International Relations America

1919-1939

The Versailles treaty

World War I ended on 11 November 1918 when Germany signed the ‘Armistice’. The Versailles conference was opened in January 1919 and the Germans were forced to sign the Treaty on 28 June 1919. The "big three “negotiators at Versailles were Georges Clemenceau, Woodrow Wilson and David Lloyd George.

· Clemenceau wanted revenge and punishment – to ‘make Germany pay’ until Germany was too weak to attack France again.

· Woodrow Wilson had said what he wanted in his 14 Points – a world ‘safe for democracy’ based on self-determination and a League of Nations.

· Lloyd George said he wanted to make Germany pay, but he really wanted to protect the British Empire and didn’t want to aggravate and humiliate Germany so much that they would start another world war

They finally came to an agreement that was a mixture of what all the big three demanded.

· Germany had to accept the blame for starting the war.

· Germany had to pay £6,600 million in reparations for the damage done during the war.

· Germany was forbidden to have submarines or an air force. They could have a navy of only six battleships, and an army of just 100,000 men. In addition, Germany was not allowed to place any troops in the Rhineland, the strip of land next to France which they took from France during the war.

· Germany lost territory in Europe. Germany’s colonies were given to Britain and France.

· Germany was forbidden to join the League of Nations, and were also banned from uniting or forming an alliance with Austria.