American intervention in the Polish question during World War I

Salisbury, Christopher G. (2001). American intervention in the Polish question during World War I, School Seminars, School of History, Philosophy, Religion & Classics, University of Queensland.

Author Salisbury, Christopher G.
Title American intervention in the Polish question during World War I
School, Department or Centre School of History, Philosophy, Religion & Classics
Institution University of Queensland
Seminar Series School Seminars
Publication date 2001-11-07
Location Brisbane, Australia
Publisher The University of Queensand, School of History, Philosophy, Religion & Classics
Language eng
Abstract/Summary By midway through the First World War, the question of Poland’s reinstatement upon Europe’s changing political map had assumed an undeniable prominence. A sequence of conspicuous imperial pronouncements on the part of the Great Powers of East-Central Europe – motivated chiefly by territorial self-interest – had seen to that. Yet such grand developments on the diplomatic stage had little more than a localised effect upon the course of the blossoming Polish independence movement. It took the involvement of Woodrow Wilson and his US administration to focus the attention of a genuinely international audience upon the Polish Question. Coming fast on the heels of a broadly publicised but ultimately fruitless American-led relief campaign, it fell to Wilson’s political interest in the Poles’ suffering to generate worldwide sympathy and support for Polish claims to self-determination. This the President did by way of his own series of landmark war-time declarations – included firmly within which was the principle of a “free and united Poland” – that in turn encouraged the belligerent nations to adopt the Poles’ cause (in principle, at least). In spelling out an idealistic program of American war aims and conditions for peace, Wilson lent to Polish claims a distinct air of inviolability. Through this means of preparing his countrymen and –women for the nearing trials of conflict, the President thus guaranteed that America’s entry into the war and its conduct therein would have a significantly causal influence upon international consideration of the Polish Question.

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Created: Tue, 05 Apr 2016, 14:03:30 EST by Dr Chris Salisbury on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies