WW1: The Great War is over and peace declared
Washington, June 28  — Signing at Versailles of the peace treaty with Germany formally brings to a close the world’s greatest war.
Although technical termination of the war will come to each nation only when the treaty is approved by the ratifying power of that nation, to all intents and purposes the conflict that began in August 1914, ended when the accredited peace commissioners of the allied and associated powers and of Germany affixed their signatures to the treaty.
Likewise was brought to an end the armistice granted Germany last November 11, and also the period of uncertainty and doubt as to the final outcome of the peace negotiations.
With the signing of the treaty, the work of the peace conference proper, insofar as concerns negotiations with Germany, is brought to a conclusion after more than five months of conference. Portions of the treaty with Austria yet remain to be completed and negotiations with Turkey and Bulgaria still must be conducted but as to Germany, chief of the enemy powers, only the carrying out through the long series of years of the provisions of the treaty, will remain.
The ceremony at Versailles which, although simple, was the most impressive of its kind in history, brought to end the work of President Wilson in Paris as head of the American peace mission, and in signing the treaty as such, he became the frat president of the United States to sign a treaty as a negotiator.
With the departure from Paris tonight of President Wilson preparatory to sailing tomorrow from Brest on the George Washington, the center of interest as regards the treaty shifts to the Senate, ratification by which is necessary for actual termination of the war between this country and Germany. Due to opposition to the league of nations covenant — a part of the treaty — and to certain provisions of the treaty itself, the contest in the Senate is expected to be long and bitter.
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President Wilson announces the end of The Great War
Washington, June 28. — Word of the signing of the peace treaty flashed to America today, was followed by a proclamation from President Wilson, issued at the white house. It follows:
My fellow countrymen:
The treaty of peace has been signed. If it is ratified and acted upon in full and sincere execution of its terms, it will furnish the starter for a new order of affairs in the world. It is a severe treaty in the duties and penalties it imposes upon Germany, but it is severe only because the great wrongs done by Germany are to be righted and repaired. It imposes nothing that Germany cannot do and she can regain rightful standing in the world by the prompt and honorable fulfillment of its terms.
And it is much more than a treaty of peace with Germany. It liberates great peoples who have never before been able to find the way to liberty. It ends once for all an old and intolerable order under which small groups of selfish men could use the people of great empires to serve their own ambitions for power and dominion.
It associates the free governments of the world in a permanent league in which they are pledged to use their united power to maintain peace by maintaining right and justice. It makes international law a reality, accomplished by imperative sanctions. It does away with the right of conquest and rejects the policy of annexations, and substitutes a new order under which backward nations — populations which have not yet come to political consciousness and people who are ready for independence but not yet quite prepared to dispense with protection and guidance — shall no more be subjected to the domination and exploitation of the stronger nations, but shall be put under the friendly direction and afforded the helpful assistance of governments which undertake to be responsible to the opinion of mankind in the execution of their task by accepting the protection of the league of nations.
It recognizes the inalienable right of nationalities, the rights of minorities and the sanctity of religious beliefs and practices. It lays the basis for conventions which shall free the commercial intercourse of the world from unjust and vicious restrictions and: for every sort of international co-operation, that will serve to cleanse the life of the world and facilitate its common action with beneficient service of every kind.
It furnishes guarantee such as were ever given or even contemplated before for the fair treatment of all who labor at the daily business of the world. It is for this reason that I have spoken of it as a great charter for a new order of affairs. There is ground for deep satisfaction, universal reassurance and confident hope.
President Wilson will leave Paris tonight and will sail from Brest tomorrow morning on the George Washington, Secretary Tumulty announced officially.
The president will land at New York and has agreed to a reception there, Tumulty added.