Negotiations at the Paris peace conference were not always easy. Britain, France and Italy fought together as allies during the First World War. The United States entered the war in April 1917 as an associate power and, while fighting on the Allied side, was not obliged to respect existing agreements between the Allied powers. These agreements tended to focus on the redistribution of territories after the war. US President Woodrow Wilson has categorically rejected many of these agreements, including Italian demands on the Adriatic. This has often led to significant differences of opinion among the “Big Four”. The Treaty of Versaille also placed Germany in a surprisingly strong geostrategic position. By creating Poland, Czechoslovakia and the Baltics, the treaty established buffer states between Germany and one of its traditional rivals, Russia. Struggles between the new states weakened them and the geography of their new borders made them difficult to defend. Thus Germany was born from the war with relatively small states on its eastern border. Moreover, by making Germany and the States of the Soviet Union pariah states, the Allies unwittingly opened the door to cooperation between them. For example, the Treaty of Rapallo, signed in 1922, which buried all the dysfunctions of the two and allowed Germany to test new military equipment in Russia, far from the curious French eyes. Each state was also encouraged to consider Poland as a mutual enemy, especially since the Allies had largely created Poland from former German and Russian territories.
German nationalists called Poland “the bastard child of Versailles” and Soviet diplomats often called it “Western Belarus” for even denying it a nominal place in the new Europe. The Republican Party, led by Henry Cabot Lodge, controlled the U.S. Senate after the 1918 elections, and senators were divided into several positions on the Versailles issue.