tv Leaders Facing Crises After World Wars I and II CSPAN May 24, 2020 10:50am-11:51am EDT
when it came time to get paid that money went for food, clothing, and shelter. they never had any discretionary money. so they came to the resolve they were just have to stay in this community. they did not understand the language, the customs, but they or no way out of no way way. >> this memorial day weekend on c-span3. the national world war ii museum hosts an online discussion with historian michael neiberg about the crises world leaders faced at the end of world wars i and ii. in a conversation with the museum's jason dawsey, mr. neiberg talked about the visions and strategies debated by leaders as they tried to decide how to deal with destroyed economies, failed empires, and competing political ideologies. jason: i want to extend our
welcome to all of the viewers out there joining us. it's a great pleasure to talk to my friend and one-time colleague , who is a professor of history at the army war college. mike and i were actually colleagues -- mike, this is going back a ways. 2006 or so in the history department at the university of southern mississippi. but we have stayed in touch over the years. we have both moved on to other things. we've always had a set of shared interests. -- i am glad two
to speak you on the shared crisis. the audience has seen the current crisis, they coronavirus crisis, the economic downturn, --t will be a serious issue and it seems like a good time to talk about a 20th century crisis. mike, you are one of the people to talk to about this. there's too many of your book seared to list for the audience, but i thought i would mention " finding the great war," your history world war i, "the blood book you wrotee about the liberation of paris.
i think for our audience it will be of great interest, your concise history of the treaty of versailles and your book about pot spam, the end of world war ii and the remaking of europe. i thought we would start with world war i. and i thought we would have a how thation about relates to the present. where to begin, mike? i think the place to begin that is pretty straight forward is the world as it appears to allied leaders in 1918, 1919, at the end of world war i. so many people perished in that conflict. as the american, french, italian
leaders met, they were faced with their own pandemic. looking at that world, looking , how did they think about moving beyond world war war -- world war? >> first of all, thank you for everything that you have done signing in. obviously if you are in this are usingting, you this time productively. for me it has been a time to reflect on the ways, the dates that you live in, the present time you live in changes the way you think about the past and the way you think about these questions jason is identifying, have you deal with pandemic and
how you deal with crisis. undert think anyone is illusions. newdo you make sense of the world you are living in. one thing this crisis has done -- it made me realize how similar and broad respects they were thinking when hundred years ago. and what i mean by that, this is , butifying things too much there are two major groups of thinkers. he argued the right solution is international and multilateral, pandemics,ms like decolonization, dealing with communism, bolshevism, those are international problems that need international solutions. there's the french prime
minister, who are not opposed to negotiating with other countries, but there are americans like theodore roosevelt making the same agreement -- argument in the u.s. it goes to what you think is causing the problem and what do you think is the appropriate solution? there are people thinking internationally 100 years ago. and there are people thinking nationally. does mindsets would be very familiar to people from 100 years ago looking at our world. that leads me to my next question, mike. you were talking about the framework of different visions there were already. france had been in the fight since 1914. points did the tensions
between wilson and clemenceau and lloyd george already begin to emerge about a national versus an international framework. how to deal with germany. the fact that germany was defeated. germany is not occupied in 1918, 1919. how to deal with that. we will come back with the question of the bolsheviks. but in this case, they were very questions about how that could the apiece. prof. neiberg: sure. godon in 14 point said that was content to give us 10 commandments. lloyd george was asked to performance in the
house of commons and he said, i don't think i did some bad considering i have napoleon on -- ande in jesus christ jesus christ himself on the other. so there is tension. so there's that problem. also what fundamentally caused the war. if you are clemenceau, it is the aggression. there's something inherent in the german character and remember, clemens so was the mayor of one of the paris neighborhoods. the problem is there is something different about germany you have to deal with. in lloyd george's mind, it was simply that george -- that it grew too fast. so although they were allies during the war, there were very
different definitions about what they were doing there. this in worldout war ii as well because many of the same problems are there. what is the fundamental cause of the problem? until you answer that question, you can't really look to solutions. clemenceau, the american approach looks way too idealistic, way to high in the sky where is to wilson his solutions look like more of the same. part of it is an understanding of how you view the past. to borrow the old phrase, the further you look back, the further you can look forward. it is a difference in what they see when they look back. jason: there's also the differences in germany, how they understood the sources of the conflict and how, for example, clemens so views wilson upon -- clemenceau's
second, if that really has been much change. that's one of the things i want to add on the british and french interest atre much all in the fact germany seems to be transitioning to some kind of democratic system where is for wilson the a be some confirmation for him that his point of view is correct. >> not all frenchmen see the world the way, there are plenty of french people, intellectuals, politicians to argue germany will need -- to figure out what they have. they don't have a democratic traditions, you need to open the borders up and build links between the british and french, their youth movements come socialist party movements that are trying to do everything they can to build bridges, not to say let's just, but to say the fundamental problem was the
kaiser, it was prussia, not germany. and essentially the prussians applied to the good germans. bavarians, some of the estimate similars happening in world war i as well and there people who are sympathetic. germanys this kind of of beethoven and higher learning that has now been corrupted by this prussian autocracy and now with that gone, germany has a chance to forward. it doesn't necessarily mean everyone trusts that but means they are saying if we are looking for strategy, it's better to leverage that try to build that up then it is to continue the hatred. we know this works better at the end of second world war britain which is an expression you can do this.
to me as a historian with nobody checking a passport, with shared currency, consultation on foreign policy, this is what a lot of people are debating in 1919 in the 20's. you might get to something like that. -- they are not all wildly optimistic to idealistic, but they are hoping you can build bridges between the two in some way you increase the chance for cooperation rather than competition. that is very similar to the , is itwe are having now to build those bridges between governments that don't necessarily trust each other or know they have different things they trying to accomplish where is the best way to pull yourself up and deal with it from a national perspective. me it resonates.
those are important points. that leads to two follow-ups on that. be is we shouldn't monolithic in the way we understand the responses of these three countries to how to build a new order after world war i, the first question would be what kind of popular pressures do you see, lloyd george just had an election. woodrow wilson had a congressional election and now has republicans in congress who are not terribly excited about a lot of the internationalist side of this whole peacemaking process. they don't have -- pressures theyar
have to deal with as well. casualtiescing undergoes construction that he have to listen to these all bees, i guess we can focused on the -- they also have to for democracies, there republic, they'll have to deal with trip -- pressure from below. way to deal with this is to look at the big three. looking around there is no one american answer to the covid crisis, no one questions the covid crisis. these are determined by where you live, middle-class first working class. all kinds of things would
determine your response. it's interesting the ways in which the debates reach across national lines. do you want to solve these problems the national or the imperial level. do you want to do this by opening up the empire to international trade which is an answer or do you want to increase those, keeping americans out of those markets and trying the best that you can to reinforce the empire. both of those are out there. largelyrial argan twins to bring the americans able to force open the british empire. the debate over the treaty of versailles is fascinating for this group of senators that say i don't care i'm not signing it. this another that says there's deem thisich we can
unconstitutional. that the united states can drive -- the league of nations can drive us into a war. that's unconstitutional. there ways in which this ties us down. there people taking the argument with one nation, one vote. why would we as americans accept the same level of power in an international organization that your would have. why would we do that. which is when world war ii the u.n. comes with the security council, otherwise it's not clear the u.n. would've gotten through u.s. congress. to paint opponents as the league as backward looking dinosaurs is unfair, they legitimate grievances. there are things we talk about today by the world health organization, do you want to be part of an organization where you see some of your sovereignty and pay money to the organization knowing you're probably not getting as much out of it as a smaller state because
you believe in the help of international organization. if you accept that rentable, that it makes sense. if you don't, you're knocking to do that. maybe we don't want to run out if we want to. >> the issue of democracy coming back for that. out about pressures and there's still range of different views, we should take these seriously with perspectives about other be a league of nations, what authority should have, should be able to intervene in conflicts. there's a lot of different perspectives in their bread it
so badly remembered, it's even difficult to have a serious conversation about what things look like in 1918 and 1919 when people are trying to envision it. is the u.s. is fighting in world war i with a segregated military. american women at the national level don't get the right to vote until 1920 with the 19th amendment. british women during 1920's. and then of course the whole issue of the colonies. the british and french had used colonial troops and those respective countries, or the british and french empire come what about democracy here ?so this is being fought in the name of democracy and militarism and against german autocracy what is
, this going to mean? in versailles, these become real issues about what do we do about opening things up? you mentioned the issue of trade. just in the sense of what time should we grant more autonomy? what do we do about these movements that are calling for independence. those become quite violent in 1919. the massacre in india. what should we do with bad about -- with that. you think about the issue of democracy and how that rhetoric had been there late in the war and how these big three then have to confront that? that would be also for our viewers that would be a segue into addressing the bolshevik revolution and challenge that had. these countries have real issues of democratization that they have to address. >> they have enormous issues.
it's a different between democracy and the polity. the question is an enormous it's one. enormously complicated. my canadian friends are fond of the anecdote the first time canada ever signed a document in its own right was the treaty of versailles and the first one , that they signed, they signed on the wrong line so they had to put an addendum on the treaty of versailles document. my canadian friends love to point that when out. -- point that one out. how ambiguous of elite this was for the world stage. when the first world war began, gandhi was a supporter of the war. he thought the british were doing the right thing but by the -- by standing up to german aggression. by the end he realized this is not a war about democracy at all. it's not a war but independence and freedom and all the things they talked about, there is a supremely talented historian in when theyo argued
read woodrow wilson and said the americans are going to fight for democracy. the 14 points can be read as anti-imperial. he's serious about this. the point is in the middle of paris peace conference becomes obvious that's not what he had in mind at all. he doesn't have the end of the empires at all. what he has in mind is america 's right to trade in those empires. his book is about the dissolution that people start to sense in american rhetoric. president roosevelt is going to try to bring that back in the second world war and try to put more teeth behind it than wilson did. there are a couple of parts in the world, the checkoff controversy in china where these interests and values come in conflict with each other. armenia is another example and the united states doesn't know
what to do because we are still trying to figure this out. the end of the world war creates a lot of these conflicts like palestine vietnam that will come , back and bite people by the time the 20th century is over. we talk about the wars we are fighting right now, we are still -- in the wars of the ottoman succession. we are still trying to figure out how you govern a complicated place like the middle east in the absence of a centralized authority like the ottoman empire. there is a wonderful quotation i will just end with this. we can talk about competing anti-imperial visions but there is a wonderful quotation from david lloyd george in the middle of passchendaele, he is talking about british operations in mesopotamia, iraq and palestine and it is mesopotamia and palestine that we will have to deal with.
those are two fundamental issues to america's foreign-policy. >> there is so much more that we can say about that. an uprising in present-day iraq, and the issue of palestine would be a whole other weapon. -- webinar. these are big ones. china, you mentioned the may 4 movement. that starts in this is a huge 1919. question, and it connects directly to the particular kind of challenge that the bolshevik revolution posed to the big three. this is a subject i'm very interested in. and how once lenin, trotsky, and the bolshevik seized power in october, november in 1917, they
publish all of the secret treaties that imperial russia had signed with britain and france, expecting a victory, and who would get what in terms of ottoman territory, they were very glad to show countries around the world that this is what this war is being fought over and lenin gives his overriding vision to revolutionaries, that the world war was not a tragedy, it was not an aberration, it wasn't that europe went crazy, this is a necessary outcome of -- outgrowth of what he called imperialism. imperialism is a worldwide system. there is no desire to go back to the status quo, which a lot of socialists during the war say, we should go back to what we had prior to june 28, 1914. mike: that is like now january 2020. trying to turn the clock back.
jason: and lenin says the only way to turn the clock back is -- move beyond the sources of world war is revolution and he saw russia as the beginning of a worldwide revolution that would not only take place in the capitals of countries themselves -- capitalist countries themselves, but in the colonized world. it was a global vision. for the big three, we can even bring in italy because there will be so much turmoil in italy, that would be mussolini coming next. how do you think that the three leaders of the western allies, how did they make sense of this and what did they think they should respond to this? mike: there is a way to interpret the paris peace conference as that the western
power has now shifted that , germany is no longer the great power competitor but it is the soviet union. there is a way to understand wilson's 14 points and the treaty of versailles as a response to that. if you want to read it, it includes a lot about protection of labor and the right of women to vote even if they are not allowed to vote in the states in which they live. it talks about guaranteeing minimum wages and the rights of people if they move from one country to another that their wages cannot be cut. it talks about all of that. one way to understand that is that they are trying to undercut the bolshevik argument they are trying to say don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. we can sustain this capitalist economic system without going down that crazy road. then there is a way to understand the treaty of versailles and the paris peace conference as saying to the
world, to africa, to china, there is a way to get what you want without going down that road. there is a way in which we can understand it. as you mentioned, one of the things that is so great is that -- so different in great power competition and is that it is a national award, but by the time -- a national war. but by the time you get to world war ii, there is an ideological dimension playing over this where fascist -- where countries are seeing similarities and bolsheviks in all countries are seeing similarities. you get this multidimensional war that you're starting to see. for wilson, for clemenceau, for lloyd george, the obvious question is should we invite them to the conference and the answer is no. if you're not going to do that, what do you do about them? we know wilson will make the decision to send american troops to siberia, they will have to work hard with japan to get japan's support. that is part of the reason they
give the peninsula to japan at the end of world war i which causes tremendous dissolution as a sellout of every principle wilson had, but on the other hand it's a way to get japanese support which they need to have in russia. the interlocking pieces for the engineers out there, when you push on one part of the system it will produce weird outcomes in another part of the system. in order to prevent the bolshevik from taking over in germany you have to give a peninsula in china to the japanese. that's the kind of thing they are trying to deal with in paris. jason: that is a fascinating point. just to add to that. one of the things the bolshevik s present as an alternative is instead of the parliamentary democracy model, they will say those models are directly tied
to this war. they are a mask for class power and they present the soviets, these councils that emerged in 1917, workers, radicalized soldiers, sailors this is a , model of a workers democracy. this is before it turns into a one-party state. the bolsheviks are governing with another party for several months. the challenges directly there. it's an using thinking about this. wilson is crafting a response that he hopes will sap some of the energy and discontent and anger coming out of the war that the bolsheviks are directly trying to appeal to. germany, austria, hungary, italy, bulgaria, the baltic states all over they are trying to mobilize that, but they are not the only ones trying to
mobilize discontent. in 1919, they have another player on the scene, they need a mussolini's fascist movement which in the space of three years they are in power 1919 is , the same year that we have the first version of what would become the nazi party in bavaria that hitler will get involved in right away. there is a lot to pack in but the way that you look at this history, how do you relate the beginnings of fascism to the process. how did mussolini and hitler, not only is there anger about the territorial remapping. that's always brought up, but there is a larger challenge that they pose to the system. once did this so well that a student complained to my department head that i was
trying to turn them into fascists. that is not what i'm trying to do. the original intellectual model of fascism made the argument that marxism and communism cannot be right. because if class conflict was the engine of world changes marx argued, the workers of france would not have killed the workers of germany and the workers of germany would not have killed the workers of russia, etc.. in effect carl marx had to be , wrong. so what mussolini and the intellectuals around him concluded is it must be the nationstate and it must be irrationality of people's identification with the nationstate that drove them forward. as you pointed out what that does is it taps into this febrile environment of all of these land claims and everybody that is disaffected by the war and the way the war ends. you get this kind of identification so that fascism becomes identified by the ways
in which it is not bolshevik and bolsheviks become identified by the way they are not fascists. you get polarization in these societies that occurs all across europe. it occurs in france. there is a civil war in spain that is partly informed by this, so the center comes under pressure. the way i described it to students is both of these systems are real challenges to the democratic capitalist system that, in the anglo american and british empire world, they are trying to hold onto. they are trying to hold this in -- hold that center ground. the second world war is the story of how that doesn't happen and two of those systems fight the third. so the anglo american capitalist system and bolshevik system and -- end up as temporary allies. you can see the cold war as the final, in some versions of history, the final competition of the end of the first world war when the bolshevik system is defeated, at least the soviet model of it.
you can take a broad picture of the first world war and argue that is what this is. it is a competition of ideologies as you are moving forward. it is also instructive to think about the ways in which fascism as an ideology is more nationalistic than bolshevism, so it is more difficult in some cases for fascists to think across national orders. -- national borders. for bolsheviks, it is easy. the ideology by definition is international. jason: workers of all lands, unite. mike: right, so you end up with a different way of thinking about the world. that is as quick as i can do it. i did this for 50 minutes once, depicting these two ideologies in class, and i got reported to the dean. i don't want to make the case. there is a way in which you have to explain why people in europe are so disaffected by the world that they see, that they are moving to these extremes rather than reinforcing the center.
the great depression only fuels that further. jason: you have already raised the second world war. watching our time, i think we should transfer over. we have a very good basis for thinking about the versailles moment at the end of the first world war and how we can compare that, looking at the world in 1945. you played out there is this -- walter lefeber used the term there is a shotgun marriage between the anglo american, liberal democratic capitalist states and the soviet union under joseph stalin, and they have to come together to cooperate to defeat mussolini, hitler, imperial japan. how does the world look, if we are going to work out this framework of comparison at potsdam? what is the choices they are faced with making then?
instead of having clemenceau, lloyd george, and wilson, you have churchill, harry truman -- churchill is actually going to leave in the middle of the potsdam hearings. then you have joseph stalin. it is a different big three, and in fact it is really two when you come down to the emerging superpowers. how do we make sense of that 1945 perspective? mike: i argued in the potsdam book that every issue except what to do with the atomic bomb that they discuss in potsdam, they also discuss in versailles. what do you think caused these wars? what do you want to do with germany? how do you want to rebuild the economies? what do you do with the empires. these are all familiar questions. for the americans, the answer is hold to the principles of internationalism, but not rely on faith and love and the trust of man. we are going to come in with serious instruments of power behind us.
the way i described this is truman was a poker player. he did not want to go to potsdam until he had chips in his pocket. before he left, the senate had approved u.s. membership in the u.n., the international monetary fund, the bretton woods agreement, all the instruments of power the u.s. would have economically. he knew once he got to potsdam, the atomic bomb had succeeded. we're going to take the same principle. truman took the oath of office for president under a portrait of woodrow wilson but we are not , doing this by persuasion anymore, of the wilsonian rhetoric. this time we say, if you don't want to play the game our way, here are the ways we can hurt you. the atomic bomb is the most extreme version. even the loan terms to the british empire at the end of the war things you can use. we're going to trade inside your empire. those days of imperial preference are done. potsdam is the americans coming in, with similar ideals but
different ways they want to achieve it. the fundamental questions that still remain, what do you think caused this war? if you think it is germany, something wrong with german people, then you argue for an occupation something like what , the american treasury secretary argued, to break germany up to its 1648 borders, remove it from having a central government. if you think it is balance of power issue, you want to put resources into germany so germany can balance the soviet union, which looks like an emerging threat. if not an enemy quite yet. and these guys know it. they all remember versailles. the treaty of versailles is not something that happened hundreds of years ago. they know it. they come in and say, we have another bite of this apple. if we do as badly as they did 25 years ago, we are going to screw it up and create a third world war. the american decision is there's not going to be a single treaty
that comes out of it, because they don't want to do what wilson had to do. there is going to be no set reparations so we can adjust whatever we have to do economically as we go, and we are going to have three parties represented. the whole world is not going to come. france doesn't come, poland doesn't come. just three countries. that's it. so it is done differently than the way they did it at versailles. with very differed outcomes. we know now it is a more positive outcome, though i think we sometimes underestimate how chaotic the world was in 1945 and how lucky europe got at the end of the war. jason: we were just talking about there is really three that are just there. we could easily simply focus on truman and stalin, and they are hugely important. in the british case, if we think about lloyd george just faced with an election in 1918 when he
was at versailles and what he thought was expected of him, in the british case, they have an election in the summer of 1945 where churchill is out and labour is in. britain had been a world power for so long, and is now faced with a situation where it is number three, at best, a distant third, given where the americans and soviets were at. what should we do with the british? what was going on there in the way britain understood itself at potsdam, from churchill to attlee, and understanding this is a different landscape than 25 years earlier? mike: the british are going through the same question. what you want to do? do you want to reinforce the empire, draw resources out of the empire, or do you need to think about radical changes to the way you
organize society? john maynard keynes, who was the british economic advisor at both
conferences, paris east and potsdam, was perfectly aware. he argued as often as he could, we cannot go back to the way we had things before. it is just not going to work. we have to be subservient to the americans, whether we want to or not. the empire is going to be a and money loser because it is going to be too hard to do things the way we had done it before. so, he is a voice arguing for a complete change on the way britain thinks about everything it organizes. as with many visionaries, a lot of people don't like listening to him, because they think it is too radical. one executive said, the only thing worse than losing the war is winning with americans by our side, meaning that the americans' price for victory is too high. a lot of the
rhetoric about the special relationship is meant to mask an awful lot of that.
an awful lot of the way the americans understood we are not going back to what we had. we are now clearly going to be top dog and set things the way we want to set them. this is what the united states did. it is the post world war for the united states. for britain, it is an awareness you are going to come out of this much the way the french came out of the first world war, victorious but weak. you need time to build back up and you are going to face difficult questions going forward, especially given the british want to put in national health insurance. a good friend of mine has just written a book arguing that this is what british soldiers believed they were fighting for. the defeat of germany, but a yes, britain that will provide the working classes with some of the rewards that citizens of a great country should have. those things are expected and -- those things are expensive and
-- there is a sign on it from the foreign minister potsdam in which he says britain will have an independent nuclear force integrate big what a union jack on it. it's open to be here and we will be independent. other people realized, no. you may have those things, but the americans will never let you use them independently. jason: that is interesting and good for everyone to remember, the fact that the united states and soviet union are the real powerbrokers in the postwar world. in this case, we have harry truman, who has only been in office three months after fdr's death. we have the changeover from churchill. he had been such a presence. to attlee. the big change, of course, is the soviets are there. they had not been in 1919.
so much then had been about positioning the western world against the spread of the bolshevik revolution. here, stalin is there. how did the americans and british deal with that? we have joseph stalin. we have the red army that played such a decisive role in defeating hitler. how do we have them at the table and at the same time not letting them have their way? how did the americans and british respond? mike: that is the great power competition question of 1945, how do you read the russians? there are folks that argue the soviets came out victorious but are not celebrating like we did. they are going to come out even more paranoid. whatever strength you push them with, they push back twice as hard. so if you try to take poland or move closer to their border, they will push back at you. the question becomes, very quickly, there are three different ways of looking at the russians.
the first, which it does not matter what their ideology is. they want what those are wanted czar wanted in 1914, control of poland, border security. there is a more aggressive voice in washington, that says this is an ideological problem, this is a global, worldwide, bolshevik communist problem that we are going to deal with all over the world. better to deal with these guys now than let that grow. there is a third argument that becomes the containment argument. it says, you can't stop them from expanding. what you can do is keep -- you can't stop them from being a world power. you can stop them from expanding until the internal contradiction of their system make it collapse from inside. that is the way this eventually works, though it takes almost 50 years. the core argument on the containment theory is the system is a house of cards. they have enough military if you
push against it, strength to push you back. they have shown that over the past 150 years. the best way to do it is let but -- let them stew in their own juices until the economy, society, politics, it's a question of how do you think the soviets got there, and what do you think they are up to, that conditioned the american response. potsdam, most people go into that conference believing the united states and soviet union can have a constructive relationship in the postwar period. there is a photograph i love to show when i talk about potsdam. it is molotov, the soviet foreign minister, and the new american secretary of state, arm in arm and smiling. the notion is, we have beaten the germans and are not yet enemies. that will happen after potsdam, that will develop after the conference but it is not the , mood at the conference itself. jason: it is worth pointing out, as we are wrapping up and about to take questions, i think the western allies, whether they
were aware of it or not, did not want to see it. it is interesting that stalin shared much of their suspicion about revolution, that he was himself very wary about workers and peasants moving out of the resistance, the fascist powers against imperial japan. he is very wary of them. he wants to keep a tight lid on movements in his own sphere of influence. it is interesting that one of the things they share, even though it is not shared overtly, is a wariness of anything too radical coming from below. mike: this is the argument for seeing stalin as another czar. he wants, geopolitically, the same thing the romanovs wanted. don't read too much ideology into it. he is a dictator trying to control the borders of his own country, just as any dictator would. in 1945, we are just not sure
what to do with the soviets. jason: mike, i want to thank you for a great conversation. we covered a lot of ground in 45 minutes. mike: yes we did. [laughter] jason: we obviously should open things up and see what kinds of questions our viewers have. we already had one here, so i am going to jump in and take us through a few of these. we have got from dan in michigan. he wanted to know, can you help me understand why the u.s. allowed berlin to be divided? mike: if you are a university of michigan fan, i will. that is where i went. if your michigan state we are going onto the next question. the argument is eisenhower called berlin a prestige objective. in other words, there is nothing militarily necessary about the occupation of berlin because the , yalta agreement said there would be shared occupation of germany. eisenhower's argument is, we
still have a war with the japanese to deal with. i am not going to let my soldiers get killed for something we have to give back to the soviets. the argument was, physically the occupation of it is the responsibility of the soviet union, but the postwar political arrangement is some level of cooperation in the occupation of germany. in eisenhower's mind, it makes no sense to see american soldiers get killed for something you have to hand back. i think that is perfectly defensible from the perspective of 1944-1945, especially given eisenhower's assumption that many of those troops have to be rotated back to asia. that is the basic thinking. jason: yes, thank you. that leads to the next point, which you mentioned about the atomic bomb is its own thing. developmentlly new in history. truman announces it to stalin
they're buried where do we sit with the atom bomb into this the of a shouldn't repeat mistakes of 1918 in 1919. which is the splitting of the atom and the weaponization of that and how does that fit only think about the resolution of the world war ii crisis? comingoon as the reports the trinity test has succeeded this is the end of all of all our problems, it's a cheap way to keep military power anytime the soviets try to push us around we can do this. , then destroy the city iitish chief of staff, like had to calm winston down and he didn't like it.
-- he understood in july of 1945 the only way once world war ii is over the only way is deterrence. that's it. it's a weapon you will invest a lot of money and and never use. again there him question, what , we have fallen the allen method, there are other things we could have done. cloud another dark hanging over it. most senior leaders other than churchill, virtually all of them were incredibly depressed. what it meant was either were -- war would be just about raw killing or you would end up killing hundreds of millions of
people with military action. they are very morose, they are very upset about it. this is not a moment of triumph in their eyes, this is something we may have to do and certainly better but this is a giant step backwards in the way people are thing the military strategy. union noted the soviet being in a different thing and how does that affect the whole framework of negotiations. and we want to know about charles de gaulle. decide you have to accept that fact. this.es he respond to
>> he is excluded on those grounds. truman makes a comment which i happened to come across by accident when those looking for the papers braces i would send for him. the notion is they are not sure what they want to do with france yet. liberated country like holland or an occupied country like italy. the first time they go into combating europe is against french troops, it's against vichy. states i think more or less have determined by this point they don't have a choice,
the degaulle will be leader of france when this is over. that doesn't mean they have to give him the elevated status of sitting around the table with that he ischurchill, not at that level yet. him.hill snubs orther of the way down there the way back to churchill go to paris to meet with degaulle. there were intentional snubs aimed at him and degaulle will get his revenge but it will be a few years in the making. he is thinking about the whole time. >> we are almost out of time and i want to pull this one question that has been closed here. maybe you can say briefly about allis there any unity at among the leaders of the u.s., britain and soviet union about
colonial issues at pot stem? is there anything that can come together on with respect to here the colonized world certainly played a huge role in that, is there anything they can agree on about what to do about m?at coming out of potsda >> the one thing they agree on is the french empire in asia is done. it is not going to go back to france. there is some backpedaling on that little bit after the war. i think is sense that the united nations is getting an instrument to handle this. specialist, but this no way the british and french could just walk back in those places and exercise authority. i think there is expectation on the american side that something similar would happen.
even atlee, who is a labor leader, wanted india to stay in the british empire. issues arer big perfectly wide open in palestine is one will become a major sticking point between the british and americans. i don't think there's much agreement except the states that aren't represented are ones whose empires might go away. >> so much to say about that question and all the other ones we've covered today but let me thank you very much for a great discussion, our viewers -- i hope our viewers have gotten something out of that, please consult if you want more on mike's new book about the history of the treaty of versailles. let me think all of you for joining us today, it has been a real pleasure. great to see you as always. >> thank you, be safe everybody.
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>> american history tv is on c-span3 every weekend featuring tours, carpal films, and programs on the presidency. here is a clip from a recent program. lastre we have one of the seminole chiefs that left florida in around 1856 around name was, his english billy bow legs. he was famous during the wars because of his prowess in war and as a leader and as a diplomat as well. floridahe last chief in and come here to the territory. as you can see, his seminole clothing of the time period. one of the famous warriors of the seminole conflicts, the united states conflict with the
asinole was a person known osceola. here is a representation of an event that took place in history where they were talking about removing the seminoles and it was said that osceola came in there and drew his knife and put the knife in the treaty that was presented because the seminoles at the time said this is -- and said this is how seminoles signed treaties of this type. he was saying the seminoles want to remain in florida and they want to also live life the creator has made them to live and they did not want to move. defiance is the name of this piece. the defined one. this is a copy of that treaty that is associated with this. this with the
treaty of fort gibson, that was the treaty the united states said seminoles had agreed to move westward. some say that is a crease mark in some say it is the mark of the knife that osceola did at that time in history. >> you can watch this and other american history programs on our website where all of our video is archived. that is c-span.org/history. >> on lectures in history, university of tennessee college of law professor glenn harlan reynolds taught a class about free speech and legal cases that have impacted the courts' interpretation of this part of the first amendment. the class was taught online due to the coronavirus pandemic.