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Old August 30th, 2015, 09:22 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
Didn't most German-Americans want the U.S. to remain neutral in World War I, though?



Well, if Adolf Hitler would have gotten killed in 1923, then perhaps there would have never been a Nazi Germany and a World War II in the first place.



Charles Evans Hughes, not Charles Edward Hughes.



Probably Yes, in my honest opinion.



Exactly which territorial spoils are you talking about here, though?

Also, unlike Wilson, Hughes might have gotten the U.S. to also declare war on the Ottoman Empire.



OK. Thus, do you think that Hughes would have, say, allowed France to gain sovereignty over the coal-rich Saar(land)?



Wasn't Woodrow Wilson extremely willing to change existing borders after the end of World War I, though? If so, then what exactly makes you think that genuine Wilsonianism is opposed to the changing of borders?



Again, what exactly makes you think that genuine Wilsonianism is opposed to the changing of borders?



Exactly which mistakes are you talking about here? I just want to clarify this part.
Also, unlike Wilson, Hughes might have gotten the U.S. to also declare war on the Ottoman Empire.
Indeed he might have. Although Michael Oren "Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East 1776 to present" has not speculated on what Hughes might have done. I haven't been able to discover Hughes's religious leanings.
I believe that if Hughes had gone to war with the Ottomans, the US would likely have landed in Palestine and Syria (perhaps Mersin-Adana). Besides cutting the Ottoman Empire in half, the emotional aspect of liberating the Holy Land would be necessary to justify the endeavour to the American public. I have no idea how Hughes felt about Zionism.
OK. Thus, do you think that Hughes would have, say, allowed France to gain sovereignty over the coal-rich Saar(land)?
Yes, I think the US would have allowed France to get sovereignty over the Saarland and it's iron (I think Saarland has Iron and not coal). In return though, he might have insisted on rights for US railroad comapnies to build railways across the Sahara connecting Algeria with French West and French Equatorial Africa--and in Indochina. Perhaps in British colonies from Canada to Australia to former German colonies in Africa, which Britain would be allowed to annex outright. Hughes would be more insistent on the US being recompensed for it's intervention on behalf of the UK and France. Maybe he would even want German railways divided up amongst US railroads too.A very different kind of peace indeed. More like "You owe us, we own you".
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Old August 30th, 2015, 09:24 PM   #152

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The whole point of Wilsonianism was to permit the changing of borders after WWI, but that was supposed to be the LAST time it would be done.
Source, please? After all, I previously read a quote by Wilson where he stated that he hoped that South Tyrol would be transferred to Austria in the future (as in, some point after the post-World War I peace would have already been implemented).

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(Of course it wasn't; Turkey changed borders and ethnically cleansed people well into the 20s. And Saudi Arabia conquered it's empire (Hejaz, Hasa and Asir up to 1924.
Yes; correct!

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The point of Wilsonianism is that border changes are to be strongly discouraged because they reward aggression. Territory gained is supposed to be considered under international law "proceeds of crime" and must be returned to discourage aggression by others.
What about peaceful border changes through plebiscites, though?
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Old August 30th, 2015, 09:32 PM   #153
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Wrong the US had no neutrality laws and selling munitions and arms to either side was perfectly legal.

Wrong the Lusitania was not an armed merchant and by existing laws of cruiser warfare which the Germans had signed up to could not be attacked without warning,

Which country was illegally attacking merchant ships oy all nations without warning killing US citizens? The Germans were attacking all ships regardless of flag.

Which Nation was conspiracy with others to attack the US (and using US diplomatic communications extended to help find peace to do so?)

The Germans deliberately conducted executions of 1,000s of innocent Belgians in the early part of the war. While Allied propaganda was over the top, German actions were reprehensible. Like their later deliberate targeting of hospital ships.
I have to wonder what William Howard Taft would have done in the early stages of the war if he had won the 1912 Election. I do have to say that true neutrality would have meant defiance of the British blockade of Germany by escorting Germany bound ships with US naval vessels. Making it clear that interference by the UK meant war with the US--a war which could cost the UK part or all of Canada at the very least.
This kind of defence of freedom of the seas and neutrality (the US would also continue to trade with Great Britain as long as the British behaved themselves) would likely have prevented the German hunger and forced the UK and France to a disadvantageous peace with Germany in 1915 or 1916 (although not as disadvantageous as if the war had gone on longer).
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Old August 30th, 2015, 09:52 PM   #154
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AncientGeezer

Thank you for your informative reply. I received my education in the 50's and 60's so I realize that I am woefully prepared to comprehend anything of an historical nature.

I want to repeat that I am ecstatic to learn that George Washington was alive and prevaricating during WW I--WOW!!!!! Not to mention that the Founding Fathers were diligently pursuing their faith at the same time.
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Old August 30th, 2015, 09:57 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
Source, please? After all, I previously read a quote by Wilson where he stated that he hoped that South Tyrol would be transferred to Austria in the future (as in, some point after the post-World War I peace would have already been implemented).



Yes; correct!



What about peaceful border changes through plebiscites, though?
I suppose that the best source for involiability of national boundaries is Article 10 of the League of Nations Covenant: (1920)
ARTICLE 10.

The Members of the League undertake to respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all Members of the League. In case of any such aggression or in case of any threat or danger of such aggression the Council shall advise upon the means by which this obligation shall be fulfilled.

It was this article that was the basis, for example, of League of Nations action against Japan over Manchuria and Italy over Ethiopia. Passed in 1920, it basically sharpened national boundaries while yes, leaving room for boundary changes by plebiscites--which as a matter of practicality required the acquiscence of whatever nation occupied the territory in question.
Also, the Wilsonian belief in educating people to accept existing national borders is not neccesarily wrong in many cases. People DO learn to live within nations not necessarily their own and secessionists usually do not win plebiscites. Scotland did not, as it turned out, vote to leave the UK. Just as it usually takes a real sense of betrayal by one spouse for there to be a divorce, there needs to be a real betrayal of a subject people within living memory to create a groundswell of support for independence. The Kurds, Sunnis and Shiite minorities and some Ukrainians and the Irish had that betrayal as did many colonised nations (many didn't and were decolonised unilaterally by the mother country as acts of apartheid). The Scots and the South Tirolese did not.
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Old August 30th, 2015, 11:43 PM   #156
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The whole point of Wilsonianism was to permit the changing of borders after WWI, but that was supposed to be the LAST time it would be done. (Of course it wasn't; Turkey changed borders and ethnically cleansed people well into the 20s. And Saudi Arabia conquered it's empire (Hejaz, Hasa and Asir up to 1924.
The point of Wilsonianism is that border changes are to be strongly discouraged because they reward aggression. Territory gained is supposed to be considered under international law "proceeds of crime" and must be returned to discourage aggression by others.
Ethnic cleansing was to be considered a violation as well. People were supposed to live within their allotted borders no matter how the Great Powers drew them and be "educated" to be citizens of whatever nation states they were in.


Sounds a lot like Metternich in 1815. He reckoned that it was people's duty to "learn" to be faithful subjects of whatever Prince their betters at Vienna had assigned them to, and not make difficulties by having opinions of their own in the matter.

Believing that your actions represent the last word is ok in a philosopher but not in a politician. Wilson would have been better to stay at Princeton. For the White House, almost any of the other possibles would have been better - probably even Bryan.
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Old August 30th, 2015, 11:54 PM   #157

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I suppose that the best source for involiability of national boundaries is Article 10 of the League of Nations Covenant: (1920)
ARTICLE 10.

The Members of the League undertake to respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all Members of the League. In case of any such aggression or in case of any threat or danger of such aggression the Council shall advise upon the means by which this obligation shall be fulfilled.

It was this article that was the basis, for example, of League of Nations action against Japan over Manchuria and Italy over Ethiopia. Passed in 1920, it basically sharpened national boundaries while yes, leaving room for boundary changes by plebiscites--which as a matter of practicality required the acquiscence of whatever nation occupied the territory in question.
OK. Also, Yes, everything that you wrote here appears to make sense, katchen! However, couldn't Wilsonianism also advocate in favor of encouraging countries to agree to plebiscites?

Quote:
Also, the Wilsonian belief in educating people to accept existing national borders is not neccesarily wrong in many cases. People DO learn to live within nations not necessarily their own and secessionists usually do not win plebiscites.
Many countries outright refuse to hold plebiscites on secession in the first place, though.

Quote:
Scotland did not, as it turned out, vote to leave the UK. Just as it usually takes a real sense of betrayal by one spouse for there to be a divorce, there needs to be a real betrayal of a subject people within living memory to create a groundswell of support for independence. The Kurds, Sunnis and Shiite minorities and some Ukrainians and the Irish had that betrayal as did many colonised nations (many didn't and were decolonised unilaterally by the mother country as acts of apartheid).
Agreed.

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The Scots and the South Tirolese did not.
You were saying? :

Nationalia - South Tyrol heading to unofficial independence referendum in autumn
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Old August 30th, 2015, 11:55 PM   #158

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Originally Posted by Mikestone8 View Post
For the White House, almost any of the other possibles would have been better - probably even Bryan.
What about Charles Evans Hughes, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding, though?
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Old August 31st, 2015, 12:10 AM   #159

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Indeed, please take a look at pages 346-347 of this book:

https://books.google.com/books?id=hG...wilson&f=false

This information in this book appears to reflect Woodrow Wilson's belief that the people of South Tyrol themselves will be able to change the border between Italy and Austria. In turn, this could be an implicit belief on Wilson's part that Italy should hold a plebiscite in South Tyrol in the future in spite of the fact that Wilson already agreed to give South Tyrol to Italy at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference.

In turn, this information here appears to further strengthen my point that Wilsonianism encourages countries to allow plebiscites on secession to be held whenever necessary.
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Old August 31st, 2015, 12:31 AM   #160
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What about Charles Evans Hughes, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding, though?

Hughes would indeed have probably been better than Wilson. If nothing else, he was much the healthier of the two, living until 1948 and retaining his faculties until the last year of his life. So we wouldn't have had Mrs Hughes serving as an unofficial President.

He also resisted some of the hysteria of the times, representing the duly elected Socialists who were denied their seats by the New York Legislature during the "Red Scare". Hughes detested their politics, but justice had to be served.

I wouldn't describe the others as possibles. Neither TR nor Taft had any chance of winning in 1912 or of being even nominated in 1916, and while Harding might conceivably have got the latter nomination had Hughes turned it down, he'd have had little chance in November, as Progressives would have defected to Wilson in droves.

That said, Harding wouldn't necessarily have been all bad. He sided with Hughes over those Socialist legislators, and freed Eugene Debs, something that Wilson refused to do even when the war was over. As a leader, he was certainly inferior to Wilson, but was in some respects a better man.

Apart from Bryan, the other possibles I had in mind were Champ Clark, the Democratic runner-up in 1912, and Thomas R Marshall, who might have emerged as a dark horse had the 1912 convention deadlocked, or of course succeeded Wilson had the latter died in office. They weren't perfect, but at least they had no illusions about their own infallibility, or thought that they alone could save the world. I'd feel safer with one of them.

Last edited by Mikestone8; August 31st, 2015 at 12:34 AM.
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