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Treaty Of Versailles

What the Treaty of Versailles sought to do & what it implemented.
by

Richard Wilson

on 27 April 2010

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Transcript of Treaty Of Versailles

Pressure on the allies to punish the losers of WW1 and prevent future conflict.
The allies had differing aims but all wanted to create a new international system after the failure of the balance of powers established in Vienna in 1814.
USA League of Nations
Spread of Democracy
Britain Wanted a new balance of power in Europe with Germany weakened, however not decimated.
States in Europe to be stable, making wars in the future less likely.
Empire: Consolidation not expansion. France The French wanted to make it so the Germans would never again be able to threaten France.
Buffer Zone: Between France and Germany & Germany and Russia
System of alliances with the new Eastern European States
Allied aims on Reparations All the powers had differ aims on the reparations that they wanted the Germans to pay.
The French wanted to decimate Germany.
The British wanted to get reparations, however not to decimate it.
The US wanted repayment of loans.
the Treaty of Versailles Article 231: “The War Guilt Clause”
Germany has the sole responsibility of the war, and is to be held accountable for all damage to civilian populations of the Allies
German reparations of £6,600 million
A ban on the union of Germany and Austria
The surrender of all German colonies as League of Nations mandates
Poland, Finland, Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania restored or created as new countries.
Danzig to become a free city
Occupation and special status for the Saar under French control
The return of Alsace-Lorraine to France
League of Nations The League of Nations was set up at Versailles. The Leagues primary goals as stated in its covenant included:
Preventing war through collective security, disarmament and through settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration.
Other goals included labour conditions, just treatment of native inhabitants, trafficking in persons and drugs, arms trade, global health and protection of minorities in Europe.
German Military Restrictions Limitation of Germany’s army to 100,000 men with no conscription
The Rhineland to become demilitarized and administered by Great Britain and France
Enlisted men retained for at least 12 years, officers retained for at least 25 years
Naval forces will be limited to 15,000 men
Submarines, armed aircraft, tanks and armoured cars are prohibited
What it did 1. What the Treaty sought to do and what it promised
2. The role of the Treaty on bringing about WWII
3. What is necessary/essential for peace settlements to work, and did the Treaty achieve these?
The Treaty of Versailles sought to resolve all of the international disputes
Stating Germanys sole responsibility for causing the war
Making Germany “pay” for the damages
Prevent any future conflicts
Summary of the aims and what the Treaty implemented: What was the role of the Treaty in bringing about WWII? A Dictated Peace [Source: History on the Net, 2007]
Reparations Germany lost around 13.5 of its territory

The army was restricted to 100,000 men.

The "War Guilt Clause” meant that Germany had to accept responsibility for initiating the war.

In 1921 it was decided that they would pay 132 billion marks (6,600,000).
Anger in Germany “We must call to account the November criminals of 1918. It cannot be that two million Germans should have fallen in vain and that afterwards one should sit down as friends at the same table with traitors. No, we do not pardon, we demand - Vengeance!”

Adolf Hitler, September 18, 1922, Munich

[Source: Humanitas International, 2008] Effect on German Economy [Source: MoneyTipCentral.Com]
[Source: MoneyTipCentral.Com]
John Maynard Keynes Territorial Changes in Europe Europe in 1914 Europe in 1919 [Source: The National Archives]
[Source: The National Archives]
The Dawes Plan Charles Dawes
What is essential for peace settlements to work? Henry Maine:
“War appears to be as old as mankind, yet peace is a modern invention”
Peace does not always mean the total absence of conflict. It is the absence of violence, and unfolding conflict in a constructive way.
Peace can then exist when people are interacting non-violently and are managing their conflict with positive outcomes, taking into account all parties involved.
Two Types of peace (Johan Gultung 1996):
Negative peace: Negative peace refers to the absence of violence. For example a ceasefire.
Positive peace: Is filled with positive content, such as building of relationships, creation of social systems that serve the needs of the whole population and the constructive resolution of conflict.
Realism: Balance of power between nations.

Liberalism or democratic peace: Democracies rarely go to war with one another.

Making peace settlements work (A.C.Crocker 1996) 5 main rules that help peace work
Controlling the definition of success
Defer elections if necessary
Disarmament and demobilization are key objectives.
Help to promote new laws and code of conduct
Economic and social reconstruction
Did the treaty achieve this? The idea of the treaty of Versailles was to achieve peace and make the ‘Great war’ the war to end all wars.
It did establish peace for a limited time.
There was disarmament and de-militarization (Rhineland)
Reparation payments
War guilt clause
However ... In 1939 WW2 began.
The TOV is often seen as the cause of WW2.

So why didn't the TOV establish peace?
The big four pulling in different directions?
George Clemenceau France

David Lloyd George Great Britain

Vittorio Orlando Italy

Woodrow Wilson - US
Britain wanted to punish Germany while France wanted to heavily weaken them.

The enforcements were not properly regulated.
The reparation payments were stopped after a limited period
The German military was built up again, with their air force and navy being secretly assembled.

Germany were humiliated.
They thought the treaty was too harsh. They were forced to accept the treaty but didn't agree with it.
The treaty forced Germany to be resentful especially when going through a state of depression.
The lack of enforcement and the state of depression in Germany meant that Germany were wanting changes and this encouraged the German population to seek change.
Thanks for listening. Any Questions? By:
Simon Rees, Andrea Stromskag, Richard Wilson, Timothy Levfevre and Laura Smith
Aims of the allied powers efw
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Full transcript