ABSTRACT

None of the leading nations had an accurate sense of its international situation after World War I. The United States proposed to leave Europe to its own impoverished resources. Of course it could not quite. Britain and France, adding to their empires, had eliminated a European threat, as they thought, and could expand their power with little concern for a reborn Russia. While Britain could attend to her imperial responsibilities, France balanced between the prospect of German reparations and a justification, as her more ambitious nationalists speculated, of using nonpayment as an excuse and capturing more of German territory on the pattern of the old revolutionary and Napoleonic conquests. Germany, thrashed but integral, agonized over defeat and present hardship more than her healthy potentials warranted. But the United States, because so much richer and more powerful, was more extravagantly wrong. It went on entangling itself in Europe even as it tried to escape it.