After The War
Midterm elections in November of 1918 showed a changing attitude towards President Woodrow Wilson and his policies. To save his party, he appealed to the voters by returning the Democrats to congress. However, voters elected Republican majorities in both houses. Wilson then announced intention to head the American delegation to the peace conference. His decisions were not received well by the people who felt that the Presidentâ€™s best place was at home. The American delegation to the conference faltered again.
The Peace Conference opened at the Palace of Versailles in January of 1919, and most of the sessions took place in Paris. These proceedings ...view middle of the document...
[add about Wilsonâ€™s fourteen points]
In 1919, Wilson returned home and faced criticism for his treaty. A group of senators mocked the League of Nations, while others desired a more independent way of national freedom. Wilson insisted on leaving everything in its current state, and not making any changes. In September of 1919, he traveled and delivered 37 major speeches in less than a month on behalf of the treaty to give it his defense. He began to regain his popular support. However, the worries were too much of a weight on his shoulders, and he collapsed in Colorado on September 25th, forcing him to abandon his speaking tour. Soon after, Wilson suffered a stroke, which left him with paralysis on one side of his body and impaired his speech. This caused him to be bedridden. Due to the fact that Wilson was now silenced, the senates of November 1919 and March 1920 refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles. The United States negotiated a separate peace treaty with each of the Central Powers in 1921.
The Americans did, however, face many postwar problems. Countries were faced with serious challenges after the war, such as returning to a peacetime economy, coping with fears of espionage, and the fate of the treaty.
The U.S. began to demobilize, and their army was reduced to less than 500,000 soldiers. Controls were lifted, business people left Washington D.C., and the industry converted to peacetime production. The nation received little direction because Wilson was incapacitated. Consumer goods were in high demand, causing the industry to have a boom. The governmentâ€™s spending during the war raised inflation to almost double the cost of living, slowing any business activity after 1920. The farmers faced bankruptcy.
Most of the financial costs incurred by the nations fighting in WWI were covered by deficit spending. As a result, the money supply increased without any regard to the actual gold and silver reserves of the European nations. Most nations were forced to abandon the gold standard, causing their currencies to depreciate rapidly and creating rampant inflation. However, many analysts argue that strict government policies, implemented at the correct times, could have kept this inflation in check. Regardless, these measures were not taken, currencies remained...