Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States from 1913 to 1921 and is well known for his pacifism and his defence of the right of peoples to self-determination.
The name of President Woodrow Wilson was given to a part of the Avenue of Trocadéro in July 1918. The City of Paris aimed to honour the man who committed the United States to the First World War alongside France and who prepared peace as well. Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) had been President of the United States since March 2013. During his first term, he kept his country away from the European conflict and even tried to set a mediation between the warring parties, without success. Reelected in November 1916, he decided to commit his country to the war against Germany in the Spring of 1917, considering that their submarine campaign was seriously threatening Great-Britain and American boats. He made the American Congress vote for a declaration of war to Germany on April 2nd, 1917, much to the discontent of American pacifists. He justified this going to war with his desire to defend values of peace and to “make war to war”.
The fact that the American troops entered the war was crucial for the Allies’ victory. President Wilson did not care much about the conduct of military activities and devoted himself to prepare peace. In January 1918, he presented his 14 points, including the creation of a League of Nations and the reorganisation of Europe according to the principle of the right of people’s to self-determination. As soon as the armistice was signed, he went to the Old Continent as the first American President to go there, in order to participate in the Peace Conference. He stayed six months there.
The Treaty of Versailles, signed in 1919, as well as other peace treaties were strongly influenced by Wilson’s ideas. The League of Nations came to life and Wilson received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919, convinced that America had brought peace to the world.
However, the overall picture of his actions is a mixed one: the Treaty of Versailles was perceived as mostly unfair to Germany and became a source of conflict. The American Congress refused to validate it; therefore the United States never got to be a member state of the League of Nations, which Wilson had meant to find peaceful solutions to conflicts between countries. Having failed, he left the United States Presidency in March 1921.