President Wilson's Fourteen Points

Basis for a Peace Program

President Woodrow Wilson gave a speech in January 1918 to the American Congress. Wilson hoped that his points would help influence the post-war world among allies in Europe.

The Fourteen Points

1. No more secret agreements ("Open covenants openly arrived at").

2. Free navigation of all seas.

3. An end to all economic barriers between countries.

4. Countries to reduce weapon numbers.

5. All decisions regarding the colonies should be impartial

6. The German Army is to be removed from Russia. Russia should be left to develop
her own political set-up.

7. Belgium should be independent like before the war.

8. France should be fully liberated and allowed to recover Alsace-Lorraine

9. All Italians are to be allowed to live in Italy. Italy's borders are to be "along
clearly recognizable lines of nationality."

10. Self-determination should be allowed for all those living in Austria-Hungary.

11. Self-determination and guarantees of independence should be allowed for
the Balkan states.

12. The Turkish people should be governed by the Turkish government. Non-Turks in
the old Turkish Empire should govern themselves.

13. An independent Poland should be created which should have access to the sea.

14. A League of Nations should be set up to guarantee the political and territorial
independence of all states.

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Effects

Europe feared the United States might have wanted a separate peace with Germany.

The French and British did not agree with Wilson’s plan. The nations felt the impact of German militarism greater than the USA and were willing to do whatever they could to prevent further German aggression.

Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points for Dummies