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THE FIRST WORLD WAR > PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON'S FOURTEEN POINTS

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 10, 2015 11:07PM) (new)

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This is a thread dedicated to the discussion of President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points:

YALE UNIVERSITY AVALON PROJECT - SOURCE:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_centu...

The First World War by John Keegan by John Keegan John Keegan


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On 8th January, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson presented his Peace Programme to Congress. Compiled by a group of US foreign policy experts, the programme included fourteen different points. The first five points dealt with general principles: Point 1 renounced secret treaties; Point 2 dealt with freedom of the seas; Point 3 called for the removal of worldwide trade barriers; Point 4 advocated arms reductions and Point 5 suggested the international arbitration of all colonial disputes.

Points 6 to 13 were concerned with specific territorial problems, including claims made by Russia, France and Italy. This part of Wilson's programme also raised issues such as the control of the Dardanelles and the claims for independence by the people living in areas controlled by the Central Powers. All the major countries involved in the First World War objected to certain points in Wilson's Peace Programme. However, when peace negotiations began in October, 1918, Wilson insisted that his Fourteen Points should serve as a basis for the signing of the Armistice.

Source: Sparticus Educational

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/...


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President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points Speech (Delivered in Joint Session, January 8, 1918)


http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Pres...


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About the Fourteen Points:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteen...

Source: Wikipedia


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Primary Documents - Count Georg von Hertling on the Fourteen Points, 24 January 1918

The Reaction from Hertling:

http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/f...


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Primary Documents - President Wilson's Addendum to the Fourteen Points, 11 February 1918

Reproduced below is an extract from a speech given by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to the U.S. Congress on 11 February 1918. Wilson's speech addressed international reaction to his initial Fourteen Points speech to Congress on 8 January 1918.

In his speech to Congress Wilson effectively added a number of additional elements to the Fourteen Points, designed to clarify U.S. peace settlement intentions.

Click here to read German Chancellor Count Georg von Hertling's initial conciliatory reaction to Wilson's speech. Click here to read Count Hertling's reaction to Wilson's 11 February speech. Click here to read British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour's reaction. Click here to read Belgian Prime Minister Charles de Broqueville's views regarding any peace settlement.

Extract from U.S. President Woodrow Wilson's Address to Congress, 11 February 1918

After all, the test of whether it is possible for either Government to go any further in this comparison of views is simple and obvious. The principles to be applied are these:

First, that each part of the final settlement must be based upon the essential justice of that particular case and upon such adjustments as are most likely to bring a peace that will be permanent;

Second, that peoples and provinces are not to be bartered about from sovereignty to sovereignty as if they were mere chattels and pawns in a game, even the great game, now forever discredited, of the balance of power; but that

Third, every territorial settlement involved in this war must be made in the interest and for the benefit of the populations concerned, and not as a part of any mere adjustment or compromise of claims amongst rival states; and

Fourth, that all well-defined national aspirations shall be accorded the utmost satisfaction that can be accorded them without introducing new or perpetuating old elements of discord and antagonism that would be likely in time to break the peace of Europe and consequently of the world.

A general peace erected upon such foundations can be discussed. Until such a peace can be secured we have no choice but to go on. So far as we can judge, these principles that we regard as fundamental are already everywhere accepted as imperative, except among the spokesmen of the military and annexationist party in Germany.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1921

Source Records of the Great War V6 - no bookcover available for said volume on goodreads - by Charles Horne


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Primary Documents - Count Georg von Hertling on President Wilson's Addendum to the Fourteen Points, 25 February 1918

Reproduced below is the text of a speech given by German Chancellor Count Georg von Hertling to the German Reichstag on 25 February 1918. In his address to the Reichstag Count Hertling addressed himself to a speech given by Woodrow Wilson to the U.S. Congress on 11 February in which the U.S. President expanded upon his earlier Fourteen Points speech of 8 January 1918. In his new address Wilson had set out the terms upon which belligerent nations were to discuss any potential peace settlement.

Count Hertling, expanding upon his own earlier speech to the Reichstag on 24 January 1918, again welcomed Wilson's Fourteen Points initiative. He also claimed to be largely in concurrence with the principles behind Wilson's latest speech.

Hertling nonetheless berated the Entente Powers for hypocrisy, arguing that Britain (to take one example) found herself in contravention of many of Wilson's key principles. Given this, Count Hertling found it unreasonable that American criticism should be levelled exclusively at the Central Powers.

Click here to read British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour's reaction to Hertling's speech. Click here to read Belgian Prime Minister Charles de Broqueville's views regarding any peace settlement.

Count Hertling's Speech to the Reichstag in Response to Woodrow Wilson's 11 February Speech to U.S. Congress, 25 February 1918

I entertain certain doubts as to the utility and success of dialogues carried on by Ministers and statesmen of belligerent countries.

Mr. Runciman in the House of Commons recently expressed the opinion that we would get much nearer peace if responsible representatives of the belligerent powers would come together in an intimate meeting for discussion.

I can only agree with him that that would be the way to remove numerous intentional and unintentional misunderstandings and compel our enemies to take our words as they are meant, and on their part also to show their colours.

I cannot at any rate discover that the words which I spoke here on two occasions were received in hostile countries objectively and without prejudice. Moreover, discussion in an intimate gathering alone could lead to understanding on many individual questions which can really be settled only by compromise.

It has been repeatedly said that we do not contemplate retaining Belgium, but that we must be safeguarded from the danger of a country with which we desire after the war to live in peace and friendship becoming the object or the jumping-off ground of enemy machinations.

If, therefore, a proposal came from the opposing side - for example, from the Government in Havre - we should not adopt an antagonistic attitude, even though the discussion at first might only be unbinding.

Meanwhile it does not appear as if Mr. Runciman's suggestion has a chance of assuming tangible shape, and I must adhere to the existing methods of dialogue across the Channel and ocean.

Adopting this method, I readily admit that President Wilson's message of February 11th represents, perhaps, a small step toward a mutual rapprochement. I therefore pass over the preliminary and excessively long declarations in order to address myself immediately to the four principles which, in President Wilson's opinion, must be applied in a mutual exchange of views.

The first clause says that each part of the final settlement must be based upon the essential justice of that particular case and upon such adjustments as are most likely to bring a peace that will be permanent.

Who would contradict this? The phrase, coined by the great father of the Church, Augustine, 1,500 years ago - "justitia funndamentum regnorum," - is still valid today. Certain it is that only peace based in all its parts on the principles of justice has a prospect of endurance.

The second clause expresses the desire that peoples and provinces shall not be bartered about from sovereignty to sovereignty as if they were mere chattels and pawns in a game, even the great game, now forever discredited, of the balance of power.

This clause, too, can be unconditionally assented to. Indeed, one wonders that the President of the United States considered it necessary to emphasize it anew. This clause contains a polemic against conditions long vanished, views against Cabinet politics and Cabinet wars, against mixing State territory and princely and private property, which belong to a past that is far behind us.

I do not want to be discourteous, but when one remembers the earlier utterances of President Wilson, one might think that he is labouring under the illusion that there exists in Germany an antagonism between an autocratic Government and a mass of people without rights.

And yet President Wilson knows (as, at any rate, the German edition of his book on the State proves) German political literature, and he knows, therefore, that with us Princes and Governments are the highest members of the nation as a hole, organized in the form of a State, the highest members, with whom the final decision lies.

But, seeing the that they also, as the supreme organs, belong to the whole, decision is of such a nature that only the welfare of the whole is the guiding line for a decision to be taken. It may be useful to point this out expressly to President Wilson's countrymen.

Then finally at the close of the second clause the game of the balance of power is declared to be forever discredited. We, too, can only gladly applaud. As is well known, it was England which invented the principle of the maintenance of the balance of power in order especially to apply it when one of the States on the European Continent threatened to become too powerful for her. It was only another expression for England's domination.

The third clause, according to which every territorial settlement involved in this war must be made in the interest and for the benefit of the populations concerned, and not as part of any mere adjustment or compromise of claims among rival States, is the only application of the foregoing in a definite direction, or a deduction from it, and is therefore included in the assent given to that clause.

Now, in the fourth clause he demands that all well-defined national aspirations shall be accorded the utmost satisfaction that can be accorded them without introducing new or perpetuating old elements of discord and antagonism that would be likely in time to break the peace of Europe, and consequently of the world.

Here, also, I can give assent in principle, and I declare, therefore, with President Wilson, that a general peace on such a basis is discussable.

Only one reservation is to be made. These principles must not be proposed by the President of the United States alone, but they must also be recognized definitely by all States and nations. President Wilson, who reproaches the German Chancellor with a certain amount of backwardness, seems to me in his flight of ideas to have hurried far in advance of existing realities.

Certainly a League of Nations, erected upon justice and mutual unselfish appreciation, a condition of humanity in which war, together with all that remains of the earliest barbarism, should have completely disappeared and in which there should be no bloody sacrifices, no self-mutilation of peoples, no destruction of laboriously acquired cultural values - that would be an aim devoutly to be desired.

But that aim has not yet been reached. There does not yet exist a court of arbitration set up by all nations for the safeguarding of peace in the name of justice. When President Wilson incidentally says that the German Chancellor is speaking to the court of the entire world, I must, as things stand today, in the name of the German Empire and her allies, decline this court as prejudiced, joyfully as I would greet it if an impartial court of arbitration existed and gladly as I would cooperate to realize such ideals.

Unfortunately, however, there is no trace of a similar state of mind on the part of the leading powers in the Entente. E ngland's war aims, as recently expressed in Lloyd George's speeches, are still thoroughly imperialistic and want to impose on the world a peace according to England's good pleasure.

When England talks about peoples' right of self-determination, she does not think of applying the principle to Ireland, Egypt, or India.

Our war aims from the beginning were the defence of the Fatherland, the maintenance of our territorial integrity, and the freedom of our economic development. Our warfare, even where it must be aggressive in action, is defensive in aim.

I lay especial stress upon that just now in order that no misunderstandings shall arise about our operations in the east.

After the breaking off of peace negotiations by the Russian delegation on February 10th we had a free hand as against Russia. The sole aim of the advance of our troops, which was begun seven days after the rupture, was to safeguard the fruits of our peace with Ukraine.

Aims of conquest were in no way a determining factor. We were strengthened in this by the Ukrainians' appeal for support in bringing about order in their young State against the disturbances carried out by the Bolsheviki.


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Continued from above:

If further military operations in other regions have taken place, the same applies to them. They in no way aim at conquest. They are solely taking place at the urgent appeals and representations of the populations for protection against atrocities and devastation by Red Guards and other bands.

They have, therefore, been undertaken in the name of humanity. They are measures of assistance and have no other character. It is a question of creating peace and order in the interest of peaceable populations.

We do not intend to establish ourselves, for example, in Esthonia or Livonia. In Courland and Lithuania our chief object is to create organs of self-determination and self-administration. Our military action, however, has produced a success far exceeding the original aim.

News was received yesterday that Petrograd had accepted our conditions and had sent its representatives to Brest-Litovsk for further negotiations. Accordingly, our delegates travelled thither last evening.

It is possible that there will still be dispute about the details, but the main thing has been achieved. The will to peace has been expressly announced from the Russian side, while the conditions have been accepted and the conclusion of peace must ensue within a very short time.

To safeguard the fruits of our peace with Ukraine, our army command drew the sword. Peace with Russia will be the happy result.

Peace negotiations with Rumania began at Bucharest yesterday. It appeared necessary that Secretary von Kuhlmann should be present there during the first days when the foundations were laid. Now, however, he will presumably soon go to Brest-Litovsk.

It is to be remembered regarding negotiations with Rumania that we are not taking part in them alone, and are under obligation to champion the interests of our allies, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey, and to see to it that a compromise is arranged there regarding any divergent desires that will possibly give rise to difficulties, but these difficulties will be overcome.

With regard to Rumania, too, the guiding principle will be that we must, and desired to, convert into friends the States with which on the basis of the success of our army we now conclude peace.

I will say a word regarding Poland, in behalf of which the Entente and President Wilson have recently appeared specially to interest themselves, as a country liberated from oppressive independence of Tsarist Russia by the united forces of Germany and Austria-Hungary, for the purpose of establishing an independent State, which, in unrestricted development of its national culture, shall at the same time become a pillar of peace in Europe.

The constitutional problem - in the narrower sense the question what constitution the new State shall receive - could not, as is easily understood, be immediately decided, and is still in the stage of exhaustive discussions between the three countries concerned.

A fresh difficulty has been added to the many difficulties which have in this connection to be overcome, difficulties especially in the economic domain in consequence of the collapse of old Russia. This difficulty results from the delimitation of the frontier between the new State and adjacent Russian territory.

For this reason the news of peace with the Ukraine at first evoked great uneasiness in Poland. I hope, however, that with goodwill and proper regard to the ethnographical conditions a compromise on the claims will be reached. The announced intention to make a serious attempt in this direction has greatly calmed Polish circles.

In the regulation of the frontier question only what is indispensable on military grounds will be demanded on Germany's part.

The Entente is fighting for the acquisition of portions of Austro-Hungarian territory by Italy and for the severance of Palestine, Syria, and Arabia from the Turkish Empire.

England has particularly cast an eye on portions of Turkish territory. She has suddenly discovered an affection for the Arabians and she hopes by utilizing the Arabians to annex fresh territories to the British Empire, perhaps by the creation of a protectorate dependent upon British domination.

That the colonial wars of England are directed at increasing and. rounding out the enormous British possessions, particularly in Africa, has been repeatedly stated by British statesmen.

In the face of this policy Entente statesmen dare to represent Germany as the disturber of peace, who, in the interest of world peace, must be confined within the narrowest bounds.

By a system of lies and calumny they endeavour to instigate their own people and neutral countries against the Central Powers and to disturb neutral countries with the spectre of the violation of neutrality by Germany.

Regarding the intrigues recently carried on in Switzerland we never thought, nor will we think, of assailing Swiss neutrality. We are much indebted to Switzerland. We express gratitude to her, Holland, the Scandinavian countries, and Spain, which by her geographical position is exposed to especial difficulties, and no less to the extra-European countries which have not entered the war, for their manly attitude in that, despite all temptations and oppressions, they preserve their neutrality.

The world yearns for peace and desires nothing more than that the sufferings of war under which it groans should come to an end. But the Governments of the enemy States contrive ever anew to stir the war fury among their peoples.

Our people will hold out further, but the blood of the fallen, the agonies of the mutilated and the distress and sufferings of the peoples will fall on the heads of those who insistently refuse to listen to the voice of reason and humanity.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923


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Primary Documents - Arthur Balfour on President Wilson's Addendum to the Fourteen Points, 27 February 1918

Reproduced below is the text of a speech given by British Foreign Secretary (and former Prime Minister) Arthur Balfour to the British Parliament on 27 February 1918.

In his speech Balfour addressed himself to a speech given by Woodrow Wilson to the U.S. Congress on 11 February in which the U.S. President expanded upon his earlier Fourteen Points speech of 8 January 1918. In his new address Wilson had set out the terms upon which belligerent nations were to discuss any potential peace settlement.

Balfour unsurprisingly came out in support of President Wilson's policy, and took the opportunity to critique the German Chancellor Count Hertling's "lip service" support for the U.S. position (click here and here to view Hertling's speeches regarding the Fourteen Points).

Click here to read Belgian Prime Minister Charles de Broqueville's views regarding any peace settlement.

Arthur Balfour's Speech to Parliament in Response to Woodrow Wilson's 11 February Speech to U.S. Congress, 27 February 1918

Many questions must be settled at the peace conference, but the question of Belgium is the best touchstone of the honesty of purpose of Central European diplomacy, and especially of German diplomacy.

There is only one course for the offending nation in this case, namely, unconditional restoration and reparation.

When was Belgium the jumping-off ground of enemy machinations and why should Germany suppose it is going to be? Belgium has been the victim, not the author, of these crimes, and why should she be punished because Germany is guilty?

Germany always had in mind new territorial, commercial or military conditions which would prevent Belgium from taking an independent place among the nations, which Germany and ourselves were pledged to preserve.

What we have to consider is how far von Hertling's lip service to President Wilson's four propositions really is exemplified by German practice.

I could understand a German taking a different view from the view of the French, British, Italian, or American Government, but not a German discussing the principles of essential justice and saying: "There is no question of Alsace-Lorraine to go before a peace conference."

Regarding President Wilson's second proposition, we have had within the last few weeks a specimen of how von Hertling interprets in action the principle he so glibly approves in theory. To take one instance only, there is the cession of Polish territory to the Ukraine. We would like to know how the Germans came to make this gross violation of their principle.

Coming to the third proposition, von Hertling says, with justice, that the doctrine of the balance of power is a more or less antiquated doctrine. He further accuses England of being the upholder of that doctrine for purposes of aggrandizement.

That is a profoundly unhistorical method of looking at the question. Great Britain has fought time and again for the balance of power, because only by fighting could Europe be saved from the domination of one over-bearing and aggressive nation.

If von Hertling wants to make the balance of power antiquated, he can do it by inducing his countrymen to abandon that policy of ambitious domination which overshadows the world at this moment.

As to President Wilson's third and fourth principles: Consider for a moment how von Hertling desires to apply the principle that the interest and benefit of the populations concerned should be considered in peace arrangements. He mentions three countries he wishes to see restored to Turkey, namely, Armenia, Palestine, and Mesopotamia.

Does any one think that this would be to the interest and benefit of the populations concerned? Von Hertling accuses us of being animated with purely ambitious designs when we invaded Mesopotamia and captured Jerusalem.

I suppose he would say that Russia was similarly moved when she occupied Armenia. But when Turkey went to war she picked a quarrel with us for purely ambitious purposes. She was promised by Germany the possession of Egypt. Would the interest and happiness of the population of Egypt be best conserved by Turkish conquest of Egypt?

The Germans in the search for the greatest happiness of these populations would have restored Egypt to the worst rule the world has ever known. They would have destroyed Arab independence and abandoned Palestine to those who had rendered it sterile all these centuries.

How could any one preach seriously a profession of faith about the interests of populations after this evidence of the manner in which von Hertling desires to see it carried out?

If the Reichstag had any sense of humour it must surely have smiled when it heard the Chancellor dealing in that spirit with the dominating doctrine of every important German statesman, soldier, and thinker for two generations at least.

So much for the four principles which Mr. Holt says von Hertling accepts, and which he thinks the British Government is backward in not accepting. I hope my short analysis may have convinced him that there are two sides to that question.

I cannot, however, leave von Hertling without making some observation upon the Russian policy which he defines. That also is a demonstration of German methods. He tells us the recent arrangements with Russia were made on the urgent appeal of the populations for protection against the Red Guard and other bands, and, therefore, undertaken in the name of humanity.

We know that the East is the East and the West is the West and that the German policy of the West is entirely different from the German policy of the East.

The German policy in the East recently has been directed toward preventing atrocities and devastation in the interest of humanity, while German policy in the West is occupied entirely in performing atrocities and devastations.

Why this difference of treatment of Belgium on one side and other populations on the other? I know of no explanation, except that Germany pursues her methods with remorseless insistency and alters or varies the excuse she gives for her policy.

If she invades Belgium, it is military necessity; if Courland, it is in the interest of humanity. It is impossible to rate very high the professions of humanity, international righteousness and equity in regard to those populations which figure so largely in the speeches. I am quite unable to understand how anybody can get up in the Reichstag and claim that Germany is waging a defensive war.

I am convinced that to begin negotiations, unless you see your way to carry them through successfully, would be to commit the greatest crime against the future peace of the world, and, therefore, while I long for the day when negotiations may really begin, negotiations which must have preparations for the bringing of ideas closer together, I do believe I should be doing an injury to the cause of peace if I encourage the idea that there is any use in beginning these verbal negotiations until something like a general agreement is apparent in the distance and until the statesmen of all the countries see their way to that broad settlement, which, it is my hope, will bring peace to this sorely troubled world.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923


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Primary Documents - Baron Charles de Broqueville on President Wilson's Addendum to the Fourteen Points, 28 February 1918

Reproduced below is the text of an official statement issued by the Belgian Prime Minister, Baron Charles de Broqueville, regarding the Fourteen Points, dated 28 February 1918.

The Fourteen Points comprised a recipe for peace devised by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in a speech to the U.S. Congress on 8 January 1918, and subsequently clarified in a further speech to Congress on 11 February 1918.

German reaction to Wilson's speeches was prompt. German Chancellor Count Hertling's swiftly express qualified support in speeches to the Reichstag on 24 January 1918 and 25 February 1918. In the course of these Count Hertling expressed the view that Germany's current occupation of Belgium could legitimately be used as a bargaining chip during peace negotiations, a position denounced by the British Foreign secretary Arthur Balfour in a speech to Parliament on 27 February.

It was in this context that Baron de Broqueville issued a brief statement on the day following Balfour's speech in which he reiterated that negotiations for peace involving Belgium could only take place with the active support and cooperation of the Allied powers which had guaranteed Belgian independence.

Official Statement of Belgian Prime Minister Baron Charles de Broqueville on the Fourteen Points, 28 February 1918

The Belgian Government's views are known and have not changed. It affirmed them quite recently.

In its answer to the Holy See on December 24th the Belgian Government said:

The integrity of the metropolitan and colonial territory; political, economic and military independence without condition or restriction; reparation for damages and guarantees against repetition of the aggression of 1914 are the indispensable conditions for a just peace as far as Belgium is concerned.

The Belgian Government has already declared and repeated that it will not discuss peace except in consort with the powers which guaranteed its independence and which have fulfilled their obligations toward Belgium.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923


message 11: by Jill (last edited Jan 23, 2015 11:56AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The synopsis below is an excerpt from President Wilson's book concerning the Versailles Treaty and the Fourteen Points.

Fourteen Points

Fourteen Points by Woodrow Wilson by Woodrow Wilson Woodrow Wilson

Synopsis:

"(.... The Russian representatives presented not only a perfectly definite statement of the principles upon which they would be willing to conclude peace, but also an equally definite program of the concrete application of those principles. The representatives of the Central Powers, on their part, presented an outline of settlement which, if much less definite, seemed susceptible of liberal interpretation until their specific program of practical terms was added. That program proposed no concessions at all, either to the sovereignty of Russia or to the preferences of the populations with whose fortunes it dealt, but meant, in a word, that the Central Empires were to keep every foot of territory their armed forces had occupied--every province, every city, every point of vantage as a permanent addition to their territories and their power.
It is a reasonable conjecture that the general principles of settlement which they at first suggested originated with the more liberal statesmen of Germany and Austria, the men who have begun to feel the force of their own peoples' thought and purpose, while the concrete terms of actual settlement came from the military leaders who have no thought but to keep what they have got. The negotiations have been broken off. The Russian representatives were sincere and in earnest. They cannot entertain such proposals of conquest and domination.
The whole incident is full of significance. It is also full of perplexity. With whom are the Russian representatives dealing? For whom are the representatives of the Central Empires speaking? Are they speaking for the majorities of their respective parliaments or for the minority parties, that military and imperialistic minority which has so far dominated their whole policy and controlled the affairs of Turkey and of the Balkan States which have felt obliged to become their associates in this war?"


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Thank you Jill


message 13: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) This book, although covering several topics that arose during WWI and the US neutrality prior to entering the war, it also provides an examination of the Fourteen Points.

Woodrow Wilson: Revolution, War,and Peace

Woodrow Wilson Revolution, War, And Peace by Arthur S. Link by Arthur S. Link (no photo)

Synopsis:

Professor Arthur S. Link, Director and Editor of The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, brings his considerable expertise and understanding of Wilson the man and the diplomat to this reexamination of Wilson's handling of foreign affairs. Link explores the ideas, assumptions, and ambitions that guided Wilson's methods of forming policy, and his diplomatic techniques. The author also goes on to consider some of the larger questions concerning Wilson's desire for neutrality, American entry into World War I, and Wilson's fight for American membership in the League of Nations.


message 14: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) In his January 8, 1918, speech on War Aims and Peace Terms, President Wilson set down 14 points as a blueprint for world peace that was to be used for peace negotiations after World War I. The details of the speech were based on reports generated by “The Inquiry,” a group of about 150 political and social scientists organized by Wilson’s adviser and long-time friend, Col. Edward M House. Their job was to study Allied and American policy in virtually every region of the globe and analyze economic, social, and political facts likely to come up in discussions during the peace conference. The team began its work in secret and in the end produced and collected nearly 2,000 separate reports and documents plus at least 1,200 maps.

In the speech, Wilson directly addressed what he perceived as the causes for the world war by calling for the abolition of secret treaties, a reduction in armaments, an adjustment in colonial claims in the interests of both native peoples and colonists, and freedom of the seas. Wilson also made proposals that would ensure world peace in the future. For example, he proposed the removal of economic barriers between nations, the promise of “self-determination” for those oppressed minorities, and a world organization that would provide a system of collective security for all nations. Wilson’s 14 Points were designed to undermine the Central Powers’ will to continue and to inspire the Allies to victory. The 14 Points were broadcast throughout the world and were showered from rockets and shells behind the enemy’s lines.

When the Allies met in Versailles to formulate the treaty to end World War I with Germany and Austria-Hungary, most of Wilson’s 14 Points were scuttled by the leaders of England and France. To his dismay, Wilson discovered that England, France, and Italy were mostly interested in regaining what they had lost and gaining more by punishing Germany. Germany quickly found out that Wilson’s blueprint for world peace would not apply to them. However, Wilson’s capstone point calling for a world organization that would provide some system of collective security was incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles. This organization would later be known as the League of Nations. Though Wilson launched a tireless missionary campaign to overcome opposition in the U.S. Senate to the adoption of the treaty and membership in the League, the treaty was never adopted by the Senate, and the United States never joined the League of Nations. Wilson would later suggest that without American participation in the League, there would be another world war within a generation.

(Source: OurDocuments.gov)


message 15: by Jill (last edited Aug 21, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The Adventures of the Fourteen Points

The Adventures of the Fourteen Points (Classic Reprint) by Harry Hansen by Harry Hansen (no photo)

Synopsis

There is no GR description of this book but it appears rather interesting. Reading about the author we find that the book was written at the time of the Versailles Treaty when the author was the overseas war correspondent for the Chicago Daily News and includes incidents that took place during the Treaty negotiations. It might be worth a look.


message 16: by Jill (last edited Oct 23, 2016 10:55PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The Wilsonian Moment: Self Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism

The Wilsonian Moment Self Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism by Erez Manela by Erez Manela (no photo)

Synopsis:

During the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, while key decisions were debated by the victorious Allied powers, a multitude of smaller nations and colonies held their breath, waiting to see how their fates would be decided. President Woodrow Wilson, in his Fourteen Points, had called for "a free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims," giving equal weight would be given to the opinions of the colonized peoples and the colonial powers. Among those nations now paying close attention to Wilson's words and actions were the budding nationalist leaders of four disparate non-Western societies--Egypt, India, China, and Korea. That spring, Wilson's words would help ignite political upheavals in all four of these countries. This book is the first to place the 1919 Revolution in Egypt, the Rowlatt Satyagraha in India, the May Fourth movement in China, and the March First uprising in Korea in the context of a broader "Wilsonian moment" that challenged the existing international order. Using primary source material from America, Europe, and Asia, historian Erez Manela tells the story of how emerging nationalist movements appropriated Wilsonian language and adapted it to their own local culture and politics as they launched into action on the international stage. The rapid disintegration of the Wilsonian promise left a legacy of disillusionment and facilitated the spread of revisionist ideologies and movements in these societies; future leaders of Third World liberation movements--Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, and Jawaharlal Nehru, among others--were profoundly shaped by their experiences at the time. The importance of the Paris Peace Conference and Wilson's influence on international affairs far from the battlefields of Europe cannot be underestimated. Now, for the first time, we can clearly see just how the events played out at Versailles sparked a wave of nationalism that is still resonating globally today.


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The Ordeal of President Wilson

The Ordeal of Woodrow Wilson by Herbert Hoover by Herbert Hoover Herbert Hoover

Synopsis:

Hoover's book was meant as a tribute to his former chief, but it is easy to suspect that anger and hurt might underlie a portrayal that presents the worst as well as the best in one of our greatest statesmen.

What makes Hoover's memoir especially valuable to readers already familiar with the story are matters of tone and interpretation which Hoover himself... probably did not notice that he was making available. -- David Burner, The Atlantic Woodrow Wilson Center Press.


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