Treaty of Versailles and Reparations 1919-1920

2337 WordsJul 26, 201310 Pages
University of Maryland University College | Treaty of Versailles and Reparations 1919-1920 | The American Opinion | | Isha Hendricks | 7/7/2013 | | To understand the individual American’s hesitation regarding the Treaty of Versailles one should remember the warning voiced by George Washington in his farewell address to the nation, ”The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible”. Though few Americans’ took umbrage with Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points, many felt joining the League of Nations would encourage an already interventionist attitude toward European politics. America’s response to the…show more content…
As if the American citizenry were living Washington’s warning the nation wanted to deal with Europe in trade matters only. Irish and German Americans, which comprised a large percentage of the Democratic Party, were adamantly opposed to the Treaty of Versailles and President Wilson for considering it. The nation was quickly changing its attitudes from non-interventionists, into activists and participants, evolving into adamant isolationists and the cartoons of the time reflected this mood and attitude of America. The cartoon was used to show the views of Americans’ perspective on how the treaty was a hindrance to the economic and political health of the nation. Another cartoon by Kirby, Refusing to Give the Lady a Seat, depicted America’s Senate blocking the acceptance of the Treaty of Versailles by depicting a beautiful young woman from having a seat in a train car. This was the only form of pro treaty signing cartoon found within this project. The artist is warning Americans not to become isolationists. This cartoon subtly asks the America public to realize the importance of this treaty; if it is not to be ratified then America has given up on all hope for future peace. The artist requests Americans join the League of Nations as proposed by Wilson. One of the most iconic cartoons from the Peace Conference is, “Curious! I seem to hear a child weeping!” by Will Dyson published in May of 1919.7 Dyson seems to be able to view the future as a

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