This refers to the proposals of President Woodrow Wilson designed to establish the basis for a just and lasting peace following
the victory of the Allies in World War I. The 14 proposals were contained in Wilson's address to a joint session of the U.S.
Congress on January 8, 1918. The idealism expressed in them was widely acclaimed and gave Wilson a position of moral leadership
among the Allied leaders. Opposition to various points on the part of the European Allies, however, developed at the conclusion
of hostilities, and the attempt at practical application of the 14 points exposed a multilateral system of secret agreements
between the European victors. In order to secure support of his 14th, and most important, point, which called for the creating
of an “association of nations,” Wilson was compelled to abandon his insistence upon the acceptance of
his full program. Wilson's 14th point was realized in the League of Nations, established as a result of the Paris Peace Conference
Wilson's points were divided into three groups. The first five points addressed issues that Wilson believed had caused
the war, among them the fact that freedom of the seas should be maintained for all, etc. The next eight points dealt with
specific boundary changes. Wilson believed national groups who claimed distinct ethnic identities were to decide for themselves
what nations they would belong to. His fourteenth point called for the creation of an international organization to address
diplomatic crises like those that had sparked the war. A League of Nations to provide a forum for nations to discuss their
grievances. This was the only point accepted by the Allies.
For his peacemaking efforts, Wilson was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize. Receiving the award was bittersweet, however,
because he was unable to convince congressional opponents, such as Henry Cabot Lodge, to support the resolution endorsing
US entry into the league. United States membership, Wilson believed, was essential to ensuring lasting world peace.