Woodrow Wilson's Covenant Of The League Of Nations

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The first document is a transcript of a speech given by United States President Woodrow Wilson at the third Plenary Session of the Paris Peace Conference, which took place on February 14th, 1919 following the end of World War I. The speech was addressed to the Chairman of the Conference, French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau. During the speech, Wilson presents the draft of the Covenant of the League of Nations, which he interrupts sparingly to provide clarifying remarks. After reading the Covenant, Wilson provides his commentary. The document only includes Wilson’s remarks and commentary, and excludes the body of the drafted Covenant. Wilson claims in the speech that the particulars of the resulting draft were reached unanimously. He …show more content…
The content of Wilson’s speech is broadly philosophical and idealistic but nonspecific in terms of strategy, while Roosevelt’s speech utilizes moral ideals to support succinct statements regarding specific strategies. Wilson’s speech extols the virtue of the League of Nations without broaching immediate matters of diplomacy, while Roosevelt’s approach is pragmatic and specifically addresses the military and diplomatic issues of the Yalta conference. These differences can be attributed to differing World War I German and World War II German political ideologies, Wilson’s and Roosevelt’s respective circumstances while at war, and to the differences of purpose between the League of Nations charter and the Yalta Conference. The documents reflect a difference in timing relative to their respective war-timelines: Wilson’s speech at the Paris Peace Conference occurred after the end of the World War I, while the joint statement given at the Yalta Conference occurred some six months before the end of the World War II. The Conferences differ in attendance in that Paris was attended by fourteen delegations, some plenipotentiary, while Yalta was attended by only three heads of state who had been meeting with regularity throughout the …show more content…
Wilson defends his non-specificity in saying, “I was unable to foresee the variety of circumstances with which this League would have to deal. I was unable, therefore, to plan all the machinery that might be necessary to meet differing and unexpected contingencies.” However, while Wilson’s diplomatic idealism was perhaps too lofty to effectively address the pragmatism of realpolitik, his conception of a League of Nations, self-determination, and global peace were all applied in some form by Roosevelt and his counterparts Churchill and Stalin at the Yalta conference, which itself was the beginning of the formation of the United Nations of

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