chapter  5
4 Pages

SOME POSSIBLE FUTURE COMBINATIONS

THE principal result of the World War thus far has been to secure for England the practically undisputed hegemony of the world. The United States might have had it had President Wilson been able to stick to his original programme and the Fourteen Points. But British diplomacy and statesmanship, made wise by the handling of just such problems for centuries past, understood how to organize effective opposition to President Wilson’s proposals, and when the Peace Conference met the American leader had not long to wait before he discovered that his plans were being undermined from every direction. It was not a difficult task for Britain’s trained diplomats to play upon French credulity and French fears and to hold Italy in leading strings because of the latter’s financial and economic dependence upon England and her hopes for securing British support to her aspirations in the settlement of her Peace problems. Accordingly, in the face of the combined attack of England, France, Italy and Japan, President Wilson felt himself compelled to sacrifice one after the other of his Fourteen Points in order to rescue, as he believed, a last remnant of his great programme, namely, the League of Nations, by whose help he still hoped to eventually carry out his plans. But even here President Wilson met with failure. The mandate idea was taken over by England and cleverly adapted to suit her own projects, and the Monroe Doctrine was likewise treated to a dose of British medicine, with the result that it emerged from the ordeal in a much weakened state of health and emasculated of much of its vigour. Moreover, the bankruptcy of President Wilson’s policy in Paris had brought down upon him the opposition of the American Senate at home, which, when the treaty was presented to it, refused to honour President Wilson’s signature thereto, placing its opposition on the high patriotic ground that the treaty was a danger to America and a menace to American interests throughout the world. And accordingly, with the rejection of the treaty by the American Senate, American foreign policy has once more withdrawn itself into its former channels, leaving European and general world politics alone and confining itself to its narrower commercial and political interests in the Central and South American States and in the Far East.