It wasn't the 'war to end all wars,' didn't solve all the world's problems, cost around 10,000,000 lives, and ended in a treaty which I think was both vindictive and short-sighted.
On the other hand, although the 14 points weren't followed all that closely, ideas had been forced into consideration, like:
- "People in European colonies should have a say in their future"
- "The barriers to trade between countries such as custom duties should be removed"1
- "All countries should reduce their armed forces to the lowest possible levels"2
- "The national groups in Europe should, wherever possible, be given their independence"3
("World War One / The Treaty of Versailles")
Wouldn't it be Nice if there Weren't Any Wars?I think it would have been nice if my Viking forebears had been less insistent about redistributing Europe's wealth a thousand years ago. And it would have been nice if my Viking and Celtic ancestors had both refrained from those colorful human sacrifices that were a cherished part of their cultural heritage.
Nice, yes. Human, no.
Any time you've got human beings in a culture, you're going to have trouble. That hasn't changed in the last several thousand years, and isn't likely to happen in the next few millennia, either. Deal with it.
But some people keep trying to make the bit of history they're living in a little better. I prefer to notice those efforts.
As I did last year, recalling what happened on September 11 of 2001, and current events, I recommend reading this quote:
"Human nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared to the men of this, we shall have as weak and as strong, as silly and as wise, as bad and as good."Background:
Abraham Lincoln, Response to a serenade, November 10, 1864.
(See "Armistice Day" (Apathetic Lemming of the North (November 11, 2007))
- "World War One / The Treaty of Versailles"
History on the Net
- " World War I Ended With the Treaty of Versailles June 28, 1919"
- "Information About Poland"
- "The History of Poppy Day"
RNZRSA (Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association)
1 I'm not a free trade purist, but I believe that in the long run even protected industries suffer, when deprived of competition.
2 The key phrase here is "all countries." I've run into too many people who seem to think that, as long as big, rough America would disarm: everything would be peachy. As the monks at Lindisfarne learned, only one side needs to be armed for an invasion to happen.
3 The 'deep thinkers' of my college days tended to forget that Europeans, and particularly Euro-Americans, are people too, and have many of the same needs and aspirations as non-western people.