What was the name of the plan that President Woodrow Wilson developed in an effort to attain peace?
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Wilson's plan was dubbed the Fourteen Points, because Wilson proposed fourteen different elements that a peace treaty ending the World War I would need to have if it was to bring about a lasting peace. The essential features of the Fourteen Points, which were unveiled in a speech to Congress on January 8, 1918 were:
- Open covenants of peace between European nations
- Free navigation and commerce on the seas
- Free trade among nations
- Reduction of armaments
- "Impartial adjustment" of colonial claims, with respect not just to the colonial nations, but to the people who lived in the colonies
- Redrawing boundaries of Europe with respect to the nationalities of people who actually lived within the borders of the countries
- A "general association of nations" should be formed to serve as a peace-keeping organization
Most of Wilson's points were not made part, or were only partially incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles that ended the war. Often, they were applied only to Germany, as in the case of reduced armaments. Moreover, redrawing the boundaries of European empires proved to be a very thorny issue. The proposal for a league of nations was incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles, however, but many in the United States Senate, responsible for formally approving treaties, refused to approve of this provision, claiming that it violated American sovereignty.
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