At the Versailles Conference, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson protested the idea of Allies taking lands controlled by the Central Powers as colonies, and he insisted that the principle of self-determination be applied. The other Allied powers agreed, but the differences they made among possessions reflect their belief in the superiority of people of European ancestry.
Eastern Europe was divided into new ethnically-based countries, acknowledging their rights to self-determination. However, the Turks - a non-European people - had to fight and negotiate to be recognized as an independent nation, as did Iran and Saudi Arabia. Other Arab people - in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Iraq - did not win independence at all; their lands were put under the protection of France and Britain, causing them to deeply resent this treatment. Germany's African and Asian colonies also did not receive their independence.