The Treaty of Versailles

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  • The Treaty of Versailles
    • The Big Three
      • Georges Clemenceau (France)
        • Wanted France to be secure from future German attacks by weakening Germany and reducing its military strength
          • Wanted harsh reparations for war damage from Germany
          • Wanted a buffer zone - land between Germany and France taken from German control so that they would know if Germany were planning on attacking again
        • The French wanted revenge on Germany for the destruction the war had caused
      • David Lloyd George (UK)
        • Wanted to protect British interests but was aware that treating Germany too harshly would store up trouble for the future
          • Did not want harsh reparations, because they would prevent German recovery
          • Britain was a trading nation, and German recovery was essential to European trade
            • Did not want harsh reparations, because they would prevent German recovery
        • Before the peace conference he had promised Britain that he would 'squeeze the German lemon until the pips squeak'
      • Woodrow Wilson (USA)
        • Wanted his 'Fourteen Points' that he had come up with in January 1918 to be the basis for peace
        • Was forced to compromise at Versailles as other nations were less idealistic
          • Was weakened by lack of support back home
    • The state of Europe in 1919
      • France
        • Around 60% of French young men had been killed or injured
        • About 250,000 buildings had been destroyed
        • About 8 000 square miles of farm land had been devastated
      • Britain
        • Lots of the country's young men had been killed
        • Some land had been damaged
        • People were unable to easily feed their families due to rationing caused by the war
    • The terms of the treaty
      • Guilt
        • Germany had to accept the blame for starting the war and all the damage
          • War Guilt Clause
      • Armed forces (military restrictions)
        • No air force
        • No tanks
        • No submarines
        • Army limited to 100 000 men
        • No conscription
        • Size and number of naval ships limited
        • Navy imited to 15 000 men
      • Reparations
        • Payment  the damage caused
        • Fixed at £6,600 million in 1921
      • League of Nations
      • German Territory
        • Danzig was made a free city under League of Nations control
          • Poland could use the port for its external trade
        • The Polish Corridor gave Poland access to the sea
          • It also split East Prussia from the rest of Germany
        • The Saar was put under League of Nations control for fifteen years
          • France was given the products of the Saar coalfields as part of reparations payments
        • The Rhineland was to be permanently de-militarised by Germany
          • It would be occupied by the Allies for fiteen years
        • Anschluss between Germany and Austria was forbidden
    • Reactions to the treaty
      • Germany hated the treaty
        • They didn't accept guilt for starting the war
        • They couldn't afford the reparations after spending money on the war
        • They had not been present at the peace negotiations
          • They were forced to sign the treaty, because the alternative was the resumption of war (it was a diktat)
        • They felt vulnerable, as other countries did not reduce their armed forces
        • They lost pride without armed forces

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