Self Determination Essay

1344 Words 6 Pages
Is self-determination a good idea?

Self-determination was the reaction of Woodrow Wilson towards the global trend of nationalism in the early twentieth century and the centre of his liberal world view as well as the most fundamental source of foreign policies of the United States in the twentieth century. Self-determination could trace its origins to liberal nationalism before First World War and can be explained in many different ways. This essay mainly focuses on the principle and concept of ‘national self-determination’ brought forward by Woodrow Wilson and analyses why it is not a good idea.
Firstly, Wilson’s idea of ‘self-determination’ overlooks ethnic problems in the pursuit of ‘governed by its people’. For Wilson, self-determination
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Subsequently, the nationalist movements in Philippines were severely repressed by the American government. However, such repression did not help consolidate the rule of American in Philippines, nor did it unify the domestic opinions, which was not in the long-term interests of the U.S. As far as Wilson concerned, in order to introduce American products into the global markets, the world should abide by the principles of the U.S and an international organisation dominated by the U.S would help define and implement these principles. Having learned the lessons from previous European powers, the U.S chose the path of spiritual assimilation instead of armed suppression to make the Philippines a good example of American values and principles. On 7th, October, 1913, Wilson addressed that every measure the U.S government took was for the interests of the Philippines and its people rather than for the interests of America and the ultimate goal of these measures was the independence of the Philippines. This address symbolized the beginning of liberal diplomacy and the end of nationalistic diplomacy as it was the first time the right of independence of a colony was acknowledged in the form of an objective of a national policy. Wilson deemed the independence of the Philippines a matter of time and it would be much better if the U.S could arrange its independence process top down rather than wait for its bottom-up revolution. Acknowledging the Philippines should be governed by its people and the right of independence didn’t mean the Philippines could gain independence immediately, because the freedom given by the U.S always attaches political conditions. Wilson supported the independence of the Philippines but freedom would not be given until Filipino were developed and civilized enough to run their country. A promise of independence without definite

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