President Woodrow Wilson decided to personally represent the United States at the conference, but it`s hard to imagine anyone being naïve idealistic about the true nature of international relations. (See Particularity, “War and Diplomacy,” July 2010 ACG.) Wilson was a true intellectual and a social “progressive,” but he often seemed unbearably selfish, and his view of how nations conducted international relations was at best a triumph of hope over experience—he was convinced that “goodwill” among world leaders would surpass petty national interests and the cynical policy of checks and balance of power. Wilson`s idealistic worldview is best documented in his “14 Points” declaration, announced in January 1918, in which he called for free trade, freedom of the seas, open agreements among nations, the promotion of democracy and self-determination among the peoples of the world, and the creation of the League of Nations to guarantee territorial integrity and preserve peace in the world. Early attempts to negotiate a peace settlement failed, and instead, French and Spanish diplomats signed the Family Pact, a treaty that led Spain to war with Britain. British Prime Minister Lord Bute continued secret and informal talks with the French diplomat Etienne-Franois de Stainville, Duke of Choiseul, and they reached an unofficial agreement in June 1762. Bute promised fairly generous terms and the two countries agreed on an exchange of ambassadors in September. Although we normally consider November 11, 1918 to be the end date of the First World War, this day marked only the beginning of a ceasefire ending the actual fighting, not the official end of the war. To formally conclude World War I, the victorious Allied powers (led by Britain, France, the United States, and Italy) had to conclude peace agreements with each of their adversaries in the middle powers (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire). In March 1939, Chamberlain planned a possible conference on disarmament between him, Edouard Daladier, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Joseph Stalin; His Interior Minister, Samuel Hoare, said: “These five men who work together in Europe and who have been blessed in their efforts by the President of the United States of America could become eternal benefactors of humanity.”  In the early 1990s, a new theory of appeasement, sometimes referred to as “counter-revisionist”, by historians, argued that appetite was probably the only choice for the British government in the 1930s, but that it was poorly applied, conducted too late, and not applied strongly enough to limit Hitler.
Appeasement was seen as a viable policy, given the pressures the British Empire faced during the resumption of World War I, and Chamberlain reportedly adopted a policy that met Britain`s cultural and political needs. . . .