Wilson Promotes Peace, No Victory

Ashlin Vasquez

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President Woodrow Wilson


Vladimir Lenin (leader of the communist revolution in Russia) believed that the war was an imperialistic land-grab, and revealed treaties that were made by Russia and their allies saying that they would divide their enemies land between themselves.

"Peace Without Victory"

When peace makers were left to determine if the results justified the cost, Woodrow Wilson introduced the idea "Peace without Victory" in January 1917. He believed that if there was a victory, peace would be forced upon the losers, and that the war was about peace and freedom. Wilson answered to Lenin's charges about the nature of the war in what is called the Fourteen Points (list of terms for resolving World War I and future wars), in this he promoted his idea "Peace without Victory" & inspired peace with noble ideas instead of greed and vengeance.

The Fourteen Points

The Fourteen Points goal was to change the world by supporting freedom, promoting openness and encouraging independence. Wilson then called for an open diplomacy (discussion to avoid hostility) on free trading, reduction of armaments (military weapons), freedom of seas, & ending colonialism (practice of acquiring partial or full political control over other countries). Wilson also wanted for people to have the right to choose their own form of government (self-determination), this would make independent states.

League of Nations

Wilson asked for the League of Nations (world organization established after World War I to promote peaceful cooperation between countries) to secure "mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike."

Peace Conference in Versailles

The victorious allies held a peace conference in the Palace of Versailles, which is in a suburb of Paris, which belonged to Louis XIV, President Wilson wanted to attend because he believed that this conference was too important to send other politicians or diplomats. Wilson didn't invite a leading republican to join him at this peace conference, and he left Senator Henry Cabot Lodge (Republican & foreign policy expert) because he disliked him. Republicans who had won control of congress in the 1918 elections were angered by the president's decision. Wilson's ideas didn't inspire other leaders at the peace conference.

Palace of Versailles

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Relates to Why it Matters

This relates to why it matters because during World War I many lives were lost during the bloody stalemate and Wilson's goal was to promote peace so that lives wouldn't be lost, using his idea of "Peace without Victory."

Important People

  • Vladimir Lenin
  • President Woodrow Wilson
  • Senator Henry Cabot Lodge


Fourteen Points: list of terms for resolving World War I and future wars outlined by American President Woodrow Wilson
Self-determination: the right of people to choose their own form of government
League of Nations: world organization established after World War I to promote peaceful cooperation between countries