation in the corridors of the Quai d'Orsay as to whether the
promises made to Italy by the Entente Powers in 1915, which were
incorporated in the secret Treaty of London, would be carried into effect
by the final peace settlement. That treaty had been conceived in the
spirit of old-time diplomacy and had assigned to Italy districts which
disinterested experts declared could not be hers except upon the principle
of the spoils to the strong. Much of the territories promised in the
Tyrol, along the Julian Alps, and on the Adriatic coast was inhabited
entirely by non-Italians, whose political and economic fortunes were bound
up with states other than Italy; justice and wisdom alike seemed to
dictate a refusal of Italian claims. The annexation of such districts by
Italy, the experts agreed, would contravene directly the right of
self-determination and might lead to serious difficulties in the future.
Would the President sanction the application of treaties consummated
without the knowledge of the United States and in defiance of the
principles upon which he had declared that peace must be made? The
application of the Treaty of London, furthermore, would be at the expense,
chiefly, of the Jugoslavs, that is, a small nation. The Allies, as well as
Wilson, had declared that the war had been waged and that the peace must
be drafted in defense of the rights of smaller nationalities. Justice for
the weak as for the strong was the basis of the new international order
which Wilson was striving to inaugurate.

Had the struggle been simply over the validity of the Treaty of London,
Wilson's position would have been difficult enough, for the Premiers of
France and Great Britain had declared that they could do nothing else but
honor the pledges given in 1915. But Italian opinion had been steadily
aroused by a chauvinist press campaign to demand not merely the
application of the Treaty of London but the annexation of Fiume, which
the treaty assigned to the Jugoslavs. To this demand both the British and
French were opposed, although they permitted Wilson to assume the burden
of denying Italian claims to Fiume. As time went on, Orlando and Sonnino
pressed for a decision, even threatening that unless their demands were
satisfied, Italy would have nothing to do with the German treaty.
Finally, on the 23d of April, the crisis came to a head. On that day the
President published a statement setting forth the American position,
which he felt had been entirely misrepresented by a propagandist press.
Emphasizing the fact that Italian claims were inconsistent with the
principles upon which all the Allies had agreed, as necessary to the
future tranquillity of the world, he appealed directly to the Italian
people to join with the United States in the application of those
principles, even at the sacrifice of what seemed their own interest.

The appeal was based upon sound facts. Its statements were approved
publicly by allied experts who knew the situation, and privately by
Clemenceau and Lloyd George. It had been discussed in the Council of Four
and by no means took Orlando by surprise. But it gave Orlando an
opportunity for carrying out his threat of retiring from the Conference.
Insisting that Wilson had appealed to the Italian people over his head and
that they must choose between him and the President, he set forth at once
for Rome, followed by the other Italian commissioners, although the
economic experts remained at Paris. Orlando was playing a difficult game.
He was hailed in Rome as the defender of the sacred rights of Italy, but
in Paris he lacked partners. Both the British and French agreed with
Wilson that Italy ought not to have Fiume. They secretly regretted the
promises of the London Treaty, although they were prepared to keep their
word, and they were by no means inclined to make further concessions in
order to bring Orlando and his colleagues back. After a few days of
hesitation, they decided to go on with the German treaty and to warn the
Italians that, if they persisted in absenting themselves from the
Conference, their withdrawal would be regarded as a breach of the Treaty
of London which stipulated a common peace with the enemy. They also
decided that Italy could not expect to share in German reparations if her
delegates were not present to sign the German treaty. Such arguments could
not fail to weigh heavily with the Italian delegates, even at the moment
when the Italian press and people were giving them enthusiastic
encouragement to persist in their uncompromising course. On the 5th of May
Orlando left Rome to resume his place in the Peace Conference.

In the meantime the Japanese had taken advantage of the embarrassment
caused by the Italian withdrawal, to put forward their special claims in
the Far East. During the early days of the Conference they had played a
cautious game, as we have seen, attending meetings but taking no decided
stand upon European matters. They had even refused to press to the limit
the amendment to the League Covenant which enunciated their favorite
principle of the equality of races. But now they insisted that on one
point, at least, Japanese claims must be listened to; their right of
inheritance to the German lease of Kiau-Chau and economic privileges in
the Shantung peninsula must receive recognition. This claim had long been
approved secretly by the British and French; it had even been accepted by
the Chinese at the time when Japan had forced the twenty-one demands upon
her. It was disapproved, however, by the American experts in Paris, and
Wilson argued strongly for more generous treatment of China. His
strategic position, one must admit, was not nearly so strong as in the
Fiume controversy. In the latter he was supported, at least covertly, by
France and England, whose treaty with Italy explicitly denied her claim
to Fiume. The Japanese threat of withdrawal from the Conference, if their
claims were not satisfied, carried more real danger with it than that of
the Italians; if the Japanese delegates actually departed making the
second of the big five to go, the risk of a complete débâcle was by no
means slight. Even assuming that justice demanded as strong a stand for
the Chinese as Wilson had taken for the Jugoslavs, the practical
importance of the Shantung question in Europe was of much less
significance. The eyes of every small nation of Europe were upon Fiume,
which was regarded as the touchstone of Allied professions of justice. If
the Allied leaders permitted Italy to take Fiume, the small nations would
scoff at all further professions of idealism; they would take no further
interest either in the Conference or its League. Whereas, on the other
hand, the small nationalities of Europe knew and cared little about the
justice of Chinese pleas.

Such considerations may have been in the mind of the President when he
decided to yield to Japan. The decision throws interesting light upon his
character; he is less the obstinate doctrinaire, more the practical
politician than has sometimes been supposed. The pure idealist would have
remained consistent in the crisis, refused to do an injustice in the Far
East as he had refused in the settlement of the Adriatic, and would have
taken the risk of breaking up the Conference and destroying all chance of
the League of Nations. Instead, Wilson yielded to practical considerations
of the moment. The best that he could secure was the promise of the
Japanese to retire from the peninsula, a promise the fulfillment of which
obviously depended upon the outcome of the struggle between liberal and
conservative forces in Japan, and which accordingly remained uncertain. He
was willing to do what he admitted was an injustice, in order to assure
what seemed to him the larger and the more certain justice that would
follow the establishment of the League of Nations.

The settlement of the Shantung problem removed the last great difficulty
in completing the treaty with Germany, and on the 7th of May the German
delegates appeared to receive it. Nearly eight weeks of uncertainty
followed, taken up with the study of German protests, the construction of
the treaty with Austria, and finally the last crisis that preceded the
signature. The terms were drastic and the German Government, in the
persons of Scheidemann, the Premier, and Brockdorff-Rantzau, Minister for
Foreign Affairs, seemed determined that, helpless as she was, Germany
should not accept them without radical modifications. Their protests
touched chiefly upon the economic clauses and reparations, the solution of
the Saar problem, the cession of so much German territory to Poland, and
the exclusion of Germany from the League of Nations. Ample opportunity was
given their delegates to formulate protests, which, although they rarely
introduced new facts or arguments that had not been discussed, were
carefully studied by Allied experts. Week after week passed. In certain
quarters among the Allies appeared a tendency to make decided concessions
in order to win the consent of the German delegates. No one wanted to
carry out an invasion of the defeated country, and there was no guarantee
that a military invasion would secure acquiescence. Germany's strength was
in sitting still, and she might thus indefinitely postpone the peace. Was
it not the wise course, one heard whispered in Paris, to sugar the
bitterness of the treaty and thus win Germany's immediate signature?

Early in June, Lloyd George, evidently under pressure from his Cabinet,
declared himself for a decided "softening" of the peace terms in order to
secure the acceptance of the enemy. What would Wilson do? He had been
anathematized at home and abroad as pro-German and desirous of saving
Germany from the consequences of her misdeeds; here was his chance. Would
he join with the British in tearing up this treaty, which after four
months of concentrated effort had just been completed, in order to secure
the soft peace that he was supposed to advocate? His attitude in this
contingency showed his ability to preserve an even balance. In the
meeting of the American delegation that was called to consider the
British proposal, he pronounced himself as strongly in favor of any
changes that would ensure more complete justice. If the British and
French would consent to a definite and moderate sum of reparations (a
consent which he knew was out of the question) he would gladly agree. But
he would not agree to any concessions to Germany that were not based upon
justice, but merely upon the desire to secure her signature. He was not
in favor of any softening which would mar the justice of the settlement
as drafted. "We did not come over," he said, "simply to get any sort of
peace treaty signed. We came over to do justice. I believe, even, that a
hard peace is a good thing for Germany herself, in order that she may
know what an unjust war means. We must not forget what our soldiers
fought for, even if it means that we may have to fight again." Wilson's
stand for the treaty as drafted proved decisive. Certain modifications in
details were made, but the hasty and unwise enthusiasm of Lloyd George
for scrapping entire sections was not approved. The Conference could
hardly have survived wholesale concessions to Germany: to prolong the
crisis would have been a disastrous confession of incompetence. For what
confidence could have been placed in statesmen who were so patently
unable to make and keep their minds?

Still the German Government held firm and refused to sign. Foch inspected
the Allied troops on the Rhine and Pershing renounced his trip to
England, in order to be ready for the invasion that had been ordered if
the time limit elapsed without signature. Only at the last moment did the
courage of the Germans fail. A change of ministry brought into power men
who were willing to accept the inevitable humiliation. On the 20th of
June, the guns and sirens of Paris announced Germany's acceptance of the
peace terms and their promise to sign, and, surprising fact, a vast crowd
gathered on the Place de la Concorde to cheer Wilson; despite his loss of
popularity and the antagonism which he had aroused by his opposition to
national aspirations of one sort or another, he was still the man whose
name stood as symbol for peace.

Eight days later in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, where forty-eight
years before had been born the German Empire, the delegates of the Allied
states gathered to celebrate the obsequies of that Empire. It was no
peace of reconciliation, this treaty between the new German Republic and
the victorious Allies. The hatred and distrust inspired by five years of
war were not so soon to be liquidated. As the German delegates, awkward
and rather defiant in their long black frock coats, marched to the table
to affix their signatures, they were obviously, in the eyes of the Allied
delegates and the hundreds of spectators, always "the enemy." The place
of the Chinese at the treaty table was empty; for them it was no peace of
justice that gave Shantung to the Japanese, and they would not sign. The
South African delegate, General Smuts, could not sign without explaining
the balance of considerations which led him to sanction an international
document containing so many flaws.

It was not, indeed, the complete peace of justice which Wilson had
promised and which, at times, he has since implied he believed it to be.
Belgians complained that they had not been given the left bank of the
Scheldt; Frenchmen were incensed because their frontier had not been
protected; Italians were embittered by the refusal to approve their
claims on the Adriatic; radical leaders, the world over, were frank in
their expression of disappointment at the failure to inaugurate a new
social order. The acquiescence in Japanese demands for Kiau-Chau was
clearly dictated by expediency rather than by justice. Austria, reduced
in size and bereft of material resources, was cut off from the sea and
refused the possibility of joining with Germany. The nationalistic
ambitions of the Rumanians, of the Jugoslavs, of the Czechoslovaks, and
of the Poles were aroused to such an extent that conflicts could hardly
be avoided. Hungary, deprived of the rim of subject nationalities, looked
forward to the first opportunity of reclaiming her sovereignty over them.
The Ruthenians complained of Polish domination. Further to the east lay
the great unsettled problem of Russia.

But the most obvious flaws in the treaty are to be found in the economic
clauses. It was a mistake to compel Germany to sign a blank check in the
matter of reparations. Germany and the world needed to know the exact
amount that was to be paid, in order that international commerce might be
set upon a stable basis. The extent of control granted to the Allies over
German economic life was unwise and unfair.

Complete justice certainly was not achieved by President Wilson at Paris,
and it may be questioned whether all the decisions can be regarded even
as expedient. The spirit of the Fourteen Points, as commonly interpreted,
had not governed the minds of those who sat at the council table. The
methods adopted by the Council of Ten and the Council of Four were by no
means those to which the world looked forward when it hailed the ideal
expressed in the phrase, "Open covenants openly arrived at." The "freedom
of the seas," if it meant the disappearance of the peculiar position held
by Great Britain on the seas, was never seriously debated, and Wilson
himself, in an interview given to the London _Times_, sanctioned
"Britain's peculiar position as an island empire." Adequate guarantees
for the reduction of armaments were certainly not taken at Paris; all
that was definitely stipulated was the disarmament of the enemy, a step
by no means in consonance with the President's earlier policy which aimed
at universal disarmament. An "absolutely impartial adjustment of all
colonial claims" was hardly carried out by granting the German colonies
to the great powers, even as mandatories of the League of Nations.

Nevertheless the future historian will probably hold that the Peace
Conference, with all its selfish interests and mistakes, carried into
effect an amazingly large part of President Wilson's programme, when all
the difficulties of his position are duly weighed. The territorial
settlements, on the whole, translated into fact the demands laid down by
the more special of Wilson's Fourteen Points. France, Belgium, and the
other invaded countries were, of course, evacuated and their restoration
promised; Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France and the wrong of 1871
thus righted; an independent Poland was recognized and given the assured
access to the sea that Wilson had insisted upon; the subject nationalities
of Austria-Hungary received not merely autonomy but independence. Even as
regards the larger principles enunciated in the Fourteen Points, it may at
least be argued that President Wilson secured more than he lost. Open
diplomacy in the sense of conducting international negotiations in an open
forum was not the method of the Peace Conference; and it may not be
possible or even desirable. The article in the Covenant, however, which
insists upon the public registration of all treaties before their validity
is recognized, goes far towards a fulfillment of the President's pledge of
open covenants, particularly if his original meaning is liberally
interpreted. Similarly the Covenant makes provision for the reduction of
armaments. If the treaty did not go far in assuring the "removal of
economic barriers," at all events the Conference did much to provide for
an international control of traffic which would ensure to all European
countries, so far as possible, equal facilities for forwarding their
goods.

Apart from the Fourteen Points Wilson had emphasized two other principles
as necessary to a just and permanent peace. The first of these was that
the enemy should be treated with a fairness equal to that accorded to the
Allies; the second was the principle that peoples should have the right
to choose the government by which they were to be ruled--the principle of
self-determination. Neither of these principles received full recognition
in the peace settlement. Yet their spirit was infused more completely
throughout the settlement than would have been the case had not Wilson
been at Paris, and to that extent the just and lasting qualities of the
peace were enhanced. In the matter of German reparations the question of
justice was not the point at issue; the damage committed by Germany
surpassed in value anything that the Allies could exact from her. As to
frontiers, the unbiased student will probably admit that full justice was
done Germany when the aspirations of France for annexation of the Saar
district and the provinces on the left bank of the Rhine were
disappointed; it was the barest justice to France, on the other hand,
that she should receive the coal mines of the former district and that
the latter should be demilitarized. In the question of Danzig, and the
Polish corridor to the sea, it was only fair to Poland that she receive
the adequate outlet which was necessary to her economic life and which
had been promised her, even if it meant the annexation of large German
populations, many of which had been artificially brought in as colonists
by the Berlin Government; and in setting up a free city of Danzig, the
Conference broke with the practices of old style diplomacy and paid a
tribute to the rights of peoples as against expediency. The same may be
said of the decision to provide for plebiscites in East Prussia and in
upper Silesia. On the other hand, the refusal to permit the incorporation
of the new, lesser Austria within Germany was at once unjust and
unwise--a concession to the most shortsighted of old-style diplomatic
principles.

In the reorganization of the former Hapsburg territories, Wilsonian
principles were always in the minds of the delegates, although in a few
cases they were honored more in the breach than in the observance. Wilson
himself surrendered to Italy extensive territories in the Tyrol south of
the Brenner which, if he had followed his own professions, would have been
left to Austria. A large Jugoslav population on the Julian Alps and in
Istria was placed under Italian rule. The new Czechoslovak state includes
millions of Germans and Magyars. The boundaries of Rumania were extended
to include many non-Rumanian peoples. Bulgars were sacrificed to Greeks
and to Serbs. In the settlement of each problem the balance always
inclined a little in favor of the victors. But the injustices committed
were far less extensive than might have been expected, and in most cases
where populations were included under alien rule, the decision was based
less on political considerations than on the practical factors of terrain,
rivers, and railroads which must always be taken into consideration in the
drawing of a frontier. Wherever the issue was clean-cut, as for example
between the selfish nationalism of the Italians in their Adriatic demands
and the claim to mere economic life of the Jugoslavs, the old rule which
granted the spoils to the stronger power was vigorously protested.

Whatever the mistakes of the Conference, Wilson secured that which he
regarded as the point of prime importance, the League of Nations. This, he
believed, would remedy the flaws and eradicate the vices of the treaties.
No settlement, however perfect at the moment, could possibly remain
permanent, in view of the constantly changing conditions. What was
necessary was an elasticity that would permit change as change became
necessary. If the disposition of the Saar basin, for example, proved to be
so unwise or unjust as to cause danger of violence, the League would take
cognizance of the peril and provide a remedy. If the boundaries of eastern
Germany gave undue advantage to the Poles, the League would find ways and
means of rectifying the frontier peacefully. If Hungary or Czechoslovakia
found themselves cut off from sea-ports, the League could hear and act
upon their demands for freedom of transit or unrestricted access to fair
markets. That the League was necessary for such and other purposes was
recognized by many notable economic experts and statesmen besides the
President. Herbert Hoover insisted upon the necessity of a League if the
food problems of central Europe were to be met, and Venizelos remarked
that "without a League of Nations, Europe would face the future with
despair in its heart." Because he had the covenant of such an association
incorporated in the German treaty, Wilson accepted all the mistakes and
injustices of the treaty as minor details and could say of it, doubtless
in all sincerity, "It's a good job." Conscious of victory in the matter
which he had held closest to his heart, the President embarked upon the
_George Washington_ on the 29th of June, the day after the signing of the
treaty, and set forth for home. All that was now needed was the
ratification of the treaty by the Senate.



CHAPTER XIII

THE SENATE AND THE TREATY


Neither President Wilson nor those who had been working with him at Paris
seriously feared that, after securing the point of chief importance to
him at the Conference, he would fail to win support for the League of
Nations and the treaty at home. They recognized, of course, that his
political opponents in the Senate would not acquiesce without a struggle.
The Republicans were now in the majority, and Henry Cabot Lodge, the new
chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, had gone far in his
efforts to undermine Wilson's policy at Paris. He had encouraged the
Italians in their imperialistic designs in the Adriatic and had done his
best to discredit the League of Nations. Former Progressive Senators,
such as Johnson and Borah, who like Lodge made personal hostility to
Wilson the chief plank in their political programme, had declared
vigorously their determination to prevent the entrance of the United
States into a League. The Senators as a whole were not well-informed upon
foreign conditions and Wilson had done nothing to enlighten them. He had
not asked their advice in the formulation of his policy, nor had he
supplied them with the facts that justified the position he had taken.
Naturally their attitude was not likely to be friendly, now that he
returned to request their consent to the treaty, and the approach of a
presidential election was bound to affect the action of all ardent
partisans.

Opposition was also to be expected in the country. There was always the
ancient prejudice against participation in European affairs, which had not
been broken even by the events of the past two years. The people, even
more than the Senate, were ignorant of foreign conditions and failed to
understand the character of the obligations which the nation would assume
under the treaty and the covenant of the League. There was genuine fear
lest the United States should become involved in wars and squabbles in
which it had no material interest, and lest it should surrender its
independence of action to a council of foreign powers. This was
accompanied by the belief that an irresponsible President might commit the
country to an adventurous course of action which could not be controlled
by Congress. The chief opposition to the treaty and covenant, however,
probably resulted from the personal dislike of Wilson. This feeling, which
had always been virulent along the Atlantic coast and in the industrial
centers of the Middle West, had been intensified by the President's
apparent disregard of Congress. More than one man of business argued that
the treaty must be bad because it was Wilson's work and the covenant worst
of all, since it was his pet scheme. One heard daily in the clubs and on
the golf-courses of New England and the Middle Atlantic States the remark:
"I know little about the treaty, but I know Wilson, and I know he must be
wrong."

And yet the game was probably in the President's hands, had he known how
to play it. Divided as it was on the question of personal devotion to
Wilson, the country was a unit in its desire for immediate peace and
normal conditions. Admitting the imperfections of the treaty, it was
probably the best that could be secured in view of the conflicting
interests of the thirty-one signatory powers, and at least it would bring
peace at once. To cast it aside meant long delays and prolongation of the
economic crisis. The covenant of the League might not be entirely
satisfactory, but something must be done to prevent war in the future;
and if this League proved unsatisfactory, it could be amended after
trial. Even the opposing Senators did not believe that they could defeat
the treaty outright. They were warned by Republican financiers, who
understood international economic conditions, that the safety and
prosperity of the world demanded ratification, and that the United States
could not afford to assume an attitude of isolation even if it were
possible. Broad-minded statesmen who were able to dissociate partisan
emotion from intellectual judgment, such as ex-President Taft, agreed
that the treaty should be ratified as promptly as possible. All that
Senator Lodge and his associates really hoped for was to incorporate
reservations which would guarantee the independence of American action
and incidentally make it impossible for the President to claim all the
credit for the peace.

Had the President proved capable of coöperating with the moderate
Republican Senators it would probably have been possible for him to have
saved the fruits of his labor at Paris. An important group honestly
believed that the language of the covenant was ambiguous in certain
respects, particularly as regards the extent of sovereignty sacrificed
by the national government to the League, and the diminution of
congressional powers. This group was anxious to insert reservations
making plain the right of Congress alone to declare war, defining more
exactly the right of the United States to interpret the Monroe Doctrine,
and specifying what was meant by domestic questions that should be exempt
from the cognizance of the League. Had Wilson at once combined with this
group and agreed to the suggested reservations, he would in all
probability have been able to secure the two-thirds vote necessary to
ratification. The country would have been satisfied; the Republicans
might have contended that they had "Americanized" the treaty; and the
reservations would probably have been accepted by the co-signatories. It
would have been humiliating to go back to the Allies asking special
privileges, but Europe needed American assistance too much to fail to
heed these demands. After all America had gained nothing in the way of
territorial advantage from the war and was asking for nothing in the way
of reparations.

It was at this crucial moment that Wilson's peculiar temperamental faults
asserted themselves. Sorely he needed the sane advice of Colonel House,
who would doubtless have found ways of placating the opposition. But that
practical statesman was in London and the President lacked the capacity
to arrange the compromise that House approved.

President Wilson alone either would not or could not negotiate
successfully with the middle group of Republicans. He went so far as to
initiate private conferences with various Senators, a step indicating his
desire to avoid the appearance of the dictatorship of which he was
accused; but his attitude on reservations that altered the meaning of any
portion of the treaty or covenant was unyielding, and he even insisted
that merely interpretative reservations should not be embodied in the
text of the ratifying resolution. The President evidently hoped that the
pressure of public opinion would compel the Senate to yield to the demand
for immediate peace and for guarantees against future war. His appearance
of rigidity, however, played into the hands of the opponents of the
treaty, who dominated the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate.
Senator Lodge, chairman of the committee, adopted a stand which, to the
Administration at least, did not seem to be justified by anything but a
desire to discredit the work of Wilson. He had, in the previous year,
warmly advocated a League of Nations, but in the spring of 1919 he had
given the impression that he would oppose any League for which Wilson
stood sponsor. Thus he had raised objections to the preliminary draft of
the covenant which Wilson brought from Paris in February; but when Wilson
persuaded the Allies to incorporate some of the amendments then demanded
by Republican Senators, he at once found new objections. He did not dare
attack the League as a principle, in view of the uncertainty of public
opinion on the issue; but he obviously rejoiced in the President's
inability to unite the Democrats with the middle-ground Republicans, for
whom Senator McCumber stood as spokesman.

On the 19th of August a conference was held at the White House, in which
the President attempted to explain to the Foreign Relations Committee
doubtful points and to give the reasons for various aspects of the
settlement. A careful study of the stenographic report indicates that his
answers to the questions of the Republican Senators were frank, and that
he was endeavoring to remove the unfortunate effects of his former
distant attitude. His manner, however, had in it something of the
schoolmaster, and the conference was fruitless. Problems which had been
studied for months by experts of all the Powers, and to the solution of
which had been devoted long weeks of intelligent discussion, were now
passed upon superficially by men whose ignorance of foreign questions was
only too evident, and who barely concealed their determination to nullify
everything approved by the President. Hence, when the report of the
committee was finally presented on the 10th of September, the Republican
majority demanded no less than thirty-eight amendments and four
reservations. A quarter of the report was not concerned at all with the
subject under discussion, but was devoted to an attack upon Wilson's
autocratic methods and his treatment of the Senate. As was pointed out by
Senator McCumber, the single Republican who dissented from the majority
report, "not one word is said, not a single allusion made, concerning
either the great purposes of the League of Nations or the methods by
which these purposes are to be accomplished. Irony and sarcasm have been
substituted for argument and positions taken by the press or individuals
outside the Senate seem to command more attention than the treaty
itself."

The President did not receive the popular support which he expected, and
the burst of popular wrath which he believed would overwhelm senatorial
opposition was not forthcoming. In truth public opinion was confused.
America was not educated to understand the issues at stake. Wilson's
purposes at Paris had not been well reported in the press, and he himself
had failed to make plain the meaning of his policy. It was easy for
opponents of the treaty to muddy discussion and to arouse emotion where
reason was desirable. The wildest statements were made as to the effect of
the covenant, such as that entrance into the League would at once involve
the United States in war, and that Wilson was sacrificing the interests of
America to the selfish desires of European states. The same men who, a
year before, had complained that Wilson was opposing England and France,
now insisted that he had sold the United States to those nations. They
invented the catchword of "one hundred per cent Americanism," the test of
which was to be opposition to the treaty. They found strange coadjutors.
The German-Americans, suppressed during the war, now dared to emerge,
hoping to save the Fatherland from the effects of defeat by preventing the
ratification of the treaty; the politically active Irish found opportunity
to fulminate against British imperialism and "tyranny" which they
declared had been sanctioned by the treaty; impractical liberals, who were
disappointed because Wilson had not inaugurated the social millennium,
joined hands with out-and-out reactionaries. But the most discouraging
aspect of the situation was that so many persons permitted their judgment
to be clouded by their dislike of the President's personality. However
much they might disapprove the tactics of Senator Lodge they could not but
sympathize to some extent with the Senate's desire to maintain its
independence, which they believed had been assailed by Wilson. Discussions
which began with the merits of the League of Nations almost invariably
culminated with vitriolic attacks upon the character of Woodrow Wilson.

In the hope of arousing the country to a clear demand for immediate peace
based upon the Paris settlement, Wilson decided to carry out the plan
formulated some weeks previous and deliver a series of speeches from the
Middle West to the Pacific coast. He set forth on the 3d of September and
made more than thirty speeches. He was closely followed by some of his
fiercest opponents. Senators Johnson and Borah, members of the Foreign
Relations Committee, who might have been expected to remain in Washington
to assist in the consideration of the treaty by the Senate, followed in
Wilson's wake, attempting to counteract the effect of his addresses, and
incidentally distorting many of the treaty's provisions, which it is
charitable to assume they did not comprehend. The impression produced by
the President was varied, depending largely upon the political character
of his audience. East of the Mississippi he was received with comparative
coolness, but as he approached the coast enthusiasm became high, and at
Seattle and Los Angeles he received notable ovations. And yet in these
hours of triumph as in the previous moments of discouragement, farther
east, he must have felt that the issues were not clear. The struggle was
no longer one for a new international order that would ensure peace, so
much as a personal conflict between Lodge and Wilson. Whether the
President were applauded or anathematized, the personal note was always
present.

It was evident, during the tour, that the nervous strain was telling upon
Wilson. He had been worn seriously by his exertions in Paris, where he
was described by a foreign plenipotentiary as the hardest worker in the
Conference. The brief voyage home, which was purposely lengthened to give
him better chance of recuperation, proved insufficient. Forced to resume
the struggle at the moment when he thought victory was his, repudiated
where he expected to find appreciation, the tour proved to be beyond his
physical and nervous strength. At Pueblo, Colorado, on the 25th of
September, he broke down and returned hastily to Washington. Shortly
afterwards the President's condition became so serious that his
physicians forbade all political conferences, insisting upon a period of
complete seclusion and rest, which was destined to continue for many
months.

Thus at the moment of extreme crisis in the fortunes of the treaty its
chief protagonist was removed from the scene of action and the Democratic
forces fighting for ratification were deprived of effective leadership.
Had there been a real leader in the Senate who could carry on the fight
with vigor and finesse, the treaty might even then have been saved; but
Wilson's system had permitted no understudies. There was no one to lead
and no one to negotiate a compromise. From his sick-room, where his
natural obstinacy seemed to be intensified by his illness, the President
still refused to consider any reservations except of a purely
interpretative character, and the middle-ground Republicans would not
vote to ratify without "mild reservations," some of which seemed to him
more than interpretative.

Senatorial forces were roughly divided into four groups. There were the
"bitter-enders," typified by Johnson, Borah, and Brandegee, who frankly
wanted to defeat the treaty and the League outright; there were the
"reservationists," most of whom, like Lodge, wanted the same but did not
dare say so openly; there were the "mild reservationists," most of whom
were Republicans, who sincerely desired immediate peace and asked for no
important changes in the treaty; and finally there were those who desired
to ratify the treaty as it stood. The last-named group, made up of
Democrats, numbered from forty-one to forty-four, and obviously needed
the assistance of the "mild reservationists," if they were to secure a
two-thirds vote of the Senate. During October, all the amendments which
the Foreign Relations Committee brought forward were defeated through the
combination of the last two groups. Early in November, however, fourteen
reservations were adopted, the "mild reservationists" voting with Senator
Lodge, for lack of any basis of compromise with the Democrats. The effect
of these reservations would, undoubtedly, have been to release the
United States from many of the obligations assumed by other members,
while assuring to it the benefits of the League. The most serious of the
reservations was that concerned with Article X of the covenant, which
stated that the United States would assume no obligations to preserve the
territorial integrity or political independence of any other country, or
to interfere in controversies between nations, unless in any particular
case Congress should so provide. From the moment when Wilson first
developed his policy of international service, coöperative interference
in order to prevent acts of aggression by a strong against a weaker power
had been the chief point in his programme. It was contained in his early
Pan-American policy; it ran through his speeches in the campaign of 1916;
it was in the Fourteen Points. It was his specific contribution to the
covenant in Paris. Article X was the one point in the covenant which
Wilson would not consent to modify or, as he expressed it, see
"nullified." Just because it lay nearest Wilson's heart, it was the
article against which the most virulent attacks of the "die-hards" were
directed.

The President denounced the reservation on Article X, as a "knife-thrust
at the heart of the covenant," and its inclusion in the ratifying
resolution of the Senate, spelled the defeat of ratification. On the eve
of voting he wrote to Senator Hitchcock, leader of the Democratic forces
in the Senate, "I assume that the Senators only desire my judgment upon
the all-important question of the resolution containing the many
reservations of Senator Lodge. On that I cannot hesitate, for, in my
opinion, the resolution in that form does not provide for ratification
but rather for nullification of the treaty. I sincerely hope that the
friends and supporters of the treaty will vote against the Lodge
resolution of ratification." The "mild reservationists" led by McCumber
voted with the Lodge group for the resolution; but the "bitter-enders,"
combining with the supporters of the original treaty, outnumbered them.
The vote stood thirty-nine in favor of the resolution and fifty-five
against. When a motion for unconditional ratification was offered by
Senator Underwood, it was defeated by a vote of fifty-three to
thirty-eight.

The Republicans on the Foreign Relations Committee had succeeded far
beyond the hopes of their leaders in August. They had killed the treaty,
but in such an indirect fashion as to confuse the public and to fix upon
the President the blame for delaying the peace. It was easy to picture
the obstinacy of the President as the root of all the evil which
resulted from the political and economic uncertainty overhanging our
European relations. So widespread was this feeling among his natural
opponents, that the Republican Senators began to assume a far loftier
tone, and to laugh at the tardy efforts of the Democrats to arrange a
compromise. When Senator Pomerene, after consultation with Administration
leaders, proposed the appointment of a "committee of conciliation," to
find a basis of ratification that would secure the necessary two-thirds
vote, the motion was killed by forty-eight to forty-two. Senator Lodge
announced that he would support the resolution suggested by Knox, which
would end the war by congressional resolution and thus compel Wilson to
negotiate a separate treaty of peace with Germany.

Intelligent public opinion, however, was anxious that the quarrels of the
President and the Senate should not be allowed to delay the
settlement[15]. Rightly or wrongly the people felt that the struggle was
largely a personal one between Lodge and Wilson, and insisted that each
must yield something of their contention. On the one hand, ex-President
Taft and others of the more far-seeing Republicans worked anxiously for
compromise, with the assistance of such men as Hoover, who perceived the
necessity of a League, but who were willing to sacrifice its efficiency
to some extent, if only the United States could be brought in. On the
other hand, various Democrats who were less directly under Wilson's
influence wanted to meet these friends of the League half-way. During
December and January unofficial conferences between the senatorial groups
took place and progress towards a settlement seemed likely. The
Republicans agreed to soften the language of their minor reservations,
and Wilson even intimated that he would consent to a mild reservation on
Article X, although as he later wrote to Hitchcock, he felt strongly that
any reservation or resolution stating that the "United States assumes no
obligation under such and such an article unless or except, would chill
our relationship with the nations with whom we expect to be associated in
this great enterprise of maintaining the world's peace." It was
important "not to create the impression that we are trying to escape
obligations."

[Footnote 15: A straw vote taken in 311 colleges and including 158,000
students and professors showed an inclination to favor Wilson rather than
Lodge, but the greatest number approved compromise: four per cent favored
a new treaty with Germany; eight per cent favored killing the Versailles
treaty; only seventeen per cent approved the Lodge programme; thirty per
cent approved ratification of the treaty without change; and thirty-eight
per cent favored compromise.]

On the 31st of January the country was startled by the publication of a
letter written by Viscount Grey, who had been appointed British Ambassador
to the United States, but who had returned to England after a four months'
stay, during which he had been unable to secure an interview with the sick
President. In this letter he attempted to explain to the British the
causes of American hesitancy to accept the League. He then went on to
state that the success of the League depended upon the adherence of the
United States, and while admitting the serious character of the
reservations proposed by Senator Lodge, insisted that American coöperation
ought not to be refused because conditions were attached. His views were
unofficial, but it seemed clear that they were approved by the British
Cabinet, and they received a chorus of endorsement from the French and
British press.

The publication of Grey's letter opened a path to peace to both Senate
and President had they been willing to follow it. The Senate, by very
slight verbal softening of the language of its reservations, the
President by taking the British Ambassador at his word, might have
reached an agreement. The Lodge group, however, which had shown some
indications of a desire for compromise, was threatened by the "die-hards"
who were determined to defeat the treaty; fearing beyond everything to
break party unity, Lodge finally refused to alter the language of the
strong reservation on Article X, which stated that the United States
would assume no obligation to preserve the independence of other nations
by military force or the use of its resources or any form of economic
discrimination, unless Congress should first so provide. Inasmuch as the
economic outlawry of the offending state was the means which Wilson
chiefly counted upon, the reservation took all practical significance
from Article X, since the delays resulting from congressional
deliberation would prevent effective action. The President, possibly
believing that imperialist elements abroad were not sorry to see Article
X nullified, refused to accept the resolution of ratification so long as
it contained this reservation. "The imperialist," he wrote, "wants no
League of Nations, but if, in response to the universal cry of masses
everywhere, there is to be one, he is interested to secure one suited to
his own purposes, one that will permit him to continue the historic game
of pawns and peoples--the juggling of provinces, the old balance of
power, and the inevitable wars attendant upon these things. The
reservation proposed would perpetuate the old order. Does any one really
want to see the old game played again? Can any one really venture to take
part in reviving the old order? The enemies of a League of Nations have
by every true instinct centered their efforts against Article X, for it
is undoubtedly the foundation of the whole structure. It is the bulwark,
and the only bulwark of the rising democracy of the world against the
forces of imperialism and reaction."

The deadlock was complete, and on March 19, 1920, when the vote on
ratification was taken, the necessary two-thirds were lacking by seven
votes. At the last moment a number of Democrats joined with the
Republican reservationists, making fifty-seven in favor of ratification.
On the other hand the bitter-end Republicans voted against it with the
Democrats who stood by the President, thus throwing thirty-seven votes
against ratification. It had taken the Peace Conference five months to
construct the treaty with Germany in all its complexities, and secure the
unanimous approval of the delegates of thirty-one states. The Senate had
consumed more than eight months merely in criticizing the treaty and had
finally refused to ratify it.

We are, perhaps, too close to the event to attempt any apportionment of
responsibility for this failure to cap our military successes by a peace
which--when all has been said--was the nearest possible approach to the
ideal peace. It is clear that the blame is not entirely on one side.
Historians will doubtless level the indictment of ignorance and political
obliquity against the Senators who tried, either directly or indirectly,
to defeat the treaty; they will find much justification for their charge,
although it will be more difficult to determine the dividing line between
mere incapacity to appreciate the necessities of the world, and the
desire to discredit, at any cost, the work of Woodrow Wilson. On the
other hand, the President cannot escape blame, although the charge will
be merely that of tactical incapacity and mistaken judgment. His
inability to combine with the moderate Republican Senators first gave a
chance to those who wanted to defeat the treaty. His obstinate refusal to
accept reservations at the end, when it was clear that the treaty could
not be ratified without them, showed a regard for form, at the expense of
practical benefit. Granted that the reservations altered the character
of the League or the character of American participation in it, some sort
of a League was essential and the sooner the United States entered the
better it would be. Its success would not rest upon phrases, but upon the
spirit of the nations that composed it; the building-up of a new and
better international order would not be determined by this reservation or
that. Wilson's claim to high rank as a statesmen would probably be more
clear if he had accepted what was possible at the moment, in the hope
that the League would be improved as the country and the world became
better educated.



CHAPTER XIV

CONCLUSION


By the accident of history the Presidency of Woodrow Wilson, which he
designed to utilize for a series of social reforms, was characterized by
the supreme importance of foreign affairs. Whatever the significance of
the legislative enactments of his first year of office, he will be
remembered as the neutrality President, the war President, and the peace
President. Each phase of his administration represents a distinct aspect
of his policy and called into prominence distinct aspects of his
character. It is the third, however, which gives to his administration
the place of importance which it will hold in history; not merely because
of the stamp which he attempted to place upon the peace, but because the
two earlier phases are in truth expressive of his whole-hearted devotion
to the cause of peace. The tenacity with which he held to neutrality in
the face of intense provocation resulted less from his appreciation of
the pacific sentiments of the nation, or a desire to assure its economic
prosperity, than it did from his instinctive abhorrence of war. When
finally forced into war, he based his action upon the hope of securing a
new international order which would make war in the future impossible or
less frequent. In his mind the war was always waged in order to ensure
peace.

Whatever his mistakes or successes as neutrality President or war
President, therefore, it is as peace President that he will be judged by
history. Inevitably future generations will study with especial attention
the unfolding of his constructive peace policy, from his declaration of
the Fourteen Points to the Peace Conference. In reality his policy of
international service, to be rendered by the strong nations of the world
in behalf of peace and of absolute justice toward the weaker nations, was
developed all through the year 1916. It was then that he seized upon a
League of Nations as the essential instrument. But the true significance
of this policy was hardly perceived before the speech of the Fourteen
Points, in January, 1918. That speech gave to Wilson his position in the
world, as prëeminent exponent of the new ideals of international
relations.

What the President demanded was nothing new. The principle of justice, as
the underlying basis of intercourse between nations, has received wide
support at all epochs of history; the cause of international peace, as an
ultimate ideal, has always been advocated in the abstract; the idea of a
League of Nations has frequently been mooted. But it was Wilson's fate to
be ruler of a great nation at the moment when the need of peace, justice,
and international organization was more clearly demonstrated than ever
before in the world's history. Germany's cynical disregard of Belgian
independence, the horrors and waste of the war for which Germany was
chiefly responsible, the diplomatic disorganization of Europe, which
permitted this world disaster, desired by merely a handful of
firebrands--all these tragic and pitiful facts had been burned into the
mind of the age. There was a definite determination that a recurrence of
such catastrophes should not be permitted. The period of the war will be
regarded by future historians as one of transition from the international
chaos of the nineteenth century to an organization of nations, which,
however loose, should crystallize the conscience of the world, preserve
its peace, and translate into international politics the standards of
morality which have been set up for the individual.

In this transition President Wilson played a part of the first importance.
His rôle was not so much that of the executive leader as of the prophet.
He was not the first to catch the significance of the transition, nor did
he possess the executive qualities which would enable him to break down
all obstacles and translate ideals into facts. But he alone of the notable
statesmen of the world was able to express adequately the ill-defined
hopes of the peoples of all nations. He gave utterance to the words which
the world had been waiting for, and they carried weight because of his
position. Alone of the great powers the United States had no selfish
designs to hide behind fair promises of a better future. As President of
the United States, Woodrow Wilson might look for the confidence of Europe;
there was no European Government which could arouse similar trust. So long
as the war lasted, the President's success as a prophet of the ideal was
assured, alike by his ability to voice inarticulate hopes and by reason of
his position as chief of the most powerful and most disinterested nation
of the world.

But with the end of the war he faced a new task and one which was
infinitely more difficult. The flush of victory obliterated from the minds
of many in the Allied countries the high ideals which they had nourished
during the bitterness of the struggle. The moment had arrived when
practical advantage might be taken from the defeat of the enemy, and it
seemed madness to surrender such advantage for the sake of quixotic
ideals. The statesmen of Europe once more viewed affairs through the
colored prism of national selfishness. In America, where Wilsonian ideals
had at best been imperfectly appreciated, men were wearied by
international problems and longed for a return to the simple complexity of
the business life which they understood. The President was confronted by a
double problem. He must win from Europe acceptance of his programme,
crystallized in the League of Nations; from his fellow countrymen he must
secure the support necessary if the United States were to continue to play
the rôle in world affairs which she had undertaken during the war, and
which alone would make possible an effective League of Nations. To meet
the difficulties of the task, President Wilson was imperfectly equipped.
He lacked the dynamic qualities of a Roosevelt, which might have enabled
him to carry his opponents off their feet by an overwhelming rush; he was
not endowed with the tactical genius of a skillful negotiator; he was,
above all, handicapped by the personal hostilities which he had aroused at
home.

In Europe the President achieved at least partial success. He proved
unable to marshal the forces of liberalism in such a way as to carry his
complete programme to victory, and the sacrifices which he made to the
spirit of selfish nationalism cost him the support and the confidence of
many progressive elements, while they did not placate the hostility of
the reactionaries. But he secured the League of Nations, the symbol and
the instrument of the new international organization which he sought.
Thereby at least a beginning was made in concrete form, which might later
be developed, when the force of the post-bellum reaction had wasted
itself.

At home, however, the forces of opposition proved strong enough to rob
the President of what might have been a triumph. He lacked the capacity
to reconcile his personal and political opponents, as well as the ability
to compromise with the elements that were inclined to meet him half-way.
In accordance with his basic principles he appealed from the politicians
to the people. But here again he failed, whether because of personal
unpopularity, or because of the poor publicity which had been given his
efforts at Paris, or because of the physical breakdown which shattered
his persuasive powers and finally led to his retirement from the
struggle. The vindication which he sought in the presidential election of
1920 was denied him. The country was tired of a Democratic Administration
and gave to the Republican candidate an overwhelming plurality. The sole
comfort that Wilson could take, in the face of the election returns, was
that both candidates had declared for the principle of international
organization and that the most distinguished supporters of the successful
Republican candidate had pledged themselves to a League of Nations.

The months that followed the President's return from Paris until the close
of his administration thus form a period of personal tragedy. He had
achieved a broad measure of success in Europe, where the difficulties
appeared stupendous, only to have the cup dashed from his lips at the last
moment in his own country. The bitterness of the experience was
intensified by his physical helplessness. But we should lack perspective
if we made the mistake of confusing personal tragedy with failure. His
work remained uncrowned, but there was much that could never be undone.
The articulate expression of the hopes of the world, which President
Wilson voiced during the war, remains imperishable as a guide to this and
future generations. The League of Nations, weakened by the absence of the
United States but actually organized and in operation, was the President's
work. Whatever the fortunes of this particular League the steps taken
toward international coöperation by its foundation can never be completely
retraced.

Woodrow Wilson, however, is not to be assessed by his accomplishment. It
is as prophet and not as man of action that he will be regarded by
history. Like the prophets of old, like Luther or Mazzini, he lacked the
capacity for carrying to practical success the ideal which he preached.
But to assume that he must accordingly be adjudged a failure is to ignore
the significance of the ideals to which he awakened the world. Much there
was that was unattainable and intangible, but its value to mankind in the
development of international relations may be inestimable.

    Not on the vulgar mass
    Called "work" must sentence pass
    Things done, that took the eye and had the price....
    But all, the world's coarse thumb
    And finger failed to plumb,
    So passed in making up the main account;
    All instincts immature,
    All purposes unsure,
    That weighed not as his work, yet swelled the man's amount.



BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE


Thus far no adequate biography of President Wilson, covering his career
through the Peace Conference, has been published. The most suggestive is
Henry Jones Ford's _Woodrow Wilson: The Man and His Work_ (1916) which
stops with the close of the first term. The author, a Princeton professor,
is a warm personal and political admirer of the President, but he makes a
definite attempt at critical appreciation. W. E. Dodd's _Woodrow Wilson
and His Work_ (1920) is comprehensive and brings the story to the end of
the Peace Conference, but it is marred by eulogistic interpretation and
anti-capitalistic bias. An interesting effort to interpret the President
to British readers in the form of biography has been made by H. W. Harris
in _President Wilson: His Problems and His Policy_ (1917). W. B. Hale, in
_The Story of a Style_ (1920), attempts to analyze the motives by which
the President is inspired. But the best material to serve this end is to
be found in the President's writings, especially _Congressional
Government_ (1885), _An Old Master and Other Political Essays_ (1893),
_Constitutional Government in the United States_ (1908), _The New Freedom_
(1913), _International Ideals_ (1919). The two last-named are collections
of addresses made in explanation and advocacy of his plans of domestic and
international reform. The most convenient edition of the President's
official writings and speeches is Albert Shaw's _President Wilson's State
Papers and Addresses_ (1918), edited with an analytical index.

For the period of neutrality a storehouse of facts is to be found in _The
New York Times Current History_, published monthly. The _American Year
Book_ contains a succinct narrative of the events of each year, which may
be supplemented by that in the _Annual Register_ which is written from the
British point of view. A brief résumé of Wilson's first term is contained
in F. A. Ogg's _National Progress_ (1918). More detailed is the first
volume of J. B. McMaster's _The United States in the World War_ (1918),
which is based upon the newspapers and necessarily lacks perspective, but
is comprehensive and extremely useful for purposes of reference. The
clearest outline of President Wilson's treatment of foreign affairs is to
be found in E. E. Robinson and V. J. West's _The Foreign Policy of
President Wilson, 1913-1917_ (1917). The narrative is brief but
interpretative and is followed by numerous excerpts from the President's
speeches and state papers. The tone of the narrative is extremely
favorable and President Wilson is credited with consistency rather than
capacity for development, but the arrangement is excellent. More
comprehensive is the edition by J. B. Scott, entitled _President Wilson's
Foreign Policy: Messages, Addresses, Papers_ (1918). Johann von
Bernstorff's _My Three Years in America_ (1920) is a well-reasoned
apologia by the German Ambassador, which contains information of much
value; it is not impossible for the critically minded to distinguish the
true from the false. The description of German criminal activities
contained in Horst von der Goltz's _My Adventures as a German Secret
Agent_ (1917), should be checked up with the report of the Senate
Committee of Inquiry into the German propaganda. _The Real Colonel House_,
by A. D. Howden-Smith (1918), throws useful sidelights on Wilson and
contains valuable material on the activities of Colonel House as
negotiator before the entrance into the war of the United States.

The best general narrative of America's war effort is J. S. Bassett's
_Our War with Germany_ (1919); it is clear and succinct, beginning with
the early effects of the war on the United States in 1914, and ending
with the Peace Conference. An interesting, but irritating, account is to
be found in George Creel's _The War, the World and Wilson_ (1920), which
is passionate in its defense of the President, and blurs truth with
inaccuracy on almost every page. F. F. Kelly's _What America Did_ (1919)
is a brief popular account of the building of the army at home and abroad
and the organization of industry: clear, inaccurate, uncritical. The most
convenient summary of the organization of national resources is F. L.
Paxson's "The American War Government," in _The American Historical
Review_, October, 1920, which should be supplemented by the _Handbook of
Economic Agencies for the War of 1917_, monograph No. 3 of the Historical
Branch, War Plans Division, General Staff (1919). The former contains
many references in footnotes, of which the most important are the _Report
of the Chief of Staff_ (1919) and the _Report of the Provost Marshal
General_ (1919). The published _Investigation of the War Department,
Hearing before the Committee on Military Affairs_ (1918) is invaluable
The most complete information on ordnance is to be found in the report of
General Benedict Crowell, _America's Munitions, 1917-1918_ (1919); it is
an official defense and should be read critically. A graphic picture of
American accomplishments is given in L. P. Ayres's _The War with Germany;
A Statistical Summary_ (1919). The best account of operations in France
is still General Pershing's _Report to the Secretary of War_, which is
printed in _New York Times Current History_, January and February, 1920.
It may be supplemented by Shipley Thomas's _The History of the A. E. F._
(1920).

The American point of view on the Peace Conference is set forth
authoritatively in _What Really Happened at Paris_ (1921), a collection
of lectures delivered by members of the American Peace Commission and
edited by Edward M. House and Charles Seymour. _Some Problems of the
Peace Conference_ (1920), by C. H. Haskins and R. H. Lord, is an accurate
and comprehensive analysis of the territorial questions settled at Paris.
The British point of view and the most important documents are given in
_A History of the Peace Conference of Paris_ (1920), written chiefly by
British delegates and edited by H. W. V. Temperley. The French point of
view is admirably presented in André Tardieu's _The Truth about the
Treaty_ (1921). An excellent picture of the conflict of interests and the
manner in which they were decided is to be found in C. T. Thompson's _The
Peace Conference Day by Day_ (1920). Robert Lansing's _The Peace
Negotiations_ (1921) is interesting as giving the opinions of an American
Commissioner who disagreed with Mr. Wilson's methods at Paris. J. M.
Keynes's _The Economic Consequences of the Peace_ (1920) contains an
economic analysis which is more trustworthy than his brilliant, but
misleading, picture of the Conference. It should not be read except in
company with the authoritative and accurate _The Making of the Reparation
and Economic Clauses_ (1920), by B. M. Baruch. A clever but superficial
criticism of President Wilson's peace policies is to be found in J. M.
Beck's _The Passing of the Freedom_ (1920).



INDEX


Adams, J. Q., and Monroe Doctrine, 30

Adamson Act, 90

Adriatic coast, Italy's claims on, 311;
  _see also_ Fiume

Aircraft Production Board, 140

Airplanes, production for army, 134-35, 139-42

Alaska purchased from Russia, 31

Albert, King of Belgium, in Paris, 255

Albert, Dr. H. F., and the _Wilhelmina_, 43;
  and German plots, 75;
  loses portfolio, 76

Algeciras Conference (1906), 34

Alien Property Custodian, 179

Alsace-Lorraine returned to France, 302, 324

American Ambulance in France, 67

American Expeditionary Force, no provision at first for, 121;
  Pershing sent to France, 122;
  plans for, 124-25;
  centralization under Pershing, 148;
  training in France, 200-02;
  ports for, 202-03;
  supply depots, 203;
  distribution of supplies, 203-04;
  credit due, 225-27;
  defects, 226;
  _see also_ Argonne, Château-Thierry, St. Mihiel

American Federation of Labor, delegates aid in formation of war
   labor policy, 182

American Protective League, 187

_Ancona_, torpedoed in Mediterranean, 57

_Arabia_, submarine sinks, 56

Archibald, J. F. J., Dumba makes use of, 77

Argentine, grain not available for Europe, 159

Argonne, foreign artillery used in, 134;
  plans for advance, 221;
  defensive importance for Germans, 222;
  American offensive, 222-23;
  _see also_ Meuse-Argonne

Arizona offered by Germany as bribe to Mexico, 106

Armaments, Reduction of, guarantees not taken at Paris, 323;
  League Covenant provides, 324

Armand, Major, discusses separate peace with Austria, 231

_Armenian_, submarine attack, 56

Armistice (Nov. 11, 1918), 224, 228;
  terms, 243

Army, General Staff, 119-20, 157, 188;
  American Expeditionary Force, 121, 122, 124 _et seq._, 148,
    200-04, 225-27;
  _see also_ Argonne, Château-Thierry, St. Mihiel;
  original programme (1917), 121;
  Roosevelt's request to command volunteers, 122-23;
  Selective Service Act, 122, 126-27, 133;
  National Army, 128;
  training, 128-29, 130-32;
  cantonments 129-30 (note);
  supplies, 129, 132-133, 134-43, 152;
  democracy of, 134;
  transportation of troops, 195, 196-97

Australia, grain not available for Europe, 159

Austria, Italy's offensive against, 193;
  attempts for separate peace with, 231-32;
  treaty, 317, 321-22;
  denied right to incorporate with Germany, 322, 326;
  _see also_ Austria-Hungary

Austria-Hungary,
  collapse, 224, 228;
  offers to negotiate on basis of Fourteen Points, 241;
  subject nationalities receive independence, 324;
  _see also_ Austria, Hungary

Ayres, L. P., _The War with Germany_, cited, 142 (note)


Baker, N. D., Secretary of War, as pacifist, 85-86, 117-18;
  delays approving machine gun, 137;
  and Wilson, 153;
  and coal price agreement, 166-67

Baldwin Locomotive Works, suspected German plot at, 79

Balfour, A. J., Lloyd George and, 13;
  in Council of Ten, 270-71

Baltimore, Democratic convention (1912), 7-8

Banat of Temesvar, "The Inquiry" gathers facts concerning, 260

Bapaume, capture of, 192

Bartlett, C. L., introduces bill in House prohibiting sales to
   belligerents, 73

Baruch, B. M., appointment by Wilson, 15;
  on Council of National Defense, 155;
  chairman of War Industries Board, 157;
  at Peace Conference, 259, 276

Belgium, American sympathy for, 38, 73, 114;
  Wilson's answer to appeal, 40;
  relief, 67;
  effect in America of deportation of civilians, 97, 99;
  Germans rank United States Army with that of, 117;
  Hoover in, 160;
  complaint against treaty, 321;
  treaty provision regarding, 324

Belleau Woods, attack on, 214, 225

Benes, Edward, Foreign Minister of Czecho-Slovak Republic, and Council
   of Ten, 274

Benson, Admiral W. S., and Daniels, 144

Bernstorff, Johann von, German Ambassador in Washington, 41-42, 75, 106;
  dismissed, 108

Bethlehem Steel Company, suspected German plots in plant of, 79

Bethmann-Hollweg and submarine warfare, 106

"Big Four," _see_ Council of Four

Bliss, General T. H., on Supreme Military Council, 205-206;
  on Peace Commission, 249

Blockade, British blockade of foodstuffs, 45;
  as justification of submarine warfare, 53;
  effect of submarine warfare upon American ports, 110

Bolshevik revolution, 193

Borah, W. E., against treaty and League of Nations, 330-331,342;
  speech-making tour, 339-40

Bordeaux, port allotted American Expeditionary Force, 202, 203

Bosch Magneto Company, German intrigue and, 75

Bourgeois, Léon, on committee to draft plan for League of Nations, 289

Boy-Ed, Karl, German naval attaché, 75;
  and Mexico, 76;
  dismissed, 78

Brandegee, F. B., against treaty and League of Nations, 342

Bratiano, J. J. C., of Rumania, and Council of Ten, 274

Brest, destroyer base at, 199;
  port allotted American Expeditionary Force, 202-03;
  _George Washington_ reaches, 254

Brest-Litovsk treaty, 239

Bridgeport, German manufacturing company at, 75;
  strikes at, 79

British Grand Fleet, American battleships join, 199

Brockdorff-Rantzau, U. K. C., graf von, German Minister for Foreign
   Affairs, 317

Browning machine gun, 137, 138

Brusilov attack, 193

Bryan, W. J., leader in Democratic convention (1912), 7, 8;
  resigns as Secretary of State, 53-54;
  pacifist suggestion, 59;
  popular with pacifists, 70

Bryn Mawr College, Wilson professor at, 3

Bucharest treaty, 239

Bulgaria, collapse, 224, 228, 241;
  treaty term regarding, 327

Burleson, A. S., and Wilson, 18;
  Postmaster-General, 154

Byng, General, at Cambrai, 193


Caine, Hall, quoted, 105

California and election of Wilson (1916), 92

Cambon, Jules, 276

Cambrai, German lines broken at, 193, 224

Canada, Americans in forces of, 67

Cantigny, engagement at, 211-212

Caporetto, Italian collapse at, 193;
  Foch commands French forces in Italy after, 207

Carl, Emperor of Austria, desire for separate peace, 232

Carranza, Venustiano, Wilson recognizes, 86;
  protests American expedition, 87

Carrizal, attack by Carranza's troops at, 87

Cecil, Lord Robert, on committee to draft plan for League of
   Nations, 289, 290

Chamberlain, G. E., and preparedness, 82

Château-Thierry, 212-13, 216, 225

Chauchat automatic rifles, 137

Chemical Warfare Service, 143

Chemin des Dames, 210, 212

Chicago, Wilson speaks at, 83

China, American policy toward, 31;
  accepts Japan's Shantung claim, 315;
  delegates refuse to sign treaty, 321

Civil War, relations with Great Britain during, 29

Clark, Champ, candidate for Presidential nomination (1912), 8;
  and conscription, 126

Clayton Act, 90

Clemenceau, Georges, treatment of other French delegates at Paris, 13;
  signs plea for American troops, 210;
  and question of indemnity, 281, 300, 301;
  opposition to Fourteen Points, 251, 252;
  in Council of Ten, 264-67;
  languages, 272;
  on Council of Premiers, 277;
  helps formulate armistice policy, 278;
  wounded, 278;
  and League of Nations, 286-87, 288, 303;
  ability to conduct plenary sessions, 289;
  change in attitude towards Wilson, 295;
  and Fiume, 313

Cleveland, Wilson speaks at, 83

Coal, _see_ Fuel Administration

Coffin, H. E., chairman Aircraft Production Board, 140;
  on Council of National Defense, 155

Colleges, Students' Army Training Corps, 131;
  straw vote on treaty in, 345 (note)

Colt machine gun, 137

Commerce, British Orders in Council to control, 42-43;
  _see also_ Submarine warfare, United States Shipping Board, War
    Trade Board

Committee on Engineering and Education, 155-56

Congress, Wilson and, 17, 21, 191;
  Wilson's appeal for Democratic, 18, 246-47;
  and arming of merchant vessels, 58-59, 60, 110-11;
  and note to Germany (April 19, 1916), 61;
  pacifically-minded, 82;
  preparedness, 85;
  Wilson's speech in Senate (Jan. 22, 1917), 103-05;
  announcement of severance of diplomatic relations with Germany
    to, 107-08;
  Wilson's speech (April 2, 1917), 111-13;
  declares war, 116;
  and the army, 119, 133;
  and conscription, 126;
  appropriation for airplanes, 140;
  Overman Act, 149, 157, 189, 190;
  Lever Act, 161, 167;
  proposes control of military affairs, 188;
  attacks on Wilson's war policies by Senate, 188-89;
  Senate and the treaty, 330 _et seq._;
  Foreign Relations Committee meets Wilson at White House, 336-37

Conscientious objectors, 133

Conscription, _see_ Draft

Contraband, British interpretation of, 42

Council of Foreign Ministers, 277

Council of Four, 277-80

Council of National Defense, 154 _et seq._;
  War Industries Board, 156-59;
  food conservation, 159-66;
  fuel conservation, 166-71;
  Labor Committee, 181;
  publicity, 186;
  influence lessened, 187

Council of Premiers, 277

Council of Ten, experts at meetings of, 261;
  organization of, 262-64;
  Supreme Council called, 264;
  meetings, 264, 272-74;
  personnel, 264-72;
  and commissions, 275;
  becomes unwieldy, 278;
  Wilson leaves League committee to attend, 290

Crillon, Hotel, home of American Commission at Paris, 258

Crowe, Sir Eyre, on territorial commission, 276

Crowell, Benedict, Assistant Secretary of War, quoted, 135

Cuba, interest of United States in, 29;
  Pershing in, 123

Cunliffe, British financial expert, 300

_Cushing_ attacked by German aeroplane, 49

Czechoslovakia, question of autonomy for Czechs, 232;
  nationalistic ambitions aroused by treaty, 322;
  Germans and Magyars in, 327;
  and the League, 328

Czernin von Chudenitz, Ottokar, count, Austrian Chancellor, 239


Daniels, Josephus, Secretary of Navy, 144

Danzig, "The Inquiry" gathers facts concerning, 260;
  treaty provision, 326;

Davis, Norman, financial advisor to Peace Commission, 259, 276

"Daylight saving," 169

Democratic party, Wilson and, 5, 6;
  convention (1912), 7-8;
  Wilson makes plea for Democratic Congress, 18, 246-47;
  foreign policy, 25-26, 35;
  Wilson and machine leaders, 88

Denman, William, chairman of United States Shipping Board, 175

Dent, S. H., and conscription, 126

Dernburg, Dr. Bernhard, and German propaganda, 44, 72

Dillon, E. J., on Wilson, 9-10

Disarmament, _see_ Armaments, Reduction of

Draft, Wilson and, 122, 126;
  Selective Service Act, 122, 127;
  National Army, 128;
  success of, 133;
  General Staff prepares plans for, 148

Dulles, J. F., proposes Reparations Commission, 306 (note)

Dumba, Dr. Constantin, Austrian Ambassador at Washington, 77;
  recall requested, 77-78

Durazzo, navy at, 200


East, Far, American policy regarding, 31-32;
  _see also_ China, Japan

Embargo, question of embargo on munitions, 43-45, 73

Emergency Fleet Corporation, 175, 176, 178

Emery, H. C., on German pessimism in June, 1918, 240

Enfield rifles, 139

Entente, American opinion favors, 38;
  _see also_ Allies, names of countries

Erzberger, Matthias, leader of Reichstag revolt, 229-30

Expeditionary Force, _see_ American Expeditionary Force


Faisal, Emir, Arabian representative at Peace Conference, 261

_Falaba_ sunk by submarine, 49

Fayolle, General, French leader, 206;
  supports Foch, 208

Fiume, "The Inquiry" gathers facts concerning, 260;
  question of Italian claim, 261, 312-14, 315-16

Foch, General Ferdinand, Pershing compared with, 123;
  on gasoline conservation, 170;
  and American troops, 196, 227;
  made commander-in-chief of Allied armies, 207;
  Chemin des Dames, 210;
  launches counter-offensive (July 18, 1918), 215-216;
  political movements supplement victories of, 228;
  movement on Sedan, 241;
  and armistice, 244;
  at Peace Conference, 261;
  and Council of Ten, 273;
  inspects troops on Rhine, 320

Food Administration, 160-66

Ford, Henry, sends "Peace Ship" to Europe, 74

Fore River shipyards, 176

Förster, Austrian counselor, 232

"Four Minute Men," 186

Fourteen Points, Wilson introduces, 233-34, 353;
  discussion of, 234-38;
  failure of, 238, 280, 322-23;
  Austria-Hungary offers to negotiate on basis of, 241;
  Germans accept as basis of negotiations, 242;
  accepted by Allies, 243, 244, 281;
  Wilson goes to Paris to defend, 250;
  Wilson's concessions, 287;
  territorial settlements carry out, 323-24

France, American Expeditionary Force, _see_ American Expeditionary Force;
  French army ordered out of Mexico by United States, 29;
  American cause identical with that of, 37;
  messages to Wilson, 40;
  and Wilson's note (Dec. 18, 1916), 102;
  mission to United States, 122;
  French officers instruct in American schools, 131;
  military disappointment (1917), 192;
  morale low, 193;
  problem of frontier, 302-03, 306-07, 325-26;
  complaint against treaty, 321;
  Alsace-Lorraine returned to, 324

Franco-British-American alliance, 310

Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, assassination, 27

Freedom of the seas, one of Fourteen Points, 234;
  not discussed at Peace Conference, 287, 323

Freya, German line of defense, 223

Fuel Administration, 167-71, 186


Galicia, "The Inquiry" gathers facts concerning, 260

Gardner, A. P., and preparedness, 82

Garfield, H. A., Wilson and, 15;
  Fuel Administrator, 167, 171

Garrison, L. M., Secretary of War, resigns, 85

Gasoline savings effected by gasless Sundays, 170-71

General Medical Board, 155

General Purchasing Board, 204

General Staff, 119-20, 157, 188

_George Washington_, Wilson's speech on, quoted, 40-41;
  German boat, 179;
  Wilson sails on, 253, 254, 329;
  Wilson and experts on, 260;
  ordered to Brest, 304

Gerard, J. W., American Ambassador to Germany, recalled, 108

German-Americans, opposition to Wilson, 70;
  Wilson and, 79-80, 90, 91;
  and the treaty, 338

Germany, American sympathy, 37-38;
  Wilson answer to protest from, 40;
  Wilson and mediation, 41-42, 99;
  Great Britain blockades, 42;
  tries to prevent export of American munitions, 43-45;
  propaganda in America, 44, 65, 71-74, 186;
  submarine warfare, 45-46, 47, _et seq._, 97, 99-100, 106-07, 109-10;
  Wilson's reply to submarine threat, 46;
  sinks _Lusitania_, 49-50;
  _Lusitania_ notes, 54-56;
  pledges not to sink liners without warning, 56-57;
  announcement regarding armed merchantmen, 57;
  _Sussex_ torpedoed, 60;
  Wilson's note (April 16, 1916), 61-63;
  opinion of United States, 70, 117;
  secret intrigue in United States, 74-80;
  appeal of ninety-three professors, 72;
  officials dismissed from United States, 78;
  U-53 off American coast, 97;
  proposes negotiations (Dec. 12, 1916), 100-01;
  peace note to, 101-03;
  warning in Wilson's speech (Jan. 22, 1917), 104;
  withdraws _Sussex_ pledge, 106;
  diplomatic relations broken off, 107-08;
  overt acts, 109-10;
  publication of plans regarding Mexico and Japan, 111;
  United States declares war on, 111-14, 116;
  attack (March 21, 1918), 206;
  drive along Lys, 209;
  fourth and last drive (July 15, 1918), 214;
  requests armistice, 224, 241;
  abdication of Kaiser, 229;
  Reichstag revolt (July, 1917), 229-30;
  negotiations with Russia, 232;
  Wilson on disposition of colonies, 284;
  delegates at Peace Conference, 317;
  protests treaty terms, 317;
  accepts treaty, 320;
  responsibility for war, 354

Gibraltar, destroyer base at, 199

Godfrey, Hollis, on Council of National Defense, 155

Goethals, General G. W., head of Emergency Fleet Corporation, 175

Goltz, von der, plots destruction of Welland Canal, 76

Gompers, Samuel, on Council of National Defense, 155;
  at Peace Conference, 259

Gore, T. P., introduces Senate resolution regarding armed merchant
   vessels, 59

Gori[)c]ar, Dr. Joseph, revelations concerning German intrigue, 78-79

Gough, General, army defeated, 206

Gouraud, General, supports Foch, 208;
  and German drive of July, 1918, 215

Grandpré, battle around, 223

Great Britain, relations with United States, 29, 33-34, 38;
  American cause identical with that of, 37;
  Orders in Council for control of neutral commerce, 42-43;
  United States disputes shipping rights with, 42-43, 65-66;
  and Wilson's note (Dec. 18, 1916), 102;
  and Wilson's speech (Jan. 22, 1917), 105;
  mission to United States, 122;
  British officers instruct in American schools, 131;
  provides transports for troops, 179;
  American battleships join British Grand Fleet, 199;
  _see also_ Allies, Lloyd George

Greece, demand for territory, 282;
  treaty term concerning, 327

Gregory, T. W., Attorney-General, 154

Grey, Viscount, British Ambassador to United States, letter concerning
   League, 347

_Gulflight_ sunk by submarine, 49


Haig, Sir Douglas, quoted, 209

Hamburg-American Line, 76

Harvey, Colonel George, mentions Wilson as possible President (1906), 5

Hertling, von, German Chancellor, 238-39

_Hesperian_ sunk by Germans, 57

Hindenburg, General Paul von, retreat on Somme front, 192;
  line broken, 224

Hitchcock, G. M., Wilson writes to, 344, 346

Hog Island shipyards, 176

Holland, agents of General Purchasing Board in, 204

Hoover, H. C., head of Food Administration, 160-64;
  personal characteristics, 160;
  and morale, 186;
  at Peace Conference, 259;
  and League of Nations, 328, 346

Horn, Werner, plans destruction of bridge at Vanceboro (Maine), 75

House, Colonel E. M., and Wilson, 12, 18, 49, 260, 334-335;
  sent to Europe, (1914-15), 47-49;
  personal characteristics, 47-48;
  war mission (1917), 194-95;
  and appointment of a generalissimo, 207;
  and separate peace with Austria, 231;
  sent abroad for armistice plan, 241, 242, 278;
  on Peace Commission, 249;
  at Peace Conference, 258;
  and "The Inquiry," 259-60;
  suggests territorial commissions, 275-76;
  and Council of Four, 278-79;
  and League of Nations Covenant, 290;
  as mediator between Wilson and Allied leaders, 304

Huerta, Victoriano, German plot to restore, 76;
  at Vera Cruz, 86

Hughes, C. E., Republican candidate for Presidency (1916), 91-92

Hughes, W. M., Premier of Australia, demands German colonies for
    Allies, 288-89

Hungary, treaty and, 322;
  and League, 328;
  _see also_ Austria-Hungary

Hurley, E. N., chairman of Shipping Board, 176;
  at Peace Conference, 259

Hurst, C. J. B., legal expert, 290


Igel, von, German agent, 80

Indemnities, Allies delay raising issue, 244-45;
  question of German, 296-302;
  settlement in treaty, 304-06;
  flaw in treaty regarding, 322;
  justice of, 325

Initiative and referendum in Oregon, 15

"Inquiry, The," Colonel House establishes, 260, 276-277

Interallied Board of Supplies, 204

Irish in United States, 29;
  against Wilson, 59

Italy, offensive against Austria, 193;
  claims, 310-14;
  complaint against treaty, 321;
  annexations, 326-27


Japan, interest of United States in, 31;
  Roosevelt as peacemaker between Russia and, 34;
  question of immigration from, 35, 70;
  German intrigue concerning, 106;
  delegates in Council of Ten, 271;
  claims, 310, 315-317;
  and League Covenant, 314;
  threatens withdrawal from Conference, 315;
  demands acceded to, 321

Jefferson, Thomas, policy of non-intervention, 30

Joffre, General, J. J. C., with mission to United States, 122;
  battle of the Marne, 207

Johns Hopkins University, Wilson at, 3

Johnson, Hiram, Governor of California, 92;
  as Senator hostile to League and treaty, 330, 339-40, 342

Jugoslavs, and Wilson, 228-229;
  Austria counselled to grant autonomy to, 232;
  application of Treaty of London against, 311;
  nationalistic ambitions aroused by treaty, 322;
  placed under Italian rule, 326-27

Julian Alps, Italy's claim, 311


Kahn, Julius, and conscription, 126

Keynes, J. M., on Wilson, 24

Kiau-Chau, Japan's claim to, 315, 321

Kitchin, Claude, leader of House, and draft, 126

Klotz, French Finance Minister, and indemnities, 300

Knox, P. C., treaty resolution, 345

_Kronprinzessin Cecilie_, voyage of, 28


Labor, McAdoo's concessions, 174;
  and German propaganda, 186

Labor Department, reorganization, 181;
  national war labor policy, 182

La Fayette, Marquis de, emphasis of history on, 38;
  "La Fayette, we are here!" 123

Lammasch, Austrian liberal, 232

Lamont, T. W., and Wilson, 12;
  on Wilson, 12-13 (note);
  at Peace Conference, 259, 276

Lane, F. K., Secretary of Interior, 153

Lansdowne, Lord, peace speech (1917), 232

Lansing, Robert, Secretary of State, 58, 153-54;
  Wilson and, 13, 271;
  proposes ceasing to arm merchantmen, 58;
  on Peace Commission, 249;
  in Council of Ten, 268, 269

Latin America, United States' relations with, 35

League to Enforce Peace, Wilson's speech before, 95;
  Taft president of, 96;
  Wilson and, 283

League of Nations, 281 _et seq._;
  refusal to discuss (1916), 102;
  Wilson and, 238, 353;
  Taft and Root pledged to, 249;
  Wilson heads commission working on, 275, 276;
  incorporation in treaty, 286, 287-88, 327;
  Covenant completed, 290;
  mechanism, 290-92;
  revised Covenant adopted, 309;
  Germany excluded from, 317;
  opposition to, 330 _et seq._;
  reservations suggested by Senate, 334;
  in operation, 359

Lever Act, 161, 167

_Leviathan_, _Vaterland_ rechristened, 179

Lewis machine gun, 137

Liberty Bonds, 183, 184-186

Liberty Motor, 140

Lloyd George, and Balfour, 13;
  signs plea for American troops, 210;
  and separate peace with Austria, 231;
  outlines terms of peace (1917), 232-33, 236;
  and indemnity, 244, 281, 300, 301;
  and Wilson's peace programme, 252;
  at Peace Conference, 258;
  in Council of Ten, 269-70;
  on Council of Premiers, 277;
  on committee to formulate armistice policy, 278;
  delays opening of Peace Conference, 285;
  and League of Nations, 287;
  and "mandatories," 289;
  change in attitude toward Wilson, 295;
  opposes French annexation of Saar region, 302;
  and Fiume, 313;
  on modification of treaty terms, 318, 319

Lodge, H. C., reservation on Article X of League Covenant, 15;
  opposition to treaty and League, 330, 333, 335, 339, 342, 344,
    345, 347, 348;
  personal conflict with Wilson, 340, 346

Lorraine front, Americans on, 211

Loucheur, financial expert, 300

Louvain library burned, 73

Ludendorff, General Erich von, German leader, 230, 232, 239, 240

_Lusitania_, Germans sink, 49;
  effect on America, 50-51, 114;
  notes, 53, 54, 56;
  German pledge, 56-57;
  Germany does not disavow, 57


McAdoo, W. G., Secretary of Treasury, 153;
  Director-General of Railroads, 172;
  concessions to labor, 174;
  and taxation, 183

McCormick, Vance, Wilson and, 15;
  heads War Trade Board, 180;
  at Peace Conference, 259, 276

McCumber, Senator, spokesman in Senate for middle-ground Republicans on
   treaty, 336, 337, 344

McKinley, William, and declaration of war on Spain, 51;
  begs for Republican Congress (1898), 246

McLemore, Jeff, introduces House resolution concerning armed merchant
   vessels, 59

Magyars, and Wilson, 229;
  prevent separate peace with Austria, 232

_Maine_, sinking of (1898), 51

"Mandatories," 288

Mangin, General, supports Foch, 208

Mantoux, interpreter for Council of Ten, 272-73

Marne, Foch at battle of the, 207;
  Germans reach, 210

Martin, F. H., on Council of National Defense, 155

Masaryk, T. G., President of Czecho-Slovak Republic, on Wilson, 10

Max, Prince, of Baden, German Chancellor, 241

Merchant vessels, submarine warfare against, 45-46, 57-58;
  British arm, 57;
  question of ceasing to arm, 58;
  question of warning Americans from, 59-60;
  Wilson asks authority to arm, 110

Meuse-Argonne drive, 124;
  Browning machine guns used in, 138;
  _see also_ Argonne

Mexico, United States orders French army from, 29;
  problem in 1912, 35;
  relations (1916), 86;
  expedition against Villa, 87-88, 123;
  German intrigue, 106, 111

Miller, D. H., legal expert, 290

Milwaukee, Wilson speaks at, 83

Minnesota, election (1916), 92

Monroe Doctrine, 30-31, 32, 103-04, 309, 334

Montagu, financial expert, 300

Munitions, Ministry of, proposed, 188

Münsterberg, Hugo, 37


National Army, 128;
  cantonments built, 129-30 (note)

National Guard, 189

National Industrial Conference Board, 182

National Security League, 81, 82

National War Labor Board, 182

Navy, preparedness, 143-45;
  expansion of, 145-46;
  convoy troop ships, 197;
  hunt submarines, 197;
  Ordnance Bureau manufactures mines, 200;
  and mine barrage, 200

_Nebraskan_, submarine attack on, 56

Neutrality, 27 _et seq._, 352-53;
  bibliography, 362

New Jersey, Wilson as Governor of, 5-7, 21

New Mexico, promised by Germany as bribe to Mexico, 106

New York (State), election (1916), 92

New York City, German press bureau in, 72;
  Wilson's speech, 294-95

_New York Times_, and election (1916), 92

Nivelle, General R. G., plans French offensive, 192-93

"Non-intervention," policy of, 30

North Sea, American battleships in, 199-200

Notes, protest to British Government, 43;
  warning to Germany of American rights on high seas, 46;
  _Lusitania_ notes, 53-57, 61;
  to Germany (April 19, 1916), 61, 107


Officers' training camp, 130-131

Olney, Richard, on American foreign policy, 33

_Orduna_, submarine attack on, 56

Oregon, question of initiative and referendum in, 15

Orlando, V. E., signs plea for American troops, 210;
  in Council of Ten, 272;
  on Council of Premiers, 277;
  and Fiume claim, 312;
  retires from Conference, 313;
  resumes place in Conference, 314

Overman Act, 149, 157, 189, 190


Pacifists, Wilson as pacifist, 39-40;
  organizations, 73;
  Ford's "Peace Ship," 74;
  oppose preparedness, 81;
  and Liberty Loans, 187

Paderewski, I. J., and Council of Ten, 274

Panama Canal, question of tolls, 35

Papen, Franz von, German military attaché, 75, 76;
  letter to his wife, 77;
  dismissed, 78

Paris, fears capture (1918), 210;
  _see also_ Peace Conference

Peace Conference, 254 _et seq._;
  Wilson at, 23;
  American Commission, 248-50;
  delay in opening, 256-57, 285;
  lack of organization, 257;
  atmosphere, 257-58;
  meets (Jan. 18, 1919), 261;
  commissions, 275-76;
  German delegates at, 317;
  bibliography, 364-65

"Peace Ship," Henry Ford sends to Europe, 74

_Pennsylvania_, battleship, precedes _George Washington_ out of New York
    harbor, 253

Peronne, capture of, 192

Pershing, General J. J., Mexican expedition, 87, 88;
  commands American Expeditionary Force, 122, 123-24, 148;
  personal characteristics, 123;
  calls for replacements, 130;
  insistent on offensive spirit, 131;
  and Browning guns, 138;
  plea for troops, 194, 196;
  policy, 205;
  policy shattered, 208-09;
  confidence in American troops, 211, 222;
  on Americans at Soissons, 216;
  and armistice, 244;
  ready for invasion of Germany, 320

Pétain, General H. P., Pershing compared with, 123;
  supports Foch, 207

Philippines, and American foreign policy, 32;
  problem in 1912, 35;
  Pershing's experience in, 123

Pichon, Stephane, French Foreign Minister, Council of Ten meets in
    study of, 264;
  in Council of Ten, 267

Pittsburgh, Wilson speaks at, 83

Plattsburg (N. Y.), civilian camp at, 82

Plebiscites, 326;
  _see also_ Self-determination

Poland, Austria and Poles, 232;
  claims, 282;
  nationalistic ambitions aroused by treaty, 322;
  independence recognized, 324;
  outlet to sea, 326;
  and League, 328

Politics, insignificant rôle in Great War, 226;
  _see also_ Democratic party, Republican party

Pomerene, Atlee, proposes committee of conciliation for treaty, 345

Portugal, Germany ranks American army with that of, 117

Preparedness, 71 _et seq._;
  Wilson and, 15, 58, 117, 118;
  Wood on, 80-81;
  of army when war declared, 117

Princeton University, Wilson at, 3-5

Progressive party, 92

Propaganda, German, 44, 65, 71-74, 186

_Punch_, cartoon on Wilson's patience, 56


Quai d'Orsay, Peace Conference held at, 261, 310

Queenstown, destroyers sent to, 145, 197, 199


Raggi, Salvago, on territorial commission of Peace Conference, 276

Reading, Lord, refuses mission for separate peace with Austria, 231

Red Cross, American help for, 67

Reparations Commission, 305-306;
  _see also_ Indemnities

Republican party, and Wilson, 1, 5-6;
  and election of 1916, 89-92;
  success (1918), 247

Revertata, Austrian emissary, 231

Rheims cathedral shelled, 73

Rintelen, Franz von, German agent, 80

Roebling wire-rope shop, suspected German plots in, 79

Roosevelt, F. D., Assistant Secretary of Navy, 144

Roosevelt, Theodore, Wilson contrasted to, 16-17, 18;
  as peacemaker between Russia and Japan, 34;
  on America's policy of non-intervention in Europe, 39, 53, 69;
  Republicans refuse as candidate (1916), 90-91;
  Wilson refuses volunteer command, 122-23;
  attack on Wilson's war policies, 188;
  plea for Republican Congress (1898), 246-47;
  on making of the peace, 251

Root, Elihu, popular demand for membership on Peace Commission, 249

Rosenwald, Julius, on Council of National Defense, 155

Rumania, enters war, 99;
  defeat, 100;
  demand for territory, 282;
  nationalistic ambitions aroused by treaty, 322;
  boundaries extended, 327

Russia, Alaska purchased from, 31;
  Roosevelt as peacemaker between Japan and, 34;
  in 1916, 100;
  wheat supply cut off from Europe, 159;
  Bolshevik revolution, 193;
  Brusilov attack, 193;
  negotiations with Germany, 232;
  Brest-Litovsk treaty, 239;
  problem unsettled, 322

Ruthenians complain of treaty, 322

Ryan, J. D., director of aircraft production for army, 142


S. O. S., _see_ Service of Supply

Saar, "The Inquiry" gathers facts concerning, 260;
  French claim, 302, 325;
  and the League, 328

St. Louis, Wilson speaks at, 83

St. Mihiel, battle, 124, 134, 211, 218, 219-20

St. Nazaire, port allotted to American Expeditionary Force, 202

St. Quentin, American engineering units at, 211;
  Hindenburg line broken at, 224

Scheidemann, Philipp, German premier, 317

Schwab, C. M., in charge of Emergency Fleet Corporation, 176, 178

Selective Service Act, 122, 127;
  _see also_ Draft

Self-determination, principle of, 325;
  _see also_ Plebiscites

Serbia, relief, 67;
  demand for territory, 282;
  treaty term concerning, 327

Service of Supply, 202-05

Shadowlawn, Wilson's speech at, 98

Shantung, Japan's claim, 315-317;
  Chinese resent settlement, 321

Shipping Board, _see_ United States Shipping Board

Sims, Admiral W. S., commands destroyer flotillas, 145, 197;
  personal characteristics, 198;
  international reputation, 198-99

Smith, James, Democratic boss of New Jersey, Wilson and, 6

Smuts, General, mission to Switzerland in behalf of peace with
    Austria, 231;
  and League of Nations, 289, 290;
  signs treaty, 321

Soissons, American troops at, 216

Somme front, Hindenburg's retreat, 192

Sonnino, S. C., Baron, Italian Peace Commissioner, 251;
  opposed Wilson's programme, 252;
  in Council of Ten, 271-72;
  languages, 272;
  and Fiume, 312

Spain, war with, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33, 51;
  agent of General Purchasing Board in, 204

Springfield rifle, 138

Stone, W. J., approves embargo on munitions, 44;
  supports resolutions concerning armed merchant vessels, 59

Students' Army Training Corps, 131

Submarine warfare, 45, 47 _et seq._, 105, 106-07, 109-10, 193

Sumner, British financial expert, 300

_Sussex_, torpedoed without warning, 60, 80;
  pledge, 62, 97;
  feeling in America regarding, 99;
  withdrawal of pledge, 106

Switzerland, agent of General Purchasing Board in, 204


Taft, W. H., attitude toward America's entering war, 53;
  president of League to Enforce Peace, 96;
  on National War Labor Board, 182;
  popular demand for membership on Peace Commission, 249;
  for compromise on treaty, 346

Tardieu, André, in Council of Ten, 267;
  on territorial commission, 276;
  assists House in reconciling Wilson and Allied leaders, 304

Tauscher, Captain Hans, and German plots, 76

Teschen, "The Inquiry" gathers facts concerning mines in, 260

Texas promised by Germany as bribe to Mexico, 106

_Times_, London, Wilson sanctions Britain's position on seas in, 323

Treaty, flaws in, 321-22;
  Senate and, 330 _et seq._;
  _see also_ League of Nations, Peace Conference

Treaty of London, 310-11, 312, 313, 314

Tumulty, J. P., Wilson and, 18

Turkey, collapse, 224, 228

Tyrol, Italian claim in, 288, 311;
  Italy granted territory, 326


Underwood, O. W., motion for ratification of treaty, 344

United States, foreign policy, 30-36;
  material change due to war (1914-16), 66-68;
  blindness to war issues, 68;
  reasons for entering war, 114-15

United States Shipping Board, 175


Vanceboro (Maine), German plot to destroy bridge at, 75

_Vaterland_ rechristened _Leviathan_, 179

Venezuelan crisis, 30

Venizelos, Eleutherios, and Council of Ten, 273-74;
  member of League of Nations commission, 289;
  on League, 328

Vera Cruz, occupation of, 86

Vickers machine guns, 137

_Vigilancia_ torpedoed, 111

Villa, Francisco, expedition against, 87, 123


War Industries Board, 156, 188

War Labor Policies Board, 182

War Trade Board, 179, 259

Washington, George, warns against entangling alliances, 28

Welland Canal, German plot to destroy, 75-76

Wesleyan University, Wilson as professor at, 3

White, Henry, at Algeciras Conference, 34;
  on Peace Commission, 249

_Wilhelmina_, British seize, 43

Willard, Daniel, on Council of National Defense, 155

Wilson, Woodrow, as an executive, 1 _et seq._;
  elected President, 1, 8;
  age, 2;
  early life, 2;
  personal characteristics, 2-3, 8 _et seq._;
  _Congressional Government_, thesis, 3;
  Professor at Princeton, 3;
  graduate work at Johns Hopkins, 3;
  President of Princeton, 4;
  enters politics, 5;
  Governor of New Jersey, 5-7;
  Presidential nomination, 7-8;
  Cabinet, 13-14, 153-54;
  appointments, 13-15;
  social relations, 17;
  tactical mistakes, 18, 19-20, 247-48, 292;
  speeches, 19;
  as phrase-maker, 19, 51-52;
  unpopularity, 19-20, 68-70, 89, 245-46, 253, 332, 337-38;
  political principles, 20-23;
  religious convictions, 23-24;
  and foreign affairs, 25-26, 35;
  and neutrality, 39-41;
  and mediation, 41-42, 99, 100;
  and proposed embargo on munitions, 44;
  answer to German submarine proclamation, 46;
  and House, 47, 48;
  diplomatic struggle with Germany, 52-57;
  and right of merchantmen to arm for defense, 58-60, 110-11;
  _Sussex_ note to Germany, 61-62;
  change in foreign policy, 63-65;
  on German-Americans, 79-80, 90, 91;
  and preparedness, 81, 82, 84-85, 90, 117-118, 151;
  speech-making tour (1916), 83-84;
  and Mexico, 86-88;
  political strength, 88-89;
  reëlection (1916), 88-93, 99;
  development of international ideal, 94-97;
  speech at Omaha, 98;
  speech at Shadowlawn, 98;
  peace note (Dec. 18, 1916), 100, 101-03;
  demands definition of war aims, 101;
  speech in Senate (Jan. 22, 1917), 103-05;
  severs diplomatic relations with Germany, 107-08;
  speech in Congress (Feb. 3, 1917), 107-09;
  demand that Congress recognize state of war (April 2, 1917), 111-113;
  idealism, 113-14, 115, 280;
  policy of centralization, 119-120, 147-49, 152-53, 188-91;
  and Pershing, 122, 226;
  and Roosevelt, 122-23;
  and draft, 126;
  proclamation (May 18, 1917), 150-51;
  on coöperation of people, 156;
  and Hoover, 160, 161;
  and Garfield, 167;
  and revolt in Senate against war policies, 188-189, 190-91;
  supports appointment of generalissimo, 207;
  receives plea for troops from Allies, 210;
  distribution of speeches in Central Empires, 228;
  Flag Day address, 229;
  reply to Pope's peace proposals, 230-31;
  and question of separate peace with Austria, 231;
  formulates Fourteen Points, 233-38;
  appeals to peoples of Central Empire, 239-40;
  Germany requests armistice of, 241;
  negotiations with Germany, 242;
  responsibility for armistice, 243;
  power in situation, 245;
  appeal for Democratic Congress, 246, 247;
  appointment of Peace Commission, 248-50;
  decision to go to Paris, 250, 251-53;
  Roosevelt on, 251;
  arrival in Europe, 254;
  in Paris, 254;
  in England, 255;
  in Italy, 255;
  stands for justice, 255-256, 282;
  popularity wanes, 256;
  use of experts, 260;
  in Council of Ten, 268;
  and Lloyd George, 270;
  heads League of Nations commission, 275, 276;
  on Council of Premiers, 277;
  and Council of Four, 279, 280;
  difficulties of task, 281, 284;
  and indemnities, 281, 296-97;
  and demands of smaller nationalities, 281-82;
  and League of Nations, 282-84, 286, 289-90, 310, 343-44, 346,
    348-49, 353;
  on disposition of German colonies, 284, 288;
  original treaty plan, 285;
  and Clemenceau, 286-287;
  British delegates support, 287, 288;
  and "mandatories," 288;
  returns to United States, 290, 292-95;
  failure to convince America of League's value, 293-95;
  speech in Metropolitan Opera House, New York City, 294-295;
  returns to Paris, 295;
  opposes French annexation of Saar region, 302;
  French attacks on, 303-04;
  threatens to leave Conference, 304;
  compromises, 304-08, 309;
  and Fiume, 312-13;
  and Shantung claim, 315, 316-17;
  on modification of treaty, 318-19;
  cheered upon Germany's acceptance of treaty, 320;
  returns to United States, 329;
  inability to negotiate with Senate, 333-35;
  conference at White House, 336-37;
  lack of popular support, 337-38;
  speech-making tour in West, 339-40;
  breakdown, 341;
  and treaty reservations, 341-42, 348;
  blame for defeat of treaty, 350, 351;
  phases of administration, 352-53;
  estimate of achievement, 353-59;
  bibliography, 361-62

Wood, General Leonard, on unpreparedness of army, 80-81;
  at Plattsburg, 82;
  on failure of American airplane production, 142

Works, J. D., introduces Senate bill prohibiting sale of munitions, 73

_World_, New York, admits Wilson's defeat (1916), 92


_Yarrowdale_, German cruelty to American prisoners on, 111

Yser, battle of the, Foch at, 207


Zeebrugge, naval work at, 200

Zimmermann, A. F. M., German Secretary of Foreign Affairs, 106, 114





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