The Paris Peace Conference and 'The Big Three'
- In January 1919 delegates from 32 countries met in Paris to negotiate peace after World War One. This formed the Paris Peace Conference.
- 'The Big Three' consisted of: Woodrow Wilson (America) Georges Clemenceau (France) David Lloyd-George (Great Britain).
- 'The Big Three' had different ideas about what the Terms of the Treaty should be and all wanted different things.
- Wilson: a League of Nations, ensure Germany wasn't destroyed or blamed for the war.
- Clemenceau: get revenge on Germany, ensure France's territory was returned, money to rebuild France, an independent Rhineland and not Wilson's League of Nations
- Lloyd-George: to ''make Germany pay" but leave them strong enough to trade with Britain, land for Britain's empire and to keep Britains navy superior.
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Terms of the Treaty of Versailles
- The Treaty of Versailles was signed on 28th of June 1919.
- Germany was held responsible for all the losses and damages of the war and was punished:
- All of their colonies went to France and Britain. Their army and navy were restricted and they were not allowed an airforce.
- They were forbidden from uniting with Austria or joining the League of Nations
- The Rhineland, on the border between Germany and France, had to be de-militarized.
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Opinions of Versailles
- Germany: the Germans hated everything about the Treaty of Versailles. In 1920 there was a revolution against it.
- Great Britain: Lloyd-George thought the treaty was too harsh. He said "we shall have to fight another war in 25 years".
- France: many French people wanted an independent Rhineland, and doubted the League of Nations would protect them against Germany.
- America: Wilson set up the League of Nations, but in 1920 the American senate refused to join it, or sign the Treaty of Versailles.
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The League of Nations
- The rules for the League of Nations were known as The Covenant.
- The League's aims: to stop wars, encourage disarmament, improve working and social conditions and encourage international trade.
- The League included an assembly and council, a Court of International Justice, and various committees.
- By 1930 the League had 59 member countries. However, Germany and Russia were not allowed to join, which caused resentment. America, the most powerful country in the world, had refused to join.
- The League had no army of it's own, and it's decisions had to be unanimous.
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The League of Nation's Successes and Failures
- In the 1920s, the League was successful at: attacking the slave trade, fighting leprosy and bringing half a million prisoners of war home.
- The League settled a border dispute between Sweden and Finland, and stopped a war between Greece and Bulgaria.
- However, when it was faced with a strong country prepared to ignore it, the League could do nothing.
- In 1926, Germany had been allowed to join the League, but in 1933 they left.
- In 1935 Germany re-armed and in 1936 re-occupied the Rhineland. In 1938 Germany and Austria united. The League could do nothing.
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The Manchurian and Abyssinian Crisis
- Manchuria was a province of China, which Japan had some control over.
- In 1931 the Japanese claimed that Chinese soldiers had sabotaged the Manchurian railway. Japan attacked and by 1932 had conquered Manchuria.
- In 1935 Italy invaded Abyssinia. The League banned arms sales to both sides. This hurt Abyssinia more than Italy.
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