What was it?
A treaty is a formal agreement signed by two or more countries in reference to peace or alliances.
It was named after Versailles (a palace in Paris) because that was where it was signed.
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties which were signed at the end of WW1. It ended the war and was signed on 28 June 1919.
The Big 3
The Big 3 were made up of the United Kingdom, France and USA. They were the people who met up with Germany to discuss the Treaty of Versailles.
The Big 3 was made up of David Lloyd George (United Kingdom), Georges Clemençeau (France), and Woodrow Wilson (USA).
Treaty of Versailles Aims - United Kingdom
Lloyd Geroge wanted:
- A just peace which would be fairly tough to please the people who wanted to make Germany pay, but he wanted to leave Germany strong enough to trade.
- Land for Britain's emipre.
- To safeguard Britain's naval supermacy.
Treaty of Versailles Aims - France
- Revenge and to punish Germany.
- To return Alsace-Lorraine to France.
- To stop Germany joining the League of Nations.
- To make Rhineland independent.
- Huge reparations which would cripple Germany.
- To disband the Germany army so Germany would not be strong enough to attack France again.
Treaty of Versailles Aims - USA
- To end war by creating a League of Nations based on his Fourteen Points.
- To ensure Germany was not destroyed.
- Not to blame Germany for the war - he hated the Guilt Clause.
Examples of Terms of the Treaty of Versailles
- Germany was not allowed to join the League of Nations.
- The Rhineland was demilitarised - the German army could not go there.
- The saar (which had rich coalfields) was given to France for 15 years.
- Alsace-Lorriane was returned to France.
- Germany was forbidden to unite with Austria.
- Lands in eastern Germany - the rich farmlands of Posen and the Polish corridor between Germany and East Prussia - were given to Poland
- Danzig made a free city under League of Nations control.
- All Germany's colonies given to France and Britain as mandates.
- The German army was restricted to 100,000 men.
- The German navy was restriced to six battleships and no submarines.
- Germany was not allows to have an air force.
- Germany had to admit responsibility for causing all the loss and damage caused by the war.
- Germany had to pay reparations (which was later set at 132 billion gold marks).
The Impact on Germany
The impact on Germany was negative because the treaty just forced them to get annoyed and want their money back. Although some points were good, most just made matters worse in the long-term.