The Treaty of Versailles

By : Kristen Kammerer

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About the Treaty...

The Treaty of Versailles was the peace settlement signed after World War One had ended in 1918 and in the shadow of the Russian Revolution and other events in Russia. The treaty was signed at the vast Versailles Palace near Paris - hence its title - between Germany and the Allies. The three most important politicians there were David Lloyd George, George Clemenceau and Woodrow Wilson.
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League of Nations...

The Republican leader of the Senate, Henry Cabot Lodge, was very suspicious of Wilson and his treaty. Article X of the league of nations required the United States to respect the territorial integrity of member states. Although there was no requirement compelling an American declaration of war, the United States might be bound to impose an economic embargo or to sever diplomatic relations. Lodge viewed the League as a supranational government that would limit the power of the American government from determining its own affairs. Others believed the League was the sort of entangling alliance the United States had avoided since George Washington's farewell address . Lodge sabotaged the League covenant by declaring the United States exempt from Article X. He attached reservations, or amendments, to the treaty to this effect. Wilson, bedridden from a debilitating stroke, was unable to accept these changes. He asked Senate Democrats to vote against the Treaty of Versailles unless the Lodge reservations were dropped. Neither side budged, and the treaty went down to defeat.