Woodrow Wilson is among the United States’ Presidents who left behind a legacy that has shaped the way this nation interacts with other nations in the world. During his time as the president of the United States of America, he made changes in the policies of the nation that has effects till this day, more than 80 years after his leadership. However, his notable contributions to world politics came on January 8, 1918, when he came up with proposals on how the nations were going to relate with each other on the international scene in an effort to ensure that there is prosperity of peace throughout the world. These proposals were outlines as point under fourteen different headings that came to be known as the Fourteen Points up to the present.
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An analysis of Woodrow Wilson's League of Nations debate reveals the arguments that emanated among nations on the ways that needed to be followed to preserve the way of peace. On the frontline was President Woodrow Wilson of the United States who came up with his Fourteen Points that outlined the way that nations were supposed to live with each other, thus avoiding issues that could lead to war again as had happened previously. Despites the efforts that were being especially by Woodrow Wilson to bring these countries together, this document captures an essence of negativity that arose both from within the United States and from other countries such as Germany, France, Britain, Belgium, etc. In the Fourteen Point speech, President Wilson pointed out that the approach that was to be adopted in solving the problems that nations were facing at that particular moment was to an honest approach with no hidden agendas in the talks that were to follow. However, the Woodrow Wilson's League of Nations debate document does not capture a lot of positive changes that occurred during the renaissance that took place after the World War I. Instead, the author captures the contentious issues that were depicted during the whole process of seeking peace and unity among the nations (Venzon and Miles 1999, 333).
As a result, it can be said that the author of this documents was more inclined toward the impossibility that could arise because of various challenges that these nations were facing. Therefore, the author can be deemed as someone who has a pessimistic mindset that could not unearth anything that was positive towards the talks that took place. On the other hand, the author approaches the subject of discussion by examining it through the American lenses and what he provides most is the American position towards the League of Nations and the Versailles Treaty, and how the nations perceived the peace agreements that were to be formulated.
The author of this historical document captures the essence of conviction that is displayed among various factions. For example, the League of Nations generated a heated debate that divided the Congress right in the middle with some supporting the United States’ plan to join the League of Nations while others stood against this course of action. Those that supported the United States’ steps to join the League of Nations argued that there were many benefits that Americans would get by collaborating with others through the League of Nations. On the other hand, the opponents of such a move thought that other countries were working towards taking away the sovereignty that this nation was enjoying. Therefore, throughout the document, there are different cases whereby different factions tried to convince the others that their position was wrong or right and that a particular course of action needed to be adopted by these (Ambrosius 1990, 121).
There are various pieces of evidence that are given out in regard to the proposals that are presented in the Fourteen Points and the League of Nations. According to (Ambrosius 1990, 120), President Woodrow had a vision that the world would be a peaceful place, guided by the rules and regulations that allowed nations to coexist in peace. On the other hand, the League of Nations according to Woodrow was supposed to make war something that was almost impossible. Therefore, those who rallied behind his ideologies believed that by adopting the proposals that were outlined by Wilson, they would succeed in eliminating war and other crisis that was associated to war. Similarly, the League of Nations was seen by Wilson as one of the ways that could be used to unite nations of the world by bringing them into signing treaties that would enable them to interact more in trade and less in warfare against each other. This unity could be obtained by allowing people from different communities in the world to collaborate and form peace treaties and then begin working together by trading with each other.
On the other hand, there are those who opposed President Wilson’s plan to have America join the League of Nations. It is argued that among those opposed to this move to involve the United States in the League of nations wanted to avoid the involvement of the this nation’s army on international military commitments. For example, Borah, one of the members of the Senate opposed the Fourteen Points fiercely because he was convinced that America would be pulled into international politics that were not stable and therefore dangerous to the Americans’ politics and the normal functioning of the democracy in that nation. These politicians perceived the Europeans countries as having a hideous agenda that prompted them to require a US involvement in their activities through the League of Nations (Cordery 2007, 268). For example, the surety of United States security and its trade activities could not be guaranteed when it joined the League of Nations.
The United States’ resistance in joining the League of Nations and working together of this nation with other nations of the world has been an issue that has arisen more than once in their discussions. During the 1920s, the American politicians perceived their integration with other nations as one way that could be used to draw their strength away and endanger their national security and trade. This is yet to change even in the present time. The United States has been pulling away from the factor of integrating with other nations on the global scene. This nation has approached the international scene with a lot of suspicions on whether to fully collaborate with other nations or not to. Therefore, apart from war on terror, the United Sates has resisted anything that seeks to control their capability and restrict its decisions in regard to war on terror and trade. An excellent example of how this nation has gone against the interests of international bodies citing national interest as its priority is its approach to war on terror, especially in Iran and Afghanistan. In 2003, the United States defied the United Nations proposal to carry out further investigations on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Instead, it went ahead and attacked Iraq in search of these weapons rather than waiting for a go ahead from the United Nations. Hence, it can be said that this nations is yet to change its thoughts in regard to international integration (Boutros-Ghali1999, 39).
Therefore, it can be said that there are various approaches that are used in this historical documents in dealing with the issues that the United States, Britain, France, Japan, China, Germany, and other nations that had involved themselves in the World War I and how they could avoid the problems the circumstances that led to this war in the first place. However, as history would prove later on, lack of proper solutions that were needed at this particular moment led to an even more fierce war, i.e. the World War II, that was caused by lack of understanding between Germany and other nations in Europe. On the other hand, the proposals of the League of Nations have been some of the issues that have not escaped the American politics up to this day, with the Americans wondering how they can integrate and work hand in hand with other nations and yet maintain their supremacy as the powerful nation on the face of the earth.
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