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"The Great War" Page 3

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    "Every nation should be judged by the best it has been able to produce, not by the worst."

    - James Weldon Johnson

    The Treaty of Versailles

    President Wilson was not entirely pleased with The Treaty of Versailles but he agreed to it anyway. He was happy that The League of Nations remained in the Treaty. The United States Senate refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles. The Senate was not fond of the idea of a League of Nations. They worried this League would take power away from the United States government and Congress.

    Find out more about the League of Nations.


    Although the Treaty of Versailles ended the war, it did not create a lasting peace in Europe. Germany was forced to accept blame for the war, and was required to pay for the war. This caused Germany to carry a tremendous burden, and resulted in the country being economically destroyed. This caused a ripple effect and helped to sink the entire world into the Great Depression. Germans remembered the treaty's severity and saw it as the cause for the depression. A new leader in Germany, Adolph Hitler, rose to power with the goal to reverse the Treaty of Versailles and to seek revenge against the Allied Powers.

    Who knew?

    Here are some interesting facts from this time period:

    • In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in negotiating peace for the Russian-Japanese War. His efforts again helped the United States become a World Power. He was the first American to win a Nobel Peace Prize.
    • President Wilson was re-elected in 1916. His campaign slogan was "He kept us out of war." A year later, the United States entered World War I.
    • Russia actually left the "Great War" early. They signed a peace agreement with Germany in 1917 and left the war.
    • Armistice Day was changed to Veteran's Day in the United States after World War II. This is a day to honor all veterans and is celebrated in November each year.
    • In 1918, during the turmoil, death, and destruction of World War I, an outbreak of influenza killed some 675,000 Americans on United States soil.
    • In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke. He was unable to do much for some time. During this time, his wife Edith protected his presidency by having papers read to Wilson. Some even speculated that at this time she made many important decisions. It was not until 1967 with the 25th Amendment that the Vice President was allowed to temporarily take over presidential duties if the president was out of commission.
    Go to the next page to complete an assessment on the Great War.