Were the Paris Peace Treaties fair?

Revision notes on the treaty of versailles.

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THE PARIS PEACE TREATIES: Were the peace treaties of 1929-23 fair?
Georges Clemenceau:
Aggressive: `the tiger'.
Had witnessed previous invasion of France by Germany (1870).
France suffered enormous damage to its land, industry, people and self confidence.
Germany seen by France as powerful and threatening.
Germany not as badly damaged as France ­ Clemenceau wanted to cripple Germany so that it
could not attack France again.
Wanted return of Alsace Lorraine.
French president wanted Germany broken up into smaller states, but Clemenceau knew that
the British and Americans wouldn't accept this.
Wanted reparations ­ compensation for damage.
He knew he would have to compromise on some things, but was aware of the public opinion
in France too.
Wanted a treaty which would weaken Germany as much as possible.
Woodrow Wilson:
Wanted a more peaceful world.
He believed that Germany should be punished but not too harshly ­ afraid that some day it
would recover and seek revenge.
Strengthen democracy in the defeated nation so that its people would not let its leaders
cause another war.
Believed nations should co-operate to achieve world peace.
Published the fourteen points:
1. No secret treaties.
2. Free access to the seas in peacetime or wartime.
3. Free trade between all countries.
4. All countries to work towards disarmament.
5. Colonies to have a say in their own future.
6. German troops to leave Russia.
7. Independence for Belgium.
8. France to regain Alsace-Lorraine.
9. Frontier between Italy and Austria to be adjusted.
10. Self determination for the peoples of Eastern Europe (should rule themselves).
11. Serbia to have access to the sea.
12. Self determination for the people in the Turkish Empire.
13. Poland to become an independent state with access to the sea.
14. League of Nations to be set up.
Most important was the fourteenth.
Many people in France and Britain did not agree with his ideas ­ impractical.
Self determination ­ very hard to give Eastern Europeans chance to rule themselves because
they were scattered across many countries ­ 25% of the population of the new state of
Czechoslovakia were not Czechs or Slovaks.
Some were bound to end up being ruled by people from another group with different
languages and customs.
David Lloyd George

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Often in the middle ground between Wilson and Clemenceau.
Wanted Germany to be punished but not too harshly (wanted to be able to do trade with
Wanted Germany to lose its colonies and navy ­ threat to the British Empire.
Didn't want Germany to seek revenge in the future and possibly begin another war.
Wanted to trade with each other again.
Problems with public pressures at home for a harsh treaty.…read more

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Lost territories to Romania, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.
Industry suffered.
Was due to pay reparations but economy too weak.
Treaty of Sèvres ­ 1920 ­ Turkey:
Lost land to Greece and Mandates under French control.
Effectively lost control of the straits running into the Black Sea.
Formally accepted that countries of their former empire were now independent or under
British or French protection.
Turks outraged.
In the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) Smyrna was returned to Turkey.…read more

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10% of its land.
12.5% of its population.
16% of its coalfields and almost half of its iron and steel industry.
All of its overseas colonies.
Army reduced to 100 000 men, no air force, tiny navy.
Had to accept blame for the war.
Horrified and outraged.
Didn't feel defeated.
Angry that their government wasn't represented at these talks.
Ebert (leader) was told by Hindenburg (army commander) that Germany couldn't win.
Ebert reluctantly signed the treaty on 28th June 1919.…read more


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