Self-determination was point 10 of Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Wilson wanted to re-draw the frontiers of eastern Europe so that races ruled themselves. In some ways, self-determination was achieved. The Treaty of Versailles created Poland by taking West Prussia from Germany. It also created the new nation-states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Treaty of Saint Germain created Czechoslovakia and the Treaty of Trianon created Yugoslavia. In all, nine nation states were set up.
However, the Big Three did not allow the defeated countries self-determination. Germans found themselves living in Poland, Lithuania and Czechoslovakia, and Anschluss with Austria was forbidden. Bulgaria and Turkey also lost land. In the new countries (especially Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia), were ‘enclaves’ of minority races. Also, France and Britain did not allow colonies self-determination, and German colonies and the Turkish empire became mandates.
Self determination in the 14 Points:
- Self-determination for the peoples of Eastern Europe was point 10 of Wilson’s Fourteen Points.
- Also, points 5 (colonies), 7 (Belgium), 12 (Turkish empire) and 13 (Poland) promised self-determination, by which he meant the right of nations to rule themselves.
- Wilson, a History Professor, thought it would make people happier, and make a safer peace. He wanted to re-draw the frontiers of eastern…