Though the armistice was in effect, the Allies continued to wage war against Germany via a naval blockade and to pressure Germany into acquiescence at Versailles. The United States briefly sent troops to Russia to overthrow the Bolsheviks, but this half-hearted and ineffective interference in Russian affairs would only lay the groundwork for the Cold War decades later.
German envoys who signed peace treaty
Woodrow Wilson arrived in Paris in December 1918 to negotiate the peace agreements, and to secure a new-world order, but he soon lost his fight for a more lenient, humane settlement. Instead of open-door deliberations he had promised, the negotiations took place behind closed doors. Wilson got the League of Nations he desperately wanted, but paid the price of a harsh peace to get it. As the conference continued, many people in Europe became disillusioned with Wilson, thinking he had betrayed them. In effect, the conference became a sham; from the Balkans to the Middle East, the unresolved issues of the Great War were simply rearranged.
The Treaty of Versailles was finally signed June 28, 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. The peace treaty proved no real peace. Instead, the seeds were sown for an even more catastrophic war just one generation later.
Top Photo: The Big Four at the Paris Peace Conference. Lloyd George, Vittorio Orlando, George Clemenceau and Woodrow Wilson from Britain, Italy, France and the United States, respectively
|PBS - Woodrow Wilson Website
While the Great War raged in Europe, President Wilson was very much aware that the destiny of United States would be influenced by this "total war." The "American Experience: Woodrow Wilson" website portrays American's involvement in the Great War.
American Experience: Woodrow Wilson - Home Page
Explore the life, times, and issues of American's 28th president.
America at War
Wilson tried to keep the United States out of war, but events eventually pulled the country into the trenches on the Western Front.
African Americans During the War
Black leader W.E. B. Du Bois supported American's entry into war as one more way for black Americans to gain equality.
The American suffragette leaders attempted to pass a Constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote, but first they had to support the war in Europe.
League of Nations
After the Paris Peace Conference, Wilson struggled to create a world peace-keeping organization that would resolve future international conflicts.
Poster Art of World War I - Gallery
Explore how Wilson's propaganda-machine, the Committee for Public Information, created rousing posters to rally public support for the war.