Part 1: Core Content: Aspects of International Relations, 1919–2005/Section A : The Inter-War Years, 1919–1939/Key Question 1: Were the Peace Treaties of 1919–1923 fair?/The Treaty of Versailes

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Part 1: Core Content: Aspects of International Relations, 1919­2005
Section A : The InterWar Years, 1919­1939
Key Question 1: Were the Peace Treaties of 1919­1923 fair?
The Treaty of Versailles:
The Conference and the Big Three:
· Diplomats from 32 different countries met at Paris on the 18th January 1919 for a conference.
· The Big Three dominated the conference, they were: George Clemençeau (France), Woodrow Wilson (USA) and
Lloyd George (Britain).
· But the Big Three all wanted different outcomes and by March the conference nearly broke up.
· But on the 25th March 1919 Lloyd George issued the Fontainebleau Memorandum which stopped the treaty being to
harsh on Germany. It saved the conference.
· He also persuaded Clemençeau to join the League of Nations and Wilson to join the war guilt clause.
· The Germans were shown the Treaty but there was no negotiation.
· A Rebuttal was published by the Germans but it was ignored.
· On 25th June the diplomats met at the Hall of Mirrors where two Germans (Foreign minister Hermann Müller and
colonial minister Johannes Bell) were forced to sign the Peace Treaty.
Expectations of the Treaty of Versailles:
· The Germans expected the Treaty was to be based on Wilson's fourteen points. The key principles were:
1. Setting up a League of Nations
2. Disarmament
3. Self determination
4. Freedom for colonies
5. Freedom of the seas
6. Free trade
· However, the Big Three based the Treaty on the terms of armistice which were harsher, these were:
1. German army disbanded, navy disallowed
2. Rhineland taken over by the allies
3. Reparation for damages and war losses
What did the Big Three?
· Wilson's aims were to:
1. Create a league of Nations and make peace through his Fourteen points
2. To ensure Germany was not destroyed
3. Not to blame Germany for the war, he hated the war guilt clause
· Clemençeau's aims were to:
1. Punish Germany
2. To retake AlsaceLorraine
3. No League of Nations
4. An independent Rhineland
5. Huge reparations
6. To stop Germany ever becoming strong enough to invade France
Key terms of the Treaty of Versailles:
Article
Description
number
126: The Covenant of the League of Nations Germany was not allowed to join.

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The Rhineland was demilitarized the German army was not allowed to go there.
45: The Saar, with its rich coalfields, given to France for 15 years.
51: AlsaceLorraine returned to France.
80: Germany forbidden to unite with Austria.
87: Lands in eastern Germany the rich farmlands of Posen and the Polish corridor between
Germany and East Prussia given to Poland.
100: Danzig made a free city under League of Nations control.
119: All Germany's colonies taken and given to France and Britain as 'mandates'.…read more

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The terms can be split into Three groups, these are:
1. Territorial
2. Military
3. Financial and Economic
Opinions of Versailles:
Germans British French Americans
League of Nations Hated it OK Hated it Hated it
Guilt Clause Hated it OK OK Hated it
German army reducedHated it Hated it OK Hated it
Reparations Hated it Hated it OK Hated it
German lost land Hated it Hated it Hated it Hated it
· The Germans hated everything about the treaty:
1.…read more

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Selfdetermination proved impossible to implement neither Czechoslovakia or Yugoslavia survived as
united countries.
3.Many Americans did not want to get involved in Europe, and in 1920 the American Senate refused to sign the Treaty of
Versailles, or join the League of Nations.…read more

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