10/1/1917 The Allies reply to Wilson’s peace proposal

Before Christmas President Wilson of the USA invited the belligerent nations to state their terms for peace, hoping that by doing so he might kick start negotiations to end the war. The response of the Central Powers was vague, though it reaffirmed Bethmann Hollweg’s offer to commence peace negotiations without pre-conditions.

Now the Allies finally respond. While thanking Wilson for his love of peace and affirming a desire to end the war that has turned Europe into a charnel house, the Allied response leaves no room for a peaceful end to the war. After objecting to Wilson’s attempt to establish a moral equivalence between themselves and the dastardly foes with whom they are fighting, they state that the war will be continued until the Central Powers are defeated and expelled from the French, Belgian, Serbian, Romanian and Russian territory they are now offering, with an end to the war to be followed by reparations for damages inflicted and the reorganisation of Europe.

These are not terms on which any meaningful negotiations can be made with the Germans. The war will go on.

see the slightly abridged text of the Allies’ reply here

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