When Diplomacy Fails

By Zack Twamley

On Going since May 2012 • Updated weekly

A weekly podcast covering the build up to, breakout of and consequences of various conflicts in history.

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  Direct Link   Download 76 Minutes 04 Dec 2018

Welcome to Woodrow Wilson's United States of America. As we build towards a key concept, the Fourteen Points, here we set some background and ask some pertinent questions, such as - why did the US intervene in the war, and why did Wilson wait so long before doing so?Woodrow Wilson is a character we must understand if we are to grasp the nuances of the Paris Peace Conference and the Treaty of Versailles which that created. Wilson was an integral part of what made the end Treaty so significant, but he can also be blamed for its uninspired record in America, and its ultimate failure. All the while, his message was one of firm but fair treatment for a defeated Germany, and this message was one which many at the top levels of Germany's government could not fail to heed.To understand where such high minded ideals came from, we must examine Woodrow Wilson before he arrived in Paris in late 1918. More than that, we must investigate whether Wilson's ideals were developed not to meet the crisis of the Great War, but as a repeat of what he had done before, in Mexico.Thus, we take a seemingly strange detour into the Mexican American border over 1913-1914, to get to the bottom of what the President was doing and why. Why did he care so much about what government was represented in Mexico? Why did he feel compelled to work against big businesses when they could have cut him a tidy profit? Wilson's actions led to turmoil along the border with Mexico, and even some Mexican raids into American soil, which Uncle Sam had to meet directly, as this cartoon suggests.My point is, in history, nothing is ever so straightforward as we might think. Wilson's famed ideals did not come from nowhere, and here we debate whether we can see their origins in the tumultuous relationship which America's southern neighbour had with the President. It's quite a journey, so I hope you'll join me to see where it takes us...***********The Versailles Anniversary Project is possible because of your support and interest - make sure to spread the word, engage with the debate, and look at the different ways you can help this project succeed!->Visit the homeland for this new project!->Become a delegate and play the Delegation Game for just $6 a month!->Support the podcast financially and access ad free episodes with transcripts from just $2 a month!->Follow WDF on Twitter!->Join the Facebook group!->Subscribe on iTunes! 
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