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Major Problems in AmeriamFl1reignPolicy

sailors at the deposition. of other nations?" One question looks to the future: Did it matter that the United States did not join the League of Nations?


Wilson issued his Fourteen Points in a speech on January 8, 1918. reprinted here as the first document. The League of Nations was created at Versailles and its Article 10, the second document. aroused heated controversy in the United States; Wilson considered the article the heart of the Covenant and the key to collective security. The third document is the speecb Wilson gave in San Francisco on September 17, 1919, defending the League against mounting c:riticism. Led by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, critics otfered a number of reservations to the Covenant and inc:orponlted them in a Lodge resolution dated November 19, 1919, reprinted as the last document.

The Fourteen Points, 1918

We entered this war because violations of right had occurred which touched us to the quick and made the life of our own people impossible unless they were corrected and the world secured once for all against their recurrence. What we demand in this warp thereforep 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. An the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this inte~ and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to otbers it will not be done to us. The programme of the world's peace, therefore, is our programme; and that programme, the only possible programme, as we see it, is this:

I. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.

II. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas maybe closed in whole or in part by. international .action for the enforcement of international covenants.

III. The removal, so far as possible. of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among an the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.

IV. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will I be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.

j I V:alA free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all co om claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty tbe interests of the populations






concerned must have eqi whose tide is to be dett

VI. The evacuation all questions affecting F of the other nations of unembarrassed opportu political development an into the society of free 1 more than a welcome, ~ may herself desire. The the months to come wi prehension of ber need their intelligent and un.

vn.~thewl without any attempt to with all other free natic to restore confidence ar selves set and determi another. Without this ternaiionaI law is fore\

vm. All French t restored. and the wror of Alsace-Lorraine. wi fifty years, should be r secure in the interest (

IX. A readjustmen clearly recognizable iiI X. The peoples of we wish to see safegr opportunity of autonOi

XI. Rumania, Sed territories restored;Se the relations of the S( friendly counsel along tionality; and internati pendence and territor. entered into.

XII. The Turkish assured a secure SOVt under Turkish rule sru absolutely. unmolested Dardanelles should be and commerce of all I

XHI. An independi the territories inhabiti be assured a free ant:

rioted here S 8ncJ'its nited

e key to :an Fran:riticism. it number l)iution

II touched ness they currence. IUrselves. rly that it a, wishes of justice force and srs in this ustice be e world's

, possible

iere shall acy shall

:erritorial in whole mational

; and the ons contee.

ents will

nt of all ~ that in pulations


Woodrow WJlson. Henry Cabot Lodge. tmd tht Utzaut Fight 75

concerned must have equal weight with the equitable daims of the government whose title is to be detennined.

VI. The evacuation of all Russian territory and such a settlement of questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest cooperation the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and

.unembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of her own political development and national policy and assure her of a sincere welcome the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing; and, than a welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and herself desire. lhe treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in

months to come wiD be the acid test of their good will. of their comPl:ehj~nsion of her needs as distinguished from their own interests. and of intelligent and unselfish sympathy_

VB. Belgium. the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored. :withau.t -mtV atteft!Pl to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other siitgle aer wtUIst!rVe" cnr "thit' ~iJ.l .. '\ft~ to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined for the government of their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of international law is forever impaired.

vm. All French territory .should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which ha.s unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more be made secure in the" interest of all.

IX. A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.

X. The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity of autonomous development.

XI. Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into.

XII. The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.

xm. An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and


Major Problems in AmeriCll1l Foreign Policy

economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by . international covenant.

XIV. 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 ..••.

We have spoken now, surely, in terms too concrete to admit of any further doubt or question. An evident principle runs through the whole programme I have outlined. It is the principle of justice to all peoples and nationalities, and their right to live on equal terms of h"berty and safety with one another, whether they .be strong or weak. Unless this principle

. be made its foundation 110. part of the structure of international justice can stand. The people of the United .states could act upon no other principle; and to the vindication of this principle they are ready to devote their lives, their bonor, and everythingtlult they possess. The moral .cJimax of this the culminating and final war for human liberty has come, and they are ready to put their own strength,their()Wll highest purpose, their own integrity and devotion to the test.

Article 10 .of the

League Covenafit, 1919

Article 10. The Members of the League undertake to respect and preserve as against external aggression tbe territorial integrity and. existing political independence of all Members of the. League. In case of any such aggression or in case of any threat or danger of such aggression the Council shall advise upon the means by which this obligation shall be fulfilled.

Wilson Defends the League, 1919

It is my purpose, fellow citizens, to analyze the objections which are made to this great League,and I shall be very brief. In the first place, you know that one of the difficulties which have been experienced by those who are objecting to this League is that they do not think that there is a wide enough door open for us to get out. For my own part, I am not one of those who, whe~ .tqey go into a generous enterprise, think first of'all how they are going to tum away from those with whom they are associated.! am not one of those who. when they go into a concert for the peace of the world, want to sit close to the door With their hand on the knob and~onstantly trying tbe door to be sure that it is not locked. If we want to go into this tbing-and we do want to go into it-we will go in it with our whole hearts and settled purpose to stand by the great enterprise to the end . .Nevertheless, you will.remember-some of you,] .dare say-that\Vilen I came home in March for an all too brief visit to this country, which seems tome the fairest and dearest in the world, I brought back with. me the. first draft of the Covenant of the League of Nations. I called into •.. consultation the Committees on Foreign Affairs and on Foreign Relations of the. House and

Senate of the United Sta One of the things that th that any member of the 1 that suggestion back to accepted and acted upc conference at the White in Paris. There is not a debate upon which sum not one of those sugges peace.

. The gentlemen say," You have said that we c we shall have fulfilled alI under the Covenant." • States not to fulfill ber . shall wish to withdraw and say that they want out or not?" I for one a on that basis. The Unh ligations, and, God hel Covenant to prevent be matter. The only thing is the public opinion of m satisfied the publicopu for my part am. not a:ti that might condemn us us to stay in the Leagu right to withdraw.

One of the other su of the two Houses did Covenant of tbe Leagu Paris, and they at one nothing in the Covenant What is the validity of that if any outside pc impose its will upon a States is a.t liberty to ac that it does not have t~ it does not have to wait and its own Congress. diplomacy that any gre Monroe Doctrine. No' the world except Gerr great fighting power, a' acknowledge it as part

They are nervous 2 to think that the League

;uaranteed by

under specific )f political in; alike .... admit of any

Igh the whole U peoples and iy and safety this principle

aal justice can ther principle; ote their lives, nax of this the hey are ready own integrity

t and preserve isting political ach aggression

Council shall filled.

rhich are made lee, you know those who are a wide enough of those who, how they are

sted. I am not e of the world, and constantly to go into this If whole hearts • Nevertheless, came home in !IDS to me the Ie first draft of msultation the the House and

Woodrow Wilson, Henry CabDt Lodae. and the UnDue Fight 77

Senate of the United States, and laid the draft of the Covenant before them. One of the things that they proposed was that it should be explicitly stated that any member of the League should have the right to withdraw. I carried that suggestion back to Paris, and without the slightest hesitation it was accepted and acted upon; and every suggestion which was made in that conference at the White House was accepted by the conference of peace in Paris. There is not a feature of the Covenant, except one, now under debate upon which suggestions were not made at that time, and there is not one of those suggestions that was not adopted by the conference of .. peace.

The gentlemen say, "You have laid a limitation Upon the right to withdraw.

You have said that we can withdraw upon two years' notice, if at that time we shall have fulfilled aU our international obligations and all our obligations under the Covenant." "Yes," I reply; His it characteristic of the United

States not to fulfill her international obligations? Is there any fear that we shall wish to withdraw dishonorably? Are gentlemen willing to stand up and say that they want to get out whether they have the moral right to get out or not?" 1 for one am too proud as an American to debate that subject on that basis. The United States has always fulfilled. its international obligations, and, God helping her, she always will. There is nothing in the Covenant to prevent her acting upon her own judgment with regard to that matter. The only thing she has to fear, the only thing she has to regard, is the public opinion of mankind, and inasmuch as we have always scrupulously satisfied the public opinion of mankind with regard to justice and right, I for tnYpart am not afraid at anytime to go before that jury .. It is a jury that might condemn us if we did wrong, but it is not a jury that could oblige US to stay in the League, so that there is absOlutely no limitation upon our right to. withdraw.

One of the other SUggestiOns I carried to Pariswas that the committees

Of the two Houses did not find the Monroe Doctrine safeguarded in the U)Ve1l8.l1t of the League ofN~tions. I suggested that to the conference in and. theyat.0nce inserted the provision which is now there that nothing in .the Covtmant shall be construed as affecting the :Monroe Doctrine. VIhat is the vaJidityoftlteMonroe.Doctrine? The Monroe Doctrine means that if anyoutsi~epow~r,any power outside this hemisphere, tries to impose its wiUupon any portion of . the Western Hemisphe.re the United States is at liberty to act independently and alone in repelling the aggression; that it does not have to \\fait for the action of the League of Nations; that it does notbave to wait for anything but the •. action of its own administration and its own CongreSS. This is.the first time in thebistoryof international diplomacy that any great government has acknowledged the validity of the Monroe Doctrine -. Now for the first time. ~ the great fighting powers of the world except Germany, which for the time being bas ceased to. be a great fighting power, acknowledge the validity of the. Monroe Doctrine and acknowledge it as part of the international practice of the world.

They are nervous about domestic questions. They say. "It is intolerable to think that the League of Nations should interfere with domestic questions,"


Major Problems in American For. Policy

and whenever they begin to specify they speak of the question of immigration, of the question of naturalization, of the question of the tariff. My fellow citizens, no competent or authoritative student of international law would dream of maintaining that these were' anything but exclusively domestic questions, and the Covenant of the League expressly provides that the League can take no action whatever about matters which are in the practice of international law regarded as domestic questions. We did not undertake to enumerate samples of domestic questions for the very good reason, which will occur to any lawyer, that if you made a list it would be inferred that what you left out was not included. Nobody with a thoughtful knowledge of international practice bas the least doubt as to what are domestic questions, and there is no obscurity whatever in this Covenant with regard to the safeguarding of the United States, along with other sovereign countries, in the control of domestic questions. I beg that you will not fancy, my fellow citizens, that the United States is the only country that is jealous of its sovereignty. Throughout these conferences it was necessary at every tum 'to safeguard the sovereign independence of the several governments who

were taking part in the conference, and they were just as keen to protect themselves against outside intervention in domestic matters as we were. Therefore the whole heartiness of their concurrent opinion runs with this safeguarding of domestic questions.

It is objected that the British Empire has six votes and we have one.

The answer to that is that it is most carefully arranged that our one vote , equals the six votes of the British Empire. Anybody who will take the pains to read the Covenant of the League of Nations will find out that the . assembly-and it is only in the assembly that the British Empire has six . votes-is not a voting body ....

Not a single affirmative act or negative decision upon a-matter of action taken by the League of Nations can be validated without the vote of the United States of America. We can dismiss from our dreams the six votes of the British Empire, for the real underlying conception of the assembly of the League of Nations is that g is the forum of opinion, not of action. It is the debating body; it is the body where the thought of the little nation along with the thought of the big nation is brought to bear upon those matters which affect the peace of the world, is brought to bear upon those matters which affect the .. 8OOd.1lDderstanding between nations upon which the peace of the. world depends; where this stifted voice of humanity is at last to be heard, where. nations that have borne .the unspeakable sufferings", of the ages that must have seemed to them like aeons will find voice * expression, where the. moral judgntent of mankind can sway the opinion of the world .• That is the function of the assembly. The assembly is the voice of mankind. The council, where unanimous action is necessary, is the only means through which that voice can accomplish action.

You say, "We have heard a great deal about Article X." I just now said that the only substitute for the League ofNationswb.ich is otIeredby the opponents is .a return. to the old system .. What was .the old system? That the strong had all the rights and need pay no attention to the rights


o_f the weak:; that if a ! ngbt to go and take it; they pleased and there

Tht Resolved ... That tJx treaty of peace with ! and understandings , , United States until the accepted by ... at Ie powers •...

. 1. .. , in case of provided in said artic~ as to whether all its i notice of withdraWal Congress of the Unitt

2. The United Sft integrity or political provisions of article United States under a particular case the Cc ... shall ... so prm

3, No mandate sir ... except by action 4. The United St wbat questions are w

5. The united St assembly or by the cc in the judgment of· t Monroe doctrine; sai alone and is ... whol

6. The United St [Shantung clauses] ..

7. The Congress pointment of the rep the council of the I~ the participation Of , sball represent the U treaty of peace . , . States ....

9. The United Sti ef tbeJeague of natH sball have been mad 10. If the United 0{ armaments propo

: immigration, f. My fellow allaw would 'ely domestic ides that the n the practice lot undertake reason, which

inferred that iII knowledge stic questions, regard to the l countries, in cy, my fellow je310us of its at every turn

ernments who een to protect ; as we were. runs with this

we have one. ; our one vote will take the KI out that the ~mpire has six

latter of action he vote of the s the six votes f the assembly

not of action. .he little nation ar upon those ear upon those ns upon which humanity is at table sufferings

find voice and ay the opinion issembly is the s necessary, is ction.

X." I just now ch is offered by he old system? :>0 to the rights

Woodrow Wilson. Henry Cabot Lodge, and the League Fight 79

weak.; that if a great powerful nation saw what it wanted, it had the to go and take it; that the weak nations could cry out and cry out as pleased and there would be no hearkening ear anywhere to their rights.

The Lodge Reservations, 1919

... That the Senate advise and consent to the ratification of the of peace with Germany . . . subject to the following reservations understandings . . • which ratification is not to take effect or bind the ..

States until the said reservations and understandings ... have been by . . . at least three of the four principal allied and associated

1. •..• in case of notice of withdrawal from the league of nations, as in said article [Article I], the United States shall be the sole judge to whether all its international obligations . . . have been fulfilled, and of withdrawal •... may be given by a concurrent resolution of the An01I'P!~~ of the United States.

2. The United. States assumes no obligation to preserve the territorial or political independence of any other country . • . under the of article 10, or to employ the nillitary or naval forces of the States under any article of the treaty for any purpose, unless in any

.rl1'~l1J'.r case the Congress, which ..• has th,e sole power to declare war . shall •.. so provide.

3. No mandate shall be accepted by the United States under article 22 . except by action of the Congress of the United States.

4. The Unite~ States reserves to itseifexclusivelythe right to decide questions are within its domestic jurisdiction .. .; .

5. The United States will not submit to arbitration or to inquiry by the iSeJn01LY or by the council of the league of nations •.. any questions which the judgment of the United States depend upon or relate to . . . the doctrine; said doctrine is to be interpreted by the United States and is ..• wholly outside the jurisdiction of said league of nations .... 6. The United States withholds its assent to articles 156, 157, and 158 !)bWlltullg clauses] ...•

7. The Congress of the United States will provide by law for the ap~iJJltment of the representatives of the United States in the assembly and council of the league of nations, and may in its discretion provide for participation of the United States in any commission .... no person represent the United States under either said league of nations or the of peace ... except with the approval of the Senate of the United

9. The United States shall not be obligated to contribute to any expenses the league of nations ... unless and until an appropriation of funds ... have been made by the Congress of the United States.

10. If the United States shall at any time adopt any plan for the limitation armaments proposed by the council of the league . • . it reserves the

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