Treaty of Versailles and Peace Making
The Treaty of Versailles
January 1919- 27 victorious allied powers meet in Versailles to make peace treaty (Germany was not present)
The people present at this conference were: George Clemenceau, David Lloyd George and Woodrow Wilson.
Clemenceau: the French President
· He was 77, had seen France invaded twice.
· He wanted Alsace-Lorraine returned to France and Germany to lose land.
· He wanted high reparations and compensation.
· He wanted Germany disarmed and Clemenceau wanted revenge.
Woodrow Wilson: the American President
· Wilson was an idealist and wanted peace in Europe.
· It was easy for him to say this because the USA was detached from the situation and the USA didn’t join the war until 1917.
· Wilson had 14 Key Points to prevent another war.
· He believed Germany shouldn’t be punished too harshly.
· He was an idealist.
David Lloyd George: the British Prime Minister
· He came to power by promising the British people he would punish the Germans
· Lloyd George also agreed with Wilson that a strong German economy would be good for everyone
· He had threatened to hang Kaiser Wilhelm II
· He did not want high reparations because he feared it would make the Germans resentful and make them want war
· He wanted Germany to become stable for fear of a communist revolution
· Lloyd George was a compromiser.
Clemenceau, Wilson and Lloyd George had the most impact over what was decided at the conference.
America: peace in Europe, the League of Nations and a stable Germany
France: revenge and Germany unarmed
Britain: compromise and reparations
Germany: easy terms to keep, it’s land and colonies
The Treaty of Versailles was signed on the 28th of June 1919 in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, the same place where Germany had first been established in 1870.
Article 231 angered and humiliated the Germans. It forced them to accept the blame for the war and would make them pay all the reparations.
The Germans called it the Diktat of Versailles as it had been dictated to them and the German people thought that it was: harsh, humiliating, embarrassing, crippling, cruel and damaging.
Other treaties were signed such as:
-the Treaty of Trianon (1920). The treaty was with Hungary and when Austria Hungary was split up, Hungary lost land to Romania and Yugoslavia.
-the Treaty of St Germain (1919). The treaty was with Austria and when Austria Hungary was split up, Austria lost land to Czechoslovakia, Poland and Italy
-the Treaty of Neuilly (1919). The treaty was with Bulgaria, they lost land to Greece
-the Treaty of Sevres (1920). The treaty was with the Ottoman Empire. Land was given to Greece, Africa and France. There was a revolution in Turkey and a second treaty, Lausanne, was signed in 1923.
The Terms of the Treaty of Versailles