Woodrow wilson and the treaty of versailles

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Free Trade—no tariffs

  • There should be no secret treaties between nations

  • The powers of the world should work to reduce arms/weapons.

  • All people (nations) should have the right to choose their own government. Wilson called this right “SELF-DETERMINATION”

  • Freedom of the Seas

  • There should be an international peacekeeping organization called the LEAGUE OF NATIONS. This group would act as a judge in disputes between nations and help to prevent war.

When Wilson reached Versailles, a spectacular palace outside of Paris, France, the people of France who saw the United States as the saviors of the war greeted him as a hero. Probably no U.S. president before or since was as popular as Wilson in Europe after the war. However, in the treaty negotiations, Wilson found it difficult to get the leaders of other nations to accept his ideas. Where Wilson saw the war as a war to end all wars and a war to promote democracy and self-determination, France saw it as a war to increase its security against Germany. Italy saw it as a war to gain more territory for Italy. This made reaching common ground difficult. Both Georges Clemenceau (the President of France) and David Lloyd George (the prime minister of England) wanted to punish Germany who they blamed for the war and all the death and destruction that went with it. In the end, Wilson was forced to give up many of his ideas about “peace without victory” in order to keep the League of Nations in the treaty.


The treaty that the three great powers negotiated was very harsh toward Germany. The following punishments were given to Germany:

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