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Table of

Setting the Stage

Review the outcome of World War I, the Fourteen Points, and the League of Nations. Following the end of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson waged a long and ultimately unsuccessful campaign for the United States to join League of Nations in the belief that it would help create a lasting peace. As part of this effort, Wilson embarked on a grueling speaking tour to arouse popular support for his program. He hoped to create pressure on the reluctant Republican-controlled Senate, which had to ratify both the Treaty of Versailles and league membership.

When Wilson suffered from an acute headache and nervous exhaustion after delivering a passionate speech in Pueblo, Colorado, his doctor canceled the rest of the trip. On October 2, 1919, Wilson suffered a stroke that paralyzed his left side. The aborted speaking trip, though well-received by the American people, did not change one vote in the Senate. It refused to ratify either the treaty or membership in the league.

Failing health and an increasingly hostile political environment kept Wilson from seeking a third presidential term in 1920. When the victorious Republican candidate, Warren G. Harding, took the oath of office in March 1921, Woodrow Wilson left the White House. He moved to 2340 S Street in Northwest Washington; today the house stands as a memorial to Wilson and his causes.




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