WOODROW WILSON, WORLD WAR I AND THE RISE OF POLAND

Salisbury, Christopher Graham (2002). WOODROW WILSON, WORLD WAR I AND THE RISE OF POLAND MPhil Thesis, Department of History, School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, University of Queensland.

       
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Author Salisbury, Christopher Graham
Thesis Title WOODROW WILSON, WORLD WAR I AND THE RISE OF POLAND
School, Centre or Institute Department of History, School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics
Institution University of Queensland
Publication date 2002
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Supervisor J. Siracusa
Total pages 191
Language eng
Subjects 430104 History - North American
780199 Other
L
Abstract/Summary The scope of this thesis falls under the title, “Woodrow Wilson, World War I and the Rise of Poland”. The author’s intention in selecting this topic is to examine the national and political re-emergence of Poland in the early twentieth century from a predominantly American perspective, as no other Western nation had played as great a hand in this “rebirth”. Covering the better part of a decade and more that begins by tracing Woodrow Wilson’s ascension to the United States presidency, the examination centres upon the extent of and reasoning behind this Wilson-led influence as wielded through the channels of foreign diplomacy with and regarding Poland. Underlining America’s first substantial foray into internal European diplomatic affairs, the study analyses, in turn, American involvement and interest in the Poles’ burgeoning drive towards self-determination and national sovereignty leading into and throughout the First World War; Poland’s weighty part in the American government’s documented preparations for peace in Europe; and Wilson’s significant personal response to the ultimately successful course of the Polish independence movement, among other European developments leading up to the war’s close. Research conducted in this exercise comprises an analysis of primarily American foreign diplomatic and domestic political sources (including considerable emphasis upon the personal papers and documents of Woodrow Wilson himself), as well as of similar Polish sources where they pertain to American interest. Furthermore, scrutiny of the diplomatic records of other nations necessarily involved in this arena of “Great Power” politics, such as Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Western Powers, adds to the inspection. The author believes that such investigation exposes the unlikely dimensions of America’s, and especially Wilson’s, critical involvement within this particular East European historical setting. In this light, Wilson’s triumphant crusading on behalf of the rights of small nations – and equally his ensuing reversal of fortunes over the Versailles Treaty and the League of Nations Charter – can be seen to be embodied within the momentous revival of Poland’s independence and the subsequently rocky path of the “new” nation’s fledgling statehood.
Keyword Woodrow Wilson
First World War
Polish Question
US foreign diplomacy
Relief campaign
Self-determination

 
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