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The Treaty of Versailles
Four aims that the `Big Three' statesman had in common
To prevent another war breaking out
To contain Germany
Compensate the victors
Motives and aims of Woodrow Wilson
Wanted to establish a just and long lasting peace between all countries involved, his 14 point
plan was evidence of this, it included points such as: all countries should disarm, a league of
nations should be set up to resolve future conflicts and all countries should practise
self-determination. The reason for his peaceful reaction was because America had not
entered the war until 1917 and so had suffered much less then both Britain and France.
Motives and aims of Lloyd George
Despite Britain being strongly anti-German Lloyd George had to keep an important balance
between keeping voters and preserving important trade links between Germany, therefore
his motto `Justice not Revenge' was very apt. He was desperate for Germany's military sense
to be weakened, in particular her navy as Britain wanted naval supremacy. He also wanted
Germany to pay reparation for the damage she had caused, although believed that at £6
billion they were much too high. Finally he was pleased that some of Germany's colonies
were given to Britain as it increased Britain's empire
Motives and aims of George Clemenceau
Clemenceau sought revenge as most of the fighting had taken place on French and Belgium
land so therefore most damage occurred there, causing a detrimental effect. As punishment
he wanted Germany entirely debilitated. He went about this by proposing that Germany was
broken into smaller states and completely disarmed making Germany almost non-existent,
he felt threatened by her as they shared a border and had been attacked by her twice now,
the first time being in the Franco Prussian war in the 1870's.
Why were the victors not entirely happy with the treaty?
The treaty ended up being a massive compromise with nobody getting exactly what they
wanted because each country had a different opinion on how Germany should be treated.
Wilson was an idealist and so his aims revolved around keeping the peace and ultimately
starting afresh. On the other hand, Britain was unhappy the Saar land was taken way as they
believed it impacted on trading, yet they were very happy that her navy was reduced and
conscription was banned. France wanted and, to a certain extent needed a treaty to break
Germany, she did not get what she wanted although was happy Alsace and Lorraine was
given back to France. America and Britain both wanted better relationships long term with
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What were the terms of the treaty?
War guilt clause (clause 231) - If Germany accepted this all other terms could be enforced
Reparations of £6 billion
Army reduced to 100,00 men conscription banned
0 tanks, planes, submarines
Germanys colonies given to allies
Rhineland demilitarised allied troops occupied area for 15 years
Sudetenland given to newly formed country Czechoslovakia
Poland given access to sea via polish corridor
Why did Germany hate the treaty?
The Germans believed that the treaty was a diktat…read more
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What problems did the small nations created by the Treaties throw up?
Created an array of small nations that were easy targets for larger nations
Were viewed as tasty morsels by more powerful nations
Subject to attack because of weak stance
Inexperienced governments didn't know how to deal with emergencies
Countries not ruled to best of their ability
Weak economies with little financial backing
How could it be claimed that the peace treaties contributed to another war?
The treaties completely disregarded Wilsons aim of…read more