World War I's Aftermath: Attack on Civil Liberties and Betrayal at Versailles
Wilson hailed as hero in Dover, England, 1919
I. Attack on Civil Liberties
II. The Red Scare
A. Following Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, American hatred for Germany
was transferred to Communist Russia.
IV. The Versailles Peace Conference
B. Wilson sent American troops to Russia in 1918 in attempt to undercut
C. Following the war, a number of strikes, particularly in the steel
industry, alarmed Americans.
D. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer exaggerated radical threat and
created the Federal Bureau of Investigation to fight it.
1. Series of mail bombs set off panic among government officials
2. Palmer Raids, January 1920. With blatant disregard for civil liberties,
federal officers raided suspected anarchists and aliens without search
3. Palmer eventually lost credibility with his tactics, though the
FBI survived and became the federal crime-fighting unit
A. Hailed as a hero by the French, Wilson faced some major obstacles
in implementing his 14 Points (League of Nations, freedom of the seas,
V. The Experience of War
1. Republicans had won control of Congress in 1918 and many were opposed
to his plans
B. Wilson forced to accept compromises at Versailles
2. Allies were determined to impose a harsh peace of Germany.
1. Germany accepts sole responsibility for war
C. American debate over treaty
2. Germany ordered to pay massive reparations despite economic deprivation
3. League of Nations is established with collective security concept
to stop aggression.
1. Treaty was criticized in Congress for Article X, which called for
American troops to be placed under the command of League of Nations officers
2. In an attempt to win support from the country, Wilson embarked on
a nationwide speaking tour. Suffered collapse and stroke.
3. Senate rejected the Treaty. Unwilling to give up tradition of nonalignment
and to commit the U.S. to collective international action.
A. Exposed the heterogeneity of the American people and the dvisions
B. Government intervened in the economic and influenced people's lives
to an extent never done previously.
C. U.S. is now the world's leading economic power and largest trading
D. International system that came into being was unstable, fragmented,
and lacked American cooperation
E. Civil liberties restricted in attempt to achieve unity
F. Ended Progressivism and brought mood of cynicism and discouragement
to American intellectuals
Please cite this source when appropriate:
Feldmeth, Greg D. "U.S. History Resources"
http://home.earthlink.net/~gfeldmeth/USHistory.html (31 March 1998).
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