This is the most important of the President’s suggestions. Without some form of a league of nations it will be impossible to adopt and carry out the other terms of the President’s program. International guarantees, so frequently mentioned in his proposals, imply some means by which the countries of the world can act together for their common purposes. Restoration of devastated lands, disarmament, new democratic governments, freedom of commerce,—all of these things will remain nothing but rainbow hopes unless the large and small nations of the world unite for their realization. A League of Nations, more or less regularly organized, must be formed if the democracies of the world shall be made safe from future wars of aggression.
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY.—1. Why are waters within three miles of shore considered as territorial waters? (See War Cyclopedia, “Marine League.”) What is meant by freedom of the seas? What is meant by the phrase “free ships make free goods”? 2. Make a map of Europe showing what it would be like if all of President Wilson’s points were approved at the peace conference. 3. Are there any reasons why every nation should give up its colonies and permit them to be independent states? 4. Why is it dangerous as well as wrong to permit Germany to retain her control over the territory taken from Russia? 5. What was the “wrong done to France (by Germany) in 1870”? 6. What is autonomy? Name the peoples of Austria-Hungary who wish autonomous development, or complete independence. 7. Find some ways by which Poland and Serbia can get access to the sea. 8. Do you think it will take a longer or a shorter time to bring the soldiers home than it did to send them to France? Why? 9. What is meant by rehabilitation of the wounded? Find some ways in which other nations have made their maimed soldiers self-supporting. 10. How is it likely that Constantinople will be controlled after the war? 11. How would the league of nations enforce its decisions? (See President Wilson’s second point.)
REFERENCES.—War Cyclopedia (C.P.I.); McKinley, Collected Materials for the Study of the War; War, Labor, and Peace (C.P.I.); Conquest and Kultur (C.P.I.); The War Message and the Facts Behind It (C.P.I.); American Interest in Popular Government Abroad (C.P.I.).
(Adapted from “War Cyclopedia” published by the Committee on Public Information, Washington, D.C. Events which especially concern the United States are put in italic type.)
June 28 Murder of Archduke Francis Ferdinand at Serajevo.
July 5 Conference at Potsdam (page 70).
July 23 Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia.
July 28 Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.
July 31 German ultimatums to Russia and France.