The Fourteen Points
President Wilson was determined to achieve peace. He based his peacemaking efforts in the academic argument Fourteen Points. Ideas of freedom of the seas, internationalism and justice for all were embedded in his idealistic approach, in an attempt to making long lasting peace.
The Fourteen Points were enthusiastically accepted by the United States, Allies and even Lenin – setting up the political mood as co-operative and internationalized.
The summary of those points is as follows:
1. No more secret agreements ("Open covenants openly arrived at").
2. Free navigation of all seas.
3. An end to all economic barriers between countries.
4. Countries to reduce weapon numbers.
5. All decisions regarding the colonies should be impartial.
6. The German Army is to be removed from Russia. Russia should be left to develop her own political set-up.
7. Belgium should be independent like before the war.
8. France should be fully liberated and allowed to recover Alsace-Lorraine
9. All Italians are to be allowed to live in Italy. Italy's borders are to be "along clearly recognizable lines of nationality."
10. Self-determination should be allowed for all those living in Austria-Hungary.
11. Self-determination and guarantees of independence should be allowed for the Balkan states.
12. The Turkish people should be governed by the Turkish government. Non-Turks in the old Turkish Empire should govern themselves.
13. An independent Poland should be created which should have access to the sea.
14. A League of Nations should be set up to guarantee the political and territorial independence of all states.
By analyzing the Fourteen Points, Wilson’s goals and ideology could be broken into segments. However, analysis of each point gives a deeper insight and understanding of Wilson’s peacemaking outlines.
Analysis of the Fourteen Points
1. The first point insists on the creation of all future agreements under a public eye. Therefore, the transparency of the agreement will prevent the nations from abusing the terms and will be more responsible in respecting all the terms.
2. Free navigation of the sea, even though it is clearly stated, does have exceptions. The original second point says: “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.” Wilson, taught by the unrestricted submarine warfare by Germany throughout the Great War, decided to prevent such future reoccurrence unless there was an international agreement to do so.
3. This point promotes free trade, however it refers to the members of the League of Nations (an international body that will be proposed in the fourteenth point). Therefore, members of the League could enjoy mutual benefits but they could also decide for themselves what kind of trade measurements to impose on non-member...