The Fourteen Points And Treaty Of Versailles


The Fourteen Points And Treaty Of Versailles Essay, Research Paper

When Woodrow Wilson came to power as a president, four important elements came to his mind: covenants are kept public, world be kept safe to live in, treat everyone as equals, and allow people to live their own life. He believed that all people should be allowed to decide their own future; he called this “Self-determination” and he wanted an end to the empires which European countries had built up. This systematic view showed true to his personality as he formed many visionary acts for the removal of discrimination and removal of struggling powers like the Clayton Anti-Trust Act, which lowered the domination of large corporations. His ideals for equality, justice, and respect created a continuous draft of policies to make the world a better place. The fundamental principles that formed these policies combined into one huge peace proposal, which would change the world’s outlook onto life and liberty.

On January 8, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson announced the Fourteen Points to abolish the aggressions of war and begin the peace process. He hoped it would help prevent wars in the future. It stated that freedom is an important aspect to the amity process with the opening of covenants, equality in trade, and independence on the sea. To begin the process, all countries were to be given a fresh start with their original lands: “Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of international law is forever impaired.” Belgium, France, Italy, Russia, Austria-Hungary, Poland, Ottoman Empire, and some other countries were to be given proper autonomy to restore and grow to become equal powers with the vast growing world. The power of the countries needed to be equal; thus, the proposal wished for a reduction of weapons and creation of a network specifying “mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity”. With all these points about balance and fairness, each country would receive equal advantages and disadvantages as any other country with the Fourteen Points.

The Allied, who captured Germany, wanted to make a peace treaty to end the fighting. The Germans agreed, but they wanted a treaty that was based on the Fourteen Points. Obviously they were not going to receive it because of the way they impacted the Allied troops. The Fourteen Points were given scrutiny by many countries that wanted revenge on Germany and Austria-Hungary for starting the war. Thus, the League of Nations made the Treaty of Versailles to fulfill their wish. Unlike the Fourteen Points, the Treaty of Versailles was mostly aimed at Germany. It forced the Germans to accept full responsibility for the war and strip themselves of its colonies, coalfields, and the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine. It also made them pay outrageous reparations to the Allies. This was totally unlike the previous proposal, which did not put the blame on anyone nor did it ask Germany to donate so many resources. Out of the $33 billion dollars the Germans had to pay for damages, the country was only able to pay $4.5 billion of it. Italy was given only two small areas of Istria and the South Tirol. Many Italians were outraged since they were never given the land promised with the Versailles Treaty nor did it supply enough resources to get the people back into the economy. The Adriatic coast was made part of a new country called Yugoslavia, which included Serbia and Bosnia. The Allies also gave Germany a new form of government based on proportional representation. It was intended to prevent Germany being taken over by a dictatorship, but it led to the creation of more than thirty political parties; none of them was large enough to form a government on its own. The Versailles Treaty also contrasted to the Fourteen Points by the long-term effects it would have in the future. With this treaty, it brought more anger and rage into the Germans. They got the blunt end of the war and became desperate to find a new leader to get out of their depression. Thus, it started the beginning of World War II and the reign of Adolf Hitler. Looking back it is clear that the Treaty of Versailles created more problems than it actually solved.

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