Primary Documents - President Wilson's Addendum to the Fourteen Points, 11 February 1918

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson Reproduced below is an extract from a speech given by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to the U.S. Congress on 11 February 1918.  Wilson's speech addressed international reaction to his initial Fourteen Points speech to Congress on 8 January 1918.

In his speech to Congress Wilson effectively added a number of additional elements to the Fourteen Points, designed to clarify U.S. peace settlement intentions.

Click here to read German Chancellor Count Georg von Hertling's initial conciliatory reaction to Wilson's speech.  Click here to read Count Hertling's reaction to Wilson's 11 February speech.  Click here to read British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour's reaction.  Click here to read Belgian Prime Minister Charles de Broqueville's views regarding any peace settlement.

Extract from U.S. President Woodrow Wilson's Address to Congress, 11 February 1918

After all, the test of whether it is possible for either Government to go any further in this comparison of views is simple and obvious.  The principles to be applied are these:

First, that each part of the final settlement must be based upon the essential justice of that particular case and upon such adjustments as are most likely to bring a peace that will be permanent;

Second, that peoples and provinces are not to be bartered about from sovereignty to sovereignty as if they were mere chattels and pawns in a game, even the great game, now forever discredited, of the balance of power; but that

Third, every territorial settlement involved in this war must be made in the interest and for the benefit of the populations concerned, and not as a part of any mere adjustment or compromise of claims amongst rival states; and

Fourth, that all well-defined national aspirations shall be accorded the utmost satisfaction that can be accorded them without introducing new or perpetuating old elements of discord and antagonism that would be likely in time to break the peace of Europe and consequently of the world.

A general peace erected upon such foundations can be discussed.  Until such a peace can be secured we have no choice but to go on.  So far as we can judge, these principles that we regard as fundamental are already everywhere accepted as imperative, except among the spokesmen of the military and annexationist party in Germany.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

A Battery was a group of six guns or howitzers.

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