How did Wilson promote his 14 points in the US?

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teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Wilson promoted his 14 points by:

1) Giving speeches to Congress.

The most famous of his speeches was the "Fourteen Points" speech given to the United States Congress on January 8th, 1918. Wilson's 14 points included solutions to territorial disputes among combatant nations, the responsible reduction of national armaments, the promise of free trade and freedom of the seas, and most importantly, a proposal for a League of Nations.

2) Embarking on a tour across the country to put his case to the American people.

Wilson traveled 8000 miles in 22 days to bring his idea of a League of Nations to the American people. He tried to persuade the American people to support his ideal of an international community coming together to prevent future bloodshed and war. Wilson wanted to show the American people that isolationism was no longer a viable alternative in a world filled with violence and revolution.

3) Traveling to Europe to use his 14 points in treaty negotiations for the end of WWI.

In December 1918, Wilson traveled to Europe to help negotiate the treaty of Versailles. Wilson's most prized initiative was the creation of a League of Nations. The president signed the treaty in Versailles on June 28, 1919, convinced that his League of Nations would adequately handle any territorial disputes with Germany. However, America's membership in Wilson's favored League of Nations was abandoned because of Article X, which committed all League members to protect "the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all Members of the League" against any "external aggression."

The Republicans in Congress feared that Article X would make America the world's policeman. Progressives also feared that the peace-making authority of the League was too weak to be effective in any world conflict. As a result, the Senate ultimately voted against ratification of the treaty. Despite not realizing his dream of American involvement in the League of Nations before his death in 1924, Wilson would have been pleased to know that his idealism inspired the creation of the United Nations on October 24, 1945. This time, the United States Senate approved ratification of the treaty on July 28, 1945.

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