KQ1: Were the Peace Treaties of 1919-1923 fair?

OCR history KQ1 on the international relations part of the paper. Hope it helps :)

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  • Created by: Joanne
  • Created on: 02-06-12 15:39


  • WW1 ended on 11th November 1918 when Germany signed the Armistice
  • January 1919 delegates from 32 countries met (Paris Peace Conference)
  • Europe shattered by WW1 and economy in ruins
  • over 15 million people were killed in the war
  • Russian and Austrian empires collapsed
  • map of Europe had to be redrawn
  • many nationalities wanted 'self-determination'

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The Big Three

Lloyd George (Britain)

  • a 'comprimised peace'
  • safeguard Britain's naval supremacy, land for British empire
  • make Germany pay, but leave it strong enough to trade

Georges Clemenceau (France)

  • a 'harsh peace'
  • revenge and punish Germany with £200 billion reparations
  • demilitarise Rhineland, gain land, Germany have no army

Woodrow Wilson (USA)

  • a 'just peace'
  • create League of Nations based on his Fourteen Points
  • wanted equal disarmament and self-determination
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Treaty of Versailles

  • military restrictions: 100,000 soldiers in German army, 6 battleships in navy, no submarines, no airforce, Rhineland demilitarised, no tanks, 15,000 men in navy
  • land loss: Danzig and Saar under League control, Polish Corridor, Alsace-Lorraine, Memel, Upper Silesia
  • reparations: £6600 million set in 1921
  • Anschluss - Germany can't unite with Austria
  • League of Nations set up (Germany can't join)
  • war guilt clause - Germany accept blame for the war (loss and damage)
  • all German colonies given to France and Britain as 'mandates'
  • Article 231
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Other treaties

Saint Germain (Austria 10th September 1919)

Trianon (Hungary 4th June 1920)

Neuilly (Bulgaria 27th November 1919)

Sevres (Turkey 10th August 1920)

  • each country had to lose land and reduce their military

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Impacts of the Treaty of Versailles

  • Germany thought it would be based on 14 Points
  • called it a 'diktat' - a dictated peace
  • called the politicians who made the peace 'November Criminals'
  • extremists tried to overthrow the new democratic Weimar Republic (Spartacus 1919, Kapp Putsch 1920)
  • Germany missed a reparations payment in 1923 which led to the French invading the Ruhr and hyperinflation
  • the Big Three didn't get all what they wanted, had to compromise

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Were the treaties fair?

  • problems facing peacemakers were complex, could have been harsher
  • Germans forced a much harsher peace on Russia in March 1918
  • signed the Armistice agreeing to reduce armed forces, lose territory, pay reparations; so why surprised they were included in treaty?
  • peacemakers set up League of Nations - assumed the League would deal with any issues the treaties caused


  • Germany hated everything about the treaty
  • America hated nearly everything too
  • Britain agreed with some parts of treaty
  • France agreed with some parts
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