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The League of Nations


Through Wind and Stormy Weather We're in This Together

As I looked at the gorgeous Rocky Mountains a lot of things came to mind. After spending time with family and friends I sure had a lot to digest. I had to get my mind focuseed on the Trek again and get reacquainted with this lifestyle of no boundries. The Rocky Mountains inspired me about the past and made me really think about the future.

These beautiful Rockies that lay before me were the same Mountains that our 23rd president Woodrow Wilson had fallen ill in. On a massive tour to get support for the League Of Nations, Wilson was giving speeches about the League of Peace until he collapsed in Pueblo, Colorado. He was immediately taken to Washington D.C where he suffered a stroke. Wilson was getting closer and closer to the end of his life, but he had long had dreams of World Peace through a League Of Nations. And he fought for this. He fought for it so hard he ended up losing a lot of sleep over it, and some say his determination to create peace was a factor in the ending of his life. The League that Wilson worked so hard to create eventually fell through and then came yet another World War. Woodrow Wilson, our president for World Peace.

League of Nations symbol

President Theodore Roosevelt spoke of a League of Peace while receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1910. A League Of Peace which the great powers could form "not only to keep peace among themselves, but to prevent, by force if necessary, it's being broken by others." Roosevelt concluded that the statesman who could bring this about would have the gratitude of all mankind. The man to start this up hill battle would be president Woodrow Wilson who won the election of 1912. He started by sending his friend and advisor Colonel House to Europe to spread the word for peace. He spoke to German and England officials saying that if we kept peace between the US, Germany and England we could maintain world peace. They both thought it was good but English officials were very concerned about Germany's growing navy. Then, after Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated (which was a trigger to the first world war), Wilson sent House back to Berlin and appealed to the Kaiser that France, Germany and England could settle their differences peacefully. Many years later the Kaiser admitted that House's visit almost prevented the first World War. Germany was intent on war, however, and the first World War broke in 1914. On August 19th Wilson declared that the United States was neutral and stressed the citizens of the country remain impartial to the war.

The League Of Nations society was founded in England. In the United States numerous branches of the League to Enforce Peace sprang up. Wilson declared in many speeches that the great powers and the small powers of the World must unite to spread peace and not war. In his numerous speeches he outlined that to have this league of peace their must be principles to follow. These principles were: First, that every people have the right to choose their sovereignty; second, that small nations as well as large ones ought to have the guarantee of territorial integrity and third, that the world and the rights of its peoples and nations ought to be protected from disturbing aggression. He proposed that the United States initiate a movement for peace calling for a "universal association of nations" to maintain security of the above principles with the help of world opinion.

color portrait of pres wilson

Wilson made numerous attempts to end the war and most were unsuccessful. The War finally came to an end but Wilson's effort for World Peace did not. He had several conferences all over the world about the united league of peace. Finally he got several different nations to be a part of the League Of Nations. Even though the war had ended November 1918 their were still many things to be done. WWI was supposed to be the last of all wars. Sometimes it is called the war to end all wars. The League Of Nations was becoming more accepted among nations world wide. Wilson was the creator of this amazing unity. But there was one thing seriously wrong with the League Of Nations. It had not yet been accepted by the Senate. At the time when the League Of Nations was going to be ratified by Congress both the House and the Senate were run by the Republicans. This created a difficult obstacle for Wilson. The Congress didn't like a lot of things about the League. A lot of Senators liked it but had things they simply wouldn't accept. Wilson decided he wanted to find out what the people thought.

He went on a tireless tour all over the country doing speech after speech about the League. He traveled 8,000 miles in twenty-two days and gave thirty-eight speeches. His health was starting to deteriorate and he eventually collapsed in Pueblo, Colorado. He had worked so very hard, but he physically couldn't take it any more. He later suffered a stroke in Washington, D.C. that left half of his face paralyzed. His wife took up presidential responsibilites guided by Wilson. He hoped to run for office again but was defeated by Harding.

The League Of Nations was never ratified by the United States. It became a chapter in the history of the United States and was never again apart of United States politics. Without Wilson's efforts the entire League would soon fall apart. Germany dropped out of the League under Hitler and the Nazi party followed by Italy and France. Many other countries would soon follow that same trend.

President Woodrwo Wilson

The main thing to remember is that Wilson tried hard to have the league of peace. He supported it even up to the very day he died.

We still have the same problems in today's society. A League Of Peace still needs to be created among all nations big and small. Our world lacks peace and tranquility and we have to continue to find ways to create peace. We've got to start by treating each other with respect and justice.


Please email me at: nick@ustrek.org


Links to Other Dispatches

Irene - Pancho Villa: The man, the myth, the legend
Stephanie - Speak your mind and go to prison?
Neda - Anarchy and chaos in the USA!
Irene - When war intrudes upon love and health