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Woodrow Wilson's Foreign Policy Essay

680 words - 3 pages

Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924) was the 28th President of the United States, in office from 1913 to 1921. After being victorious in World War I, Wilson outlined his vision of world peace through his “Fourteen Points” speech delivered to Congress in January 1918. It called for a "new diplomacy". No more secret treaties, like the ones that had pulled the world into war. Also all territories occupied during the war must be evacuated. Wilson wanted to stop imperialism in many of the countries and declaring them to immediate independence. He also proposed a general disarmament after the war. Other points included freedom of the seas at all times and free trade all over the world. Wilson stressed that the seas were neutral passageways for international business such as trade and that it is meant to be peaceful and scarce from threats. But Wilson's most important proposal, the fourteenth point, called for a league of nations open to all ...view middle of the document...

Feminists, liberals, pacifists, socialists, and reformers of varying kinds were in search for a peaceful world. Wilson understood that the people did not want to be involved with anymore war. Wilson was less concerned with economic ventures or promoting military power, and focused more on pushing international alliances and international peace. The fourteenth point of the policy called for a league of nations to ensure that war never broke out again. It could call on the states in dispute to discuss the problem in an orderly and peaceful manner. This would be done in the League’s Assembly, which was essentially the League’s parliament. If one nation was seen to be the offender, the League could warn an aggressor nation that she would need to leave another nation's territory or face the consequences. If the states in dispute failed to listen to the Assembly’s decision, the League could introduce economic sanctions. This would be arranged by the League’s Council. The purpose of this sanction was to financially hit the aggressor nation so that she would have to do as the League required. The logic behind it was to push an aggressor nation towards bankruptcy, so that the people in that state would take out their anger on their government forcing them to accept the League’s decision. The League could order League members not to do any trade with an aggressor nation in an effort to bring that aggressor nation to heel.
If this failed, the League could introduce physical sanctions. This meant that military force would be used to put into place the League’s decision. However, the League did not have a military force at its disposal and no member of the League had to provide one under the terms of joining, unlike the current United Nations. Therefore, it could not carry out any threats and any country defying its authority would have been very aware of this weakness. The only two countries in the League that could have provided any military might were Britain and France and both had been severely depleted strength-wise in World War One and could not provide the League with the backing it needed. Also both Britain and France were not in a position to use their finances to pay for an expanded army as both were financially hit very hard by World War One.

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