History Paper 1

International Relations, 1919 to 1939.

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The Paris Peace Conference, 1919

Georges Clemenceau, Prime Minister of France

  • Didn't like Germany, had felt increasingly threatened by them over the years, and didn't want repeats of previous invasions.

MAIN AIM - Wanted to cripple Germany so they couldn't repeat history. Wanted a treaty that would weaken Germany as much as possible.                          

David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of Great Britain

  • Very realistic, understood compromise would be needed. 
  • Wanted Germany to be punished justly but not too harshly. 
  • Felt that German navy and colonies were a threat to the Brisitsh Empire. 

MAIN AIM - Wanted punishment but not complete crippling. Middle ground. Realised Germany meant trade for Great Britain. 

Woodrow Wilson, President of America

  • Wanted them to end the war, drew up the Fourteen Points to aid this.

MAIN AIM - A "fair and just peace". 

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The Treaty of Versailles with Germany - The War Gu

The Wair Guilt Clause i. The clause was simple. Germany and her allies had to accept all the blame for the outbreak of war. It was important because Germany had to take responsibility, and then begin payment of reparations. 

ii. The Germans resented it because they did not feel they were to blame for the war. Felt it made a mockery of their country. 

Territory i. Germany's overseas empires taken away. Included: Togoland, Cameroon, German South West Africa, German East Africa, New Guinea, Samoa, The Marshall, Mariana, Caroline Islands. European territrory was also taken away. Included: Alsace-Lorraine, West Prussia, Posen, North Schleswig, Upper Silesia. 

ii. The Polish Corridor was significant because Poland had access to the sea and was a viable country. Danzig was run by the League of Nations and was still German-speaking. 

iii. Japan and Australia took over the main German colonies in the Pacific Ocean. Samoa went to New Zealand, Togoland and Cameroon to Britain and France, German South West Africa went to South Africa, and German East Africa went to Britain. 

iv. As a result of the treaty Germany lost 12% of its population, 16% of its coal, 48% of its iron, 15% of its agricultural land, and 10% of its manufacturing industry.

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The Treaty of Versailles with Germany - Military R

Military Restrictions

 i. Germany was not allowed an Air Force. The army had no gas weapons, no heavy artillery, and no General Staff. The Navy were allowed a total fleet tonnage of 11 thousand tons, and 15 thousand sailors in total. They could have a maximum of 6 'B Class' battleships of no more than 10 thousand tons and 11 inch guns, and they were allowed 36 vessels maximum. 

ii. The French pressed for the creation of a neutral astate in the Rhineland because Germany and France were so close. This was opposed by Britain and the U.S.A. 

iii. Germany and Austria were not allowed to join together because this would strengthen Germany. 


 i. Reparations were payments imposed to compensate for the destruction caused by the war. 

ii. The sum of the final reparations demanded was the equivalent of 132 billion gold marks. 

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The Treaty of St. Germain, 1918 and The Treaty of

Treaty of St. Germain, 1918

  • Separated Austria from Hungary 
  • Confirmed that Austria was no longer a leading power
  • Bohemia and Moravia switched from being under Austrian control to being under Czechoslovakian control 
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina switched from being under Yugoslavian control to being under Croatian control 
  • Army restricted to 30 thousand
  • Austria forbidden from ever uniting with Germany 
  • Meant Austria faced economic problems - much of its industry had gone to Czechoslovakia. 

Treaty of Neuilly, 1919

  • Bulgaria lost land to Yugoslavia and Greece, gained land from Turkey. 
  • Lost access to the Mediterranean.
  • Had to limit its armed forces to 20 thousand
  • Had to pay 100 million pounds in reparations
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The Treaty of Trianon, 1920 and The Treaty of Sevr

Treaty of Trianon, 1920

  • Hungary lost a substantial amount of territory and population. 
  • Transylvania went to Romania, Slovakia and Ruthenia went to Czechoslovakia, Slovenia and Croatia went to Yugoslavia. A number of other territories went to Romania. 
  • Industry suffered because of the loss of population and raw materials. 

The Treaty of Sevres, 1920

  • Turkey lost control of the straits running into the Black Sea. 
  • Lost Smyrna to Greece. 
  • Lost Syria to a mandate under French control.

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Woodrow Wilson's 14 Points (Points 1-7)

1. No more secret agreements ("Open covenants openly arrived at").

2. Free navigation of all seas.

3. An end to all economic barriers between countries.

4. Countries to reduce weapon numbers.

5. All decisions regarding the colonies should be impartial

6. The German Army is to be removed from Russia. Russia should be left to develop
    her own political set-up.

7. Belgium should be independent like before the war.

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Woodrow Wilson's 14 Points (Points 8-14)

8. France should be fully liberated and allowed to recover Alsace-Lorraine

9. All Italians are to be allowed to live in Italy. Italy's borders are to "along
    clearly recognisable lines of nationality."

10. Self-determination should be allowed for all those living in Austria-Hungary.

11. Self-determination and guarantees of independence should be allowed for
       the Balkan states.

12. The Turkish people should be governed by the Turkish government. Non-Turks inthe old Turkish Empire should govern themselves.

13. An independent Poland should be created which should have access to the sea.

14. A League of Nations should be set up to guarantee the political and territorial independence of all states

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Strengths and Weaknesses of the new Czechoslovakia



  • Defended from all sides (if other nations in the league didn't attack)
  • Had access to Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, and Romania. 


  • It  was completely landlocked and was small and therefore easy to attack from all sides. 



  • New Czechoslovakia included areas of industry from the former empire, most prominently the Skoda works. 


  • The lack of access to the sea greatly reduced trade opportunities.
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Strengths and Weaknesses of the new Czechoslovakia



  • The population was greater than what it would have been if the territory had been divided into separate countries based on language/nationality. 
  • There was a vast number of nationalities, so multiculturalism could have been a benefit for the country. 


  • Woodrow Wilson had not kept his word about how the "different races should be allocated to their motherlands"..."as far as is humanly possible". This angered people. 
  • The many different languages spoken and races cause problems. 
  • Many did not want to be included in the new state, especially many Germans who had been split from their own country. 
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Why didn't the USA join The League of Nations?

  • Some Americans hated the Treaty of Versailles which the League was linked to. There were many German immigrants in the USA at the time who had never agreed with the USA joining the war against Germany. They were extremely against America supporting the League, because it forced Germany to pay reparations. 
  • It seemed to the Americans that their troops would have to deal with all the conflicts around the world. They had seen the problems World War One had caused and did not want it to happen again, especially because of a country they had nothing to do with.
  • Many people worried about what economic impact joining the League would have. Worried that the USA was promising to support everyone and solve all problems, no matter what the cost. The USA would put all its wealth and resources into solving the problems of other countries and not their own. 
  • People thought that the USA would be best to mind their own business because that is how it had become rich. America had become economically strong through isolationism. 
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The Covenant of The League

The Covenant was a set of rules which all members of the League agreed to follow

It set out the aims of the League, which were: 

  • to discourage aggression from any nation
  • to encourage countries to cooperate, especially in trade
  • to encourage nations to disarm
  • to improve the living and working conditions of people in all parts of the world

It was included in the terms of the Peace Treaties so all the members had common objectives.

How did this undermine the League?

The League was undermined because the defeated countries felt that it was there entirely to support the victorious countries, not all parts of the world like it claimed.

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The main bodies of The League - The Assembly, The

The Assembly: Membership - A representative from every country

Function - Recommend action to the council and vote on issues

The Council: Membership - Britain, France, Italy, Japan (permanent). Temporary members elected for three year periods by the Assembly. 

Function - Veto meant that one member could stop a decision. Made rules and sanctions. 

The Permanent Court of Justice: Membership - 15 judges representing world's different legal systems. 

Function - Gave decisions on cases referred to it, and could advise the Assembly and Council. 

The Secretariat: Membership - Permanent officials paid for by the League and based in Geneva

Function - Kept records and prepared reports for the different agencies.

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The main bodies of The League - Commissions, The I


Membership - League memberships, but non League members could use it. 

Function - Commissions and special commissions to carry out the work of the League, for example work with mandates, refugees, slavery, and health. 

The International Labour Organisation:

Membership - Employers, governments and workers' representatives who met once a year. 

Function - Aimed to improve the working conditions of people throughout the world. Collected statistics and information about work conditions and tried to persuade member countries to adopt its suggestions for improvements. 

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What were the main weaknesses in the organisation

Membership of the League Optimistic - Members all over the world, unified. 

Pessimistic - The USA, biggest world power at the time, didn't join.

What the main bodies of the League could do Optimistic - Had the power to veto, anything damaging could be disapproved. 

Pessimistic - Veto could essentially be self preservation by the main bodies.

How each main body would make decisions Optimistic - Unanimous vote, full and equal support. 

Pessimistic - Further self preservation by countries. 

How the League would enforce its decisions Optimistic - Economic, military, and trade sanctions would be sure to keep the peace

Pessimistic - Countries may decide not to join the League so as to avoid sanctions. Rather than preventing the rules of the League being disobeyed, sanctions may just stop the League from being joined altogether.  

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The League of Nations Commissions

Aimed to fight poverty, disease, and injustice. 

Refugees Returned refugees, families, and prisoners of war back to homelands. 400 thousand people were returned home thanks to this. Stamped out smallpox, cholera, and dysentery in the Turkish refugee camps in 1922.

Working conditions International Labour Organisation banned poisonous white lead from paint, limited working hours for children, campaigned to improve working conditions, introduced a maximum 48 hour working week and 8 hour working day. 

Health The Health Committee, later known as the World Health Organisation, worked to defeat diseases like leprosy. Started global program of mosquito extermination which reduced malaria and yellow fever for decades.

Transport Made recommendations for marking ship lanes and produced an international highway code for all road users. 

Social problems Blacklisted four German, Dutch, French, and Swiss illegal drug traders. Freed 200 thousand slaves in Sierra Leone. Organised raids against slave owners and traders in Burma. Pressured Africa to stop using forced labour for the Tanganyika railway and reduced the number of worker deaths from 50% to 4%. Monitored social injustices in areas where they couldn't be eradicated. 

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