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The Treaty of Versailles

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Heather Steckler

on 16 January 2014

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Transcript of The Treaty of Versailles

The Treaty Of Versailles
Signed in the Versailles Palace near Paris on June 28, 1919
This was exactly 5 years after Arch Duke Ferdinand's assassination.
Signed by the allied countries and Germany
The United States did not sign it
Who were the big three?

Woodrow Wilson of America
David Lloyd George of England
Georges Clemenceau of France
14 points
America to focus on itself
League of Nations
Germany to be punished but not harshly enough that it would lead to another war
America thought themselves the "saviors of the world" after the war
Senate refused to sign the treaty and join the league
David Lloyd George wanted...
To make Germany pay but, not too much
"Halfway point"
Make sure communism doesn't spread
Thought the French were greedy and vindictive
Georges Clemenceau
Wanted Germany to pay
Germany should be detrimentally weakened
Was voted out of office because he signed the treaty even though it did not meet all French commands
Enforced the treaty along with the Belgians
Events Leading up to the end of the war
Germany's forces began to get weaker
The allies launched the 100 days offensive
The Germans tried to create a peace settlement based on Wilson's 14 points.
Germany signed an armistice with the allies on November 11, 1918

What did the treaty do?
The first 26 articles set out the league of nations
Forced Germany to Pay Reparations
The rest of the articles stated Germany's punishments and the various land redistributions
What was the League of Nations?
A group of countries that came together to peacefully discuss disputes
Their sole purpose was to avoid war
They were based in Geneva
The idea was created by Woodrow Wilson
It consisted of 58 countries
It failed during World War II
The idea later succeeded as the United Nations
Russia was not allowed to join because they were having a revolution
Signing of the Treaty
Woodrow Wilson Wanted...
Paris Peace Conference
Began January 18, 1919
32 countries were in attendance
It lasted a year and produced treaties with Germany, Austria, and Bulgaria
The main debates were between the big three
Germany was given very little say
What happened to Germany's land?
Alsace-Lorraine - given to France
Eupen and Malmedy- given to Belgium
Northern Schleswig- given to Denmark
Hultschin- given to Czechoslovakia
West Prussia, Posen and Upper Silesia- given to Poland
Had to return Russian land
What did the Treaty do to Germany?
Germany had to accept blame for the war
Lost 12% of their land
Army could consist of only 100,000 men
Had to pay £6,600 million for damages
Could on have only 6 warships
No tanks
Could not unite with Austria
Lost 8 battleships, 8 light cruisers, 42 destroyers, 50 torpedo boats, and 32 auxiliary ships
General staff abolished
No importation of weapons or munition
German Reparations
Clemenceau and Lloyd George disagreed with Wilson.
The claimed that they had seen more suffering and felt it was right for Germany to make Reparations.
Reparations- Payment for War damage
Goal- To weaken Germany so it would never threaten Europe again
America's Problems with the Treaty
Returning home Wilson knew there were still issues to be addressed
German-Americans thought the treaty was too harsh
Irish-Americans criticized the failure to not create an independent Ireland
The treaty would need to be ratified by a Republican-controlled senate, where Wilson faced opposition
America Rejects the Treaty
One year later, Wilson would not compromise
He told his Democratic supporters to vote with the irreconcilables against the treaty.
The issue was not that most agreed with the isolationists
The issue was that no one could come to an agreement as to how the United States should be involved in world affairs
Opposition in Senate
"Irreconcilables"- isolationist senators who believed that America shouldn't become involved in world politics
Rejected any treaty with the League of nations in it
"Reservationists"- A General group who rejected the treaty as it was written
Group led by Henry Cabot Lodge
Believed it was too vague
Article 10 could lead America into war without the approval of congress (unconstitutional)
The terms of the treaty were so hostile towards Germany that their Chancellor (Philpp Scheidemann) resigned rather then sign it
However Germany realized they must sign it because they no longer possessed the military power to resist.
Signing of the Treaty
Full transcript