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Making the World Safe for WorkersLabor, the Left, and Wilsonian Internationalism$
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Elizabeth McKillen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037870

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037870.001.0001

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(p.241) Conclusion
Making the World Safe for Workers

Elizabeth McKillen

University of Illinois Press

This concluding chapter examines the significance of the labor/Left debate over Woodrow Wilson's foreign policy both for U.S. diplomacy and for the U.S. labor movement in the twentieth century. The Senate's final rejection of the Treaty of Versailles ended the eight-year war of position waged by U.S. labor and Socialist groups in an effort to influence the Wilsonian international agenda. The U.S and transnational labor and Left debate over the Versailles Treaty, League of Nations, and the International Labor Organization exposed fundamental contradictions in Wilsonian internationalism. This chapter argues that the Versailles treaty's defeat served the political ends of the Republicans more than the Left but insists that Wilsonian ideas about American exceptionalism, democracy, international law and governance, and international capitalism would cast a long shadow over the twentieth, and even the twenty-first, century.

Keywords:   foreign policy, Woodrow Wilson, diplomacy, labor movement, Treaty of Versailles, transnational labor, Left, International Labor Organization, Wilsonian internationalism, American exceptionalism

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