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Woodrow Wilsons 14 points

January 1918 president wilson proposed 14 points. which would be the key to a fair peace.

  • a ban on secret treaties and a reduction in arms
  • the idea that countries should not claim colonies without consulting each other and the local inhabitants
  • self determination for countries which were once part of the turkish and austro-hungarian empires
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 You do not need to know all fourteen points, only the main ideas which are summarised here.

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The treaty of versailles

Germany were forced to sign the treaty in may 1919. and they had to agree that they were responsible for starting the war

German armed forces

  • The army was limited to 100,000 men
  • Conscription was banned. so soldiers had to be voulenteers
  • Germany was not allowed armoured vehicles,submarines or military aircraft
  • the navy could only have six battleships and 30 smaller ships
  • The rhineland became a demilitarized zone.the allies were to keep an army of occupation on the west bank of the rhine for fifteen years. no german troops were allowed into that area
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Demilitarisation, and the other military terms of the treaty, were influenced by clemenceau to safeguard france against another German invasion

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the allies agreed that Germany should pay compensation to france,britain and belgium for the damage caused by the war. these payments were known as reparations. the exact figure of £6,600 million was set by a reparations commition in 1921.

Loss of teritories

  • Rhineland to be demilitarized 
  • alsace lorraine to france
  • saarland to be run by the league then a plebiscite after 15 years
  • west prussia and posen to poland (Polish corridor) 
  • upper silesia to poland 
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The terms of the reparations were influenced by clemenceau who wanted to cripple the german economy. the territorial terms were partly influenced by clemenceau, with the return of alsace lorraine, but also wilson and the goal of self-determination in eastern europe

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German reactions to the treaty of versailles

German reactions

Feelings of injustice

  • The german leaders did not feel that they alone had caused the war
  • they felt that they should have been involved in the treaty negotiations

The league of nations

  • Germany felt further insulted by not being invited to join the league of nations

Military terms

  • Germans felt an army of 100,000 was too small for a country of germany's size
  • the army was a symbol of germany's pride
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German reactions


  • many germans felt that these were unfair and that germany could not afford to pay as her economy had been crippled by the cost of fighting the first world war

Loss of teritory

the loss of teritory was deeply resented by the german people

  • some germans were now living in countries rueled by foreign governments
  • the saar, an important industrial area, was now controlled by the league of nations but had been effectively taken over by france
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  • Manchurian crysis - 1931-33

  • Abyssinia- 1935-36

  • Hitlers challenges to the peace settlement- 1033-36

  • The disarmament conference- 1932-4

  • Non-aggression pact with poland-1934
  • anglo-german naval treaty-1935

  • remilitarisation of the rhineland-1936

  • the anschluss with austria-1938

  • the sudeten crisis and munich agreement-1938                                                                                             

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