tv World War I Legacy of President Woodrow Wilson CSPAN January 9, 2018 4:36am-6:42am EST
forum. [inaudible conversations] >> welcome to csis. i am the head of the project on military diplomatic history. thank you all especially for braving today's weather. it's great to see all this interesting world war i. for those who haven't been here before a project is focused on history that provides insight into contemporary affairs. we are delighted to cohost today's event with csis project
and prosperity and development. sam runde runs at project here and thank you for your support. when we think about, when historians think about what are the most important events in world history world war i usually comes out at number one but americans actually fixated on other wars like the civil war and world war ii. this one is the most important and we are here today to provide additional awareness. 100 years ago to this very day woodrow wilson appeared before a joint session of congress here in washington to deliver his working points speech. wilson had been a professor at princeton and the president of that institution. he drew upon his academic colleagues to come up on principles for european peace which ultimately became the 14
points. it's worth remembering a little bit of historical context. this was rather presumptuous to be doing this. the time the speech the u.s. army and marine corps were still getting organized. the u.s. had yet to fight a significant battle in europe. it was certainly far from clear as to who is actually going to win. we were at the same time giving our guys ideas for peace to countries who had seen a whole generation of people killed. for those who don't remember the 14 points i will give you a brief overview of the and the panelists will go into more detail. restoring and reestablishing countries damaged by war and there was talk of giving some sort of right to self-determination to calling up people.
senator warner will grab a seat here. point for talked about the need to reduce armaments. .14 talked about an international governing body which led to the league of nations. the 14 points remain a matter of great controversy and you'll hear about some of that today. for some people their naïve idealism are dangerous to those who are more sympathetic to wilson they have prophesied laying the groundwork for today's rules-based world order. the impact has certainly been profound. the 14-point influence and also very much influenced the peace. wilson's worldview interpreted by some the 14 points created what has been called wilsonian as some. the four-inch reduce senator
warner went to recognize a few other people who have helped make this event possible. ambassador todd sedgwick if you could raise your hand. ambassador sedgwick serves on the adviser board and came to us at csis with the idea that he came to this great event. pam runde instrumental. his staff has been great in helping with details including checking people in. all the other administrative details and chris metzger in particular. also as cherrie hamby here yet? the commissioner of the world war i commission is going to come here and probably got delayed by the weather as many have. hopefully he will get here. before we bring up our panel of distinguished historians who were three of the top concerns of world war i who will hear rum
and other member the centennial commission the honorable john warner who is a csis counselor. he's a former five term senator from the commonwealth of virginia and secretary of the navy. at the age of 17 he volunteered for active military duty which i didn't realize serving in the essen ... sailor and his lieutenant and the u.s. marines during the war. 1919 cincinnati received a presidential appointment as undersecretary of the navy and became secretary of navy during a period of conflict in yet mom. between 19741976 senator warner was confirmed by the u.s. senate to serve as administrator for the american revolution by the centennial of administration. 1979 was elected to the senate and served five consecutive terms establishing a record of being the second longest-serving senator in the history of the commonwealth of virginia.
during all this 30 years in the senate he served on the armed services committee and in his final years the committee members elected him to leadership positions as a ranking republican and his last six years he was full committee chair. ladies and gentlemen please welcome senator john warner. [applause] you can sit if you would prefer. >> thank you very much for that resounding introduction. you are in good luck today to come through this questionable whether to join us. i have a terrible cold and i can't talk for more than five minutes. how about that? the most dangerous thing ever to give a retired senator a microphone with know if that's a son who's going to take it away from him. i am quite anxious as you are to
move onto a wonderful panel discussion on the subject that is really becoming quite interesting all across the country. i must confess that my father was an army captain, army fifth division and world war i in the trenches. he was a medical doctor and he was on the front lines doing the triage as they brought the wounded in. he had the difficult task of saying we can save this one, we can't save that one. i remember he had his army hat with a red diamond on it in the library. he admonished us, my brother and
myself, i only wear that hat and that of course challenged my brother and i. so i grew up with really a wonderful man who had served in that war and for me now to have the opportunity in my final years of life to share with you and many others an interesting afternoon like this with five individuals who have given their careers over to put together a monologue and share with you their own information on a vital subject. i thought how best to prepare my very few remarks and i went back and read three books. one of them was john eisenhower's book and that brings me to just a little bit
of a personal message that i would like to give you and that is eisenhower, this is a person i could eisenhower's son, had the privilege to know him. he laid out very carefully and very objectively the case that the failures after the fighting to come together internationally and at that moment in history after the carnage and suffering all over europe to put together something that would help for close -- thank you so much. for close and a similar strife like this and he said unfortunately it just wasn't done and i will come back to one or two aspects of that. as a consequence a mere 23 years
since the armistice we were right back into world war ii. some of the reasons for that were the very serious and failing health of president wilson. i must say i'm a politician and i studied politics all my life. it was fascinating to go back to read a lot of the things that wilson had tried to do and the subject today are the 14 points. surrounding the 14 points was the league of nations. and the fact that we were going to enter a treaty and we have this opportunity. we had shown the world the
somewhat inconsequential collection of states had suddenly come in to be one of the major powers of the world. it's an absolute clear case that our contributions and sacrifices led to the final victory and the defeat of the german military and their allies. so it was important but what greeted them as wilson started around, they called it the league fight. i guess that was a way to demean it. president wilson toured the country giving speeches pleading for members of the league of nations. the quality of these debates is usually far more elevated than any other political space since the civil war. american foreign policy listed the depth and the breadth of discussion that had not arisen
before and it remained unmatched sense. so we got off to a good start. there was a lot of enthusiasm but then it began to steadily go downhill. president wilson was an early convert and the concept of collective security and a rounded shape to many of policies before and after his world war i experience. he representative the u.s. of the peace conference where he succeeded in making the idea of reality in getting the leak incorporated in the treaty of versailles. the treaty was much more than the league of nations. the article concerned the whole lot of things but congress rejected it. no matter how hard he traveled and it really is extraordinary.
he was determined to get this done. along the way he and countered reluctance within his own party. the republicans were growing in strength and they then found this in another book. nearly every leading republican, and this is an interesting use of words, nearly every public despised wilson while the president regarded most of them with anger and contempt. to good fellowship extend within the parties themselves. wilson challenged americans to build a new world order by joining the league of nations by staying at versailles in 1919 quote shall we aren't any other free people accept this great duty, dare we reject it and
break the heart of the world. well, congress did reject it but if you go back and as i have done and i'm sure panelists are going to do it and i want to be careful not to tread on their domain, time and time again there are references to if wilson had only shown the slightest willingness to compromise he could have seized it and fashioned a compromise agreement. but he refused. it's perplexing to me. anyone from capitol hill being among the american negotiations in paris that was a direct affront to the congress of the united states. they should have had seats there but they didn't. and then he avoided counsel with nine congressional leaders of either party.
he didn't even meet the senior politicians of oak parties because of their viewpoints. and midterm elections of 1918 had the united states divided by awarding majorities to wilson's republicans opponents and the tide shifted for that. that circumstance boated the cooperation over peacemaking and went downhill from there. but then we have to reflect on the sadness that he experienced in his own physical situation. he suffered a very major heart attack on his trip as a consequence of that he had to abandon his trip across the united states urging the people to intern come back and tell
your congressional leaders particularly the senate of the need to have this league of nations and as a treaty of paris into ratified the treaty. but all of it ended up in failure and i'm sure our speakers are going to address it in some detail. so i would to conclude talking a little bit about what we are doing as an organization. we are holding forums much like this one wherever we can all across the country and we are very active. we have a remarkable group of volunteer trustees and commissioners. they are very tentative. this one right here in the front row is a goodwill ambassador, one of their leaders.
a marvelous good rough-and-tumble tennesean right out of the heart of the country and we all developed a great fondness and love for him. he's just a grand fellow. we are coming along and making good progress. it is my hope that we continue to build its importance. we are up against one problem that nobody is to blame. nobody had the foresight to see it but pershing park was put together many years ago and selected by the powers to be to locate his statue there. then along came another period of legislation by congress saying there will be no more memorials on the mall.
well, then we were confronted now with no alternative to pershing park. we were stopped by law that in our work as trustees and volunteers often getting ready to receive a national memorial we are clearly seeing the strongest in damage as ion high high -- eisenhower pointed out in his book. every single major military memorial for this country takes pride in his all on the mall, everyone. you start with the washington monument, the war of independence and go to the civil war were credibly at the other end with a magnificent structure to abraham lincoln, very powerful president to this day
idolized by people. they are the two boundaries in and between you have, we start in succession. the first was the korean war memorial that was built and then the vietnam veterans memorial was built and lastly the world war ii memorial was built. that's why we feel ever so strongly that our national monument to world war i should likewise beyond the mall and it created in significance to the other great memorials. a group of us the ambassador and i and the chairman and members of the commission are trying to get a modest passage through congress often needed amendment to give the option to do it. we haven't given up.
we are still fighting but the session today is just another building block in drawing americans attention. the casualties in world war i were extraordinarily high. terry canby uses the statement that the combined death and wounded in world war i exceeded any of the major battles that we experienced in world war ii. so i think we all have a moral obligation to see that this anniversary 100th to the arm assist coming up in november of this year is done with dignity including all of the sacrifices made by that generation 100 years ago. my father among them. so i thank each of you for
finding the opportunity to come today and i particularly thank our panel and csis has been a second home for me for years. i was just a gangster crawling through the halls of congress with admiral ali burke and her distinguished representative here in the for row. i began to put together the concept of this marvelous organization. it represents a premier crew among the growing importance of think tanks in the nations capital. i'm free to say whatever i want to say. i have watched in this year -- 30 years i was in the senate the concept of think tanks and you could also -- almost name on 10 figures the number of towns in those days grow to where they
are in the hundreds today but they perform a very vital function. they can have forums like this. they have no restrictions whatsoever on what should be said and they are devoid of most politics. plenty of politicians love to come and i have spoken here many times with you but it's not looked upon as a political organization. its flirts was supported by contributions from within the private sector. they have done a magnificent job of filling somewhat of a that has existed here between what congress is able to do in the executive rancher able to do by working together. there is a void in their and
each think tank like csis can move right in and do a lot of the analytical work. and the hearings and forums awkward and during. my hats off to csis and thank you to you and now let us perceived to get to the heart of the matter. we have said what we have to say pregnant wasn't my introduction and i always think of teddy roosevelt. marching up san juan hill. i used to love to ride horses. he pulled his horse up for arrest any true to his aid in the camp and he said whichever one of us gets to the top of the hill first can become president of the united states. this rendered diminutive young sergeant looked at him and said
[inaudible conversations] >> thank you senator warner for those wonderful remarks. i am going to introduce our panel of speakers in the order that they will be speaking and with the support of the program we been able to bring you a very top people on the subject so we are delighted to be able to bring you a quality presentation. the first person speaking will be jennifer king. she is the professor and chair of the history department at chapman university. she is also the current president of the society of military history. she has published three books on the american involvement in the first world war. the great war and the remaking of america. world war i and the american experience and united states and the first world war. among the many awards is
received for scholarship of fulbright senior scholar ward to the library of congress library of congress fellowship in international studies. she is currently working on several projects related to the world war i centennial with a book on african-american soldiers and the synthesis of the american experience during the war under contract with oxford university press. she's also a member of the adviser board of the world war i centennial commission that we heard about from the senator. next will be michael diver who was seated next to me. he is the night girl chair of four studies that the department national security and strategy at the united states army war college. he is the author of many highly-regarded books on the first world war and also on the second world war. his 2011 book dances with fury was named one of the five best books on world war i by "the wall street journal"." in october in october of 2016
oxford university press published his path to war the history of american responses to the great war. our third speaker will be eric manella. he is professor of history at harvard university where he teaches international history and history of the united states and the world. he also serves as director of the graduate program at harvard's center for international affairs and co-chairs harvard's international and global history seminar. his most recent book is empire at war 1911 to 23. the book is relevant to today's discussion is the wilsonian moment to self-determination self-determination and the international origins of anti-cloning of nationalism. eric has held fellowships from the national endowment for the amenities the american academy of arts and sciences and the american council of learned societies among others and burke have other of ratcliffe institute for advanced study.
.. >> i (a california for what i expected to be an ice storm. i'm disappointed it's just a few drops of rain. thank you very much for see sis for organizing the event. it's a great opportunity to talk about the importance of the first world war. i want to start out by stating the obvious. it's very easy to mock woodrow wilson.
god gave us the ten commandments and broke them, wilson give us his 14 points, we shall see. talking to woodrow wilson's like talking to jesus christ. many other criticisms have come his way. he's been called a hypocrite for immediately abandoning this promise. in the first of the 14 points for opening covenants of peace. it's been accused of harboring the messiah complex after created in paris with the headlines labeling him the savior of humanity. and they have mainly focused on the racism as essential rather than irrelevant part. however, by far the most condemning insult is not to call him a racist, but to call him an
idealist. the 14 points, wilson's blueprints authors much evidence for putting him in this idealistic camp. trimming an impossible dream. the document he calls the freedom of the seas a free open-minded and impartial adjustment that took into consideration the interest of the population. most condemning of them on his plate 14. a general association of nations must be formed under confidence of mutual guarantees of political and dependence and integrity to great small states alike. wilson was not the first advocate for an international
organization and nowhere in the 14 points did self-determination actually appear. these would be the concepts perhaps most idealistic ever be associated with wilson. the picture areas captured by jan, the south african of foreign minister he thanked wilson when he arrived at the peace conference. this vision of a better world which was born into the dark knight oh four. what is not underwriter opportunity, the age of miracles is never pass. after all that no wonder editorial cartoons pictured him blowing soap bubbles in the sky. wilson clearly had an international audience in my the 14 points. is trying to introduce hope in a difficult time. all these for trails of him as an idealist have obscured his
pragmatic side. only paying attention to his desire to remake the world is about how much he was responding to domestic desire. so think in fact we should be the 14 points. it was at a moment where things were not going well. the second phase of the resident revolution when the bolsheviks immediately opening up with germany. lenin challenge the allies that they were not fighting for territorial expansion just like germany. this presents an ideological reason to defend the cause of which he did in the 14 points. he encouraged the russian people to demand democracy.
the set with his aspirations. but convincing the russians to stay in the war or remain friendly to the allies and not enter into an alliance with germany had a more pragmatic goal of trying to save american lives. january 1918 the u.s. had only been a war for seven months. the training of new recruits was plagued with difficulties. they expected and feared a german army. getting russia on our side is only one of wilson's goals. in addition the were expanded for the united states since april. after the italian defeat the u.s. declared war on austria-hungary. we'll see it didn't really want them as an enemy.
so he opened the door calling enough of the dissolution of the empire but for its autonomous development. this can be seen as an attempt to avoid expanding the military mission even further. finally, concerns with german militarism. he reached out with offers of a future partnership as they make concessions. the 14 points is read as an attempt for the casualty and constrain military commitment. in some respects it was successful. germany began in 1918. setting the stage for the kaiser on the ninth. in an agreement that incorporated most but not all of the points.
it offered them a space-saving way out of the war. other pragmatic concerns that permeated. europe went to war at a time when war was considered an acceptable way to advance a nations policy. by 1918 attitudes changed. modern warrants seem deadly and catastrophic. wilson's 14 points to find what he says the major reasons for the war. an arms race. impeded trade on the flawed decision-making among leaders in the summer of 1914 sour necessary self-preservation. so now just trying to find a way to avoid future wars. the international progressive
and pacifists who are in a perm part of the democratic base thought it was worth a try. the speech was distributed at home and abroad. they relied on shore slogans to a-uppercase-letter's work holds. in a sense you can see the 14 points of the public relation, very unlike what wilson had given in april. progressive thinking was an integral part of the 14 points. not just in the final formulation but in the process of its creation. the document was based on a draft of the cree. they advised him on the arrays of the alliance. this expertise in data was the hallmark of domestic
progressivism. it was pragmatic and scientific an application. this approach also left a lasting legacy. talked about think tanks. it was the precursor to the council of the many other think tanks that has an poetry is that have scientistic based policymaking. the vision and the 14 points to remake the world perfectly suited american self-interest. the provision of freedom of the seas was a reason why the united states entered the war. wilson argued that it challenged -- in the naval disarmament treaties demonstrated that reducing british naval strength
as a primary goal of national security policy. the fourth point, calls for disarmament and it's often considered one of the most idealistic. in part because nobody actually remembers wilson's words which were not a call for complete disarmament for rather that national armaments be reduced to the lowest point with domestic safety. i asked wasn't that exactly what the american policy had been before the war? the moment have been controversial and unsuccessful. if the nation couldn't be convinced to support a large military how likely was it there would be support for a large military after the work?
as it turns out, not very likely. the u.s. reverted to maintaining the small establishment. was an idealistic or pragmatic to convince the rest of the world to adopt a similar attitude to the military establishments given there is no political will to support a large military. the points that emphasize territorial adjustments the atrocities committed by germany and belgium have been well-publicized in the u.s. and was a picture of propaganda. demanding restitution sat perfectly that the u.s. was fighting a war to save belgium. including a restoration of -- in france. finally, the recent immigrants
created strong interest in the communities over proposals and the importance of cultivating supportive immigrants is often overlooked. it's worth recalling that one out of every five soldiers was still on born in the first world war. why should we care about this today? i've not 14, but four points that we might contemplate. the first is reconsidering the pragmatism of the 14-point suggest the need to stop seeing this as dichotomous. was it realistic to the need that the first world war could sell more problems than it created? was it realistic to believe a punitive piece would stop the war. was it realistic to think that we would -- second the city is
little difference between serving america's national interest in the world's interest. it's not a question of america first or america second. by making the world more secure america gave national security and defense, trade and its way of life. as wilson states the 14 points, all the peoples of the world are partners in this interest. for our own part we see clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done test. the program therefore is our program. it's difficult for the u.s. to be the voice of moral authority of the world without keeping our own house in power. during world war i the government enforced the most are conan anti- legislation
launching a full-scale assault on civil liberty. wilson was tone deaf in dealing with it. finally, morale matters. in setting a difficult war -- it's difficult to set a war with the dispirited, divided into solution population. the 14 points was a terrific speech. it was vague enough to appeal to the broadest numbers of people. just like 100 years ago there's value in inspiring words for the nation's leaders that emphasize those that bring us together instead to divide us. thank you. [applause] >> thank you.
next thank you mark. i don't think the order mattered except the slides are set up in a certain way. thank you for being here. thank you for having me. it's a pleasure to be here and exciting they were doing this event precisely of the day that 100 years ago woodrow wilson gave the 14 points address. not far from here. something ironic about anniversaries and centennial's. by definition the tells were further way than we have ever been before. yet they make us feel closer to the event. i enjoy that feeling and irony. where to begin by recalling this
context which led to the speech. the most important part is the bush vick resolution. it's true that wilson worried. but more importantly wilson solomon and his revolution is a symptom affecting human affairs at that moment. it went beyond russia and europe into the politics of america itself. wilson's perception of the threats that would impose grist out of his analysis of the challenge facing the united states domestically in his time. what do i mean? wilson became a political agent what we know as the gilded age. in nature profound historical --
if you wanted to sum it up here include rapid globalization large-scale immigration and sweeping technological changes, root and finally, a steep rise in inequality with attended straits. in short, his time was not unlike her own. looking at all that in serving that landscape wilson worried about the decline of democracy in america in the face of the growth of unaccountable power held in hands of the few. he was thinking of the great financial -- of the era.
he's worried about dangerous -- at home. i depicted this on the right with j.p. morgan and worried about what he saw as the reaction to this namely social unrest and revolution. this i depict on the left what was wilson's answer to this is a political leader? what he wanted to do is a progressive in the early 20th century was to push for stronger
government role to prevent economic stability and to break up monopoly capital. he was looking for third way the path of reform that would check on a countable power and would stave off -- that's the domestic and use a domestic thinker and scholar of u.s. history. he gave very little thought to international look he has the steam he developed in his mind for thinking about u.s. domestic affairs to think about world affairs as well. looking at the international arena he spied a similar dialect at work.
and what he saw on the international arena was similar in structure to this. you had unaccountable power on the right which was symbolized by the german kaiser. but we could put the russians are there. then you had the inevitable reaction which is revolution. for wilson his task in the world was to find that middle way. that path to reforming international order in a way that would make it more accountable and therefore more stable when lenin first came to power in november of 1917 wilson
very little about him and his movement. we have to remember how marginal this group was. he knew enough to know he did not like the program. the program was about anarchy. what wilson wanted was change to improve the liberal capitalist. what lenin wanted was to tear down the order. they both knew that will politics need to transform. but the transformation was very different. wilson sought to third way between action and revolution. when it sees this clearly. the choice was stark. you could either have reaction which he defines as capitalism and imperialism or revolution.
for lenin there is no third way. so this is the context and how we need to understand the broader theme behind the 14 points. one thing he wanted to do was keep the bolsheviks in the war by highlighting what he shared with them. but he sought the repeal most notably elisa my few minutes here on the stage he adopted self-determination as his own with widespread consequences. one way to think about the 14 points is the first instance of
what the cold war historian said american strategy of containment of communism. this is bigger than that. containment also thought the containment of communism is an ideology. if not more than to contain soviet state power. the 14 points were coupled with u.s. support from allied military prevention that tried to roll back the revolution. if the 14 points in the strategy of containment was passive containment that sought to restore the world. it was a strategy of what will call modernization globalization
required the global crisis required major crisis of international order of the devastating shock of the word itself made the transformation more urgent and more possible and likely by shaking the foundation of the old. the 14 points for the first outline of wilson's vision for the new order it include free trade, open diplomacy and also permanent international organization to facilitate international collaboration for
peace. for an element of want to focus on his self-determination. it's common perception the phrase itself was nowhere to be's found in january speech. it's been remembered as part of the speech because it spirits he needed the address. several points called for the autonomous developments for the people he didn't quite define what that meant as part of the problem. witness was not an expert on these regions but even he knew the demands for self-determination were part of what helped ignite the war.
it began with the assassination of an archduke in his mind was introducing a new principal he was adopting one already out there. the plaintiff find most interesting of all this is just a summary. he called for the adjustment of all colonial claims given the interests of the population's concern equal weight with those of colonial government. it's not a full throated endorsement of anti- imperialism.
for an american president was quite a departure from american policy. why do i find it so interesting? we know from the paper trail of boyfriend in the archive it was the one point that wilson drafted entirely on his own. all the other points were based on draft ca god and from his advisors and experts this one originated entirely with him. it's interesting because it injects the corneal question into the order and it's a question he didn't need to inject.
his allies were not interested in talking about the corneal question after all comments .5 that eventually leads to what later becomes the league of nation mandate system the challenge in principle the sovereignty of colonial powers. made them accountable to hire international authority. it goes back to what i said before about his sense of the need to increase accountability and international affairs. the fact that he added this maybe he thought 13 points would be unlucky but it has to be more than that.
let us introduce the colonial questions when there's no obvious pressure to do so? his view that government is accountable to their population was the key to stability both at home and abroad. suggest that despite later interpretations he believed in principle that self-determination ought to apply not just in europe, but worldwide. he believed that implementation outside of europe would be slow and gradual. he parted ways with many colonial activists who heard his rhetoric and acted on it. the president becomes a world-famous symbol of the
coming of a new world order. various groups projected their fondest hopes and dreams. even to this day in prague you have monuments and streets named after wilson. freud is a good example of those who despite him. he becomes a symbol. his words help is by her anticolonial movements stretching from north africa and a ceja all of which exploded your protests in the spring of 1919.
i'd be happy to talk about this in q and a. wilson making clear in his perceived promise let's and anti- colonial activist include the ho chi minh all of whom were just beginning their political career. indeed arguably political careers are significantly launched at that moment. they all see wilson as a disappointment avail look out bolshevism after that for inspiration and support to liberate their respective countries. what i put before you is despite the failures wilson made self-determination where it persisted and still does today.
it was then revised by franklin roosevelt and world war ii roosevelt took it further particularly as it applied to territories outside of europe. self-determination outside of europe was a priority. we look at the anti- imperialist and wartime in the window will keep bestseller, one world we might think self-determination would be central to u.s. postwar foreign policy. wilson support for self-determination in opposition had seemed entirely consistent.
there are two central elements based on accountable government and he saw the bolsheviks is proposing something is opposite. when a man we now know as attention or a tension at the center of u.s. advocacy would've been nation having gained is self-determination determined to take a path how do you choose when the principal clashes with others that you hold dear. you've been in this case the american policymaker. in the late 40s we see washington choosing containment over the throughout the cold war
u.s. both supported it on the one hand and undermined it on the name of containment on the other. the soviets could be hypocritical. the soviet union invaded hungary and 56 and in czechoslovakian 68 where does that leave us today? as i said, the 14 points was more than that, there is a founding document of the liberal international order. solidified after 1945 is undergirded relations for the better part of the century. on self-determination is based
on the proliferation of self determining states. we had twentysomething states around the time of world war i we now have close to 200. this led to more accountable government thinking about the 14 points it highlights the difficulties a pervert preserving such an order. thinking of the points is a founding document. it reminds us that it is in order is facing unprecedented challenges not far from where it was drafted.
the current circumstances are very different than it was a century ago. just as they understood the study, based they saw the same abroad and at work we must think of our own challenges the puts developments at home and abroad what we see if we do that? we see the recent path that our time of accelerating globalization of economic and technological change and we see political institutions in the u.s. and abroad. of the many of these go back to
wilson's own time. like wilson americans faced with the challenges of finding the path of reform. god coupling of wilson and lennon cannot remind us of an equally odd relationship between the u.s. president russian leaders today. putin's authoritarian system might not have the same ambitions but the two shared disdain for democracy to just exploit its weakness and perhaps destroyed. wilson understood the challenges of globalization you must push for more responsible politics at home and abroad.
however flawed it were think it remains a fundamental insight today. thank you. [applause] i want to thank csi and the senators for your hospitality and bringing us here together. right teach we tend to teach war and peace as two sides of the same coin. it seems this is too simple and not quite right. awards the reaction to crisis. like germany resuming warfare 1917. pieces about strategy. what you want the world to look like. what resources do you have to make it look that way.
that's one way to think about the vision of what the world with the click. grand strategy is really difficult to do. been a focus on the shortcomings about what the 14 points me. i want to do it by introducing you to someone else. this is william lynn westerman. he was a man from belleville illinois educated in germany this summer he was a world specialist on egyptian pirate scroll. hard to get more mild-mannered than that. he is part of the script that is, before the inquiry. it was formed in september 1970.
they're given the authority to spend whatever money they want and the bills are to be sent to the white house. they put together this group but was formed in 1917. many individuals form the council on foreign relations. we can think of them as america's first real think tank. william is put on this committee because he is somehow one of america's experts on the middle east. on december 11, 1919 he finds himself in paris discussing with the british and french whether or not the city of constantinople should be given to -- or greece. the two years, this man goes from having no interest to
having a voice in that final decision. the united states did not declare war against the ottoman empire. so talk about that and what it means. westerman who went on to become a professor was joined by other academics demand sitting on the middle on the couch who later became part of john hopkins. these are interesting people whose views mattered enough a lot. he admired a lot of what woodrow wilson had done a lot of his ideals. but he remarked nobody knows what's in the president's mind.
as they mention, here is one of the beautiful ideas. these places should be accorded the first opportunity of economist development. i immediately look to the passive voice but let's forget that unless one of my students is watching. let's forget the vagueness of the idea. the united states declared war very late in the game. it was not bound by any international agreement. they had no plans to get involved in the area first and troops to the area. another of the vague things was
this guidance. tell me what is right and i will fight for it. what is causing the united states tend up in this position? first united states is in this because of the collapse of most other systems of authority. the united states has no interest in putting it back together. it has the ability to shape its future. the universalist message if it applies in one place it must supply every place. the need to separate the united states even if the united states did not want to be involved well talk briefly about syria it has largely spun this web for itself.
wondering whether you have not unconsciously spun from me from which there's no escape. it's classic and someone else for his problems yet softening a little bit. the curry is supposed to be progress the sense that it scientific rational along clearly identified methods and evidence-based. my favorite piece of documentation is this great phrase, the truth is out there. so the inquiry got to work. also you some amps they started putting together things like this. detailed analysis. what does the empire look like. lives there how do we identify
who lives there. these are gorgeously produce maps that look at production pet look at where railroads and canals go. who lives there, what we do with them i love the way they tried to do this by shading different colors this is not the way i would try to break up an empire especially as people on the ground are saying they moved in. our claim to the land supersedes ours. the progressive mindset that if you get the right data of the right experts the right answers are to follow. the answers are not quite so
simple. how can he make states economically sustainable another one an idea they come up with. it's based upon ethnic groups. if you can say that language is a marker of identity may be the best way to handle this is to drop a line this way while keeping some authority over the entire region. i'm fascinated by numbers like this because there were a lot of possible outcomes. we history came a doesn't necessarily mean the site was destined to come out. how to put them into action. let's say this is the future you want to create, how could they
actually do it. what influence did the united states have. it's clear to everybody the united states has no intention of saying sending the army into battle. it's also clear that woodrow wilson didn't want to do this by the power of economics. he didn't want to tie the resources of the united states economy into figuring it out. and he had more questions about how to do it. dances this came to his presbyterian background. forcing people to convert to his ideas was the wrong way to do it. they had to see the wisdom for what they were. thus the appeals could a league
of nations to something like this? could you create an organization to somehow monitor this federated austria and found this interesting another idea that they came up with. i don't know how to interpret it, another suggestion how you might order central europe. this is a quite the claims of the yugoslavs which means they will in montenegro are in the yellow state so not really sure what they thought they were going to a published but it shows the many ways they were thinking. it may just be possible to have
states that would be homogenous. states that could feed themselves. it is not possible to create state second rule three where you want to prioritize. it gives the land to czechoslovakia. the things you want them to do our mutually compatible one of those things will suffer even if you can get the people living there to agree to live under the states so pastor he was a pennsylvanian which i have to
give two thumbs up to. they call them the ablest man in europe and the wine commission who will really study to make him make pointed to what she must know. i advise all city officers to be doing. he understood immediately that some of the core presumptions one of which is the american people would commit their treasure to force in whatever agreement can tell their side. wilson paid almost no attention at the paris conference. and i think he got this is close to right as anybody that was
there. each country got five representatives they wanted to insult his senior general so he put it six on the list of five. he said that the summers nations are coming to the surface. as soon as they. they fly in someone's throat. they're vicious from the moment of their birth. just because the state's new and small is not necessary mean it's for sure us. but said the ideas you should put those weapons on ships which they were halfway over the ocean and dump them all overboard. the second problem i won't read this or not but it was about the
turkish what to do about the ottoman empire. no agreement with them and no necessary reason to find itself john into the yet there we were in there was westerman sitting in the meeting to describe where the most important of the region, constantinople will go. the british and the french one operate on this map. very quickly the areas in blue would go under french control is a be under french influence. area called palestine what people yet under something else. they hated this because it
violated is in the 14 points americans found out about it in moscow and published it american so want to necessarily honor it. the pain challenge was that if the united states wanted to walk the walk they should take this as its own area. if you talked about armenia and how popular the turks were take over that big. put skin in the game. take on the burden of operating these parts of the world. it's understood the odds of the united states committed to this part of the world and making it better were really slim.
all the wonderful things in wilson's 14 points were not going to work it seems and promises were made. he's referring to promises by the british to take it and make one air federation out of it. in the early days another so unkind to make a lease with phil with insistence on part of the arab i myself declared i would not touch the question with the pole long enough to reach from here to syria listeners order to do so by my government. he said this is not our fight, stay out of it. many arab leaders turned to the united states going to westerman and saying, we trust you americans in a way we don't
trust the british and french, you need to get involved. i don't think if use a a live today could be surprised to were still in the middle east 100 years later. and it's got more complicated. america got out but only by accident. the proposed a compromise to undertake to fact-finding business to syria to figure out with the syrians themselves might want didn't do it because they cared about the serious. just below manitoba. they thought few would have the result was a war between the syrian senate divided further
apart. the made the decision to break the christian part of syria, lebanon away from the state of syria. this is what instrument said. the yet that result will rot until they're absent all the east shall discard the unjustified assumption. syria remains a better -- jennifer mentioned a great critic i think we can say he bores me with these 14 points. a very telling prime minister shouted during one of said go to the balkans and try to
experiment. if the idealism of wanting to impose the 14 points and there are limits of what i was trying to do. as the argument of not getting involved to others that led to great dissolution and they got involved in all corners of the world. without having to backup those ideals. later he became ambassador to france who so frustrated with the united states had done in paris that he wrote a letter to his he said i'll go to lie on the sand and watch the world go to hell.
they said if the rest of the world will let us alone we better stay here and keep a live the spark if i ever had any illusions they're all dispelled the middle east russia nation to remain trouble spots. some if not all of the roots of the problem date back to the first world war era the problems of this modern world all day back not just to the first world war but to the particular way it ended and how they tried to put it in place. i chose talk about the ways in which the world was changes, please men did not realize. there were not willing to accept
the european rule in that sense it represents the shift in the paradigm. p people understood. even if the united states try to ignore this for another generation and if others were short so because of the first world war the united states was fully part of the international security environment from china to syria and beyond. will this country continues to play a century later. thank you for your attention. [applause] . .
actually knew military and diplomatic history having an influence with the 14 points or was it all with wilson and has there been more of a struggle where things might have been different? i will leave it up to whomever wants to take it. >> i would say i don't like dichotomies as you can tell, so i don't think that we should say that wilson needed to have read deeply in european history or even have necessarily strong
advisors with that expertise. he was an american historian and looked at the circle development of the united states as a model for how new societies and countries could form. he did believe in american exceptionalism, yet at the same time solving american model as something that was transferable. he looked at the history of the united states and saw a country that had absorbed large numbers of immigrants. we have people speaking many different languages, many different religions and we had been successfuhavebeen successfg together as a nation. and so come in that sense of that is the model in your mind, there is no reason that these new fledgling european nation and empires could do the same thing so i think that in a sense that this a historical understanding that doesn't necessarily have to be european-based to have in mind
that this could be a model to follow. you have to press the button. >> i entirely agree with jennifer. >> [inaudible] i entirely agree with jennifer. i think that on the league of nations is not that he hasn't thought about the national affairs prior to coming to the war and it wasn't a league of nations idea that he had for a long time. [applause] but when faced with a colossal world crisis, he reached into america's history and it is clearly based on the american federal constitutional experiment.
i will say that robert lansing at the time wasn't an international historian but was an international lawyer and wilson on that principle also cut them out of the deliberation i thought that there were to sit in their ways, so he said many times they don't want any lawyers involved in the drafti drafting. he wasn't in international historian per se but he drew in the forces of history to try to figure this out. i will say in this conversation with you everything you have said about the reading of the 70s what he seems to have extracted is what couldn't be
done. >> there are historians who are performing ideas, but history doesn't produce any straight answers either. from the letters he's writing to his wife which is where he is most honest and most guarded he sees it as everything else you're trying to do doesn't matter if half the globe goes. it ought to be on figuring out ways either military or nonmilitary and i think that he is of the mind but the custody on the military. it has to be the united states people said we are not going to go to the war over the future. they are not going to do it so.
in one letter that he writes that his remarkable he writes it's not clear that they will sign the treaty of versailles and here i think this don't come to europe i can't guarantee your personal safety if you come here if the germans don't sign the revolution. so that is his big worry that is grossly unfair to them that is where the focus ought to be. >> another question. you cover a lot of the criticisms and another one that is often made is that wilson had a very naïve view of human nature and his system of the world depended on being better
than they behaved and practice. do you think that is a fair critique that he had that formed the points of his other ideas. as i talked about how pragmatic he was i guess i don't agree with that as a completely holistic formulation of woodrow wilson. i think that he was a politician. he understood politics. he is not naïve and so i think that he understands politics but i think what he was trying to do is begin to suggest that. in pursuing their self-interest as responsible for the nation's
national security and also thinking about what could be and the international relations to him was a kind of plan and dream and a hope but at the same time worthy alternatives that are to go back to the balance of power system, to end the war with these empires in fact. wilson again we always read the 14 points back from the treaty. people forget about the treaty. yes you have the leagu of the lf nations but you also had wilson on the site promising to have a bilateral alliance with france which he never got to experience
but that shows he's not just thinking. this is what he has to do to get the french to be. so there was a sense that would have been in a hard sell. it's hard to sell to america as the idea of joining the league of nations. so in a sense, we say that would have been the real way to go. what is idealistic as division he was presenting so that in the sense of understanding the differendifference politics of e which i think he did. >> it's an interesting question to ponder and in order to judge definitively i would have to understand it first myself and i am not sure that i am quite there yet. i think one of the things we
tend to forget when we talk about wilson's international relations is that he was quite an effective domestic politician because the governor of new jersey and then as a domestic president that his presidency was quite a transformational as i eluded to in the talk that many of the institutions that today were questioning it put together in his times starting with the earlier term and ending with the amendment that gave women the vote in the federal level. all that happened in the domestic arena under his administration with all sorts of bad stuff happening to come up at that point is that he was quite an effective politician. he understood the system and how to get things through congress. understood how to work public opinion.
john cooper who is probably the single biggest wilson expert ally foalike for the big biograa few years back. much of the deteriorating function in the peace negotiations themselves and then especially the lateral part of the negotiations when they were doing all that. and then afterwards when they came back he was out of commission. it didn't really work because he changed over time and it is helpful and we don't like that in the story because it's not morality. it's just stuff that happens.
i think that i'm reminded of a comment was made and for some reason we tagged woodrow wilson with these kind of universalist things and i think studying as long as i have is more than i understand both in. it's hard for me to figure out in part because he isn't always consistent. he's a politician that moves in the direction that he thinks he has to move so i'm not sure that i can say anything more than that. we have time for a few audience questions if you will state your name and affiliation and then pose a question and avoid providing a speech. student of international relations.
my question is on the direct antecedents to the congress. if you see the wording it is a direct quotation from the manifesto. so if you were looking for the antecedents the movements have already taken place. so i just want to point that out. thank you. >> from george washington university and ordinarily in the development thanks very much for a fascinating discussion. i'm just going to ask a question about the determination idea and i could agree of course that statement is very much about laying out the blueprint for american power in the postwar moment. but i am curious as to why
exactly they seek to institutionalize this and as a part of the effort he uses the word people rather than nations even though it is believed before the form of the nationstates. so i'm wondering if you could say something about the contradiction in that idea and whether it's also been an inherent criticism of british and french internationalism and european empire. >> [inaudible] at the university of maryland. i want to address a point that the professor brought up for
the options really were not that large. >> the way that i would respond to that things drop by how incredibly quick these changes are. palestine had been under the ottoman empire for 1500 years forever, sorry, forever. and there is no british plan in 1916 to change that. and then in the course of a few months in 1917 the british decided they would change it and so part of what is happening here i think is the shock of how unbelievably fast change is happening and it's faster than the international system can catch up with it. so, what the americans are looking at in all of this is okay, if they are going to make palestine international, what does that actually mean? who controls it and what do you do about it, nobody thought
about what the answers to these questions are. part of the answer to the point you made is how unbelievably rapid change is happening and how fundamental that change is. the ottoman empire is gone. these are not small changes, they are massive shifts and something has to fill the gap in and if i could pick up on your point, it is an incredibly insightful point in part because i don't think anybody has a sense of what reaches the threshold of the nation so wilson doesn't think they are a nation so what do you do with them and ho and held them to und their governance and are they properly represented through london if you change the structure. these are questions again and nobody thought of in 1916 i wrote a book nobody in america is thinking about them. two years later they are all
attainable and you can shuffle that an anyway you think you ca. so that is part of what is happening is this intellectual confusion of how fast change coming. my guess is they will look at the end of the cold war in much the same way that almost anything was on the table. >> i would be very surprised if wilson had known about those that you mentioned. but the general idea expressed in that had been occurring for decades prior, but they've never been expressed in that way by the western leader at this level is a principle of international order.
to the question about the nations and people i think it is so interesting. generally speaking wilson was a social darwinists. it wa was the epicenter in termf the norms and cultures and so forth and also the edges in terms of what is i seen and what is out. the british journalist when he crosses to go to the past peace conference that he has this tour of england and italy and france and he gives this interview to a british paper and i don't have the exact quote here but i will
paraphrase the ask something that implies that the birds and americans are anglo-saxons and they have this racial affinity that ties them together. he said something along the lines of the american nation is no longer in if we are going to share something it is buying our ideas and thoughts by our media chant he says that even as he is himself exploring his own british heritage but he's also well aware that the american body politic has changed. the other point i want to make and i wanted to put this in the speech but i had to take it out just for time. when the bulls and goe then goee has a draft of the league of nations covenant that he prepared himself on.
he was probably the last president that wrote his own speech on his own typewriter as a bare-bones operation at this point. it says something like the league of nations will guarantee the security of the member states. but it would also be able by the majority and i'm good at raising of three fourths to make the changes and boundaries in the territorial definitions as required. there's a couple of criteria that he outlined four help the changes would be made and i think that he mentioned it would be this kind of ongoing process of debating all without an
endpoint is necessaril necessarn what he saw as an evolution of peoples, so now what happens is he's flabbergasted and his other advisers see this and the british and french see this as flabbergasted and they get the negotiations and get rid of the whole thing under it and it becomes the guarantee of the territorial member states in this becomes article ten. few people know about this that the original concept of the article stands from the precise opposite of what it ended up
doing in the borders of a particular moment in time. it is a major problem in our structure that other people thought it was dynamite but it was going to be a very dangerous way. we have time for one more set of questions. >> i was wondering what this analysis does to the democratic peace theory. the idea has then you get rid of the dictator and then the people will spontaneously resolve their differences. it doesn't seem to work. the quote is wonderful. what is the alternative?
this is a question that deals with money. it's a complicated country. did they somehow see that the reparations. it doesn't seem like there could be complications in the future since being a complicated country that france was through world war i and also britain in world war i did they somehow see that this huge amount of money could somehow be used in another manner.
the points that ar point is oftd or mischaracterized. maybe after the current administration with the u.s. and institutions and processes it seems as though the current administration thinks that this is in the u.s. interest to do. first was the same was this a myth to do and is this over? >> i think i will say a few things that will tie together for all of these. the first thing is if you think about it as a big transfer of
money that is going to occur to help at least britain and france rebuild, we should also realize that the flow of money from the united states continued in the postwar period and it continued through private philanthropy so herberthrough herbert hoover whe led to this in 1914 over this aid is flowing int was flowing n occupied areas continued with that philanthropic effort all the way into 1923 and redirected most of it into eastern europe they wanted was to prevent the epidemics during the whole process was still in effect. so the idea that the united states could also use soft power and economic aid ended with trade relationships that it could begin to connect with parts of the world but are not
traditionally seen as a strategic interest. this is increasingly in the mindset and as you point out in the prewar period they were directing a lot of a britain and france and that was the distribution committee that came into existence and is famous for helping survivors of the holocaust after world war ii but that is a world war i organization that was created to help the jewish refugees were fleeing on the eastern front and every time the army moved 200 miles, a bunch are running in fron front of trying to get f the way so there was a huge refugee problem that we haven't addressed that also had to be handled in the postwar period and of course, in addition, the hope was that the fault was after both world to -- world war ii they are likely to turn to people that are well fed. so i think a lot of this idea that it was just in the hands of
the peace treaty and international agreement instead of some international law and this is going to handle all the worlds problems is a false way to look at a more integrated approach t so this isn't the answer and there is nothing else that we can do. and i was underlying the intended flexibility of the organizations. the points are not a blueprint and it isn't a whiny way or highway. there is a lot of flexibility in the language and intentionally so. he knew and campaigned on this when he was pushing for the league of nations. you know the best way to fix than this be part of the league of nations and then these things will start being a renegotiated. the payments were immediately
renegotiated and the scheduled payments were immediately changed and after that there will be no more so i think that we kind of lose sight of the fact american diplomats, bankers, philanthropists are very much part of the post war world is that there is a multifaceted way to approach the problem of restoring europe. america needed europe to be restored. they couldn't thrive without a strong europe just like after world war ii. it was never intended, it was to be the setting up of the process and the notion of the conceit
was sent to the achievement of some sort of professional but that it was preferable to those that preceded the war. he is open about what he thought they should do to mitigate conflict. the first stage of arbitration if arbitration doesn't work, then economic sanctions which would be coordinated through the league and if that doesn't work, then the military part would again be coordinated through the league and we may think that this is utopian, but this is exactly the system that we still use today through the united nations we have economic sanctions and there's lots of stuff that happens outside of that but it's still there we have the security council and peacekeeping forces intended to be part of the system.
the united states is one of the thinkers into thsenators into th century the promotion of international law. they are in love with international law and it is great and impossible everything. and in some sense she is thinking adults on that but it's inefficient and his sense is if you are going to have the law you need to have the body that both creates the wall and manages. that is his insight from being a constitutional scholar. it's the place where the various states can meet and the politics will then make the law become effective and buy into this regime so it is nice but nowhere
near sufficient and that's why he wants to have these additional institutions. >> i want to express a number of options on the table in terms of money, yes. yes. with a recognized as any economic structure wealth is going to transfer from one party to another and whatever you do someone is going to win in that relationship and blues. when you do that than there are american banks did say we'd loaned money in good faith and the government cannot ride a wave of deaths. so as plato, they become a way to try to either encourage good behavior or a punishment behavior. they understand what the money means and there' there is just y
way around it. the commissioner of the new york city police department having committed a crime and have to be punished. that's the way you do it is proved if one state gets out of line you smack it down. they believe of what had happened as the system got him balancing what you need to do is create that balance. everybody has their own ideas ia about what is going to make this right. i am more inclined to the balance of power theory. democratic states can certainly go to the war and third international organizations plan to you brought up sympathetic to a friend of min mine does is the difference is not that americans turned their back on
international institutions that the united states no longer dominates them suppose reflecting on the point about international law. this friend of mine believes what changed in the united states is not so much what has changed but that the united states can no longer in force dominance over the organizations the way they want to. there are states that will challenge them outside and nonstate actors that ignore those organizations and there are organizations the united states used to be depended upon which no longer do it in quite the same way so the reaction has been the response led to the institutions themselves but america's relationship to them and i have to say i'm sympathetic to that argument.
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