Of these 14 points, I would say that the most effective, although very widely arguable, due to hatred caused by WWI, would be Point XIV. "A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees if political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike". If these had actually been actualized, it would have been an obstacle for Germany to start its conquest over Europe, and so, in reality been pressurized in greater amounts from the beginning, in stead of letting it spread. If it had not stopped Germany at the start, then as I mentioned before, Germany would have had a more serious obstacle to face, and it wouldn't have captured, say, France for example, as the United States, and possible other allies/participants of the association, would have stepped in, and stopped Germany's rapid expansion.
It does seem, as though some parts of the first, as well as the last ([b]XIV.) of Wilson's points could have something in common, I believe that the last point is far more including for a purpose of keeping countries within their boundaries, as well as keeping political agreements uncovered, providing equality for small states, and large ones. Avoiding situations such as the destruction of minor nations, such as Belgium, the Baltics, and other helpless nations. Using them as frontiers and wastelands between major nations, these countries get destroyed.
In my opinion the most important of the 14 points are I.,II.,III.,IV. and XIV. I. point would eliminate the possibility of creating secret alliances, therefore everything would be transparent. II. point would allow any country to participate in the economical market within certain limits. The same can also refer to the III. point. IV. point would mean that countries can feel safe about not being attacked for reasons only clear to their enemies. In other words every country wouldn't have to worry about their safety because others would only have enough arms for emergency use. Although, there should be some system that ensures that the countries don't have the weapons, because as we all know, even though some restrictions have been imposed for a long time, not everyone seems to obey this rule. And the last, XIV. point, essentially means that there should be a general alliance in which countries should participate, therefore ensuring their own safety and independence.
I generally agree with both Tom and Martin. However I disagree with Martin's reasoning, Germany was aware of the fact that countries like the US would at some point try and stop Germany, with or without a "general association of nations". Hitler was aware of the risks he took. The most important I would say is I, IV, and XIV. I because this would make it less likely for countries to declare war if they know that Britain for example is allied with x y and z. Additionally a it would be impossible for a country to have contradicting agreements with different nations, which again may make a country think that if they started a war y would be on their side but don't know that they also have an agreement with the country's enemy x. IV because that way if a war started the humanitarian and economic impact would be way smaller. XIV not because that way another country may be able to stop for example Germany but putting political pressure on them (I don't think so), but because that way conflicts between countries may be solved diplomatically and for the good of the people. If issues between France and Germany, for example, would have been solved for the good of the people in both countries and not just in France. Hitler may have never come to power.
I see where I was wrong there, I got a little ahead of myself... What I was getting at, was exactly what you mentioned - if x y and z are in an alliance, and x attacks z, x realizes that y would be on the side of z, not x. Since I thought I could only fight for one point, in my case 2, I didn't mention that the point about limited army would be important (if there were any possible way to control it, unlike Germany's rapid expansion of forces under Hitler)
In my opinion, Nr. 1, 3 and 14 are important in reducing the probability that a war will start again because, 1: If the countries know that secret alliances and pacts cannot be made they will not live in fear that someday their alliance could turn their back on them, therefore trusting each other when decisions should be made and not fearing that they will get misled. 3: Isn't economical conflicts one of the reasons Wars start? If we could reduce the amount of economic and trade conflicts and the world could use each others resources, with bounds, these countries wouldn't have the need to step into a war to access these resources in the first place. 14: I feel that such an organization would help deal with conflicts between countries, and not let arguments boil up to such level that drastic measures should be used.
What I think is~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1, 3 and 4 are the most important part of this speech. 1. 'Diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.' This part implies suspicion will be eradicate if public knows the truth.
3. All war happens because of inequality. Eg) World War II happened because Britain and France sucked up all the colonies and Germany wanted to steal from them.
4. Weapons... = reason of the war. Reducing the amount of armament is the most important point to eradicate concern of the war.
But... is US truly following this points? IS $663.8 billion adequate amount to guarantee domestic safety?
I. is the option that i would like to believe is the best option because keeping secrets from other countries creates complexcity. if everything were to be open and straightforward, we would live in a clean and safe enviornment. this point eliminates the importance of point IV because if everything were to be "transparent" then surprised threats would be minimal. my point is that if every country were to be transparent not only in creating alliances but in buisness as well then finding an excuse for war would be difficult.
I think that the most important point is III. I believe that if countries will start exporting and importing products from one another, then it will be very importnat for them to have good relationships among one another. This would lead to many countries depending on trade and that way going into war they have too much to jepordize.
I believe that the most important points are I - stating that there shall be no secret agreements between any two or more countries, IV, stating that countries must diminish the amount of weapons they have, and most importantly, XIV, suggesting that some sort of peacekeeping organization should be formed, which would guarantee"political independence and territorial integrity". These three are important as all of them would have disallowed the countries to do much damage to each other, as they would have limited resources and they couldn't work behind other's backs, AND there would be "someone", or an association of nations, that would supervise their actions. The points are rather self-explanatory. Why not the other points? They mostly refer to more specific problems that most probably wouldn't have really had a big international affect on the other countries.
With that said, I do agree with Martin stating that the 14th point "is far more including for a purpose of keeping countries within their boundaries, as well as keeping political agreements uncovered, providing equality for small states, and large ones".
To support John's statement, Did US actually follow these points? i think on some level these things did change, yet I don't know how effectively all of them worked. For one thing, the 14th point brought together the LEAGUE OF NATIONS, which, as many of us probably know, failed their purpose of avoiding a new war, and that proves that even though the US tried to prevent another war, there were other factors that overshadowed their efforts.
Well ladies, in my opinion I would have to agree with quite a few of you and choose rule I because of the fact that let's say (using Anselms way of making a point) x is allied with y... however y doesn't know that x has a secret pact with z. Y is now fully depending on x and not knowing the undercover plan that is in action - now y has no preparation for what could come about, or any sort of prediction for that matter. This shows us that depending on a pact or an agreement with another country is risky when secrecy is still about. In Rule #1 it says: "...after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind." Countries therefore could get a more reliable source, can see more of the trust and safeness of with whom that pact would be made. Everything would be out in the open, no secrecy.
To find the most important point out of fourteen, I used Holmes's method of deduction. Numbers VI, VII, VIII, IX,X,XI, XII, XIII should not be considered at all, as they consider separate countries and their territories, while we're looking for the one, that could have possibly prevented another WW from taking place. Number I, IV and V, in my opinion, should not be taken into consideration as well, since they rely too much on the honesty of the countries/humans. Let's be realistic - when have politics ever been about honesty and not self-interest? Who could possibly make sure that countries do not form any coalitions in secret?How could Great Britain, for example,which heavily dependent on its colonial support both during war and peace, be impartial towards the colonial claims? ( I hope that I'm making sense) Point number II doesn't work as well, mainly because even though water is still an important source of transportation, it is not a single one any longer, so even though freedom of navigation is important, it is surely not the most important factor in keeping world peace.
Points III and XIV seems to make the most sense to me. As we've read last year, globalization can prevent war, as free trade increases countries' profits, and therefore benefits everyone. The removal of economic barriers, would quickly lead to establishment of intertwined economic relationships all over the world, which in its turn would promise relative security from another world war.
Even though point XIV is in some ways similar to the first one,to me it's more logical, as it seems to guarantee international agreements that will definitely be announced publicly. A general association would promote collective security and even though it would probably be to large to be productive, it's agreements would force countries to avoid conflicts.