Wilson’s 14 points in summary
1) open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, with diplomacy conducted in public view
2) freedom of navigation of the seas in peace and in war
3) free trade between nations
4) reduction of national armaments to the lowest point possible
5) impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based on the principle that subject populations should have an equal voice with the claims of the colonial governments
6) evacuation of Russian territories
7) evacuation of Belgium (occupied by the Germans)
8) evacuation and freedom of French territory and return to
France of Alsace-Lorraine, improperly taken after Franco-Prussian war of 1871
9) readjustment of the frontiers of Italy along clearly recognizable lines of nationality
10) self-determination for peoples of the Austro-Hungarian empire
11) evacuation and freedom for Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro, with international agreements for freedom and self-determination of the several Balkan states
12) self-determination for peoples of Turkish Ottoman Empire along with security for Turkey
13) independence for Poland with assurance of free access to sea and territorial integrity
14) establishment of a League of Nations
The victorious Allied Powers of World War I established the League of Nations. The League's charter, known as the Covenant, was approved as part of the Treaty of Versailles at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The mission, as stated in the Covenant, was "to promote international co-operation and to achieve international peace and security." U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919 for his leadership in creating the League. Despite Wilson's efforts, the U.S. Congress refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles.
The Treaty entered into force on January 10, 1920. The original signatories of the Covenant were Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, the British Empire, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, India, China, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hejaz, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serb-Croat-Sloven State, Siam, Czechoslovakia, and Uruguay.
The League was ineffective in stopping the military aggression that led to World War II. It ceased its work during the war and dissolved on April 18, 1946. The United Nations assumed its assets and carries on much of its work.
The failure of the Senate to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, and consequently the League of Nations, meant that the United States did not continue to be involved in world affairs following the First World War, even though it was technically at war with Germany until the 1921 Treaty of Berlin. For twenty years, the United States stayed away from global affairs, keeping isolationism as its major foreign policy, right up to the moment when Japanese aircraft attacked an American naval base in Hawaii.
The Treaty of Versailles includes 440 articles. The principal items are:
· Germany has to cede Alsace-Lorraine to France.
· Germany has to cede the coal mines in the Saar-area to France.
· Germany has to cede an area with Moresnet, Eupen, Malmédy and St. Vith to Belgium.
· Germany has to cede the main part of West-Prussia and almost the whole province of Posen to the new state of Poland.
· Germany has to cede all colonies: Togo en Cameroun, the territories in East- and South-West Africa, islands in the Pacific and possesions in China.
· All German properties in foreign countries are confiscated.
· Germany has to cede al war material to the allies.
· German compulsory military service is abolished, as well as the General Staff.
· Germany is not allowed to have tanks, airplanes, submarines, large warships and poison gas.
· During 15 years Germany is not allowed to station troops on the left border of the river Rhine and in a 50 km strip on the right border of the Rhine.
· The total size of the Germany army is not to exceed 100.000 men.
· The German navy has a maximum of 15.000 men.
· Germany is allowed a total of 4.000 officers.
· Germany is not to take part in the League of Nations.
· Austria has to cede South-Tirol to Italy.
· Turkey has to cede all foreign possesions. England gets Iraq, Palestine and Trans-Jordan, France gets Syria and Libanon.
· Germany has to cede to the allies all seagoing ships with a carrying capacity exceeding 1600 Brt, plus half of all ships between 1000 and 1600 Brt. Furthermore one fourth of the fishing fleet and two fifths of the inland navigation fleet has to be ceded.
· Germany has to cede large amounts of machinery and building materials, trains and trucks.
· Germany has to deliver certain amounts of coal, chemicals, dye and fuel for many years.
· All German sub-ocean telegraph cables are confiscated.
· Germany has to pay 20 billion goldmarks.