Tragedy of Disappointment
At the height of his presidency, Woodrow Wilson had many successes that made a huge impact on the country as well as the world. However, he also had very bad points as well. One of those bad points was the Treaty of Versailles. In many ways, the Treaty of Versailles mirrored his presidency. His ruthlessness for self- determination in his policies coming into Paris did not allow him to get what he really wanted in the treaty. In the end, Wilson was not ready for the responsibilities of world leadership.
Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy in many ways was a contradiction. Prior to the war, Wilson pursued neutrality very aggressively. Yet in 1917, Woodrow Wilson entered America into World War I. Even though he had exposure to the horrors of war, he led America into war against the Central Powers. This was very contradictory and mirrored his other policies. In the beginning of his presidency, he was a democrat who wanted to have separate businesses and small government. Yet later, he adopted many of Roosevelt’s New Nationalism policies. His one point that he wanted in the treaty was a League of Nations to keep world peace and to end all wars. This was what he dubbed “the war to end all wars”. His relentless chase for the league of nations kept him from accomplishing any of his other 13 points he wanted to implement. Even his selection of his delegates at the Peace Conference was very weird. He selected Lansing even though as Margaret Mcmillan said that him liking Lansing turned into irritation and contempt.
Even though the points above made him seem silly, he had a huge impact because he put America in the driver’s seat of world affairs. However, in the end, he was not ready for world leadership because he was a huge contradiction in his policies and wanted violence despite wanting to keep peace. This compares him a lot to Andrew Jackson because his policies were very contradicting in their purpose. For example, he was an American who fought for the people’s rights in government yet he was one of the Indians as well.