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Treaty of Versailles Lecture
Transcript of Treaty of Versailles Lecture
Treaty of Versailles Treaty of Versailles Historical Question: November 1918, Germany agrees to an armistice Before the Treaty Wilson's 14 points was a statement made by the US that WWI was being fought for a moral cause for postwar peace.
Armistice sought on basis of 14 points, promising Germany "peace without victory" In the final treaty, the 14 Points were excluded. This is met with German outrage.
The Treaty required Germany to accept responsibility for causing the war, aka the War Guilt Clause
-pay 132 billion gold marks (today's equivalence of $442 billion USD)
-surrender largest ships, eliminate navy
-reduce army, stop manufacturing weapons
-make substantial territorial concession
But negotiations at this conference revealed divisions among the victorious allied powers. Reparations:
-the chief battleground of the Post-War era- Allied Perspectives France and Belgium face huge reconstruction costs
The Great War costs the Allies 2 1/2 times as much to win as it had cost the Central Powers to lose
England and France would spend the 1920's paying back debts from the war, this totaled half of their annual budgets
France's 10 richest provinces are left devastated, some by deliberate German sabotage of factories and mines as they retreated.
England was concerned that because the war was not fought on their soil, they would not receive a fair share of reparations from the Germans. So, the Prime Minister of England, Lloyd George, triples the final price tag to include pension payments and allowances due to British soldiers. German Perspective Did the authors of the Treaty of Versailles want revenge or peace? Representatives from different countries gathered at the Paris Peace Talks in January 1919 to discuss peace agreements. Germany did not feel herself to be a defeated nation
Soldiers returning home were treated like "undefeated heroes". They were praised for standing their ground up until the last minute The German people were outraged at the terms of the Treaty especially the War Guilt Clause. The Germans felt like outcasts in Europe, and were angered that the Allied Powers showed no desire for further negotiation.
Germany was viewed by the Allies to be economically viable, and therefore must pay. The Germans argued that the scale of the reparations will impoverish their nation. This cartoon appeared in the German satirical magazine Simplissimus, 3 June 1919 The major countries that participated were the U.S., Great Britain, Italy, Japan and France. Germany was not allowed to take part in the talks. Major Terms of The Treaty Germany: "A continuation of war by other means" "We have won the war: now we have to win the peace, and it may be more difficult."
-Prime Minster of France
Georges Clemenceau The Great War
and Its Aftermath Georges Clemenceau walking through the ruins of Nyon, France Coal Works destroyed, Belgium. Damaged railroads, France Brain Starter Infrastructure Damage Historical Question: Did the authors of the Treaty of Versailles want
REVENGE or PEACE?