Who were the Big 3 and
what were their aims for peace?
David Lloyd George
He became Prime Minister during the height of the First World War, this means that he needs to make the British people happy otherwise they would not support him. The British public wanted to get revenge on Germany. When he became Prime Minister he promised the British public that he would 'squeeze Germany until the pips squeak'.
His relationship with George Clemenceau and Woodrow Wilson saw him as the mediator, he famously said this:
'I'm stuck in the middle between Napoleon and Jesus'. Woodrow Wilson wants to have a no empire policy, therefore LLoyd George doesn't trust Wilson, because Britain have a huge empire!
He was realistic man who was aware of the problems he could be faced with. He was also very ambitious because as a young boy he was very poor, and he grew up to be the Prime Minister of Great Britain! He knew how to compromise the peace treaty as well.
Britain lost just under 1 million men in the war and were £8 billion in debt. Every single family in Britain was affected by the war. There were some damage done to the coastal areas such as Kent and Scarborough.
Britain's main trade partner was Germany, and they need to trade with them again because the British economy is poor. He wanted 'justice' but not 'revenge'.
He believed that peace shouldn't be harsh, as it would cause another war in a few years time. He wanted to have a compromise between Clemenceau and Wilson - a 'halfway point'. He also wanted to expand the British empire and maintain the control of the seas by stripping Germany's navy.
Nicknamed "The Tiger", Clemenceau's staunch republicanism brought him into early conflict with Napoleon III's government. Although trained as a doctor he travelled to the U.S. where he remained for several years as a teacher and journalist, returning to France in 1869. He was born in 1841.
Following the 1870 overthrow of Napoleon III, Clemenceau became mayor of Montmartre in Paris. A member of the chamber of deputies from 1876 as a Radical Republican, he failed to win re-election in 1893 after being implicated in the Panama Canal scandal, and unjustly accused of being in Britain's pay. Germany had previously invaded France and this angered Clemenceau. George Clemenceau was one of the main people who signed the peace treaty made by Germany in 1871.
Clemenceau was under a lot of pressure from the french public to make France safe from future attacks by Germany. This meant that he needed to make the treaty as harsh as possible. For most French people this meant completely crippling Germany!
His relationship with David Lloyd George and Woodrow Wilson was quite negative. He thinks that Woodrow Wilson is too idealistic and he doesn't trust Lloyd George at all! He thinks that neither of the two leaders cares about France and is a bit wary about them.
Clemenceau was completely determined to cripple Germany. He was very bitter, angry and determined to destroy Germany and take things from them. It was his bitter and hard-line approach that gave him the nickname 'The Tiger'. Clemenceau is determined to make sure that a war like this never happens again.
France suffered a lot of damage to them in World War One. They lost 1.6 million men and had debts of about £5 billion. Most of the fighting took place on French soil and they had lost a lot of agricultural land in the north!
Clemenceau wanted to cripple Germany economically and militarily to the extent that it would not pose any threat to France for the foreseeable future. His motivation was that he wanted revenge for France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 (when Clemenceau was a young man), and for the loss of life and damage caused to France by the Germans in WW1. He wanted reparations and land that was taken from them as well.
Revenge and to punish Germany
To return Alsace-Lorraine to France.
No League of Nations.
An independent Rhineland.
To disband the German army so that Germany would never be strong enough to attack France again.
The people of America wanted to focus on isolationism which is 'the policy or doctrine of isolating one's country from the affairs of other nations by declining to enter into alliances'. They wanted peace and wanted to focus on themselves.
Woodrow Wilson believes that both Clemenceau and Lloyd George are too greedy, selfish and harsh.
Wilson was a calm, reasonable and arrogant man who doesn't really understand Europe, as America were focused on isolationism and didn't want any empires, and Europe had a lot of countries with big empires.
There was absolutely no damaged caused by WW1 to America, as they were 3000 miles away and had only fought for a year.
He wanted Germany to be treated fairly, since he felt that if it was treated too harshly, Germany would one day recover and seek revenge (which is what happened).
He was an idealist and a peace lover. However, his Fourteen Points mainly affected the other four Peace Treaties, not the Treaty of Versailles. He was, though, not alone. Lloyd George (British Prime Minister) and Clemeceau (French Prime Minister) affected decision making.
Mainly, he wanted to rebuild Germany, and promote democracy in it. He didn't want Germany to pay huge reparations (mainly because US economy was strengthened by the war), and he wanted Germany to join the League of Nations when it was set up. He wanted self determination not only in the Ottoman Empire and eastern Europe, but in Germany and Austria as well.
He just wanted the border between Austria-Hungary and Italy adjusted, some sort of compensation for the Allies, and, well, a formal apology. He believed that Anchluss should be permitted, since millions of Germans lived in Austria-Hungary.
In summary these were Wilson's aims:
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.