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Woodrow Wilson

What were President Wilson's Fourteen Points?

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2017-04-18 02:32:15

The first five of Wilson's Fourteen Points were quite


I. The Abolition of Secret Treaties Secret treaties were common

before the First World War, and many blamed them for helping spark

the conflict.

II. The Freedom of the Seas The freedom of the seas allowed for

freedom of navigation outside territorial waters at times of war

and peace, but also allowed for total and partial blockades "for

the enforcement of international covenants." This proposal was

opposed in particular by the United Kingdom.

III. Free Trade Free trade provided for the removal of economic

barriers between peaceful nations, also called for the introduction

of equality in trading conditions.

IV. Disarmament Disarmament "to the lowest point consistent with

domestic safety."

V. Adjustment of Colonial Claims. Wilson called for

decolonization and national self-determination for formerly

colonized countries, and for the people of the world to give equal

weight to the opinions of the colonized peoples as to those of the

colonial powers.

Points six through thirteen were more specific, dealing

with the situation of specific countries:

VI. Russia In the aftermath of the October Revolution and the

context of the ongoing Civil War, Russia was to be assured its

independent development. This also called for a withdrawal from

occupied Russian territory.

VII. The restoration of Belgium Belgium to be evacuated and

restored to the status quo ante bellum.

VIII. Alsace-Lorraine France had lost Alsace-Lorraine to Germany

following the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War; it was to be


IX. Italy The borders of Italy were to be redrawn on lines of

nationality. Ignoring the territorial promises made under the

secret 1915 London Pact, whereby Italy was persuaded to enter the

war on the Allies' side, this became a source of resentment in that


X. Austria-Hungary Autonomous development of the peoples of


XI. Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, and other Balkan states The

integrity of Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, and other Balkan states

was to be respected, their territories deoccupied, and Serbia was

to be given access to the Adriatic Sea.

XII. Ottoman Empire Sovereignty for the Turkish portion of the

Ottoman Empire, autonomous development for other nationalities, and

free navigation of the Dardanelles.

XIII. The Polish question The establishment of an independent

Poland with access to the sea.

Wilson's final point was perhaps the most visionary:

XIV. A general association of nations Point 14 called for a

multilateral international association of nations to enforce the

peace, foreshadowing the League of Nations (and, after the Second

World War, the United Nations).

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