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Wilsonianism - Essay Example

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The speech was essentially a statement of principles, which encompassed war aims, as well as succinct guidelines for post-war order and frontiers. Woodrow’s speech aimed at assuring the…
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Wilsonianism On January 8th 1918, Woodrow Wilson’s gave his most famous speech dubbed Fourteen Points. The speech wasessentially a statement of principles, which encompassed war aims, as well as succinct guidelines for post-war order and frontiers. Woodrow’s speech aimed at assuring the US and the entire world that the Great War primarily aimed at attaining a moral cause for the attainment of postwar peace in Europe (Ambrosius 95). In essence, President Woodrow sought to establish peace with Germany in a fair manner that appealed to all parties concerned, particularly countries that sought revenge against Germany for the war. Since Woodrow’s fourteen points provided a succinct plan for world peace, they formed part of the Treaty of Versailles. Notably, not all points were encompassed in the treaty, which ultimately resulted in its partial success. Although the Treaty of Versailles was successful, it failed substantially in its enforcement and its inherent human element. Woodrow’s fourteen points invigorated the idealistic notion of peace in the absence of victors. Woodrow’s fourteen points incorporated in the Treaty of Versailles include self determination and the League of Nations augmenting idealistic notions that concluded that the war’s aim was to end all other wars. The treaty reflected European countries’ need to end Germany’s power and affirm their own.
Through the self-determination point, Woodrow points showed that some of the causes of the war, for instance, imperialism and nationalism were avoidable. This was because, theoretically, countries demanding recognition would acquire it through the world ruling countries; the US, France, Italy, France and Britain. Conversely, Woodrow’s point on the League of Nations argued that the influence of the League of Nation would unite the countries of the world and deter the incident of another war. In addition to self determination and the establishment of democracy through the League of Nations, Treaty of Versailles also incorporated Woodrow’s points on free trade, as well as open agreements. Notably, Woodrow’s points 1-13 were not encompassed in the treaty in order to give leeway for the incorporation of the League of Nations in the final treaty (Niall 74). Since the treaty failed to incorporate the first to the thirteenth points, the treaty failed to address the real causes of the war and left an imbalance of power in Europe, thereby paving the way for another war during which Germany claimed that the Treaty of Versailles was unfair. The treaty should have included these points in order to deter the incident of another great war.
The failures of the Treaty of Versailles are responsible for modern day conflicts such as the 2003 invasion of Iraq in which combined efforts from US, UK, Poland and Australia troops invaded Iraq. The invasion of Iraq contravened part of Woodrow’s points, for instance; Woodrow’s first point originally deterred the establishment of secret alliances between countries at the expense of other countries (Ikenberry, Knock, Slaughter and Smith 127). In addition, the League of Nations also failed to take effect in the issue regarding the invasion of Iraq by the aforementioned combined troops. Full adoption of Woodrow’s ideals would have effectively prevented the invasion of Iraq by the pooled services of US, UK, Australia and Poland troops. Specifically, the adoption of the first ideal would have deterred the formation of the secret alliance against Iraq.
Works Cited
Ambrosius, L. E. Wilsonianism: Woodrow Wilson and His Legacy in American Foreign Relations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. Print.
Ikenberry, G. J. Knock, T. J. Slaughter, A. and Smith, T. The Crisis of American Foreign Policy: Wilsonianism in the Twenty-first Century. New York: Princeton University Press, 2011. Print.
Niall, F. The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Decline of the West. New York: Penguin Press, 2006. Print. Read More
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