Woodrow Wilson

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The "Fourteen Points" was a statement by United States President Woodrow Wilson that the Great War was being fought for a moral cause and for postwar peace in Europe. People in Europe generally welcomed Wilson's intervention, but his main Allied colleagues (Georges Clemenceau of France, David Lloyd George of the Great Britain, and Vittorio Emanuele Orlando of Italy) were skeptical of the applicability of Wilsonian idealism.[1]
The U.S. had joined the Allies in fighting the Central Powers on April 6, 1917. Its entry into the war had in part been due to Germany's resumption of submarine warfare against merchant ships trading with France and Britain. However, Wilson had not entered into the war with any affinity with the long-festering almost tribal disputes between the Allies and Germany; if America was going to fight, he would try to unlink the war to nationalistic disputes or ambitions. The need for high aims was made more important, when after the fall of the Russian Regime, the Bolsheviks disclosed secret treaties made between the allies. The speech by Wilson, also responded to Vladimir Lenin's Decree on Peace of November 1917, immediately after the October Revolution, which proposed an immediate withdrawal ofRussia from the war, calling for a just and democratic peace that was not compromised by territorial annexations, and led to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on March 3, 1918.
Wilson's speech on January 8, 1918 laid out a policy (free trade, open agreements, democracy and self-determination). The Fourteen Points speech was the only explicit statement of war aims by any of the nations fighting in World War I. Some belligerents gave general indications of their aims, but most kept their post-war goals private.
The Fourteen Points in the speech were based on the research of the Inquiry, a team of about 150 advisors led by foreign-policy advisorEdward M. House, into the topics likely to arise in the anticipated peace conference. |

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