The Mood in 1919
France & Britain ( Clemenceau & Lloyd George) - Felt that Germany should take full responsibilty for the war and should be punished. Pay reparations. Both countries had been economically ruined, lost many men and in Frances case lots of land needed to be restored.People were angry also because of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk that Germany made with Russia in 1918, taking away huge amounts of land and 25% of Russian population.The war had ended in 1919 but bitterness, hatred and enmity still remained. The USA ( Wilson) entered the war in it's last stages so she wasn't as exshausted as GB & FR.
The Paris Peace Conference and the Aims of the ' Big Three'
As soon as the conference got underway there was disagreement over what the main aims of the conference were
- punish Germany?
- Cripple Germany so it couldn't start another war?
- reward winning countries?
- establish a just and lasting peace?
The Big Three
USA ( Woodrow Wilson)
Wilson - idealist and reformer
His aim was to build a better and more peacful world from the ruins of the Great War. He believed Germany should be punished but not too harshly so as to not anger Germany an d make her want to seek revenge. He wanted democracy to stop leaders causing another war. He believed in international co - operation to achieve world peace and keeping the USA out of war. He had already began on this idea in 1918 with the Fourteen Points:
1. No secret treaties 2. free sea access 3. free trade 4. disarmament 5. free colonies 6. Russia liberated from German forces 7. Belgian independance 8. France regain Alsace- Lorraine 9. adjust Austria - Italy frontier 10. Self- determination in Eastern Europe 11. sea access for Serbia 12. Self - determination in Turkish Empire 13. Poland an indepedant state 14. Leage of Nations
FR and GB felt that his points were unrealistic and impractical. eg. It would be difficult to allow Eastern European countries to rule themselves when the various nationalities were scattered all over the place and would end up in a country ruled in a different language and culture.
FRANCE ( Georges Clemenceau)
Clemenceau - hard, tough politician, uncompromsing.
France had suffered great damage to its land, economy, inustry, population and self confidence. In huge debt, 2/3 French men either injured or killed and Germany still seemed like a threatening and powerful neighbour. Since 1870 his feeling had started and it then increased with the war . Clemenceau wanted to have a treaty that would cripple Germany from any more agression as far as possible.
GREAT BRITAIN ( David Lloyd George)
D.L.G - realist, occupied middle groun between USA and FR with their etremist views
He wanted Germany to be justly punished but not as harshly as the French. He wanted Germany to loose its Navy as…