The Paris Peace Conference

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Georges Clemenceau

Georges Clemenceau was the Prime Minister of France.

Over two thirds of the French army that served were either injured or killed.  The war ha affected the majority of the population is some way.  Germany was a threat to France and Clemenceau wanted revenge.Germany's land and industry wasnt as badly damaged as France's and Clemenceau needed desperatley to rebuild his country.

What he wanted

Clemenceau wanted to cripple Germany so they would never be able to start a war.

He wanted high reperations to pay for the damage Germany caused.

Clemenceau wanted Germany to have no army.

He wanted to ruin the German economy and punish Germany for what they had done.

Clemenceau and Wilson had very different views on the future of Germany and as a result they clashed on many issues.  Clemeceau also clashed with George for not wanting Germany crippled.

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Woodrow Wilson

Wilson was the president of the USA during this time.  He was an idealist and thought any punishment Germany recieved should be fair and just.  However, wilson couldn't be pushed around and he refused to cancel the debts the allies owed to America.  Whatever punishment was given he thought it should be fair as everyone participated in the war and Germany would gave to rebuikd its country too.

Wilson wrote the fourteen points as a guideline for what should be the terms of the treaty. 

These are some of the key points

No secret treaties.

All countries work towards disarmament.

Colonies have a say in their own future.

Self determination.

League of Nations to be set up.

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David Lloyd George

David Lloyd George was often considered a middle ground between Clemenceau and Wilson.  George was the Prime minister of Britain at that time.George did want Germany to be punished but he wanted it to eventually recover so they could become trading partners again.  He didnt want the treaty to be too harsh because else they would retaliate. 

But George had two opinions on the treaty, one he shared with the public and one he didnt. In public George told the public he would get revenge and Germany would be crippled but in private he thought that in the long run punishing Germany harshly would only have a negative impact.

What George wanted from the Treaty

Wanted Germany to lose its colonies.

Wanted Germany to lose its Navy as the british empire felt threatened.

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Treaty of Versailles-Terms

War Guilt.

Germany would take blame for starting the war.


The Major powers all agreed that reperations should be paid but they never could decide on amount.  They didnt decide until 1921 and the figure was 6,600 million pounds.

German Territories and Colonies.

Germany's overseas empire was taken away.  Former colonies owned by Germany were then controlled by the League of Nations.  This effectivley meant Britain and France owned them.

Germany's armed forces.

The army was limited to 100,000 men.  Conscription was banned and Germany wasn't allowed aircraft, armoured vehicles or submarines.  The Rhineland was demilitarised.

League of Nations to be set up.

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Treaty of Versailles-German reaction

Germans were outraged.  They hated the treaty and were all disgusted with the Leaders who signed them and labelled them the November Criminals.

War Guilt and Reperations- This clause was hated.  Germans felt that blame should be shared.  Germany though that paying  reperations would cripple their economy.  If they stopped paying reperations however, French troops would take Land and Industry from them.

Disarmament- This upset the Germans because they felt that it made them look weak.  The army was a source of German Pride and now it was tiny.  

German Territories- Germany lost a lot of Territory.  This was a blow to their pride and also their economy.  The League controlled a lot of the areas in Germany that were very industrial and important.

The Fourteen Points and the League- The treatment of Germany didnt agree with the fourteen points.  German speaking people were sperated and the Anschluss was forbidden.

Double Standards?- Many people felt that Germans shouldn't be complaining for fairer treatment since they had treated Russia so harshly in the Brest-Litovsk treaty.  Then, although the German's economy was worsened by the War it wasnt great to begin with.

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The Birth of the League

The Plan for the League

All major nations would join the League.

They would disarm.

If they had a dispute with another country, the league would discuss the problems rather than going to war.

Collective security, they would protect each other if they were invaded.

If any member broke the rules other members would stop trading with them.

No one was sure Wilson's plan would work but the majority of Europe would give Wilson's idea a try.  However, even though Wilson led the plan to set up the League of Nations America never joined.  Congress never approved the League and they didnt want to yet again get involved in Europe's matters.

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Structure of the League

The Council- They met five times a year and in case of emergency.  The four permanent members and temporary members met.  They could punish using Moral Condemnation, Economic and financial sanctions and Military force.

The Assembly- They met once a year and voted on new members joining, temporary members, budgets and ideas.

The Permanent Court of International Justice- Settled disputes on borders but had no way of making sure countries followed their rulings.

The International Labour Organisation- It tried to improve working conditions.

The Secritariat- A sort of civil service, it kept records of meetings.

The Mandates Condition- this made sureThat leaders didnt act in their own interest. 

The Refugees Commitee- which returned refugees ti there homes after the end of ww1. 

The Slavery Commission- which worled to abolish slavery. 

The Health Commitee- attempted to deal with dangerous diseases.

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