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Sheryl Skalski

on 11 February 2014

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After World War One ended, the winning countries had to come up with a plan for rebuilding Europe and ensuring ongoing peace for the future.
The met at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 in Versailles ( near Paris ) to develop and agree upon a peace settlement.
The conference lasted for 12 months. They developed a number of treaties at the conference, but the main one was called the "Treaty of Versailles".
The four main powers involved in the drawing up of the Treaty of Versailles were:
Prime Minister of Britain
David Lloyd George
Prime Minister of France
George Clemenceau
Prime Minister of Italy
Vittorio Orlando
President of USA
Woodrow Wilson
The defeated countries, including Germany, Russia, Austria, Hungary and Turkey, were not consulted about the Treaty
British citizens were strongly pushing for a treaty that would punish Germany as much as possible. Lloyd George wanted an agreement which would satisfy the desire of the people of Britain to punish the enemy, but without causing Germany to seek revenge in the future, and start another war
The French, who had suffered the most in World War One, wanted revenge and compensation for the damage to their country. Clemenceau saw the Treaty as an opportunity to cripple Germany so that it could not attack France again.
The Americans on the other hand, who fought for little more then a year and suffered least, wanted lasting peace. Wilson believed that the treaty should punish Germany, but not so harshly that one day they would want revenge.
Wilson came up with a fourteen point peace proposal to help the world achieve peace. One of these points was that an International body called the 'League of Nations" should be set up as a sort of international police force. His plan also promoted his view on the importance of 'self determination'- that people in colonies should have a say in their own government.
Germany had to accept blame for starting the war

Germany had to agree to pay compensation to France, Belgium and Britain. The final figure was decided upon in 1921 and set at 6600 million pounds.
The Army was limited to 100, 000 men. Conscription was banned- soldiers had to volunteer. They were not allowed armored vehicles, submarines or military aircraft.
Germany lost all its overseas colonies (mainly to Britain and France) Germany was also forbidden from joining with its former ally, Austria.
A League of Nations was set up. Germany was not allowed to join until it proved it was a peaceful country.

All in all, the Treaty of Versailles meant that Germany:

lost 10% of its land
lost all of its overseas colonies
lost 12.5% of its population
lost 16% of its coalfields and almost half of its iron and steel industries
had to reduce its army to 100,00 men, have no air force, and only a tiny navy
had to accept blame for WW1 and pay huge amounts in compensation
Answer the following questions...

1. Which countries were involved in the Treaty of Versailles ?
2.What were the main points of the Treaty of Versailles ?
3. What reasons do you think that Germany may have been upset by the Treaty ?
4.How did the treaty change the way map of Europe ? Which countries changed ?
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