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of extremists in Europe. The Fourteen Points were susceptible of varying interpretations, according to individual interests; and at the very outset the American delegates found some of the allied leaders contending that they need not be considered, since the Germans had surrendered, not because they regarded the principles of President Wilson as just, but because they had been beaten. There was undoubtedly a great deal of truth in this contention, but the American delegates succeeded in holding the conference to the position that having accepted the German surrender on certain terms it would have to abide by those terms. The terms had to be interpreted, however, and every agreement on the details led to a protest from somebody that the President had abandoned the Fourteen Points.
All this, together with the growing Republican opposition at home which was making itself heard in Europe, led to a rapid decline in the President's prestige. So long as it was a question of generalities he was the moral leader of the peoples of the world, but after a few weeks of getting down to particulars he was only the head of the peace delegation of a single State-and a State in which there was already serious opposition to his policy. This altered standing was made evident toward the end of April, when a protracted disagreement with the Italian delegation over the Adriatic question led the President to issue a declaration of his position which was virtually an appeal to the Italian people over the heads of their own representatives. Nowhere had the President been received with more enthusiasm than in his trip through Italy four months before; but now Dr. Orlando, the Italian Premier, went home and promptly got a virtually unanimous vote of confidence from his Parliament, which was supported by the overwhelming majority of the people.
The treaty was finally signed on June 28, and the President left at once for home to take up the fight to get it through the Senate--a fight which, it was already apparent, would be about as hard as the struggle to get any treaty evolved at all out of the conflicting national interests in Paris. There was a demonstration for him at Brest as he left French soil, but nothing like the enthusiasm that had greeted his arrival. This was perhaps the measure of his inevitable decline in the estimation of Europe; it remained to be seen how he stood at home. As early as January 1, before the Peace Conference met, Senator Lodge, Republican leader in the Senate, had declared that the conference ought to confine itself to the Peace Treaty and leave the League of Nations for later discussion.
On February 14, after the first reading of the League covenant, the President had made a hurried trip home to talk it over with the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations-a committee that had been loaded up with enemies of the League of Nations. The members of the committee dined with him at the White House on February 26, and the covenant was discussed for several hours. But the President could not convert the doubters; on March 3 Senator Lodge announced that thirty-seven Republican Senators were opposed to the League in its present form, and that they regarded a demand for its alteration as the exercise of the Senate's constitutional right of advice on treaties. The President took up the challenge, and on the following day, just before sailing back to Paris, he declared in a public address that the League and treaty were inextricably interwoven; that he did not intend to bring back “the corpse of a treaty,” and that those who opposed the League must be deaf to the demands of common men the world over.
The fight was now begun. Some modifications were made in the covenant in the direction of meeting criticisms by Elihu Root, but it was adopted. On July 1o the treaty was laid before the Senate and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, which at once began to hear opinions on it. The President himself appeared before the committee on August 19. Outside the Senate party lines were breaking up; the Irish and German elements who had come into line during the war, but had felt that their interpretation of President Wilson's ideals had been violated by the treaty, were aligned in support of the Republican opposition; and a certain element of the Democratic Party which inclined to admire the theory of traditional isolation found itself in harmony with the Republicans. On the other hand, many moderate Republicans supported the President, chief among them Mr. Taft; and in the churches and colleges support of the League commanded an overwhelming majority.
Convinced that the people were behind him against the Senate, or would be behind him if they understood the issue, the President left Washington on September 3 for another appeal to the country. Declaring that if America rejected the League it would “break the great heart of the world,” he went to the Pacific Coast on a long and arduous speaking tour, another request, in effect, for a vote of confidence for his work as Premier. The effort was too much; he broke down at Wichita, Kan., on September 26, and was hurried back to the White House, where for weeks he lay disabled by an illness whose nature and seriousness were carefully concealed at the time, and even yet but imperfectly understood. Meanwhile the treaty had been reported out of committee, and the offering of a multitude of amendments, all of which were defeated, led eventually to the drawing up of the “Lodge reservations,” finally adopted on November 16.
Nobody knew how sick the President was, but Senator Hitchcock, who had led the fight for the treaty in the Senate, saw him on November 18 and was told that in the President's opinion the Lodge reservations amounted to nullification of the treaty. So the Democrats voted against the treaty. Lodge's refusal to
accept Wilson's treaty was as unshakable as Wilson's refusal to accept Lodge's treaty. When the special session ended and the regular session began the President eventually yielded a little and consented to interpretative reservations proposed by Senator Hitchcock. But this would not satisfy the Republicans; and on March 20 the rejected treaty was finally sent back to the White House.
The Closing Year, 1920-1921 T HE President's recovery was slow, and the first incidents of T his return to the management of public affairs were ræther
startling, in view of the abrupt manner with which he resumed the direction of executive policy. During his illness the Cabinet had met from time to time and in a fashion had carried on the routine work of the executive department. Had it not done so, had the gravity of the President's illness been generally known, the demand which was heard for an explanation of the constitutional reference to the “disability of the President" and an understanding of the circumstances under which the VicePresident might assume the office would have been much stronger. There was a good deal of apprehension, therefore, when Secretary of State Lansing resigned, and the published correspondence showed that the President had regarded his action in calling Cabi-1. net meetings as a usurpation of Presidential authority. It was evident from the correspondence that another and perhaps stronger reason for the President's disapproval had been the action of the Secretary in conducting a Mexican Policy on his You own initiative, during the President's illness, which showed considerable divergence from the President's own. Nevartheless, the manner of the action caused some uneasiness and there was much surprise when Mr. Lansing was replaced by Bainbridge Colby, a comparatively recent proselyte from the Progressive Party.
There was still further uncertainty as to the condition of the President when he re-entered with a series of rather sharp notes into the Adriatic controversy, which England, France and Italy had been trying to settle, without consulting the Jugoslavs, during his illness; and a letter to Senator Hitchcock on March 8, asserting that the militarist party was at that time in control of France, aroused grave misgivings on both sides of the Atlantic. These, however, were unjustified; the President's improvement, though gradual, continued. But the work of the Executive during 1920 was far less important than in previous years, for the interest of the country was concentrated on the Presidential election.
On January 8 a letter from the President had been read at the Jackson Day dinner in Washington, in which he refused to accept the Senate's decision on the treaty as the decision of the nation.
“If there is any doubt as to what the people of the country think about the matter,” he added, “the clear and single way out is . .. to give the next election the form of a great and solemn referendum.” Once more, as in 1918, the President had asked for a verdict on his leadership. There was some perturbation among the Democratic leaders, for into a Presidential election so many issues enter that it would be difficult to regard it as a referendum on any particular issue. It might have been so accepted if the President himself had come forward as a candidate for a third term, but there was no sign from the White House as to his attitude on this issue, and there was no spontaneous demand for him outside. The leading candidate during the pre-convention campaign was William G. McAdoo, the President's son-in-law, who had resigned as Secretary of the Treasury and Director General of Railroads after making a successful record during the war, and before the criticism of the Wilson Administration as a whole had become acute. McAdoo had the powerful support of organized labor and most of the Federal office-holders, but whether or not he had the support of the White House no man knew. The Republicans assumed it for their own purposes, and Senator Lodge's keynote speech at the Chicago Convention was full of denunciations of the “Wilson dynasty”; but if McAdoo were Wilson's candidate the President showed no sign of knowing it.
That McAdoo was not nominated, however, can be ascribed very largely to his relationship to the President and the suspicion that he was the President's candidate. The Democratic Convention at San Francisco adopted a platform praising and indorsing the President's record in all details. The convention had to do that; the President's record was the party's record. Homer Cummings as Temporary Chairman kept the convention cheered up by a keynote speech of eulogy of that record, which moved the assembled Democrats to such enthusiasm that Secretary of State Colby, who had not been a Democrat long enough to know much about the behavior of the species, declared that at any movement that day the rules could have been suspended and the President renominated by acclamation. But when the convention came down to the work of nomination the President was not considered, and the delegates devoted themselves to finding the most available man who had not had any connection with the Administration. James M. Cox was finally nominated on Woodrow Wilson's record and sent out to the great and solemn referendum.
Aside from a formal proclamation of unity of ideals and intentions with the candidate, the White House took practically no part in the campaign. Not until October, when a delegation of pro-League Republicans called at the White House, was it known that the President's health had temporarily taken a turn for the worse and that active participation would have been impossible. It could hardly have affected the result very much in either direction. Whether or not the President had intended to turn over the Government to Hughes in November, 1916, he did nothing so unkind to Harding in November, 1920. The President-elect was allowed plenty of time to try to choose his Cabinet and his policies, but the Administration had gradually withdrawn from all connection with European affairs, and it was made known soon after Congress met in December that nothing would be done which might embarrass the new Administration in its handling of foreign relations and interrelated problems.
The history of Woodrow Wilson's Administration virtually ends with the rejection of the treaty; but the business of government had to be carried on through the final year. During 1920 old issues that had long been hidden behind the war clouds came out into the open again. Obregon overthrew Carranza and entered into power in Mexico, but the Wilson Administration maintained neutrality during the brief struggle. Ambassador Fletcher had resigned, but Henry Morgenthau, appointed to succeed him, did not obtain the confirmation of the Senate, and the new Administration had not been formally recognized at the end of President Wilson's term. A controversy over the status of American oil rights was one of the chief impediments to recognition, though Obregon's general attitude was far more friendly to America than that of Carranza.
The President in November announced the boundaries of Armenia, which he had drawn at the request of the European Allies. But these boundaries were of no particular interest by that time, since the Turks and the Bolsheviki were already partitioning Armenia; and the mediation between the Turks and Armenians which the Allies requested the President to undertake was forestalled by the Bolshevist conquest of the remnant of the country. The Adriatic dispute, in which the President had taken such a prominent part in 1919, was finally settled without him by direct negotiation between Italy and Jugoslavia. In one other international problem, however, that of Russia, the United States Government still exerted some influence. The President during 1918 had showed more willingness to believe in the possibility of some good coming out of Bolshevist Russia than most of the European Governments, and the American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia took no active part in the fighting there. At the Peace Conference the President had been willing to call the various Russian parties to the Prinkipo conference, but nothing came of this; and America eventually took up a middle ground toward Russia. While the British seemed ready to make friends with the Bolsheviki and the French remained irreconcilably hostile, the American Government-whose policy was fully set forth in a note of August 10, 1920—refused to attack them, but also to have any dealings with them. This policy was much criticised as being purely negative, but toward the end of Mr. Wilson's Ad