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date: 03 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson of the United States demanded ‘a new and more wholesome diplomacy’ to replace the international architecture that had failed to prevent the war that was currently engulfing the world. This chapter investigates some of the origins of this ‘New Diplomacy’ and the attempts made at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference to implement its principles, most notably the creation of the League of Nations, attempts to encourage world disarmament, and the application of national self-determination, which advocates hoped would create a stable and peaceful ‘New Europe’. The clash between aspirations and reality was highlighted by the problems inherent in applying national self-determination to hopelessly ethnographically mixed regions and in seeking a fair and reasonable solution to reparations and inter-Allied debts. The chapter concludes with a survey of the post-war settlement, its practicalities and its reputation.

Keywords: New Diplomacy, Paris Peace Conference, national self-determination, League of Nations, reparations, disarmament

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