Woodrow Wilson defending the Treaty of Versailles
I want to remind you how the permanency of peace is at the heart of this treaty. This is not merely a treaty of peace with Germany... it is nothing less than world settlement, and at the center of that stands the covenant for the future we call the Covenant of the League of Nations. Without it the treaty can not be worked and without it it is a mere temporary arrangement with Germany. The covenant of the League of Nations is the instrumentality (means) for the maintenance of peace.
If the treaty is not ratified by the Senate, the war will have been fought in vain, and the world will be thrown into chaos. I promised our soldiers, when I asked them to take up arms, that it was a war to end wars...
The question before us is whether the League that has been drafted by the Commission of the Peace Conference and laid before us is will it secure the peace of the world as it stands, and whether it is just and fair to the United States of America. That is the question and I want to bring it to the test.
Wars between nations come form contacts. A nation with which we have no contact is a nation with which we should never fight... In this scheme for a League now before us we create a number of new contacts, a number of new relations, which we have not undertaken before to create.
This war had its roots in the disregard of the rights of small nations and of nationalities which lacked the union and the force to make good their claim to determine their own allegiances and their own forms of political life. Covenants must now be entered into which will render such things impossible for the future; and those covenants must be backed by the united force of all the nations that love justice and are willing to maintain it at any cost.
--President Woodrow Wilson
The United States is the world's best hope, but if you fetter her in the interests and quarrels of other nations, if you tangle her in the intrigues of Europe, you will destroy her power for good and endanger her very existence.
The independence of the United States is not only more precious to ourselves but to the world than any single possession.
--Henry Cabot Lodge
I have spoken thus only that the whole world may know the true spirit of America -- that men everywhere may know that our passion for justice and for self-government is no mere passion of words but a passion which, once set in action, must be satisfied. The power of the United States is a menace to no nation or people. It will never be used in aggression or for the aggrandizement of any selfish interest of our own. lt springs out of freedom and is for the service of freedom.