"The First Peace"


Out of the war-unleashing core of the 33 signatories, including five British colonies, at the final day of the Paris Conference on June 28, 1919, the state of war lasted shortest for the 1917 accessed United States of America?

After three years of the gruelling World War passed already, the United States of America joined the Allied side as an associated power in April 1917. It was not before the year 1918 that the bulk of their inexperienced but fresh troops crossed the Atlantic and engaged in combat. They had a decisive impact on the outcome of the conflict. The Armistice was signed in the very same year. Afterwards, it seemed as if Europe's cheers of 'you will be home by Christmas' towards its troops in 1914 would become true to the American Expeditionary Forces. For the Europeans, the thought of the 1914 Christmas Truce was long gone by then. The question for whom the state of war lastet the shortest seemed to be an easy one to answer. Was it the United States?

When the Armistice was signed on November 11th, 1918, the fighting on the western front and in the colonies had gone on for four years and four months. This three-times extended agreement could be deemed as an unilaterally diplomatic and remilitarising stage of the war. In contrast, the agreement itself was not a unilateral one. In the end, the addition of up to six-and-a-half months, i.e. from Compiègne/Rethondes to Versailles, rendered the war's historically verified parameters 1914–19. In many cases, 1918 is marked as its terminal date, an approach that misses out on distinguishing between the fighting and the state of war.

IContrary to the hundreds of thousands of mourning parents, US mothers and fathers were able to welcome their son back home for Christmas the same year. For many, demobilisation resulted from a successful campaign. Other soldiers made part of the Allied and American ceasefire campaign. In December 1918, the western powers began to occupy Germany's provinces on the left side of the Rhine.

The period of the Treaty and League of Versailles ratifications would last another six-and-a-half months (June 28th, 1919 until January 10th, 1920). On tour throughout the country, President Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke. Shortly after, a well-functioning US democracy chose to opt out. On November 19th, 1919, ratification was declined. A similar majority of the senators opposed the diseased Democrat in another vote exactly four months later. This marks the only time in history that a presidential treaty was repudiated.

Below: P. de Bourgraaf LinkedIn and Twitter feeds on March 19, 2020, at the same time the date of Aufa100's launch.

On August 26, 1921, German politician Matthias Erzberger was murdered by former marine personnel. This was not to late for him to witness the conclusion of the US-German Peace Treaty, some 24 hours earlier. The United States under the lead of the newly elected president Warren Harding, Woodrow Wilson's successor, and the German Republic as the defenceless, dictated and stigmatised object at the hands of the 32 Allied and Associated Powers in Versailles, signed a bilateral peace treaty. Since "Versailles" did not bring peace, on the contrary, sustained the casus belli, this is what Aufa100 terms "The First Peace".* For Germany's rising Atlantic partner, it meant that the state of war was finally terminated after four years and four months (1917-1921).

This separate peace treaty among the 1918 Armistice initiators reveals what school and mainstream history books fail to tell you (see 🇬🇧 & 🇺🇸 links below). Support Aufa100 to rewrite twentieth-century history. Take the postcolonial debate to the next level. The future deserves it!

  • Miller Center, University of Virginia
  • White House, U.S. government
  • Encyclopedia Britannica

  • *  Under the lead of Great Britain and its radical Empire forces, the Entente dictated the Treaty of Versailles to the German republic. At the occasion of its centenary,  Prof. Karl-Heinz Lüdeking (Berlin 2019 a.o., see Aufa100 Founding Manifesto) termed it a "death sentence on Europe". The 1914–1919 casus belli was thus continued well into the "new order". It would neither end in Lausanne nor in Locarno. Apart from the Pacific theatre of war, it came to an end in Berlin, 1945.

    🔽  mehrsprachiger LinkedIn/Twitter Beitrag vom 19. November 2019.

    Contents, figures and illustrations and by Peter de Bourgraaf