History I.A. Wilson’s Essay Sample

History I.A. Wilson’s Pages
Pages: Word count: Rewriting Possibility: % ()

Wilson’s fourteen points was a speech delivered by Woodrow Wilson (president of America from 1913 – 1921) which later turned into the basis upon which the treaty of Versailles was made. His series of points outlined what the post-war era would be like. Wilson’s points were meant to stop another war from happening and were very lenient towards the Germans, who were defeated in World War 1. It is therefore important to consider to what extent does Wilson’s fourth point in the fourteen points represent the American government’s principles from 1914 – 1920?

Fourth point: Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.

When investigating this topic certain aspects must be considered. These include how much support Wilson had received for his fourteen points, whether or not Americans wanted to harshly punish Germany and if the government was willing to fight wars. This investigation will be conducted by using online, written and primary sources including Paris 1919 by Margaret Macmillan, The First World War by Hew Strachan and Woodrow Wilson: World Statesman by Kendrick A. Clements.

Part B (Summary of Evidence)

How much support Wilson had received for his fourteen points

• Wilson had effectively called for a Monroe doctrine of the world and in this he represented the conscience of the American people.[1]

• WW1 was largely caused in part by a pre-war ammunitions race[2]

• Wilson brought the idea of self-determination (rights and liberties of small nations) to Europe[3]

• The treaty of Versailles was based on Wilsons fourteen points

• Republicans who made up a majority in the senate generally disagreed with the points[4]

• Most Americans were wary of foreign entanglements and Wilson found little support.[5]

• European allies owed $7 billion to the American government[6]

• The idea of American exceptionalism pervaded in the US – Americans being eager to set the world to rights and ready to turn its back in contempt if its message is ignored[7]

• Wilson took no republican party advisors with him to the Paris peace conference[8]

• A poll by Literary Digest showed overwhelming support among editors of newspapers and magazines for Wilson’s fourteen points.[9]

• The fourteen points expressed the long term interests of western nations[10]

Whether or not Americans wanted to harshly punish Germany.

• Resulting from the treaty of Versailles Germany had to :

1. Withdraw its frontiers.[11]
2. Relinquish 25000 machine guns, 1700 airplanes, 5000 artillery pieces and 3,000 trench mortars. [12] 3. Demilitarize the Rhine.[13]

• France and Great Britain wanted Germany to pay extensive reparations.[14] • A German U-boat had sunk a ship (Lusitania) containing 128 Americans in 1915.[15] • The Zimmerman telegram was a message from the Germans to Mexicans telling them to incite war in southern America.[16] • Wilson concerned about Americans wanting the annihilation of Germany[17] • Wilson was under political pressure to impose absolute surrender on the Germans.[18]

If the government was willing to fight wars

• America had not gone into WW1 for territory or revenge.[19]

• America did not enter WW1 until April 1917.[20]

• America had gone to war against Spain and Mexico.[21]

• The American public had grown weary of domestic and international crusades.[22]

• Republicans believed that if the US were to join an association it should be with other democracies, not with a league which threatened to draw the country into a never-ending war.[23]

Part C (Evaluation of Sources)

Paris 1919 by Margaret Macmillan

Margaret Macmillan is a professor and historian at the University of Oxford who has done extensive research on the British Empire from the nineteenth century to the twentieth century. She is known for works such as Woman of the Raj and The Uneasy Century and has published the book Paris 1919 in 2001. This document was written as a historical narrative, specifically to give insight into the events that happened in the 6 months leading up to the Paris Peace conference. As such it is particularly valuable since many years of both primary and secondary research have been done, and the narrative shows the thoughts of President Wilson in the moment and leading up to the Paris Peace conference. Since this investigation is looking at the extent to which Wilson’s fourth point represents the government it is important to have a source showing the thoughts of the leader of that government. Although, this source is limited in that it focuses mainly on the Big Three, not other countries having anything to do with Wilson’s fourteen points and it focuses too much on a small time period of 6 months giving very little information beyond that.

Woodrow Wilson: World Statesman by Kendrick A. Clements

Kendrick Clements published his book Woodrow Wilson: World Statesman in 1987. Clements is currently a professor of history at the University of South Carolina and has done environmental and diplomatic research on American history. He has also published works such as William Jennings and Missionary Isolationist and wrote this biography in order to show the details of Woodrow Wilson’s life. As a biography it contains interesting information about President Wilson and his fourteen points and this source is particularly effective for this investigation since it portrays Wilson’s actions and gives reasons as to why he acted in these ways. This source also gives balance to the investigation by bringing forth an American point of view as compared to a British/Canadian perspective by Margaret MacMillan. It is however limited in that it does not provide much perspective besides this and tends to go into too much detail about seemingly unimportant matters.

References:

[1] Elihu Root, “Elihu Root, Speech”, 4th March, 2012
[2] Streich, Michael. American [email protected] December 15th 2010. Suite 101. March 5th 2012
http://michael-streich.suite101.com/woodrow-wilsons-fourteen-points-a84500> [3] Margaret Macmillan, PARIS 1919 (New York: Random House, Inc., 2001), 9 [4]Coffey, Walter. American [email protected] December 15th 2010. Suite 101. March 5th 2012 < http://walter-coffey.suite101.com/woodrow-wilsons-fourteen-points-a297569 [5] Ibid

[6] Margaret Macmillan, PARIS 1919 (New York: Random House, Inc., 2001), 10. [7] Ibid, 14
[8] J. Perry Leavell,Jr. Wilson, World leaders past and present (America: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987),88. [9] Ibid, 93.
[10] Kendrick A. Clements, Woodrow Wilson, world statesman (Chicago: G.K. Hall, 1987), 212. [11] Hew Strachan, THE FIRST WORLD WAR (New York: Penguin Group inc., 2003), 326 – 327 [12] Ibid
[13] Ibid

[14] “Lesson 4: Fighting for Peace: The Fate of Wilson’s Fourteen Points,” EDSITEment, 4th March, 2012

[15] Jones, Steve. US foreign policy. New York Times Company, March 5th 2012 [16] Ibid
[17] Kendrick A. Clements, Woodrow Wilson, world statesman (Chicago: G.K. Hall, 1987), 192. [18] Ibid
[19] Margaret Macmillan, PARIS 1919, (New York: Random House, Inc., 2001), 9. [20] [21] Jones, Steve. US foreign policy. New York Times Company, March 5th 2012 [22] Ibid, 10 – 11

[23] “Lesson 4: Fighting for Peace: The Fate of Wilson’s Fourteen Points,” EDSITEment, 4th March, 2012

[24] Margaret Macmillan, PARIS 1919, (New York: Random House, Inc., 2001),152.

Search For The related topics

  • wilson
  • Olivia from Bla Bla Writing

    Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out https://goo.gl/3EfTOL

    sample
    Haven't found the Essay You Want?
    GET YOUR CUSTOM ESSAY SAMPLE
    For Only $13.90/page