The Failure of the Fourteen Points and the Shaping of History Essay

The Failure of the Fourteen Points and the Shaping of History Essay

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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...

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...ions that had to be made immediately, the lack of power the League of Nations had without America, and the lack of support from the American public. Wilson did attempt to go to the people and convince them to speak with their representatives, but the vote in congress still failed. Overall, Wilson’s fourteen points were a valiant effort in attempt at world peace, but it fell short in the worst places and was introduced at a time when people were still looking for isolationism.

Works Cited

House, Edward M. "Interpretation of President Wilson's Fourteen Points by Colonel House." Mount Holyoke College. (23 March 2010).
Tindall, George B., and David E. Shi. America A Narrative History. 7th ed. Vol. 2. London: W.W. Norton, 2007.
White House. (24 March 2010).

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