Woodrow Wilson with Raymond Poincaré

Woodrow Wilson was the president of the United States from 1913 to 1921. During World War I, he drafted a formula for world peace based on the principle of self determination of nations. This principle induced Germany to surrender, because Germans thought they could preserve their sovereignty after the war.

However, when he went to the Versailles peace conference in 1919, Raymond Poincaré, the president of France, refused to accept Wilson's plan. He did not want to give up French colonies in Asia and Africa. Poincaré in effect neutralized Wilson's plan for peace.

Photo courtesy of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.