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Treaty of Versailles
Transcript of Treaty of Versailles
The Allied Powers (France, Great Britain, the United States and Italy) viewed Germany though as the chief instigator of the conflict and war.
As a result, the Allied Powers decided to impose particularly stringent treaty obligations upon Germany.
The Treaty of Versailles was the treaty created to deal specifically with Germany.
The allies of Germany (Austria-Hungry, Bulgaria, and Turkey) would be dealt with separately in other treaties. Important Dates The details of the Versailles Treaty had been debated and finalized at the Paris Peace Conference that was open on January 18, 1919.
On May 7, 1919, the Versailles treaty was handed over to Germany with the express instructions that they had only three weeks to accept it. If Germany did not sign the treaty, the Allied Powers threatened to continue the war.
On June 28, 1919 Germany’s representatives Hermann Müller and Johannes Bell signed the Versailles Treaty in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles near Paris, France hence the name of the treaty. The Abdication of Wilhelm II Background on Wilhlem II Wilhelm was a strong opponent of socialism, but was a passionate supporter of German militarism and imperialism.
He also loathed parliamentary democracy and acted as an autocratic monarch.
An autocratic monarch is a person in the position of the Crown who rules with unlimited authority. During the First World War, Wilhelm’s role became increasingly insignificant as his ministers and generals bypassed him totally.
Near the end of the war when Germany knew defeat was inevitable, resources and materials in the country became insufficient to support the people of Germany.
The people began to revolt and Wilhelm II was advised to step down. It took General Wilhelm Groener to inform him that the officers, men of the army, and Kaiserliche Marine (imperial navy) would not fight for Wilhelm’s throne on the home front.
When the monarch’s last and strongest support was lost, Wilhelm finally decided to abdicate. The Road to Abdication Abdication On November 10, Wilhelm II crossed the border by train and went into exile in the Netherlands, which had remained neutral throughout the war.
Upon the conclusion of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, Article 227 outlined the prosecution of Wilhelm II as a war criminal and for instigating the war.
The Dutch government refused to surrender him. Why did Wilhelm II Abdicate? Wilhelm II had abdicated the throne and fled Germany to avoid being persecuted as a war criminal and for starting WWI. If he hadn’t abdicated he would have been forced to step down as the Kaiser as he lost the support of his military and the German people. Who Were the Big Four? David Lloyd George Prime Minister of Britain Georges Clemenceau Prime Minister of France Woodrow Wilson President of the United States Vittorio Emanuele Orlando Prime Minister of Italy The Big Four refer to the top Allied leaders who met at the Paris Peace Conference who had the most influence over what terms and conditions were to be included in the Treaty of Versailles.
Who were the Big Four? Ideology in Concerns with Germany Had two views on how Germany should be treated
The British public wanted revenge against Germany and so Lloyd George’s public image reflected this. He echoed the views that would “Make Germany Pay.”
Privately Lloyd George wanted justice but did not want revenge. Britain's principal goal at the peace conference was to remove the threat of German naval power and to end Germany's overseas empire.
Lloyd George wanted to expand the British Empire, maintain British control of the seas and increase Britain’s trade. Goal in Concerns with Germany Goal and Ideology in Concerns with Germany Like the people of France, Clemenceau had one simple belief that Germany should be brought to its knees and unable to start a war again.
He simply wanted revenge by punishing Germany for what it had done in the war.
Clemenceau had two principal goals: to establish a set of ironclad guarantees against a future German military threat to France and to require Germany to pay to repair the extensive damage that it had caused to northeastern France during the war.
Clemenceau also wanted to weaken Germany so that it was unable to invade France in the future. Ideologies in Concerns with Germany Had been genuinely stunned by the savagery of the Great War. He could not understand how an advanced civilisation could have reduced itself so that it had created so much devastation.
Like Lloyd George, he believed a more moderate approach was needed in regards to Germany after its defeat. Consequences too harsh against Germany would lead to instability again and start another war. Goals in Concerns with Germany Wilson was concerned with:
Rebuilding the European economy
Promoting free trade
Creating appropriate mandates for former colonies
Above all, creating a powerful League of Nations that would prevent future armed conflicts. Goals and Ideologies in Concerns with Germany In concerns with Germany he did not agree with Woodrow Wilson’s policy of national self-determination.
Wanted the fulfillment of the Secret Treaty of London of 1915 where Italy would receive the territory that the Allies had promised Italy when it entered the war.
As well as Italy wanted additional territory on the Adriatic Coast inhabited by Italians. Wilson's Fourteen Points Background Information Woodrow Wilson believed that WWI was being fought for a moral cause and created his Fourteen Points as a blue print for world peace that was to be used for peace negotiations after the war.
Wilson used several speeches earlier in the year to sketch out his vision of an end to the war that would bring a “just and secure peace,” and not merely “a new balance of power.” He then appointed a committee of experts known as The Inquiry to help him refine his ideas for peace.
Using these recommendations, Wilson first outlined the Fourteen Points to a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1918. The Fourteen Points 1.Reliance on open diplomacy rather than secret agreements
2.Freedom of the seas
4.Reduce the military forces and/or weapons
5.Readjust the colonies fairly
6.The allowance for Russia to self-determine its own government
7.Respect for Belgium's Integrity
8.Restoration of French Territory
9.Italy receives territory based upon ethnicity
10.Austria-Hungary receives fair development opportunities
11.Independence for the Balkan states
12.Self-determination for the peoples of the Ottoman Empire and free passage through the Dardanelles
13.Independence for Poland
14.The formation of a League of Nations to guarantee independence for all countries, large and small Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points became the basis for a peace programme and was on the back of these points that Germany and its allies agreed to an armistice in November 1918.
An armistice is an agreement made by opposing sides in a war to stop fighting for a certain time known as a truce
German leaders signed the armistice in the Compiègne Forest on 11 November 1918 The Fourteen Points and Germany League of Nations The League of Nations was created at the end of WWI
Wanted to ensure war never broke out again
Based in Geneva, Switzerland because Switzerland was neutral and did not partake in WWI Background Information Three Solutions to Disputes (Sanctions) Happened in the League’s Assembly (League’s parliament)
Resulted in verbal sanctions (Ex. A warning for the offending nation to leave the other nation alone or be faced with the consequences of their actions)
Purpose: Financially damage the offender and lead them towards bankruptcy in order to create subject disorder and blame on the government 1. A Sit Down Discussion 2. An Economic Sanction The league asks fellow league members to stop trading with the offending nation
Purpose: help the offender with healing from the inside Military force
Although the League did not have a military at its disposal and no one country had to provide one when needed as it was not a term to sign on to the League
No threats could be carried out 3. A Physical Sanction Weakness in the League Woodrow Wilson –president of America- thought up the idea of the League
America was the world’s most powerful nation 1. America Refused to Join Germany started the war
Treaty of Versailles prohibited Germany from joining
League could not use the support and strength Germany had to offer
For Russia, communist government created fear in western Europe 2. Germany was not Allowed to Join in 1919 and Russia in 1917 3. Three of the World’s Most Powerful Nations were not a Part of the League. The Two Powers they had – Britain and France – had Suffered Greatly Financially Germany's Colonies and Territories Germany did participate in the Scramble for Africa and had a few island colonies in the pacific, but after World War One, part of their punishment was losing all of their colonies.
Alsace-Lorraine was given to France
Eupen and Malmedy was given to Belgium
Northern Schleswig was given to Denmark
Hultschin was given to Czechoslovakia
West Prussia, Posen and Upper Silesia was given to Poland
Saar, Danzig and Memel were under control of the League of Nations (The people could vote to stay in Germany or not) Before WWI (1914) After WWI (1919) As a result of Germany being blamed for have caused the war, the country was faced with multiple reparations.
Losing all of its colonies, Germany territory was lessened Reparations Military Reparations Army was reduced to 100, 000 men
No tanks were allowed
No Air force
Only allowed six capital naval ships
No submarines allowed
West of Rhineland and 50km east of the River Rhine was a demilitarised zone (No German soldiers or weapons were allowed in this zone)
Allies kept an occupation army on the west bank of Rhine for fifteen years Financial Reparations Loss of industrial territory
Forbidden from joining with Austria to create a superstate General Reparations Germany had to admit full responsibility for starting the war
Responsible for the damaged caused by the war
Had to pay to help rebuild France and Belgium (Did not have the amount of money need as Germany was bankrupt)
A league of Nations was set to help keep world peace Article 231 Most famous article in the Treaty of Versailles
Commonly known as the "Guilt Clause" or "War Guilt Clause"
The article forced the German nation to accept complete responsibility for initiating World War I.
As such Germany was liable for all material damages
Hardest term for Germany to come accept Created by TiffD and Savannah Sources http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/