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The Peace Settlement Treaty of Versailles


The Peace Settlement Treaty of Versailles McKay (911-916) Palmer 17.87, 17.88 & 17.90 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Peace Settlement Treaty of Versailles

The Peace Settlement Treaty of Versailles
  • McKay (911-916) Palmer 17.87, 17.88 17.90

The Collapse of Tsarist Russia
  • Tsar led Russia into war in the hope of uniting
    it distracting it from socio-economic issues
  • Initially Russians were enthusiastic
  • Russian army poorly led (Tsar was supreme leader)
  • Forced thousands of peasants into battle without
  • Suffered 2 million casualties in 1915 alone
  • Tsar dismissed moderate Duma and went to Front
  • Left Alexandra in charge of gov.
  • February Revolution (really in March)
  • Rumors of Rasputins control, food shortages,
    mass desertion led to massive general strike
  • 1917 troops in St. Petersburg (renamed Petrograd
    during war) mutinied
  • Nicholas II abdicated on March 15

The situation is serious. The capital is in a
state of anarchy. The Government is paralyzed.
Transport service and the supply of food and fuel
have become completely disrupted. General
discontent is growing... There must be no delay.
Any procrastination is tantamount to
death. Rodzianko's first telegram to the Tsar,
March 11  February 26 1917.9
The Provisional Government
  • Provisional government
  • Moderate liberals, republicans and
  • Led by Alexander Kerensky
  • Wanted to continued the war
  • Not interested in social rev.
  • Soviets
  • Workers councils sprung up in major cities
    (Petrograd Soviet)
  • Became a competing gov. with Kerensky
  • Army Order No. 1
  • Democratized army led to its total collapse
  • October Revolution
  • Vladimir Lenin
  • Marxist leader of Bolsheviks
  • smuggled into Russia via train April 1917
  • Hoped he would foment rebellion pull Russia out
    of the war
  • Sensing the time was right Lenin and the
    Bolsheviks seized power October 25, 1917
    (November 1917 in Gregorian calendar)

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Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (3/3/1918)
  • Bolsheviks signed treaty with Germany in March
  • Surrendered
  • Poland, Ukraine, Finland, and the Baltic
    provinces (all declared independence)
  • Viewed war as struggle between capitalist and
    imperialists powers
  • let them kill each other cause the Communist
    Revolution around the world
  • Germany
  • Silenced moderates in Reichstag who wanted peace
  • Could now concentrate troops on Western Front

The United States and the War
  • By May, 1918 Germany advanced to the Marne (37
    miles to Paris)
  • American aid was deciding factor
  • American opinion was divided
  • German, Irish immigrants hated the British
  • yet culturally connections bonded the two
  • Allied victory would clearly advance the cause of
    democracy, freedom, and progress
  • England and France seemed too cozy with Russian
  • Collapse of the Tsar opened the way for U.S.
  • March 1918 war was a race to see if American aid
    could reach in time

To Make the World Safe for Democracy
  • Factors that led America to war
  • Lusitania
  • Zimmerman note
  • discovery of German spies sabotaging munitions
  • resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare
  • Debt owed by Triple Entente
  • Wilson asked Congress for war to make the world
    safe for democracy
  • Congress declared war on April 6, 1917

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German High Command Abandons Ship
  • Ludendorff had almost dictatorial powers
  • Only High Command realized cause was hopeless
  • Ludendorff informed the Kaiser that Germany must
    ask for peace (Sept. 29, 1918)
  • Urged that a new government be formed and aligned
    with the Reichstag
  • Why did he ask for this?
  • Might win time to regroup and prepare a new
  • The civilian elements in Germany would be the
    ones to sue for peace not the High command

The Armistice
  • Armistice declared on November 11, 1918 at 1111
    AM (11/11/1918)
  • All was quiet on the western front
  • 38 million dead
  • 20 million wounded
  • U.S. 115,000 dead (50,000 in battle)
  • U.S. aid proved to be the deciding factor when
    posed against the exhausted armies of Europe

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The Weimar Republic
  • On Nov. 9, 1918 the Kaiser abdicated
  • Germany was proclaimed a republic
  • The republic emerged because
  • The victorious Allied Powers demanded it
  • The German people craved peace
  • The military class wanted to save face
  • The republic did not emerge from revolutionary
  • The military was still intact
  • Gave rise to the idea that the army was stabbed
    in the back by the November Criminals (liberal
    democratic Jews leading the country)

Fourteen Points and the Treaty of Versailles
  • Wilson called for
  • End to secret treaties
  • Freedom of the seas
  • Removal of barriers and inequalities in
    international trade (free trade)
  • Arms reductions
  • Colonial readjustments
  • Evacuation of troops
  • Self-determination of nationalities
  • Redrawing of Europes boundaries
  • International political organization (League of
  • Wilson stood for liberal democracy, ideas of the
    Enlightenment, and that WWI should end with a new
    type of treaty
  • Treaties of the past were made through
    unprincipled deals and bargains
  • Little regard was given to the people
  • Idealistically believed in a democratic age a
    treaty could be reached

Points of Contention
  • France
  • wanted war reparations, security, land, punish
  • England
  • Wanted to protect colonies
  • Against freedom of the seas, and self
  • Italy
  • wanted Austrian lands (unredeemed Italy)
  • Germany
  • Wanted to be treated fairly
  • believed that after having a liberal government
    installed they would be treated less severely
  • Other factors (Congress of Vienna did not have to
    deal with)
  • Nationalism
  • Impossible to draw a map which represented every
  • Democracy
  • Leaders under the glare of public opinion

British Cartoon showing German outraged at
harshness of indemnity
The Big Four
  • Were 27 nations at Paris in Jan 1919
  • Big Four
  • US, GB, France, Italy
  • Major decisions made by Wilson, Lloyd George,
    Clemenceau, and Orlando
  • They were not particularly the best for the task
    at hand (varied backgrounds)
  • Professors (W, O) , reformer (G), and a
    nationalist (C)
  • They did stand as the democratically elected
    leaders of the western world and as such spoke
    with the authority of their people

A League of Nations
  • Nations could meet to discuss issues
  • No sovereignty would be lost (theoretically)
  • Wilson wanted provision for religious freedom
  • Japan wanted condemnation of racial
    discrimination too (Immigration Laws in US)
  • US and Brits opposed for fear international
    authority may interfere with immigration practice
  • Provision was dropped
  • Each promised not to resort to war
  • Covenant of the League of Nations was written
    into the Treaty of Versailles
  • Negotiation points
  • France wanted security from Germany
  • Anglo-French-American treaty
  • Guaranteed to back France up if Germany attacked

Territorial Adjustments
  • Alsace-Lorraine returned to France
  • German military presence banned in Rhineland
  • Poland resurrected
  • Serve as buffer to the west from Russian
  • Polish Corridor taken from Prussia to allow
    access to sea
  • Downsized Austrian republic created
  • Czechoslovakia was created

Germany lost its colonies
  • Colonies were divided between various European
  • Japan took control of Germanys eastern interests
  • Japan demanded concessions (territory) in China
  • Half the concessions were granted
  • A dissatisfied Japan walked out of the conference
  • A dissatisfied China walked out of the conference
  • Germany was disarmed
  • German fleet was to be taken by the Allies
  • German crews sank the ships
  • Limited to 100 thousand men
  • Conscription forbidden
  • Heavy artillery, aviation, submarines forbidden
  • But the officer class retained political influence

Freikorps Parade
  • Allies put forth staggering demands for
  • 33 billion (i.e. A Bazillion dollars)
  • Demands were emotionally motivated
  • Brits and French wanted to charge Germany with
    entire expenses of war, including war pensions
  • No total was determined and the question was left
  • Germany was required to
  • Surrender its merchant marine
  • Make coal deliveries
  • Give up all property owned by German private
    citizens abroad

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The war guilt clause (Article 231)
  • Germany forced to accept the responsibility for
    all loss and damage resulting from the war
  • Germany citizens felt no responsibility for the
  • They believed the High Command was responsible
  • War guilt clause was an insult to the honor of
    the Germans and they would agitate against it

  • Reparations and War Guilt Clauses of the Peace
    Treaty of Versailles
  • ARTICLE 231.
  • The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and
    Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and
    her allies for causing all the loss and damage to
    which the Allied and Associated Governments and
    their nationals have been subjected as a
    consequence of the war imposed upon them by the
    aggression of Germany and her allies.
  • ARTICLE 232.
  • The Allied and Associated Governments recognise
    that the resources of Germany are not adequate,
    after taking into account permanent diminutions
    of such resources which will result from other
    provisions of the present Treaty, to make
    complete reparation for all such loss and damage.
  • The Allied and Associated Governments, however,
    require, and Germany undertakes, that she will
    make compensation for all damage done to the
    civilian population of the Allied and Associated
    Powers and to their property during the period of
    the belligerency of each as an Allied or
    Associated Power against Germany by such
    aggression by land, by sea and from the air, and
    in general all damage as defined in Annex l

  • Germany refused to sign
  • Internal agitation and the threat of renewed
    hostilities led to the Social Democrats and a
    Catholic party submitting to the treaty
  • This greatly weakened the credibility of a
    fledgling gov
  • Diktat
  • German term for Versailles as a dictated peace
  • Done without German consultation

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Failure of Versailles
  • The treaty was too severe
  • Reparations
  • Disarmament
  • Hurt the fledgling German republic
  • The treaty was not severe enough
  • Did not destroy Germanys economic strength
  • Did not destroy Germanys political strengths
  • The penalties that were prescribed were not
  • Loss of faith in the treaty by the Allies made
    the task of German agitators easier

  • Britain was unhappy with the treaty
  • Uncomfortable with alliances
  • Italians were unhappy
  • with the few spoils of war they received
  • Wanted more Unredeemed Italy
  • Chinese were dissatisfied
  • Ho Chi Minh unhappy
  • Russians insulted
  • looked at the cordon sanitaire as an insult
  • refers to attempts to prevent the spread of an
    ideology deemed unwanted or dangerous
  • Resented the loss of former Russian territory
  • Never given Constantinople
  • The U.S. never ratified the treaty
  • Objected to the clause (Article X) that committed
    the U.S. to military action on the behalf of
    Britain and France
  • Seemed to surrender Congress right to declare war
  • Influenced by John Maynard Keynes book, The
    Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919)
  • Condemned reparations, Wilsons hypocrisy (Aid to
    White Army)
  • French felt duped
  • Anglo-American-Franco agreement never ratified

The League of Nations
  • League was established in Geneva
  • A great step beyond international anarchy
  • U.S. never joined
  • Constitutional issues
  • Political issues
  • Was seen as a tool to maintain French and British
    authority in the world
  • WWI
  • Ended the last institutions of aristocratic
  • Special advantage of the old landed aristocracies
    was swept away
  • war was a victory for democracy, but
  • The war did not answer the nagging questions of
    the day
  • Industrialism and nationalism
  • Economic security and international stability
  • Left Europe weaker in the face of
  • Rising economic power of America
  • Revolutionary government of the Soviet Union
  • Emerging anti-colonial movements of Africa and
  • Was not a Carthaginian Peace
  • If Germany won, they would have been harsher

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