Woodrow Wilson's 14 Points

Topics: World War I, Treaty of Versailles, Woodrow Wilson Pages: 4 (1464 words) Published: April 12, 2013
OIB REVISIONS – History Key term: 14 points

It was a statement the United States President Woodrow Wilson made that the Great War was being fought for a moral cause and for post-war peace in Europe. The Europeans generally welcomed it, but his main allies such as Clemenceau, David Lloyd George or Vittorio Emmanuel Orlando were sceptical of the application of Wilsonian idealism. Wilson hadn’t entered the war with any affinity with the long festering, tribal disputes between the Allies and Germany. If America was to fight, he would unlink the war with nationalistic disputes or ambitions. Wilson’s speech was a response to Lenin’s Decree on peace of November 1917, immediately after the October revolutions. The speech proposed an immediate withdrawal of Russia from the war, calling for a just and democratic peace, not compromised by territorial annexations. So Wilson’s speech on the 8th of January 1918 laid out a policy (free trade, open agreements, democracy and self-determination). It was the only explicit statement of war aims by any of the nations fighting WW1 (except from some belligerents that gave general indications of their aims). POINT-BY-POINT ANALYSIS:

The 1st 5 points deal with major principles. The first renounced secret treaties that many had seen as causes to the War. The 2nd dealt with freedom of the seas, the main issue that had brought America itself into the war. The 3rd called for a removal of trade barriers around the world. The 4th advocated arms reduction. The 5th suggested the international arbitration of colonial disputes. Points 6 to 13 were concerned with specific territorial problems, including claims made by Russia, France and Italy. Wilson was addressing difficult issues such as claims for independence by the people living in areas controlled by central powers. 1. "Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly...
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