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League of Nations

Page history last edited by Mr. Hengsterman 4 years, 1 month ago

 

 

A Postwar Vision in Fourteen Points
 from PBS's The Great War (
3:01)

 

 

Collective Security: Wilson's Fourteen Potent Points  (January 8, 1918)  - Post Civil War Reconstruction 1865 to 1877 [Notes page #10]

The message, though intensely idealistic in tone and primarily a peace program, had certain very practical uses as an instrument for propaganda.  It was intended to reach the people and the liberal leaders of the Central Powers as a seductive appeal for peace, in which purpose it was successful.  It was hoped that the points would provide a framework for peace discussions. The message immediately gave Wilson the position of moral leadership of the Allies and furnished him with a tremendous diplomatic weapon as long as the war persisted.

 

The first 5 points and their effects were:

 

1.  A proposal to abolish secret treaties pleased liberals of all countries.

2.  Freedom of the seas appealed to the Germans, as well as to Americans who distrusted British sea power.

3.   A removal of economic barriers among nations was comforting to Germany, which feared postwar  vengeance.

4.  Reduction of armament burdens was gratifying to taxpayers.

5.  An adjustment of colonial claims in the interests of both native people and the colonizers was reassuring to  the anti-imperialists.

 

The largest achievement, #14, foreshadowed the League of Nations - an international organization that Wilson dreamed would provide a system of collective security.

 

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