The Fourteen Points,
House, and the
Allied Prime Ministers
Charged with persuading the Allies to accept the Fourteen Points, Colonel House landed at Brest on October 25, and late that evening, he arrived in Paris. During the next several days, he spoke with American advisers and with individual Allied leaders. House and the Allied leaders began to meet informally as a group beginning on October 29, but not until the thirty-first did the full, formal Supreme War Council meet.
By the time of House's arrival, the military situation looked extremely good for the Allies and the United States. Bulgaria had already surrendered, Turkey was about to surrender, and even an Italian offensive launched, finally, against disintegrating Austria-Hungary was going well. On the Western Front, Allied and American forces continued to advance, while inside Germany, General Ludendorff resigned on October 26.
House's initial ideas on procedure were naïve. He wanted to consult the commanders-in-chief and the Military Representatives to the Supreme War Council on military measures and then ask the Germans to send their military leaders to receive terms. 1 He would grant a truce, which would last until the Germans accepted Allied peace terms or until it was clear that no agreement was possible. That is, though he was carrying the Wilsonian peace program, he did not yet see the connection between armistice terms and preliminary peace terms. He did not even realize, at first, that the military clauses of the armistice necessarily had political overtones. His only requirement was that armistice terms prevent the
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Publication information: Book title: Armistice 1918. Contributors: Bullitt Lowry - Author. Publisher: Kent State University Press. Place of publication: Kent, OH. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 77.
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