Statement: How successful was Wilson on achieving his aims at Versailles? Explain your answer.
As an idealist, Wilson had lots of aims ,which he presented in the Paris Peace Conference, to achieve a fair and lasting peace in the world. However, not all of them were accomplished. In this essay, I will say how successful Wilson was in achieving his aims at Versailles by saying which aims he had, which ones were accepted and which ones not.
Before the war ended, in 1918, Woodrow Wilson presented some aims to achieve world peace called “the fourteen points” in the United States’ congress. This ones were: no secret treaties, open seas, free trade between countries, disarmament, colonies to have a say in their future, German troops to leave Russia, Independence for Belgium, France to regain Alsace-Lorraine, Frontier between Austria and Italy to be adjusted, Self-determination for countries from Eastern Europe, Serbia to have access to the sea, Self-determination for the people of the Turkish empire, Poland to be independent and to have access to the sea and the League of Nations, an international organization to assure lasting peace and to save the world from another war, to be set up. Afterwards, during the post-war period, he established his principal aims for the conference: Don’t be too harsh on Germany, because she would recover and seek revenge in the future. Then, strengthen democracy in defeated countries, for example Germany. Also, to give self-determination to small countries that once had been part of the European empires and International cooperation, which is referred to the League of Nations.
On the one hand, many of these points were accepted. To begin with, one of the issues that was accepted was the League of Nations, starting to work in 1920. Then, open seas and independence for Poland. This new country was given part of Germany, but on one of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany’s territories and colonies, affirmed that Poland would be a new country and she would have a port in Danzig, city now controlled by the League of Nations. Also, France regained Alsace-Lorraine, because in the Franco-Prussian war Germany had taken it from the French empire. Finally, disarmament and self-determination to small countries that once had been part of the European empires were taken into account but only for Germany.
On the other hand, there were some aims which were not respected. Firstly, Wilson did not achieve a fair and lasting peace, because in the treaty the big three obligated Germany to accept the guilt of starting the war. Secondly, free access to seas was not reached by Woodrow because they prohibited the access to sea to Germany. Thirdly, free trade could not be a possibility because many of the countries had their economy in a very bad shape, mostly Germany who had to pay reparations. Fourthly, strengthen democracy for defeated countries because the German government was not strong at all after the treaty. Lastly, disarmament and self-determination to small countries that once had been part of the European empires were not completely reached because it was only applied to one country.
To conclude, Wilson was not so successful in achieving his aims in the treaty because some of them were not respected and some of them were not even taken into account. Also, he searched a long and lasting peace, but the only thing that he got was a whole country filled with the desire of revenge.