The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, Volume 65: February 28-July 31, 1920 available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
- Princeton University Press
As this volume begins, controversy over ratification of the Versailles Treaty enters its climactic stage. Wilson, only partly recovered from a stroke, refuses the advice of supporters who beg him to accept Republican reservations in order to put the Treaty through the Senate, and he puts heavy pressure on those Democratic senators who want to consent to reservations. Twenty-one Democrats defy him when the Treaty comes up for a second and final vote on March 19, but their votes, combined with those of Republican reservationists, fall far short of the two-thirds Senate majority necessary for passage of the consent resolution. While Tumulty and the departmental heads carry on the domestic business of the federal government, Wilson follows their recommendations and signs a series of measures that bring various aspects of the progressive movement to fruition: the Transportation Act of 1920, the General Leasing Act, and the Water Power Act. Meanwhile, he devotes most of his strength to foreign affairs. He vetoes the "separate peace" embodied in the Knox Resolution, and the Democrats uphold the veto. In spite of Wilson's wish to run again for president, concern for his health prevails, and the Democrats nominate Governor James M. Cox of Ohio, who names Franklin D. Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, as his running mate. Wilson is deeply depressed, but he blesses the Cox and Roosevelt campaign with all the fervor he can summon.