The Peace Settlement 1918-28 International Relations History unit 1 GCSE Edexcel

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The Armistice

  • A lot of the fighting in the First World War took place along France's eastern border with Belgium, the Western Front.
  • By the end of October 1918, the Allies (Britain, France, the USA and Italy) were close to victory-Germany's allies were leaving the war; Bulgaria signed an armistice on 30th October and Austria-Hungary on 3rd NOvember. The main German fleet mutnied on 29th October, and this spread to become a revolution in some German cities-most were starving as the Allies had blockaded German ports to stop supplies.
  • 8th November-a German delegation met the Allied supreme commander, Marshall Foch, near Compiegne in France-Allies set out tough terms for the German surrender. At 5am, 11th November, agreement was finally reached. War would end at 11am-nicely symbolic, but it's estimated that up to 10,000 troops were killed, missing or wounded in 6 hours between armistice being agreed and war ending.
  • Terms:
    • To withdraw all troops from occupied countries in the west and give up any land it had won in the war in the east against Russia.
    • To withdraw troops 30 miles east from the banks of the Rhine, with the Allies' troops on the west bank, ready to cross if the armistice broke down.
    • To surrender huge numbers of artillery, machine guns, aircraft, locomotives and railway wagons-and its entire submarine fleet.
    • To allow its navy to be moved to Allied ports and placed under Allied control.
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The Aims of the Big 3 Part 1

Britain-PM  Lloyd George

  • WWI-Almost every family had lost someone and the economy was ruined.
  • He wanted to punish Germany and had won a general election in Britain where he'd promised to 'make Germany pay'. He agreed with Clemenceau that Germany was a dangerous neighbour for France and should be weakened.
  • However, he saw Wilson's point about punishing Germany too hard could lead to more war, and he didn't want to harm trade with Germany.
  • He disliked Wilson's belief that setting up a League of Nations should be the main concern of conference.

France-PM Clemenceau

  • There'd been a huge loss of lives-millions of soldiers (2 million killed/wounded) and civillians, lots of (farm)land and infrastructure was destroyed such as roads, railway lines, telephone lines etc. Most of the fighting had been in France.
  • Clemenceau wanted revenge and reparations to repair the damage. Germany had attacked France in 1870 as well as 1914, so France wanted to ensure it didn't happen again-he wanted to cripple German military power and creat a 'buffer state' zone (Rhineland demilitarised) between them as added protection.
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The Aims of the Big 3 Part 2

USA-President Woodrow Wilson

  • They had made a lot of money selling weapons and resources to Britain and France, and had lent a lot of money to Britain.
  • It didn't join the war until 1917, when Germany bombed an ocean liner, Lusitania, but had lost a lot less men.
  • He wanted to ensure that the USA wouldn't have to 'rescue' Europe from war again/
  • He believed that Germany should be punished, but wanted the treaty to focus on improving international relations and preventing war.
  • Peace could be achieved by making the treaty fair, not vengeful.
  • His major aim was to establish a League of Nations to work for world peace and for all nations to agree to cut down on weapons-strong supporter of self-determination.
  • The Fourteen Points:
    • Jan 1818, Wilson proposed these points, which would be key to a fair peace; ban on secret treaties, a reduction in arms and countries shouldn't claim colonies without consulting other countries and local inhabitants.
    • Self-determination-right for nations to rule themselves-for countries once part of Ottoman/Habsburg empires, and also that an independent Poland should be made.
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The Treaty of Versailles Part 1

  • The Paris Peace conference began in Versailles in January 1919, and it was agreed tjay decisions would be made by the council of four-Britain, France, the USA and Italy. However, Orlando (Italian leader) left over Italian claims to the port of Fiume, after uit was given to the new state of Yugoslavia and not Italy.
  • Blame-Article 231 stated that Germany was to accept full blame for the war.
  • Reparations-£6.6 billion, this final figure was set in 1921. ($33 billion)
  • Land
    • Land was taken to form a new country like Poland.
    • Germany lost all her overseas colonies
    • Land lost in Europe:
      • Alsace lorrain was given to France. And Eupen & Malmedy to Belgium.
      • In Schleswig there were 2 pebliscites-Northern part voted to become Danish, Central voted to stay German.
      • In the east, Poland became a country for the first time since 1815-it was given West Prussia and Posen, and the 'Polish Corridor', which linked Poland to the sea and split East Prussia from the rest of Germany. Danzig-main port in the Polish Corridor, became an independent city under the League, and Memel was also to be independent
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The Treaty of Versailles Part 2

  • Anchluss-Union with Austria-banned.
  • Armed forces:
    • 100,000 men in the army and 15,000 men in the navy-no conscription allowed, volunteers only.
    • Navy also resticted to 6 battleships, no submarines and a few smaller ships. No tanks, planes or big guns.
  • League of Nations-set up as an alternative way to solve disputes between countries. However, although it was hoped that it would prevent the need for armed conflict between countries, none of the other countries were as restricted in the size of their miliatary forces as Germany
  • It was called the 'Diktat' as it was dictated rather than negotiated.
  • The former Kaiser and other German leaders were to be tried for war crimes.
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Other Peace Treaties 1

St. Germain 10 Sept 1919-Austria

  • Terms: To agree to the break up of the Habsburg empire and accept Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia as independent countries. Land also lost to Italy. Reparations: None, due to the bank of Vienna, 1922.
  • Military: 30,000 troops, 3 small boats to patrol the Danube, no navy/air force and 1 weapons factory.

Neuilly 27 Novemeber 1919-Bulgaria

  • Terms: Lost land to Greece and Yugoslaviam and had to agree that people living there could choose citizenship and move freely to country of choice until 1921. Reparations: £100 million.
  • Military: 20,000 troops, no navy/airforce, 10 small boats for Danube, 1 weapons factory.

Trianon 4 June 1920-Hungary

  • Terms: Hungary made a separate county, not part of A-H. Lost land to Czechoslovakia, Romania, Yugoslavia & even Austria. Lost 2/3 land and 3 million people, and became communist. Reparations- over £400 million, never paid.
  • 35,000 troops, 3 small boats for Danube, no navy/air force, 1 weapons factory.
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Other Peace Treaties 2

Sevres: 10 August 1920 (Turkey)

  • In Europe, they lost Eastern Thrace and Smyrna to Greece and land to Bulgaria. Only European land kept was Constantinople and a small area around it.
  • Arabia, Armenia and Kurdistan were to be independent and Syria, Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq ro be mandates of Allied countries working for independence.
  • Straits were no longer controlled by them, and ships could pass through in war/peace and the forts controlling them, not manned by Turkish forces.
  • Military- 50,000 troops, 13 small boats to patrol the coast, no navy/airforce and for Allied troops to stay to enforce it.
  • No reparations, but had to pay costs for foreign troops n Turkey.

Lausanne: 24 July 1923 (Turkey)

  • Turkey regained Eastern Thrace and Smyrna and control of straits, but ships were to pass freely. They had no limits on armed forces.


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Reactions to the Treaty of Versailles

  • Britain, Lloyd George-felt it was too harsh and may lead to more war, and that the German government would become so unpopular that communists would stage a revolution, but understood the French need for security. Would have preferred more military restrictions but lower reparations, helping France and allowing German economy to recover, but couldn't go too hard in pressing a hard deal, as he had promised the country to be hard.
  • France, Clemenceau-felt that German lands lost weren't enough, and that the Rhineland should be permanently demilitarised-thought the Germans had got off lightly, and was then voted out of power in January 1920 for too soft a peace.
  • USA, Wilson-thought it was too harsh, called it a treaty of revenge. He hope the League could put it right, but his people wanted nothing more to do with the war, although he protested that 'within another generation there will be another world war' but the USA didn't sign the treaty or join the League.
  • Germany: German delegation went to Paris and recieved the terms of the treaty on 7 May. The head of the delegation, Count Minister Ulrich Graf von Brockdorrf-rantzau, complained about Article 231; "We are required to admit that we alone are guilty of the war. Such a confession in my mouth would be a lie" So he and the German chancellor resigned rather than sign
  • The new Weimar government had to sign the treaty; there was no real choice: Allies could begin the naval blockade again and Germany would starve. 2 politicians were sent to Versailles to sign it on 28 June. The Wiemar government was blamed for accepting the treaties, and rumours were spread that the army hadn't been defeated in the war, but that liberals and socialists had undermined the war effort; 'stabbed it in the back'.
  • The politicians who signed the treaty were known as the 'November Criminals'.
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A troubled Europe-International Relations

  • Between 1921 and 1923, German suffered many economic problems. By 1923, the Allies had twice reduced the amount set at Versailles, realising that Germany couldn't pay, but Germany still deliberately paid as little as possible.
  • Occupation of the Ruhr-on 11 January 1923, France and Belgium lost their patience and occupied the Ruhr, the heart of German industry, taking goods in place of unpaid reparations. German workers responded with passive resistance; strikes, working slowly or making faulty goods and France and Belgium got little for their trouble but the German economy collapsed. The government tried to pay reparations by printing out more money but it caused hyperinflation, making money worthless. A loaf of bread costing 4 marks in 1921 was 1.5 million marks in 1923.
  • Locarno Pact, 1925-It paved the way for Germany joining the League, which it did in 1926, and was a collections of 7 treaties between Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Germany and Poland signed in Locarno, Switzerland 16 October, where they agreed to respect common borders and go to the League for any disputes.
  • Kellogg-Briand Pact, 1928- agreement between 61 countries signed 27 August agreeing to seek peaceful solutions to problems-marked the high point for international relations , but when economic problems began in 1929, countries found that sometimes their own interests had to be put first. The USA didn't sign the agreement, although it was drawn up between the US secretary of State, Frank Kellogg and French foreign minister, Astride Briand.
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The League of Nations 1

  • Collective security: Nations agreed to work together to protect any member threatened by another country. If any member country went to war, other countries would stop trading with it, with possible military action taken. All members were encouraged to disarm and there was to be increased cooperation in business, trade, improving living and working conditions across the world.
  • Based in Geneva in Switzerland. All nations invited to join except WWI losers and Russia (for being communist)
  • Organisation
  • The Assembly: The 'parliament' of the League-met once a year by 1 representative from each country. It could recommend to the Council actions to do with issues like membership or the budget. To ensure cooperation, decisions had to be unaminous-agreed by all members.
  • The Council: The Assembly was too large and met too infrequently to react to international events, so the Council was set up, met 4 times a year and had 4 permanent members; Britain, France, Italy and Japan. Between 4 and 9 temporary members were elected by the Assembly for three years. They considered international disputes and supervised special commissions, but also needed unaminous vote.
  • The Permanent Court of International Justice: Based in the Hague in the Netherlands, and were formed to settle disputes by having them heard by a team of judges from member countries, but had no way to force members to accept its rulings.
  • The Secretarist: A group of civil servants-paperwork, organising records and work.
  • International Labour Organisation: To improve working conditions globally. Representatives of governments, workers and employers met annually to set minimum standards and persuade member nations to adopt them.
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The League of Nations 2

  • The Commissions: To carry out specialist work, of which some were short term. E.g.: Refugees commission tasked to help WWI refugees return to their home country. Other examples: Drug addiction, health, slavery, help for undeveloped nations, minorities, mandates and women.
  • Sanctions:
    • Moral sanctions-the League tells the aggressive to back off.
    • Economic sanctions-Iron, coal and oil (needed for war)-no trade with 'naughty' country.
    • Military sanctions-However, relied on members to provide toops
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Miss E


This is a great starting point for revision of the effects of WWI, covering the peace treaties and the League. It's very detailed so you could choose the bits you need to revise in a different way.



thank you :)

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