Were the peace treaties of 1919-1923 fair?
The most important important and influential countries at the negotiations were France, Britain and the USA. Their leaders were known as the (victorious) Allies.
George Clemenceau: Prime Minister of France
During the First World War, France had suffered enormous damage. Large areas of northern France had been devastated and much of its industry had ben destroyed. Four million French soldiers were either killed or injured during the war and Clemenceau was under presure from the French public to make Germany suffer.
Clemenceau was also anxious about the future. He did not want Germany to recover its strength so that it could attack France again. So his aims were clear. He wanted a harsh treaty that would punish Germany severly and cripple it so that it would never be able to threaten France again.
Woodrow Wilson: President of the USA
The USA had only been in the war since 1917. War damage was slight and casualities were low compared to France and Britain who had been fighting Germany since August 1914.
Wilson believed that Germany was to blame for starting the war, but he believed that the treaty with Germany should not be too harsh because this would cause the Germans to seek revenge later. Clemenceau was very suspicious of Wilson…