During this essay we will be looking at President Woodrow Wilson’s 14 points [comma] paying particular attention to the three points that were the most important to him. I will also identify the history behind why these 14 points were established and drafted, to include the mindset and core beliefs of the President (particularly his formal years). Next we will take a look at the politics of the Treaty of Versailles, explicitly looking at why it failed in the United States Senate and the individuals who were responsible for its demise. The final part of this essay will give notice to foreign policy in the United States during the 1920’s under President’s Harding and Coolidge; also, their administrations handling and stance on the three principle points from the fourteen.
Before we begin to dissect and describe Presidents Wilson’s 14 points we must first understand who he was, his core beliefs and his upbringing, this is important because it shapes Wilson’s beliefs in not only politics and foreign affairs but also his principles. The son of a Presbyterian minister born in 1856, his childhood included memories of education by his father and union soldiers of the civil war. Wilson attended college at the College of New Jersey (later renamed and now known as Princeton), and his graduate degree from John Hopkins. Both degrees were in history with the graduate degree including political science. Wilson’s wife Ellen (prior to her death) encouraged Woodrow to work for the poor and social reforms. As the President of Princeton and the Governor of New Jersey, Wilson sought to reform policies and procedures such as eliminating elitist rites on campus like social eating clubs which he wanted to replace with common eating areas for all, and as Governor he disdained political machines and corporate contributions and eliminated them both.
Now we will fast forward to the core of our discussion, beginning with the three main principles that were the most important to President Wilson. In my readings I believe the main three are points two, ten and fourteen. I will begin with fourteen which was the early inception of the League of Nations, this point guaranteed to protect the political independence and integrity of all nations that were part of the league. Wilson’s core moral belief was that he perceived the governance of the world should be policed by the world regardless of a countries size or wealth. Alone with this stance I personally believe this is one of the points President Wilson was making (“believe that peace should rest upon the rights of peoples…great or small, weak or powerful” Cooper, Pivotal Decades, p. 315) when he replied to the Pope’s appeal to end the fighting.
Article ten was the other controversial article that called for collective security based on the morals of the collective countries. This would enhance trade by preventing sanctions due to the usage of them being the last resort. In...