This paper argues that officials at the Paris Peace Conference, in the White House, and in the U.S. Congress strove for the realization of competing visions for the international order following World War I, and thus were required to construct their own interpretations of how the conflict should be remembered and what must be learned from it. A pervasive sense of victors’ justice dominated the proceedings in Paris, leading to the creation of a settlement which would find lasting support from neither European nor American decision makers. The dubious postwar arrangements made at Versailles would contribute to the resurgence of a conservative isolationism that dominated U.S. foreign policy throughout the 1920s and 1930s, promoted immediately after World War I by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge.

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