Lesson Plan - Get It!
In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson called for "peace without victory."
- What does that idea mean to you?
Take a minute to think about this concept.
WWI started in Europe in 1914 between the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey) and the Allies (France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, and Japan).
For several years, the United States remained neutral. In 1917, the United States entered on the side of the Allies.
Two months before Congress declared war, President Wilson said the following during a speech before the Senate.
"Only a tranquil Europe can be a stable Europe. There must be not a balance of power, but a community of power; not organized rivalries, but an organized common peace...
...it must be a peace without victory... Victory would mean peace forced upon the loser, a victor's terms imposed upon the vanquished. It would be accepted in humiliation, under duress, at an intolerable sacrifice. It would leave a sting, a resentment, a bitter memory upon which terms of peace would rest, not permanently, but only as upon quicksand."
- Did Congress and the rest of the world follow Wilson's suggestion of peace without victory?
His goals were laid out in his plan known as President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points. As you read it, take notes on some of his major ideas.
The leaders of France, Britain, Italy, and the United States met at the Paris Peace Conference. The decisions made there helped create the treaty that officially ended WWI, known as the Treaty of Versailles.
Seen as the country that perpetrated the war, Germany was not invited to attend the conference, nor were any of the other Central Powers.
To learn more, read about the Treaty of Versailles and watch the video below.
Think about the positive and negative implications of both the Fourteen Points and Treaty of Versailles.
- Do you see any parts that had the potential to cause future problems for the nations involved?
This treaty had lasting effects. Many historians contend it set the stage for World War II.
Explore further in the Got It? section.