Fourteen Points - HISTORY
Wilsonianism within the Treaty of Versailles: Consonance or Contradiction. IntroductionóWilson's Fourteen Points headline the post-war agenda . non of Wilsonís plan for international economic relations after the war, advocating ìthe removal. the U.S. Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles and Wilson's proposed League of Nations, Wilson believed that fundamental flaws in international relations created an unhealthy His Fourteen Points outlined his vision for a safer world. The Fourteen Points speech of President Woodrow Wilson was an address delivered Wilson could foresee that international relations would only become more Points and demanded stiff penalties for Germany in the Treaty of Versailles.
Wilsonianism within the Treaty of Versailles: The four years of fighting claimed the lives of nearly 10 million soldiers a number much greater than had died during the wars of the previous century and as many as 21 million men were wounded. At the end of the war, U. President Woodrow Wilson was undoubtedly the strongest political figure in the international scene.
Representing the country whose late entrance into the war had tipped the balance and finally allowed the Allies to defeat the Germans, he traveled through the Allied countries as a modern messiah who had liberated the democratic peoples from imperial German rule. Though the speech cannot seamlessly be translated into a post-war peace settlement where one side had been defeated, nonetheless Wilson clearly believed in a number of fundamental principles that would form the basis for a new world order necessary to secure an enduring peace.
Besides the eight points relating to particular geographical and political changes necessary to any proposed peace, the remaining six points constitute the tenets of Wilsonianism for purposes of this paper: Although Wilson did not specify the means by which he sought to achieve these objectives, his Points called upon each nation to act in the greater interest of the world at large, rather than in its own individual interest. The shift away from Wilsonianism: Although representatives from twenty-seven nations gathered at the Paris Peace Conference on January 18, to begin drawing up a formal peace settlement, the shape of the settlement was squarely in the hands of three men in particular: Furthermore, the war had been long and brutal, and the sentiments among the Allies toward the Germans were nothing short of hatred.
Wilson had attempted to address in the Fourteen Points what he had perceived to be the primary causes of the war including imperialism, militarism, secret alliances, and balance of power politics in a scrupulous effort to prevent those factors from causing future conflicts. A substantial majority claim Wilson remained committed to the principles of his vision but found himself obligated to make concessions to Lloyd George and Clemenceau in order to salvage the conference and obtain any peace settlement.
Thus, according to this theory, the strength of their resolve to take home a treaty very favorable to their citizens left Wilson with no choice other than to compromise certain principles in order to make any progress at all. The realization of this point was the League of Nations. The League was to create a system of collective security that monitored world peace. Its armies were defeated and its people were starving, while the rumblings of German communists grew louder in the cities.
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- Treaty of Versailles
Fearing both revolution at home and total collapse at the front, the government requested an armistice using the Fourteen Points as its foundation. The new government hoped that the gesture would ingratiate Germany with Wilson, and make him an ally of the new republic in the forthcoming peace negotiations. Wilson gives us the Fourteen Points.
To ensure the realization of his association of nations, Wilson had to betray self-determination and its associated points. Japanfor example, wanted Chinese territory previously in German hands and threatened to quit the conference and also the Leagueif not given what it wanted. Thus in the interests of his League of Nations, Wilson acquiesced and placed millions of Chinese in the control of the Japanese government.
Wilsonianism within the Versailles Treaty
Point three — the removal of economic barriers - also suffered under the imperial ambitions of the victors. The borders decision was made by Wilson VI. 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 restoredwithout 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.
The Treaty of Versailles
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-Lorrainewhich 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-Hungarywhose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity to autonomous development. RomaniaSerbiaand 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.