chapter
22 Pages

Introduction

The First World War was about the survival of democracy in Europe. Only when the United States entered the First World War in 1917 democracies could turn the tide to their advantage. This war was thought to have ended all wars because of the enormity of costs in human life and property. International law played no role in advancing the cause of democracies since the war was not perceived as the fight of democracies against autocratic empires and not a single treaty existed about fundamental freedoms and democratic government. At Versailles a profound ideological-legal analysis was missing, proving that international lawyers, governments and media lacked the intellectual background to understand the legal and governmental interests at stake. The conference of Versailles could have made a substantial contribution by working out the concept of democracy as the new constitutional system in Europe after the First World War.