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Georges Clemenceau’s Letter and President Wilson’s Fourteen Points Speech Essay

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Updated: Jun 23rd, 2021

World War I was a large-scale catastrophe that swept across Europe and changed the history of our world. This event led to the death of countless people and left behind even more orphans, widows, and cripples. World War I also changed the relationships between countries, which is reflected in the speeches and letters of politicians. The purpose of this essay is to review two historical documents, a letter from Georges Clemenceau and President Wilson’s Fourteen Points speech, to answer questions and analyze the events of those years.

A letter from Georges Clemenceau dated 1919 consisted primarily of a detailed analysis of Germany’s position in the modern world. From this analysis, first of all, one critical thought was deduced – the responsibility for World War I lies with Germany. As Clemenceau wrote, the rulers of Germany sought to establish as much power as possible over Europe. This goal was carried out not only by military methods but also with the help of active propaganda and spy networks.

There were even preparations on the territory of neighbors so that the seizure was faster and easier. When Europe was ready to rise against these threats, Germany unleashed a war, knowing that this would result in a global confrontation. It also refused all attempts at a peaceful settlement of the issue, being fully prepared for consequences. That is why Germany has a massive responsibility for World War I, and it is precisely thanks to the policy of intimidation, espionage, deception, and tyranny that post-war Germany inspired fear and anxiety for the future of the world.

Concerns about World War I tormented not only European but also American politicians as well. In 1917, President Wilson presented his thoughts on the war in his famous speech, which contains 14 points, based on which peace should be concluded throughout the world. Wilson identified two theoretical causes of the war: a struggle for a more just and calm peace and a strive for superiority. The president, in his speech, also deduced a way to prevent future wars in Europe. In the first place, a new stable Europe should be serene and tranquil. As per Wilson, it is the condition for maintaining peace between the countries: the unification of forces and an organized peace.

At Wilson’s fourteen points, there are many worthy ideas, but the following three should be highlighted individually. Firstly, the president called on everyone to establish a world in which all nations and countries will be equal, regardless of their size or power. At the same time, he noted that it is impossible to create equality of territories and resources. Still, the world community is fully capable of creating a balance of rights.

Secondly, Wilson raised an essential and very acute for that time issue of free navigation across all the seas. He stated that all waterways should be open and obey the same laws. Of course, this would require a radical restructuring of the legislation, but the benefits for everyone, per the president, would be worth it. Finally, to maintain peace, Wilson suggested that all countries should stop creating alliances that draw them into competition among themselves. The main idea of the president, passing through all points, was the unification of all countries and an honest policy without deception.

Without a doubt, Wilson’s proposals were very noble and could certainly lead to peace both in Europe and between continents. However, given the situation between the countries and their goals on the world stage, his propositions can be called unrealistic and somewhat utopian. Wilson wanted universal unity and honesty between all countries, both on land and at sea, but this did not correlate with the interests of the other countries. As Clemenceau later wrote, Germany’s goal was to satisfy its lust for war and power. That is why, sadly, World War I has become one of the most terrible and tragic pages in the history of humanity.

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