Department of State Research Topics
World War I Related Records
Records of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace (RG 256)
The U.S. government began preparing for the postwar settlement soon after its entry into the war in April 1917. In the Fall of that year, President Woodrow Wilson directed the organization of a group of experts to collect and analyze data on the geographical, ethnological, historical, economic, and political problems of those areas likely to be the subject of the peace negotiations. This staff became known as "The Inquiry." President Wilson used the reports and studies produced by The Inquiry to support the final peace negotiations.
Following the signing of the Armistice ending World War I (Nov. 11, 1918), President Woodrow Wilson established the American Commission to Negotiate Peace to negotiate the formal treaties ending the war and also to draft the Covenant of the League of Nations. The Inquiry was absorbed into the Commission and ceased as an independent body. Also included in this record group are records relating to the Conference of Ambassadors in the postwar period.