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“Self-Determination” was one of the principles of the Treaty of Versailles.  What...

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kevinmclellan | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 31, 2012 at 7:43 PM via web

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“Self-Determination” was one of the principles of the Treaty of Versailles.  What does it mean?

 It's for a study on 20th century world history, during the 1900's

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 31, 2012 at 8:21 PM (Answer #1)

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You're referring to one of the four main points accepted into the Treaty of Versailles after World War I.  Self Determination as an idea was advanced by US President Woodrow Wilson in his famous Fourteen Points for world peace after what many considered the "war to end all wars".

This point challenged the tendency of empires to control peoples and lands of different ethnicities and backgrounds.  For example, Germany and Russia controlled all of the Polish people, while Austria-Hungary controlled the Serbians and others.  Wilson pointed to this as a cause of war, and by ending the practe, suggested we might be abe to avoid future conflicts.  Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia became independent nations using this principle, and Wilson was widely admired in those countries because of it.

 

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