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Wilson 14 Points

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Wilson's 14 Points \u0026 League of Nations Explained

The speech was the clearest expression of intention made by any of the belligerent nations, and it projected Wilson's progressive domestic policies into the international arena. The speech, known as the Fourteen Points, was developed from a set of diplomatic points by Wilson [6] and territorial points drafted by the Inquiry's general secretary, Walter Lippmann , and his colleagues, Isaiah Bowman , Sidney Mezes , and David Hunter Miller.

It was all keyed upon the secret treaties. In the speech, Wilson directly addressed what he perceived as the causes for the world war by calling for the abolition of secret treaties, a reduction in armaments , an adjustment in colonial claims in the interests of both native peoples and colonists, and freedom of the seas. For example, he proposed the removal of economic barriers between nations, the promise of self-determination for national minorities, [5] and a world organization that would guarantee the "political independence and territorial integrity [of] great and small states alike"—a League of Nations.

Though Wilson's idealism pervaded the Fourteen Points, he also had more practical objectives in mind. He hoped to keep Russia in the war by convincing the Bolsheviks that they would receive a better peace from the Allies, to bolster Allied morale, and to undermine German war support. The address was well received in the United States and Allied nations and even by Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin , as a landmark of enlightenment in international relations.

Wilson subsequently used the Fourteen Points as the basis for negotiating the Treaty of Versailles , which ended the war. In his speech to Congress, President Wilson declared fourteen points which he regarded as the only possible basis of an enduring peace. 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 and in the public view.

Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants. The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety. A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims , based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable government whose title is to be determined.

The evacuation of all Russian territory and such a settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest cooperation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of her own political development and national policy and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing; and, more than a welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and may herself desire.

The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come will be the acid test of their good will, of their comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests, and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy. Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored , without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other single act will serve as this will serve to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined for the government of their relations with one another.

Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of international law is forever impaired. All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine , which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all. A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality. The people of Austria-Hungary , whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity to autonomous development.

Romania , Serbia , and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into. The Turkish portion of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Ottoman rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development , and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.

An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations , which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea , and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant. A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike. Wilson at first considered abandoning his speech after Lloyd George delivered a speech outlining British war aims, many of which were similar to Wilson's aspirations, at Caxton Hall on January 5, Lloyd George stated that he had consulted leaders of "the Great Dominions overseas" before making his speech, so it would appear that Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Newfoundland were in broad agreement.

Wilson was persuaded by his adviser House to go ahead, and Wilson's speech overshadowed Lloyd George's and is better remembered by posterity. The speech was made without prior coordination or consultation with Wilson's counterparts in Europe. Clemenceau, upon hearing of the Fourteen Points, was said to have sarcastically proclaimed, "The good Lord had only ten! As a major public statement of war aims, it became the basis for the terms of the German surrender at the end of the First World War. After the speech, House worked to secure the acceptance of the Fourteen Points by Entente leaders.

This interview was one reason why the German government accepted the Fourteen Points and the stated principles for peace negotiations. The report was made as negotiation points, and the Fourteen Points were later accepted by France and Italy on November 1, Britain later signed off on all of the points except the freedom of the seas. The speech was delivered 10 months before the Armistice with Germany and became the basis for the terms of the German surrender, as negotiated at the Paris Peace Conference in The speech was widely disseminated as an instrument of Allied propaganda and was translated into many languages for global dissemination.

Theodore Roosevelt , in a January article titled, "The League of Nations", published in Metropolitan Magazine , warned: "If the League of Nations is built on a document as high-sounding and as meaningless as the speech in which Mr. Wilson laid down his fourteen points, it will simply add one more scrap to the diplomatic waste paper basket. Most of these fourteen points Senator William Borah after wished "this treacherous and treasonable scheme" of the League of Nations to be "buried in hell" and promised that if he had his way it would be "20, leagues under the sea".

Wilson's speech regarding the Fourteen Points led to unintentional but important consequences in regards to countries which were under European colonial rule or under the influence of European countries. This drew significant attention from anti-colonial nationalist leaders and movements, who saw Wilson's swift adoption of the term "self-determination" although he did not actually use the term in the speech itself as an opportunity to gain independence from colonial rule or expel foreign influence.

Consequently, Wilson gained support from anti-colonial nationalist leaders in Europe's colonies and countries under European influence around the globe who were hopeful that Wilson would assist them in their goals. Around the world, Wilson was occasionally elevated to a quasi-religious figure; as someone who was an agent of salvation and a bringer of peace and justice. A common belief among anti-colonial nationalist leaders was the U.

However, the nationalist interpretations of both the Fourteen Points and Wilson's views regarding colonialism proved to be misguided. In actuality, Wilson had never established a goal of opposing European colonial powers and breaking up their empires, nor was he trying to fuel anti-colonial nationalist independence movements. It was not Wilson's objective or desire to confront European colonial powers over such matters, as Wilson had no intention of supporting any demands for self-determination and sovereignty that conflicted with the interests of the victorious Allies. In reality, Wilson's calls for greater autonomous development and sovereignty had been aimed solely at European countries under the rule of the German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires.

He did not explicitly outline this, although it is clear that his calls for greater sovereignty in these regions was in an effort to try and destabilise those enemies' empires. S could further benefit from trade with the global south. Wilson viewed this approach as essential to the 'proper development' of colonised countries, reflecting his views about the inferiority of the non-European races. S annexation of the Philippines whilst condemning the rebellion of the Philippine nationalist Emilio Aguinaldo , and strongly believed that the U.

S was morally obliged to impose Western ways of life and governance on such countries, so that eventually they could govern independently. President Wilson contracted Spanish flu at the beginning of the Paris Peace Conference and became severely ill with high fevers and bouts of delirium [21] giving way to French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau to advance demands that were substantially different from Wilson's Fourteen Points.

Clemenceau viewed Germany as having unfairly attained an economic victory over France because of the heavy damage German forces dealt to France's industries even during the German retreat, and he expressed dissatisfaction with France's allies at the peace conference. Notably, Article of the Treaty of Versailles , which would become known as the War Guilt Clause, was seen by the Germans as assigning full responsibility for the war and its damages on Germany; however, the same clause was included in all peace treaties and historian Sally Marks has noted that only German diplomats saw it as assigning responsibility for the war. The Allies would initially assess billion marks in reparations. In , this figure was established at billion marks.

However, only a fraction of the total had to be paid. The figure was designed to look imposing and show the public that Germany was being punished, but it also recognized what Germany could not realistically pay. Germany's ability and willingness to pay that sum continues to be a topic of debate among historians. The text of the Fourteen Points had been widely distributed in Germany as propaganda prior to the end of the war and was well known by the Germans. The devastation and carnage of the First World War grimly illustrated to Wilson the unavoidable relationship between international stability and American national security.

In his speech, Wilson itemized 14 strategies to ensure national security and world peace. Several points addressed specific territorial issues in Europe, but the most significant sections set the tone for postwar American diplomacy and the ideals that would form the backbone of U. Wilson could foresee that international relations would only become more important to American security and global commerce. Wilson hoped also to keep a conflict-ridden Russia in the war on the Allied side. This effort met with failure, as the Bolsheviks sought peace with the Central Powers at the end of , shortly after taking power following the Russian Revolution.

The speech was translated and distributed to the soldiers and citizens of Germany and Austria-Hungary and contributed to their decision to agree to an armistice in November He spoke in grand and inspiring terms, but was less certain of the specifics of how his aims would be achieved. At the Paris Peace Conference, Wilson had to contend with the leaders of the other victorious Allied nations, who disagreed with many of the Fourteen Points and demanded stiff penalties for Germany in the Treaty of Versailles. Importantly, Wilson urged the establishment of an international governing body of united nations for the purpose of guaranteeing political independence and territorial integrity to great and small countries alike.

His idea gave birth to the short-lived League of Nations. The more viable United Nations would come into existence only after the conclusion of another devastating global conflict: World War II. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! On January 8, , the NCAA grants freshmen eligibility in its two biggest team sports, basketball and football.

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Sign up now to learn about This Day in History straight from your inbox. One of the most widely ridiculed and memorable gaffes in the history of the United States Presidency occurred in Japan on the evening of January 8, , when President George H. Bush vomits on the Prime Minister of Japan. Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa was hosting a dinner for Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in the history of California, takes his place on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on January 8, The first and, for years, most visible openly gay politician in America, Milk was a longtime activist and pioneering Just two weeks after the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, U.

In September , an impressive American naval victory on Lake Champlain forced invading British forces On January 8, , Gabrielle Giffords, a U.

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