The Failure Of The Fourteen Points And The Shaping Of History

856 words - 3 pages

Although Woodrow Wilson was stoic about many of his viewpoints, his shaping of the Treaty of Versailles and the way he compromised on so many of his Fourteen Points truly shows his lack of strength in international affairs. Wilson, who was President throughout the First World War, stalled the United States from entering until it was absolutely necessary. During the war, in a meeting with advisors, he formulated a set of fourteen suggestions, which subsequently dropped into enemy territory and eventually helped form the Treaty of Versailles. Unfortunately, between the stubbornness of countries like France, who were severely disabled after the war, and Warren Harding’s determination to stay out of the League of Nations, many of Wilson’s Fourteen Points were underpowered or altogether unmet.
This is not to say that Wilson’s Fourteen Points were completely inconsequential in relation to the Treaty of Versailles, but instead that some of the suggestions were taken to extremes, while others were misconstrued and would eventually set the stage for World War II. The most important result of the Fourteen Points would have been an effective League of Nations. For the League of Nations, however, great concessions were made by Wilson on the other thirteen points. Primarily affected was the state of post-war Germany. Heavily taxed not only financially but also territorially, the suppression of the German state essentially paved the way for the Nazi advancement in Germany and was the prime cause of World War II. The Treaty of Versailles was in one way, a means to suppress Germany to such a severe state that they could never mount such an offensive again. In another way, it was revenge from the battered European countries. France demanded upon extravagant reparations namely because of the severe damage they weathered and the fact that most of the war was fought in their territory.
Wilson called World War II “The war to end all wars.” It is very likely he would want to see this through to the end and make sure that world war would never happen again. Because of this, many of his fourteen points were very peaceful and did not appoint a winner or loser. It also required a great deal of international cooperation in which many countries were not ready to participate. Absolute freedom of naval navigation in either peace or war is quite a long stretch for many of the nations that had just been severely battered and blockaded. International reduction of arms and the removal of economic barriers had the possibility of reducing the defense, both militarily and economically to dangerously low levels. His fourteen points also made many...

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