Conflict in the modern world

The Treaty of Verasailles

Countries involved:

  • France - Georges 'Tiger' Clemenceau
  • Britain - David 'The Goat' Lloyd George
  • USA - Woodrow Wilson

 Realistic Idealistic


Terms of the conference:

  • Reparations
  • Land Restrictions
  • Military Restrictions
  • War Guilt Clause/ Clause 231
  • League of Nations
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Germany had to pay compensation for all the damage caused in the war

  • A £6600 million sum was agreed in 1921 for Germany to pay to the victors over 42 years
  • In the 1920s the amounts were modified
  • In 1930 Germany stopped paying altogether
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Land Restrictions

Land Restrictions

  • Lost all colonies
  • Forbidden to unite with Austria (Anschluss)
  • Alsace-Lorraine returned to France
  • Germany lost land to Poland and West Prussia (Polish corridor created and the Danzig port went to Poland)
  • League of Nations took control of the Saar coalfields for 15 years
  • Eupen-Malmedy went to Belgium
  • Northern Schleswig went to Denmark
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Military Restrictions

Military Restrictions

  • Army limited to 100,000 men
  • Conscription banned all soldiers must be volunteers
  • No tanks, submarines or aircraft
  • Navy could only have 6 battleships
  • The Rhineland was demilitarised
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War Guilt Clause

War Guilt Clause/Clause 231

Forced Germany to take full responsibility for everything that happened in the war

This gave the allies reason to punish the Germans

Signed by the Weimar Republic (November criminals)

The Weimar was Germany's makeshift government at the time and they became hated for causing such issues in Germany

There was no German representative at the conference as Germany had lost the war, therefore they had no say in the punishments they were given

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League of Nation

League of Nations

Set up to keep international peace and it was one of Woodrow Wilson's 14 points

The league was made responsible for keeping the peace settlement

Countries were to talk and negotiate rather than secret treatys etc..

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League of Nations detail

Leading countries:

  • Great Britain
  • France
  • Japan
  • Italy

Aims to promote peace:

  • No invasions
  • Restricted military at 200,000
  • No alliances
  • Fair trade between countries

Initially 42 members but by 1930s 59 members. Germany was not a member because it lost the war, Russia weren't a member because it was communist and USA wasn't a member because it was isolationist

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League of Nations detail


S top agression

I mprove social conditions

D isarmament

E ncourage co-operation

If a country went against the league the league could:

  • Moral: put pressure on
  • Economic: refuse to trade
  • Military: send in troops
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The Mukden Incident

The Japanese takeover of Manchuria

1920s - world economy booming with Japan benefiting from this

1929 - Wall Street Crash: huge loss of jobs, banks in USA closed, loss of confidence

Countries enforced trade barriers to protect their own economy: USA introducing tarrifs against Japan

Japan can't afford to import food

Japanese production and employment fell by 30%

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Causes of the Manchurian Incident

Economic reasons:

  • Population increase
  • No mineral resources
  • High levels of famine
  • Effects of the war
  • Wall Street Crash
  • Needed new markets for industries
  • High unemployment

Political reasons:

  • Japanese politics took second place to the army
  • Government members killed due to western relations with the army
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Causes of the Manchurian Incident continued..

Military reasons:

  • Very patriotic
  • Military had large influences over Japanese politics
  • Army controlled education
  • The army controlled the emporer
  • The army controlled the South Manchurian Railway
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Reasons to invade Manchuria

  • Territorial power
  • Resources like coal and iron
  • China was weak because their 6 year old emporer had been overthrown
  • Japan had an army in South Manchuria to protect Russian territory
  • Japan owned South Manchurian railway
  • Chinese government couldn't prevent it
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Timeline of events

An explosion on september 1931 took place on the South Manchurian railway

Japan claimed it as sabotage and used this as a reason to invade

Chinese army claimed to be in their barracks

Japan again claimed sabotage

Chinese forces had to withdraw

February 1932, Japan set up a 'puppet' government controlled by them

Manchuria was renamed Manchkuo

Then they left the league

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The LofN's response to the Manchurian incident


Told Japan to remove its troops from Manchuria

The Lytton Report:

The league set up a commision of inquiry under Lord Lytton

He was sent to gather information

The final report was given a year after the even

It concluded that Japan were in the wrong and Manchuria should be returned

Japan left the league in 1933 after ignoring it

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The Abyssinian Crisis

January to October 1935

Italy - Mussolini

Abyssinia - Haile Selassil

Abyssinia had natural resources so would be good to extend the Italian empire

  • It was one of the only countries in Africa to not already be controlled
  • Close to Somalia and Eritrea (other Italian colonies)

France and Britain wanted Italy to side with them if Hitler became a threat

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The leagues response to Abyssinia

The covenant of the league laid down the idea of sanctions

The league banned the sale of arms and other goods to Italy

It didn't ban oil as it feared USA wouldn't co-operate

It didn't ban coal as it feared the british mining industry would fail

The Suez canal was partially closed to Mussolini's ships

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Hoare-Laval Pact

Split Abyssinia with Italy getting all the resources and the Abyssinians getting the rural mountainous areas.

There would be peace between Italy and the LofN

Abyssinia weren't consulted with the split

Hailie Salassil went to the league explain how it had done wrong

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Road to War

Hitler's 4 Aims:

  • Go against the TofV
  • To unite all German speakers
  • To expand territory (Lebensraum)
  • To defeat communism


Hitler's Greater Germany would have a population of 85 million

To cater for this many people he would have to expand east towards Poland and Russia

Unite German speakers:

After TofV many Germans were living in foreign countries

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Hitler's Aims continued..

Defeating communism:

Facism and communism were opposite

Germany vs. USSR

Communism was the reason Germany failed in the war

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The Saar Plebiscite


Hitler introduces conscription

A vote was held to see whether the Saar should be returned to Germany

90% voted yes

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7 March 1936 Hitler sent troops to march into the Rhineland

Hitler feared that Britain and france would do something as he was going against the TofV

Hitler became stronger as they didn't act

Britain saw it as Germany 'walking into his backyard'

The league had done nothing against Mussolini so Hitler carrie on

Hitler asked to sign a 25 year peace contract

Hitler's aim of going against the Tof V

Contextual knowledge:

Hitler and Mussolini supported facist Spanish General Franco in the civil war. Hitler used this war to try out his Luftwaffe and bombs. The civil war made Italy and Germany form an alliance, later followed by Japan.

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Chamberlain became PM

He wanted to try and negotiate with Hitler to give him what he wanted. France agreed with appeasement after 1937

Chamberlain delt with Hitler to try and avoid a repeat of WW1

The British people also wanted to avoid the traumas of the war

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Anschluss - Hitler goes beyond TofV

March 1938

Hitler ordered Austrian Nazi party to start campaigning to join with Germany.

Austrian Chancellor tried to organise a referendum against this but Hitler sent troops to the border to stop this.

Schuschnigg (Austrian Chancellor) resigned and Hitler came in.

He imprisoned 80,000 opponents.

 Austria's union with Germany was established on 14 March 1938

A refernedum took place and 99.75% agreed with Anschluss

Hiler'saim of Lebensraum, unite German speakers and go against TofV

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The Sudetenland had 3 million Germans there due to the Tof V, so HItler wanted it.

After a lot of rioting and demands from the Czech Nazi party Chamberlain began to convince the Czechs to join with Hitler

22 September Chamberlain met with Hitler. He wanted the parts of Sudetenland with non-Germans were and threatened to go to war. Chamberlain returned to the UK and prepared for war.

War was avoided when Mussolini convinced Hitler to go to the Munich Conference on 29th September.

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The Munich Conference

Attended by:

Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain and Daladier (France)

It was agreed that the Sudetenland would become German. The Czechs were forced by Britain and France to agree to this.

October 1st German troops occupied the Sudetenland

Germany and GB signed an agreement saying they would always consult one another over any probelems and that they would never go to war against each other.

Churchill returned a hero, but had his critics (Churchill)

He had achieved what people wanted: peace in Europe

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The occupation of Czechoslovakia - March 1939

Germany owned Sudetenland, Poland had gained land in October and Hungary in November

The new Czech president, Hacha, asked Hitler for help and in the end invited Hitler into Czechoslovakia. Hitler marched into Prague and the state of Czechoslovakia came to an end.

Britain and France didn't stop it because Hitler had been invited in.

Chamberlain then saw Hitler as an enemy as he had broken his promise.

Britain promised they would Help Poland if he tried to invade

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Nazi-Soviet Pact

Britain and the USSR talked about an alliance in the summer of 1939

Poland felt just as much under threat from the USSR as Germany so Britain delayed things.

Lebensraum meant that Hitler had to conquer all things east of Germany including the USSR so everyone was schocked at the pact.

The pact brought war closer. Both countries were going to invade Poland: Germany from the west and USSR from the east.

Hitler was sure GB wouldn't keep theiir promise to Poland as they hadn't followed through and help Czechoslovakia.

Stalin agreed to join with HItler as GB were delaying their alliance and they felt GB were trying to direct Hitler's attention to the east rather than the west

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The invasion of Poland

1st September 1939 Germany invaded Poland

Chamberlain tried to get them to withdraw

This failed so Britain declared war on Germany, followed by France declaring war on the 3rd

The USSR invaded the east of Poland on 17th September

Within weeks Poland was defeated, and GB and France couldn'tdo anything to prevent it

HItler used peaceful ways to get what he wanted

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Yalta Feb 1945


  • Roosevelt, USA, anti-communist
  • Churchill, GB, capitalist
  • Stalin, USSR, communist


  • Divide Germany and Berlin into 4: USSR, France, GB, USA
  • Stalin was to have control over eastern Europe
  • Former German colonies would have their own elections
  • Create the United Nations


  • Poland - Churchill didn't want USSR getting it as then it would be Soviet domination, Stalin wanted USSR border to move to Poland
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Yalta continued...

Behind the scenes:

  • Allied forces already disscusing punishments before the end of the war
  • French section of Germany would add another anti-communist side
  • Stalin 'teased' Churchill as he wanted to show how powerful he was - he wanted to show Churchill his failures

Main tensions:

  • Who would get power over Poland
  • USSR going into Greece when GB and USA were trying to 'save' it from communism
  • Stalin wanted a 'sphere of influence' so wanted Poland as a buffer zone
  • Churchill didn't want to be harsh on Stalin as they had fought a lot of the war for GB
  • USSR only communist country at this time
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Potsdam July - August 1945


  • Truman, USA, very anti-communist, policy of containment
  • Attlee, GB, capitalist, homefront, negotiationism
  • Stalin, USSR, communist


  • Germany to pay reparations in the form of equipment and materials to mainly USSR


  • The strength of Germany - Stalin wanted a weak Germany so it would resort to communism, USA and GB wanted to help rebuild its economy. The west sent industrial goods to the USSR but Stalin refused to send food and coal in return as promised
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Potsdam continued...

Major changes affecting the conference:

  • Different political views
  • USSR occupying most of east Europe (Baltic states, Finlad, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Hungary - buffer zone)
  • 16 July 1945 USA successfuly tested an atomic bomb

Main tensions:

  • Suspicions between USA and USSR
  • Truman thinks Stalin is just like Hitler
  • Stalin knew about the A-bomb before Truman told him which suggests that he had spies in the USA
  • Stalin distrusted Truman
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The Truman Doctrine

1947 - communism threatening to take Greece and Turkey

March 1947 Truman gave a speech saying that the USA will help any country that feels threatened by communism

The Truman Doctrine was a $400 million aid that would be sent to Greece and Turkey to help the government beat communism.

America also installed ballistic missiles on the border between Turkey and USSR

This scared the Soviets as they had no nuclear weapons and USA did

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The Marshall Plan

Aimed to accompany the Truman Doctrine and to help Europe recover from the war

A fund of $15 billion for Europe.

Stain realised this would make Europe dependent on USA

16 nations joined the plan including GB and West Germany

The help was provided in machinery and fertilisers so that the country could make things for trading ideally with the USA

Between 1948 and 1950 industrial production in Western Europe was up 25%

By 1952 most eastern countries had recovered economically and communist influence had decreased

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Comecon - Council for Mutual Economic Assistance

In retaliation Stalin introduced the Molotov plan which established Comecon

It was intended to offer Soviet aid to the satellite states

Stalin tried to bring communism back

However it was ineffective as the USSR didn't have effective resources

Stalin saw the Truman octrine and Marshall Plan as a way for USA to dominate Europe this fueled tensions and the Cold War

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The Cominform

1947 communist leaders from all around the world were summoned to Warsaw where the Communist Information Bureau (Cominform) was formed

It was designed to protect communist states from US agression

1948 Stalin ordered for Titi the communist Yugoslavian leader to be expelled from the group as he didn't follow his wishes, this shows Stalin's determination

USA saw Cominform as a threat to the west

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The Berlin Blockade

Stalin blocked off 2 million people from Western help in the hope that this would push the allies out of Berlin and therefore Berlin relying completely on the USSR

If the allies tried to ram the blockades Stalin could see it as an act of agression

Truman wouldn't give in as he was worried West Germany would be nex

Truman wanted Berlin to be a symbol of freedom behind the 'iron curtain'

Stalin explained the blockades by claiming the roads were shut due to repairs andd the railway was closed due to gas and eletricity shortages, he used 'smoke screens'

Another reason Stalin set up the blokade was because the West had a new currency (Deutshmark) and a better economy. He didn't want it to get strong because then it wouldn't turn to communism.

It lasted 11 months

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The Berlin Airlift

Saturday 26th June, the first planes landed in Templehof Airport in West Berlin. It was carrying a few tons of mail and food.

July 2nd the British codenamed it Operation Plainfare. It was the biggest air operation in history. Planes flew in night and day with exact landing times at 90 second intervals. Pilots were very skilled as the USSR were still using the air corridors.

By september, 4600 tons were being flown in daily, which still wasn't enough. Items had to be rationedand the USSR hoped for a cold winter that would stop loads of flights

The USSR tried to persuade west berliners to turn to east Berlin, less than 3% did.

April 16th-17th 1949 - 1398 flights delivered 13000 tons

Midnight May 12 1949 the blockade was lifted

The airlift gave Stalin two choices step down and look weak or shoot the planes down and causes a war. He stepped down.

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4th April 1949

Union of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The NEtherlands, Norway, Portugal, UK and USA - collective security

West Germany joined on May 9th 1955

They signed the Treaty of Dunkirk. It was to support each other if they were ever under threat from Germany again.

Reasons for the treaty was the growing threat of the USSR. It was able to develop militarily all the countries involved in case of a war against Russia

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The Warsaw Pact

Promted by NATO and West Germany joining it.

Union of all communist countries at the time: Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and USSR on 14th May 1955 - collective security

It was the military complement to Comecon

It was controlled by the USSR

This evened tensions between USA and USSR

It became Russia's sphere of influence

America had a threat to NATO and its members

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