Some Timely Observations on the League of Nations Controversy in Utah
Utah and the Great War : The Beehive State and the World War I Experience
Salt Lake City, UT
University of Utah Press. Copublished with the Utah State Historical Society.
"Throughout the war and in its immediate aftermath during the Paris treaty negotiations, of primary importance was what nations could do to prevent such a world calamity from occurring once again. For Woodrow Wilson, the answer lay in his “Fourteen Points,” which called for self-determination, open treaties, freedom of the seas, and, most important to Wilson, the establishment of a world organization where nations could come together in the cause of peace. The League of Nations was the answer. Wilson and other supporters of the league feared if leaders failed to implement the league then there was no means to prevent future wars and the millions of soldiers and civil-ians who had lost their lives would have died in vain. But the League of Nations had its skeptics, if not opponents, who feared the United States would surrender its sovereignty by joining. Ratification of the Treaty of Versailles in the Senate hinged on acceptance of the league. Friends, families, communities, even religious institutions divided over the issue. In Utah, Mormon general authorities were divided over the question, which effectively ended the myth that ecclesiastical leaders were united in all things. As the following chapter finds, individuality, free agency, and disagreement were paramount to conformity and compromise even among individuals united by religious tradition and beliefs. [Editor]