Enforcement of the Provisions of the Treaty

p. 42- 50 Jake Hodges, Alex Terry, Isaac Ordway, Jesse Kirlin, Diem-Anh Vo, Alexz Craddock, Leah Myers, Dylan Tinsley

US Isolationism p.42-43

  • Prior to Wilson’s presidency, the US had maintained for the most part isolationism in regards to European and world affairs since Washington's Presidency.
  • The Monroe Doctrine was encouraged by the geographic isolation of the US.
  • By the end of the First World War, the US was the most wealthy and powerful nation on earth
    • all Allied Nations were in debt to her financially
    • US armed forces had proven decisive in ending the war in favor of the Allies
  • Wilson had used phrases like "making the world safe for democracy” as a rallying cry for US involvement in WWI
    • now he needed to make these phrases a reality
    • Wilson drafted his 14 points, his goals for the betterment of world affairs, and suggested that a League of Nations be formed to ensure peace.
    • Americans had no desire to become involved in European conflicts
    • In particular, Congress did not like Article X, which would have the power to nullify US sovereignty
    • Congress refused to ratify the Anglo-American Guarantee.
  • Harding replaces Wilson's interventionism with "a return to normalcy."

A major part of the failure of the treaty and the League of Nations in congress dealt with Wilson’s exclusion of the US Republican party in treaty delegations and political rivalries.


The Anglo-American Guarantee: pgs 43-44

• One major issue within the Versailles Conference that needed to be dealt with was the “rigid views of France.”
• The French nation was extremely concerned with the possibility of a future German attack, and so it desired to dismember Germany in such a way that it would never be able to mount a substantial assault again.
• Their plan included the removal of the Rhineland from the state of Germany and the creation of a new state (controlled by France) in its place, not only to weaken Germany, but to provide a buffer zone between the two nations as well.
• Lloyd George of Britain and President Wilson of the United States did not support this plan, yet they also knew that France was unwilling to budge on the issue.
• To satisfy France, the U.K. and U.S. signed the Anglo-American Guarantee on June 28, 1919, which proposed that in the case of a repeat of the German invasion, both the United States and the United Kingdom would immediately come to France’s aid.
• Unfortunately for France, the U.S. Senate did not ratify the document, and so both signers of the Guarantee withdrew their promises.

British Isolationism P. 44

• The British have been isolationists throughout history;tried to keep out of firm agreements with other countries.
• More concerned with preserving the status quo in Europe.
• Their general policy was to try and stop any country that was seeking dominance over Europe.
• Fear that France might try to dominate in Europe, or become involved in another war with Germany. (France supported Poland and the countries of the Little Entente)
• The British did not want to have to go to war to defend an unpopular treaty.
• Great Britain was geographically tied to Europe so it was almost forced to be more active in European affairs than the US.


The Washington Naval Conference and the Far East
• Arms race was a major contributor to World War I
• Wilson mentioned it in the 14 Points- fewer arms would mean less threat, means less war
• Immediately after WWI, US, UK, and Japan kept expanding their naval fleets
→ US wanted to beat UK
→ UK wanted to stay the best
→ Japan wanted people to know how awesome they were
• Why did they call the conference?
→ UK and Japan couldn’t actually afford the expansion that was necessary to meet their goals of awesomeness, US wanted to stick to their traditional policy of not spending much on arms
→ Arms race created tension b/w US and Japan, which was freaking everybody out because if it escalated, it might involve other countries which was not good
-Both US and Japan wanted China
-Japan started trying to expand into China and exclude other countries from their trade stuff
-That threatened the US territories in the Philippines (because the US is paranoid)
-Rumor through the grapevine was that Japan and the US were going to go to war
-Japan got nervous about all the arms expansion that the US was doing because they thought the US was planning for attack
-Freaked out the UK because if Japan and the US got into a war, UK would have to fight with Japan against the US which would suck, and was being pressured by Canada and Australia (such malevolent nations) to nix the Anglo-Japanese Alliance so that they wouldn’t have to fight the US
• So, they all got together and had the Washington Naval Conference from 1921-2
→ Most successful disarmament conference ever in history
→ Didn’t really work that well but it was better than previous ones
→ Short-term success, because nations became paranoid without a way to defend themselves
→ Concrete reasons for disarmament is why it had more success than other conferences

__The Washington Naval Conference and the Far East_pgs 45=46_

  • Japan had begun expanding their territory = threat to USA open door policy.
  • Japan felt threatened by the US naval build-up and the reluctance of the United States to recognize her position in Asia.
  • The most critical point to make about disarmament conferences is that they cannot succeed in a vacuum.
  • Many nations would see rearmament as the only way to redress their grievances.

__The Washington Agreements_pgs 46-47_
• They decided to limit size and number of battleships in fleets and limit size of cruisers and aircraft carriers
• Agreed to maintain constant ratio of naval armament for USA, UK, and Japan of 5:5:3
• no new battleships were to be constructed for ten years
• They decided to limit construction of bases in Pacific - reduced possibility of conflict and gave Japan dominant influence in eastern Pacific

• Four Power Agreement (USA, Japan, UK, France) replaced Anglo-Japanese Alliance and guaranteed rights of all signatories to their possessions in Asia; agreed to defend each other in event of external attack
• Nine Power Agreement confirmed Open Door trade in China and guaranteed its territorial integrity; agreement collapsed with Japan invasion of Manchuria (1931)

• Washington Conference embraced by public as example of progress towards peace

• Conference embraced by nation participants who all achieved some benefit, strategic and/or financial; small number of participants made it easier to reach agreement

• Conference was successful - underlying political issues that had spurred arms race were settled

• timing beneficial - public interest and support for disarmament post-WWI

• UK avoided naval race that it could not afford with post-war conditions

• Dissolved Anglo-Japanese Alliance - removed a source of friction with US without causing offense to Japan

• Japan had smaller fleet than US or UK but benefited the most: avoided expensive naval race and gained security in Pacific— no new American or British bases within 3000 Miles of Japanese borders, which meant that Japan had complete control of Eastern Pacific and China in event of possible future dispute.

• US able to reduce armaments spending - part of US isolationism

• Reduce possibilities of friction in Pacific for immediate future

• Agreements depended entirely on cooperation of parties involved - lacked any enforcement provisions, vaguely worded, might easily be ignored if one or more nations found themselves in changed circumstances (e.g. Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931)

• Agreements failed to include Germany and Russia - both interested in increasing armaments and military strength in the future

The London Naval Conference pg 48

The London Naval Conference took place in 1930 and was the third in a series of meeting concerning naval responsibilities and armaments. The aims of this conference were to reduce the naval armaments of the major powers.

First meeting:

Washington Conference of 1921
-The Washington Conference limited the number and size of capital ships

Second meeting:

Conference in Geneva of 1927
-Those involved in this conference were unable to reach an agreement.

Third meeting:

  • Meeting of five major naval powers (USA, UK, Japan, Italy, and France)
  • These powers met in London
  • They revised and extended the agreement that had been reached in 1922 in Washington.
  • The treaty of 1930 made slight revisions to the ratio of capital ships established in Washington.
  • France and Italy would not take part in this new agreement/
  • They did agree however, to continue the ban on building capital ships for five years.
  • There were other agreements that were reached pertaining to the size and number of cruises, destroyers, and submarines that each nation could posses.
  • The rules regarding submarine warfare were tightened, and required that submarines could not sink ships unless the crew and passengers were safe.
  • This treaty was effective until 1936.
  • During the Great Depression, governments were looking for ways to cut costs and maintain and a balanced economy. Therefore, a plan that would increase spending on armaments, such as the treaty of 1930, was not greeted with enthusiasm.
  • The economic climate during the great depression, especially in democratic nations, was not receptive to increased defense spending. Therefore, it wasn’t problematic to limit armaments despite protest from naval authorities

The London Naval Treaty 1936 pg 48

-In 1935, the major powers met in London to renegotiate the treaty of 1930.
- The treaty of 1930 was set to expire in 1936
-The conference was seen as failure.
-Both the Japanese and Italians left the conference.
-Japan did not want to limit the expansion of her navy.
-Japan also demanded the same treatment that the US and UK received.

Results of the Treaty:
-The UK, France, and USA signed a treaty in 1936 that involved cruiser tonnage. However, all other issues, such as limiting the number and size of warships deteriorated after 1936. This was a result of Japanese and German rearmament programs and the importance of the emerging conflicts and crises in the world.

++ Geneva Disarmament Conference 1932-1934 pgs 48-49

Disarmament was encouraged by a number of factors:

o League of Nations would ensure more peace
No reason for weapons
oArms race could be part of the original causes of war
oCost of arms
oImpression of low risk of war during the 1920s

•Conference convened in 1932—31 nations were represented

•Problems for the Conference pgs 49-50

o Depression reduced optimistic atmosphere
o Nations were fearful for their own security
o Differentiating between offensive and defensive weapons
o No enforcement or power to oversee compliance
o All nations would only reduce their weapons when they felt safe enough to do so—when other nations reduced their weapons
o Germany felt:
As though they should either be allowed to expand their power to the size of other nations
Or, have other nations be reduced to their size, as dictated by the Treaty of Versailles
Germany left the Conference in 1932
Rejoined in 1933
o Italy was not interested in reducing armed force in light of its imperial ambitions
o Conference broke up without reaching any agreement due to a lack of co-operation

• Europe wanted to protect themselves so they had two approaches to this:
o Increase arms spending to defend themselves (Maginot Line in France)
o Negotiate a settlement of problems in other nations to avoid more tension and the need to rearm.

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