Woodrow Wilson's Presidency

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What are the 3 major objectives of Woodrow Wilson's 14 points?  

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The overriding purpose of Wilson's 14 points was to prevent a war like the First World War from happening again. This became his overriding purpose, and the reason why he so strongly fought for it on a domestic level.  Within this emerged the desire to want to limit the expansion of nations which helped to cause the primary conflict.  To this end, Wilson wanted to stop the growth and proliferation of secret alliances with the imposition of a world governmental order that would be able to ensure that such covert deals would not be able to transpire fully.  The desire to keep the United States relatively involved in the post war efforts was also a primary objective of the 14 Points.

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brettd eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Agreed in that Wilson was trying to achieve a permanent peace, hence the nickname for World War I: "The War to End All Wars".  The conflict was essentially so horrifyingly murderous, that there was a serious postwar movement to avoid such conflicts in the future at all costs.  Wilson simply looked at the most common causes of conflict and tried to remove them with the Fourteen Points.

Another of the causes, in addition to those listed above, that Wilson was concerned with, were the secret alliances countries made.  This gave them confidence that, with their allies, they could prevail in a war, and they tended to act more aggressively.  This was true right before World War I in Europe.  Wilson called for "Open covenants, openly arrived at".  It was pretty idealistic that all countries would disclose any and all treaties they made with other countries, but the world was pretty idealistic at that time.

Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Poland were all countries resurrected/born out of the Fourteen Points and his call for self-determination.  It is important to note that only four of the Fourteen Points was actually in the Treaty of Versailles, and then the United States Senate never ratified that treaty, so we were never a part of the League of Nations.  It was doomed to failure.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would say that Wilson's Fourteen Points actually had one overall objective.  That objective was to prevent another war like WWI from occurring.  To achieve that objective, Wilson was trying to do a few different things.  They include:

  • The idea of self-determination.  Wilson was trying to be sure that all ethnic groups would have their own countries and rule themselves.
  • The idea of freedom of the seas.  He did not want countries that were at war to be blockading other countries.
  • Collective security.  This means that if one country was attacked, all the others would gang up on the attacker.  This would prevent war.  It was supposed to be done by the League of Nations.

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krishna-agrawala | Student

President Woodrow Wilson of United States of America proposed a set of actions in January 1918 to end the First World War. This proposal containing 14 specific suggestion, which he called the Fourteen Points. The Fourteen Points of Woodrow Wilson were aimed at achieving three major objective. These are:

  • To bring World War I to an early end.
  • Reach agreement on specific political and territorial settlements.
  • Suggest measures to prevent future wars.

Eight of the fourteen points related to the fist objective of outlining specific political and territorial settlements. Rest of the points suggested measures to prevent future wars.  The last among these was a proposal for setting up an international organization. The League of Nations set up subsequently was in response to this suggestion of Woodrow Wilson.

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