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The common goals and different approach of george clemenceau and woodrow wilson on world peace

Woodrow Wilson

Personalities of the Big Three: Woodrow Wilson, Georges Clemenceau and David Lloyd George Woodrow Wilson, as described in the introductory section of the textwas the leader of the immediate post-war period and was the architect of an internationalist vision for a new world order. Yet, as discussed in the paragraphs below, he was not able to persuade the other Allied leaders at the peace settlement negotiations in Paris to embrace his vision.

But it was not just the opposition of Clemenceau and Lloyd George to some of his ideas that moved the conference away from Wilson's vision.

President Wilson Begins Negotiations for a World War One Peace Treaty

Wilson became so blindingly caught up in his vision, thinking that everything he advocated was what democracy and justice wanted, that he completely alienated the other negotiators in Paris, and they stopped listening to him.

But as the conference dragged on and the departure from Wilsonianism became more and more pronounced, Wilson clung to his proposal for the League of Nations.

In fact, he seemed to place all his faith in his pet project, believing it would solve all the evils the negotiators were unable to solve during the conference.

  • When the Allies finally began to prepare for the end of World War Two, they rejected any idea of restoring the League, and instead moved to establish a new organisation, the United Nations UN;
  • His father was a strict Christian minister and Woodrow Wilson was brought up in a household associated with such beliefs.

Thus, though full of good intentions and a vision for a just and peaceful future, Wilson's arrogance and ineffective negotiating skills largely contibuted to the downfall of his vision. Finally, it must be mentioned that Wilson's inability to negotiate with the Senate in its discussion of the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles caused the Senate to reject the Treaty, leaving the United States noticeably absent from the newly created League of Nations, which greatly undermined the effectiveness and importance of Wilson's principal goal.

Historians generally portray French Premier Georges Clemenceau as the man who was still fighting the war months after the signing of the armistice.

He had always been deeply affected by the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, which France had lost and as a result had been forced to sacrifice the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine to the hated Germans. This time on the side of the victors, he was determined to do what he could to keep Germany down, both as a measure of revenge and in the interests of France's peaceful future.

Since France had suffered the greatest economic losses of any of the warring countries, he insisted upon reparations from Germany to allow France to begin to rebuild itself. He also fought for and obtained a fifteen-year buffer between France and Germany via Allied occupation of the Rhineland and bilateral treaties with Britain and the U.

  • He feared that Republicans might gain a majority of seats in Congress;
  • In this sense, he was similar to Lloyd George of Britain who privately wanted Germany to remain relatively strong so that the country could act as a bulwark against the communism that he believed would spread from Russia;
  • Or, still more disastrously, in the case of Italian pressure on Abyssinia, the guilt was clear enough but the key powers, Britain and France, were unwilling to antagonise the guilty party because of their wider strategic fears;
  • They cheered as his train passed;
  • The end of the cold war triggered an unprecedented upsurge in UN commitments.

Clemenceau was working for the best interests of France, to allow her to pick up the pieces after the terrible war without needing to worry about a belligerent neighbor, and to try to ensure that France would never again have to suffer the enormous losses World War I had caused the French people.

But Clemenceau resisted the idea, popular among many French politicians at the time, to dismember the German state into its subparts, and that resistance may have caused his defeat in the presidential election shortly after the Paris peace conference ended. These campaign promises went against Lloyd George's personal convictions.

  1. In 1890, he was appointed a professor at Princeton, a position he held until 1902. President Wilson was a Democrat.
  2. Everyone expected him to include one or more senators. The History Learning Site, 22 May 2015.
  3. And a huge crowd welcomed him there. He feared that Republicans might gain a majority of seats in Congress.

Knowing that Germany had been Britain's best pre-war trading partner, he thought that Britain's best chance to return to its former prosperity was to restore Germany to a financially stable situation, which would have required a fairly generous peace with respect to the vanquished enemy.

So Lloyd George and Clemenceau were in agreement on many points, each one seeming to support the other in their nationalist objectives, and thereby scratching each other's back as the "game of grab" of Germany's power played itself out.

  • The audio engineer was Calvin Fowler;
  • Americans had supported Wilson's policies through most of the war.

But most historians do not attribute to Lloyd George a significant role in the Treaty negotiations.