The Fourteen Points
President Wilson's Fourteen Points were a decent attempt at peace and repayment after World War I. Although it was cleat that there were many obvious problems with his plan. Many things, including Allied bias, American ambition, and Western European dominance, caused these problems. While trying to fix many problems in Europe, the Fourteen Points mainly concentrated on the things that were important to the Allied powers. France was bent on revenge, Great Britain was looking to further its power over the seas, and America was focused on becoming an even more powerful trade nation. The Allied Powers had made it very hard for Germany and Austria and the newly formed countries in Eastern Europe to carry out many of the things set down in the Fourteen points. In particular, the idea of self-determination is mentioned in over half of the points. Reading the Fourteen Points might lead a person to believe that the Allies were in favor of all forms of self-determination unconditionally. In fact, just the opposite was true. They used self-determination as a “formula” for rearranging the balance of power in their own interests. Point Five of his plan was a testament to this. It was called the "free, open-minded adjustment of all colonial claims." This allowed countries to practice limited forms of self-determination, mainly by switching European rule from the more obvious direct control method, to indirect European control. Some countries were allowed independence, but those countries that were denied it became commands. The main thing Point Five accomplished was that it allowed the Allies to get more foreign land, especially those of Great Britain. The fact that the Allies used self-determination for their own interests is also the reason the people of Austria were not allowed to become a part of Germany. Allowing the union of Austria and Germany would only make Germany stronger, something France didn’t want. Self-determination was also used...
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