Woodrow Wilson: Fourteen Points

(1918)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

Introduction

In his opening, Wilson seizes the moral high ground by reminding his listeners that, unlike the other warning nations, the United States is participating in the war not for selfish purposes such as acquiring new territory but rather to make the world “safe for every peace-loving nation.” He establishes the United States as a moral example and implicitly challenges other nations to follow its example and to look beyond their own selfish interests. Wilson then declares that his intention is to change the international system. The...

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Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points (National Archives and Records Administration)

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