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population on the Julian Alps and in Istria was placed under Italian rule. The new Czechoslovak state includes millions of Germans and Magyars. The boundaries of Rumania were extended to include many non-Rumanian peoples. Bulgars were sacrificed to Greeks and to Serbs. In the settlement of each problem the balance always inclined a little in favor of the victors. But the injustices committed were far less extensive than might have been expected, and in most cases where populations were included under alien rule, the decision was based less on political considerations than on the practical factors of terrain, rivers, and railroads which must always be taken into consideration in the drawing of a frontier. Wherever the issue was clean-cut, as for example between the selfish nationalism of the Italians in their Adriatic demands and the claim to mere economic life of the Jugoslavs, the old rule which granted the spoils to the stronger power was vigorously protested.
Whatever the mistakes of the Conference, Wilson secured that which he regarded as the point of prime importance, the League of Nations. This, he believed, would remedy the flaws and eradicate the vices of the treaties. No settlement, however perfect at the moment, could possibly remain
permanent, in view of the constantly changing conditions. What was necessary was an elasticity that would permit change as change became necessary. If the disposition of the Saar basin, for example, proved to be so unwise or unjust as to cause danger of violence, the League would take cognizance of the peril and provide a remedy. If the boundaries of eastern Germany gave undue advantage to the Poles, the League would find ways and means of rectifying the frontier peacefully. If Hungary, or Czechoslovakia found themselves cut off from seaports, the League could hear and act upon their demands for freedom of transit or unrestricted access to fair markets. That the League was necessary for such and other purposes was recognized by many notable economic experts and statesmen besides the President. Herbert Hoover insisted upon the necessity of a League if the food problems of central Europe were to be met, and Venizelos remarked that “without a League of Nations, Europe would face the future with despair in its heart.” Because he had the covenant of such an association incorporated in the German treaty, Wilson accepted all the mistakes and injustices of the treaty as minor details and could say of it, doubtless in all sincerity, “It's a good job."
Conscious of victory in the matter which he had held closest to his heart, the President embarked upon the George Washington on the 29th of June, the day after the signing of the treaty, and set forth for home. All that was now needed was the ratification of the treaty by the Senate.
THE SENATE AND THE TREATY
NEITHER President Wilson nor those who had been working with him at Paris seriously feared that, after securing the point of chief importance to him at the Conference, he would fail to win support for the League of Nations and the treaty at home. They recognized, of course, that his political opponents in the Senate would not acquiesce without a struggle. The Republicans were now in the majority, and Henry Cabot Lodge, the new chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, had gone
far in his efforts to undermine Wilson's policy at : Paris. He had encouraged the Italians in their im
perialistic designs in the Adriatic and had done his man best to discredit the League of Nations. Former
Progressive Senators, such as Johnson and Borah, who like Lodge made personal hostility to Wilson the chief plank in their political programme, haddeclared vigorously their determination to prevent the entrance of the United States into a League. The Senators as a whole were not well-informed upon foreign conditions and Wilson had done nothing to enlighten them. He had not asked their advice in the formulation of his policy, nor had he supplied them with the facts that justified the position he had taken. Naturally their attitude was not likely to be friendly, now that he returned to request their consent to the treaty, and the approach of a presidential election was bound to affect the action of all ardent partisans.
Opposition was also to be expected in the country. There was always the ancient prejudice against participation in European affairs, which had not been broken even by the events of the past two years. The people, even more than the Senate, were ignorant of foreign conditions and failed to understand the character of the obligations which the nation would assume under the treaty and the covenant of the League. There was genuine fear lest the United States should become involved in wars and squabbles in which it had no material interest, and lest it should surrender its independence of action to a council of foreign powers. This was accompanied by the belief that an irresponsible President might commit the country to an