Woodrow Wilson's famous US speech makes a mockery of Donald Trump – Dr Matthew Ward in The Conversation
Published on Mon 8 Jan 2018
"We have reached the centenary of US President Woodrow Wilson’s speech to Congress on January 8, 1918, outlining his Fourteen Points for brokering a lasting peace in Europe after World War I. It was the famous roar of idealism from across the Atlantic that would be whittled back in the name of self-interest by the victorious allies at Versailles the following year.
"The speech would go on to shape many features of American foreign policy, however, particularly the broader points like open diplomacy, removal of economic and trade barriers, freedom of the seas and a general association of nations working together. Wilson would suffer a stroke that would partially paralyse him in the fallout from Versailles, but his Congress speech would ensure his legacy as one of America’s most influential presidents.
"The centenary takes place just days before the anniversary of the inauguration of Donald Trump. With the media currently full of the astonishing claims about the administration contained in Michael Wolff’s new book, one wonders what the 45th president’s legacy will be. Certainly foreign policy looks more uncertain than for many years. What, then, do the Fourteen Points tell us about Donald Trump?"
In an article for The Conversation, Dr Matthew Ward, Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Dundee, discusses Wilson's speech and the foreign policy of the current US administration.