Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points

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Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points provided a partial model of his diplomatic approach, since he promised democracy and self-determination for Europe, particularly for countries under enemy occupation during the First World War or for subject people in the Ottoman, German and Hapsburg Empires. None of these survived the war, and the Poles, Czechs and other Europeans did gain national homelands, although this was not the case for the non-white subject peoples of the British and French Empires. Nor did it even hold true for the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean, where Wilson intervened during World War I. Indeed, Haiti was occupied from 1915-34 and the Dominican Republic from 1916-24, while Wilson intervened repeatedly in the Mexican Revolution. Moreover, at the end of World War I, Britain and France divided up Germany's African colonies between them, and also maintained control over the Arab parts of the former Ottoman Empire as trusteeships. Although Wilson is generally considered idealistic and well-meaning, in the Fourteen Points he ended up making many promises that the U.S. government had neither the power nor even the desire to carry out, particularly in its treatment of Germany, Russia, Turkey and the colonial peoples around the world. Nor were the other Great Powers ever likely to willingly give up their own colonies and spheres of influence while the U.S. held onto its own. Nor were Wilson's hopes for the League of Nations ever fulfilled for he died in 1924
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