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Page:Collier's New Encyclopedia v. 10.djvu/152

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UNITED STATES

124

UNITED STATES

several citizens, destroying much property. He was pursued across the border by United States troops and on the following day the President authorized a punitive expedition to pursue and capture him. An agreement was made with President Carranza permitting this force to cross the border. General Pershing pursued Villa in the mountain regions of Chihuahua. Several Engagements were fought with the Mexicans. At Parral, American soldiers were attacked by natives and General Carranza demanded that the expedition be recalled. This was refused by President Wilson on the ground that the Mexican Government was not able to keep peace along the border. In spite of the protest of the Mexican authorities, the United States forces remained in Mexico, although Villa was not captured. The State Militia was called to protect the border. On July 15, after an exchange of notes, the matter was settled temporarily by a joint commission.

There were indications early in 1916 of a reunion between the Republican and Progressive parties, and this was verified by the announcement that their conventions would meet at the same time in the same city. A committee of prominent men of both parties was appointed to reach a common ground of agreement on both candidates and platform. At the convention, Charles E. Hughes, of New York, was nominated without serious opposition. Charles W. Fairbanks, of Indiana, was nominated for vice-president. At the Democratic convention held in St. Louis, in the early part of July, President Wilson was renominated by acclamation and Thomas R. Marshall was again nominated for vice-president. An element of the Progressive party nominated Mr. Roosevelt for president, but as he declined the nomination, the National Committee of the party indorsed Justice Hughes. The campaign was bitterly fought. Colonel Roosevelt took an active part in the support of Justice Hughes, and attacked the President's policies in regard to the war and Mexico in unsparing terms. The election in November proved one of the closest in the history of the United States. The first returns made it evident that Hughes had carried all the industrial and commercial States of the North and East, with the exception of Ohio. On the day following the election, it was announced that Mr. Hughes had been elected. Later in the day, however, gains from the West indicated the possibility of the re-election of the President. Many States which had been regarded as safely Republican, went Democratic. The turning point, however, was California. After a few days of suspense during the counting of the votes, the electoral vote of the State was announced for Wilson, and it was sufficient to re-elect him. The electoral vote stood 277 for Wilson and 254 for Hughes. The President's popular vote showed a gain of 2,000,000 over that of 1912, in spite of the fact that the Republicans gained in the House of Representatives and elected many of their State candidates. The legislation of 1917 was devoted chiefly to the successful conduct of the war. The measures passed, included those providing for the Emergency Fleet Corporation, food control. Federal regulation of coal, Trading with the Enemy Act, and like measures. On Oct. 24, 1918, President Wilson issued an appeal to the people of the United States to return a Democratic Congress in the coming fall election, declaring that the election of a Republican Congress would be taken abroad by Germany and the Allies alike as a repudiation of his leadership of policies. The Republicans resented this appeal, and the result of the election was a defeat for the administration. The Republicans secured a substantial majority in the House of Representatives and in the Senate by a close margin.

On the conclusion of the war, the nation quickly returned to a peace basis, and preparations were at once begun for the return of American soldiers. The first shipload of these arrived on Dec. 2, 1918, and they were followed by an ever increasing procession of vessels from Europe to the United States, bearing home the members of the American Expedition. It was announced on Nov. 18, 1918, that the President would personally attend the Peace Conference in Paris. The President, in his message, explained that as the Allies and Germany had made his speeches the basis of their negotiations, it was due to the American people, no less than to the Entente nations, that he should be in close touch with the deliberations. Accordingly, he embarked on Dec. 4, 1918, for France, accompanied by the American delegates, with a large group of experts. The peace delegates named by the President were Robert Lansing, Secretary of State; Henry White, formerly Ambassador to France; Edward M. House; and Tasker Bliss. The President was received with the greatest warmth in Paris, as well as in Great Britain and Italy, which he visited previous to the formal meetings of the Conference.

The chief concern of President Wilson at the Peace Conference was avowedly the preparation of the covenant of the League of Nations, and to this object he