GCSE History Unit 1 Section 2

All the information from section 2 of unit 1 of the Edexcel GCSE history course

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  • Created by: Jack
  • Created on: 07-04-12 14:11

Key Words 1

  • Armistice- the temorary cease fire between Germany and the Allies on 11th of November 1918.
  • Woodrow Wilson- president of USA at the time.  Thought Germany should be treated fairly.
  • David Lloyd-George- British PM.  Under pressure by british people to punish Germany harshly.
  • Georges Clemenceau- French PM. Wanted to crush Germany for what they had done.
  • 14 Point Plan- Wilsons plan for long lasting peace, consisting of 14 points.
  • Treaty of Versailles- singed June 1919, deal made to end the war.
  • Reparations- forced compensation Germany had to pay the Allies for the damage they had taken in the war.
  • The Kaiser- emperor of Germany but andicated and fled to Holland at the end of the war.
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The 'Big Three' and their aims at Versailles

David Lloyd George- thought punishing Germany too badly would only result in another war, but was under pressure from the British public to do so.  He disliked the League of Nations and Wilsons' 14 point plan becaseu he thought it would destroy the British Empire.

Georges Clemenceau- France took the worst hit from the war and he really wanted to make Germany pay.  He wanted full reparations to be paid and for Germanys' entire army and naval fleet to be taken away.

Woodrow Wilson- he was determined that WW1 would be 'the war to end all wars' and thought his 14 point plan could achieve this.  He agreed with Lloyd-George that Punishing Germany too badly would only start another war and it was his idea to set up the League of Nations.

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Woodrow Wilson's 14 Point Plan- Key Points

  • No more secret deplomacy- all payments and agreements would be done openly.
  • Completely free international trade- no more trade barriers and equal trade between everyone.
  • Reduction of armaments- countries gradually give up their wepons and armies untill only small ones remain.
  • Empires will look after and help their colonies more, take into account the interests of the people.
  • Evacuation of Germany troops from Russia.
  • Evacuation of German troops from Belgium.
  • Germany will evacuate and restore the German-French border territory, Alsace-Lorraine.
  • Establishment of a group of nations so that agreements can be made without having to resort to violence.  This esablishment will be made up of many countries from all over the world with a strong diversity of beliefs and politics and making decisions together.  This idea evolved into the League of Nations.
  • Self Determination- all nations have the right to rule themselves.
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Terms of the Treaty of Versailles- 1919§

Military Terms-

  • The German navy will be reduces of six battle ships and 15,000 sailors.
  • German army will be reduced to 100,000 and conscription is not allowed.
  • They are not allowed any tanks, submarines of aircraft.

Territorial Terms-

  • Poland will become an independent nation.
  • Germany will loose all its' over seas colonies.
  • Alsace-Lorraine will be given back to France.

Political Terms-

  • Germany would accept full responsibility for starting the war.
  • The Kaiser was put on trial for war crimes.
  • Germany is forbidden from ever joining with Austria.
  • Germany must pay reparations totaling to 6.6 billion pounds.
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Consequences of the Treaty

The German people hated the treaty.  They called it the 'diktat'- meaning that it had simply been dictated, not negotiated with them.

The people blamed the government the had taken over when the Kaiser fled, calling them the 'November Criminals' for not fighting the Allies and just letting them riun Germany.

The Germans thought they were being forced to take War Guilt simply because they had lost the war.

The simply massive reparations Germany was forced to pay caused the Germans to resent the Allies.  Germany went into huge debt- having to borrow money from the USA to pay them of.  This caused the massive economic crisis in Germany.

Because Germany couldn't pay off their debt, France occupied the Ruhr- part of Germany considered to be the heart of its' industry.

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The Occupation of the Ruhr

1921-23- Germany was struggling to pay off the reparations, even after they had been reduced twice.

1923- France and Belgium got tired of waiting.  They jointly invaded and occupied the heart of Garmany's industry- the Ruhr- and took all the resources they could.

This happened at a time of huge poverty and recession in Germany. In an attempt to counter this the German government printten more and more Marks.  The Mark soon became almost worthless, costing millions to buy an egg from the market for example.

August 1923- Chancellor Stressmand is elected.  He promises to improve German international relations.

1924- the Dawes plan is signed.  It is an agreement between Germany and the USA that the reparations would be reduced again and that France and Belgium would move out of the Ruhr.  The remainder of reparations is payed off in the new German currency- the Rentenmark.

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Structure of the League of Nations


  • Met once a year.
  • Made up of 42 nations.
  • Decisions have to be unanimous.

Council of the League

  • Met five times a year.
  • 4 perminent nations: Britain, France, Italy and Japan.
  • 4-9 temorary nations, change every 3 years.
  • Decisions have to be unanimous.


  • Perminent 'civil servants'
  • Prepare papers, keep records and organise the Leagues' work.

International Labour Organisation

  • Each country would send 2 government ministers- one employer and one worker.
  • They would discuss international working conditions and how to make improvements to the minimum standards.
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League in action- Vilna


  • 1920
  • Vilna is a city which both Lithuania nad Poland claimed to be their own.
  • According to Versailles it was part of Lithuania but the majority of its' citizens were Polish
  • Poland had moved in and occupied the city.
  • The League of nations did not act becasue it could not reach a unanimous vote. France and Britain didn't want to take action becasue they wanted to keep Poland as an ally against Russia.
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League in action- Upper Silesia and the Aaland Isl

Upper Silensia

  • 1921
  • This city had large numbers of Poles and Germans living in it and the two countries both claimed it was theirs.
  • There was a plebisite on which country the city should belong to.
  • Germany won simply becasue there were more Germans so the League split the city in half- half for Germany and half for Poland.
  • Both countries accepted this.

Aaland Islands

  • Both Finland and Sweden wanted these islands.
  • The League held a vote and concluded that the islands should belong to Finland.
  • Swenden accepted this peacecully.
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The League in action- Corfu and the Bulgarian Disp


  • 1923
  • 5 Italian surveyors were killed there by Greek soldiers.
  • Italy went in and occupied the isalnd.
  • Britain and France didn't take any action to prevent this because they wanted to stay of Italy's god side.
  • Italy forced Greece to apologise and send compensation to Italy.
  • Only then did Italian forces pull out of Corfu.

The Bulgarian Dispute

  • Greece invaded Bulgaria over a border dispute.
  • The League condemmed this action and told Greece to pull out.
  • In the end they simply left Bulgaria.
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The League in action- successes and failiures of


  • The League helped 500 thousand prisoners of war return home.
  • They set free 200,000 slaves from Sierra Leone- Africa.
  • They settled numberous disputes without anyone getting hurt at all- such and the occupation of Corfu and the dispute over Upper Silensia
  • The World Health Comittee worked hard against leprosy and malaria and played a large role in developing vaccines.


  • The Vilna situation was unresolved becuase the League couldnt reach a decision.
  • Corfu was a huge failiure- the League had refused to act and Greece had suffered the consequences.
  • The League lacked any real power.
  • The USA never joined and the USSR was excluded for being communist
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Key Words 2

  • Lacarno Pact- the iniernational agreement for Germany to join the League of Nations.
  • Collective Security- the idea that if one member of the League was attacked all others would help them out.
  • Isolationism- an idea being exercised by the new president of america- Warren Harding.  He thought it best not to be involved with europe at all so stayed out of both Eurpean relations and the League of Nations
  • Kellog-Briand Pact- an agreement signed by 61 countries that they would always seek peaceful solutuions to all international disputes.
  • Mandate- when a  country is looked after by another country or the League.
  • Gustav Stressemann- became Chancellor of Germany in 1923. Helped Germany get back on its' feet after the economic disaster.
  • Self Determination- the idea that every country has the right to govern itself.
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Catelin O'Sullivan


wasn't it no secret treaties **

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