Woodrow Wilson The 14 Points
Woodrow Wilson Born in 1856, was the 28th President of the United States, 1913-1921. Prior to being elected President, he was a professor of History at several universities including Bryn Mawr, Wesleyan, and Princeton. In 1912, Woodrow Wilson ran on the democratic ticket for President. He promised reform which led to his domestic progressive policies, later known as the New Freedom. He believed that people had the right to choose their own government.
Continued.. Wilson was re-elected in 1916 based on the fact that he had kept the United States out of War. He tried to stay neutral and out of the war. Was known for being a very neutral person April 2, 1917, after a series of attacks on American ships and Germany’s unwillingness to back down, the United States declared war on Germany.
Meaning of the 14 Points • Woodrow Wilson believed in peace, democracy and individual rights. • Outlined fourteen elements which Wilson believed were essential to a lasting peace. • “Peace without Victory” • The basis for a democratic society was morality and ethics. • Wanted America to “lead” world peace rather than rule it.
Within the 14 Points Eight deal with geopolitical issues that would have to be resolved after the war. • Russia- should be allowed to operate whatever government it wanted • Belgium - should be evacuated and restored to the situation before the war. • France - should have Alsace-Lorraine and any lands taken away during the war restored. • Italy - The Italian border should be readjusted according to nationality • National Self -Determination - The national groups in Europe should be given their independence. • Romania, Montenegro and Serbia - Should be evacuated and Serbia should have an outlet to the sea • Turkey - The people of Turkey should have a say in their future • Poland - Poland should become an independent state with an outlet to the sea The remaining six dealt with general ideology. These were the most important. 9. Freedom of the seas 10. An end to secret treaties and negotiations 11. Establishing equal and free trade 12. Arms reduction 13. Granting self-government to the peoples in Central Europe 14. League of Nations
Effects • Initially Germany did not respond positively, but within ten months they had backed down and appealed to Wilson to begin peace talks based on the fourteen points. • Opposition from allies: the British were against freedom of the seas; the French demanded war retributions • By the time the Treaty of Versailles was signed only some of the principles were upheld. One of these was the development of the League of Nations • Germany was able to return to its imperialistic ways.
Works Cited Ikenberry, J.G, Knock, T.J., Slaughter, A., Smith, T., “The Crisis of American Foreign Policy, Wilsoniasm in The Twenty First Century”., Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.,2009, October 2, 2009. “Volume Library”, Southwestern/Great American Inc., Nashville Tennessee, 2001. “Woodrow Wilson”, Fighting for Peace: 1918 http://www.sparknotes.com/biography/wilson/section7.rhtml “Wilson, Woodrow”, The Oxford Companion to American Military History, John Whitely Chambers, 2000. http://www.angelfire.com/in3/wilson/future.html