The History of Nothing

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Treaty of Versailles Norming Session
It was the strength of the opposition forces, both liberal and conservative, rather than the ineptitude and stubbornness of President Wilson that led to the Senate defeat of the Treaty of Versailles.

I. Strong, clearly developed thesis that evaluates the relative importance of different forces in the failure to ratify the Treaty of Versailles (8-9) Thesis addresses the role of different factors (5-7)

Limited or undeveloped thesis (2-4)
No thesis or a thesis that does not address the question (0-1) II. Presents effective analysis of the role of Wilson as well as both liberal and conservative opponents; balance not necessary. Limited analysis

Deals with question in general manner; simplistic, superficial treatment Inadequate or incorrect understanding of the question

Does the thesis address all parts of the question and take a side in the debate? Does the thesis state a contestable argument?
What information would the essay have to present to prove its thesis?

A) Wilson’s stubbornness and the opposition of the parties, mainly from the liberals, equally caused the defeat of the Treaty by the Senate.

B) The defeat of the Treaty of Versailles was due to the long-standing policy of isolationism, the unwillingness of Congress to amend the Constitution, and the desire of the United States to imperialize other nations.

C) Although the stubbornness and ineptitude of Wilson detracted from the possibility of the Treaty passing, the ultimate reason for its defeat was the strength of the opposition and the public opinion that they mobilized.

D) The failure of ratification was largely due to the formidability of conservatives who disliked international obligations laid out in the treaty as well as liberals who believed that the treaty did not provide for a peaceful future. Wilson’s personal stubbornness only was a small part of these two conflicting forces.

III. Effective use of a...
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