Paris Peace Conference
Paris Peace Conference
On January 18, 1919, diplomats from more than two dozen countries gathered in Paris for a conference to discuss how to end the war permanently - Paris Peace Conference.
The conference lasted a little more than a year. The discussions produced treaties (formal agreements) with Germany, Austria, and Bulgaria.
British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, President Woodrow Wilson of the United States, French Premier Georges Clemenceau were the leaders of the conference, they became known as the 'Big Three'.
- George Clemenceau
- David Lloyd George
- Woodrow Wilson
George Clemenceau- He was the harshest one out of the Big Three because the war had been fought on his ground. He wanted to punish germany the most by getting rid of their land.
Woodrow Wilson - He was the most linient leader out of the Big Three because he wanted more world peace.
David Lloyd George - He was the middle-man. He wanted to punish Germany harshly because of the casualties but he didn't want to punish them so harshly that they would retaliate and could create another war.
'Big Three' Aims
- He wanted revenge, and to punish the germans for what they had done.
- He wanted to make Germany pay for the damage done during the war.
- He also wanted to weaken Germany, so France would never be invaded again.
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George - United Kingdom
- He said he would ‘make Germany pay’ – because he knew that was what the British people wanted to hear.
- He wanted ‘justice’, but he did not want revenge. He said that the peace must not be harsh – that would just cause another war in a few years time. He tried to get a ‘halfway point’ – a compromise between Wilson and Clemenceau.
- He ALSO wanted to expand the British Empire, maintain British control of the seas, and increase Britain's trade
Woodrow Wilson's aims
Woodrow Wilson - United States of America
- He was a History professor. He wanted to make the world safe. He wanted to end war by making a fair peace.
- In 1918, Wilson published Fourteen Points ’ saying what he wanted.
- He said that he wanted disarmament, and a League of Nations (where countries could talk out their problems, without war).
- He also promised self-determination for the peoples of Eastern Europe.
How did the Treaty punish Germany?
Loss of Land
- Alsace-Lorraine was given back to France.
- The provinces of Eupen and Malmedy were given to Belgium
- East Prussia was seperated from Mainland Germany by the polish corridor.
- In total, Germany lost 72,500 km squared of land and between 6 and 7 million people.
- They lost the Saar which was minerally and industrially rich. It was given to the league.
- The army was restricted to 100,000 men.
- No German troops were allowed within 50km of the River Rhine
- The navy was limited to 15,000 men, 6 battleships and no submarines.
- Tanks and Military Aircraft were forbidden
War Guilt (Article 231)
- Germany were forced to accept guilt of causing the war.
- It gave the allies a legal reason to demand money. The Germans became resentful
How did the Treaty punish Germany Cont.
- They were set at 6.6 million pounds.
- They had to pay all of the money over 42 years which would impact on generations to come and would have a huge impact on their daily lives.
- In the 1930's, Hitler stopped paying the money.
- It means " Dictated Peace"
- Many germans felt this way because they had not been involved in making the terms therefore they didnt have to keep to them.
Loss Of Land
- Germans were annoyed because it was against self-determination.
- The distribution of its colonies were not seen as fair as some allies gained more than others.
- Many had been seperated from family through the seperation from East Prussia.
- An army of 100,000 men was to small to keep peace within its own borders nevermind against an outside attack.
- The 14 points included disarmament but only germany reduced its forces.
Contd. Germany Objections
- The German people felt that they had been blamed for what the others had done.
- Germany claimed that it was unfair to blame the new government for the actions of the previous one.
- They were disgraced and humiliated.
- The amount was far too much to pay
- The longer the reparations went on, the longer it took for the trade in Germany to recover.
- The war had been costly to germany as well as the allies, it had lost industrial land in the treaty.
Strenths and Weaknesses
- The treaty gave land back to the countries that had lost it during the war.
- From the germans point of view, the treaty had been lenient because germany had remained as a whole country wheras others had been split up e.g. Austria-Hungary
- It brought short-term peace to Europe and it set up a League of Nations.
- It could cause another war as the germany could have completely rejected the treaty.
- The USA didnt join the league which was it's own idea and plan.
- Not very many countries were involved in the treaty, more should have been involved as it only punished Germany and nobody else.