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Paris Peace Conference Essay

1709 words - 7 pages

The Paris Peace Conference is one of the most important historical events in recent history. However, many individuals have long debated the significance of the Conference. From further research on the subject, it is clear that the significance of the Conference cannot be questioned, it was extraordinarily significant. In this essay the significance of the Conference will be proved through the drawing of new national boundaries, the League of Nations, and the five major peace treaties.

The Paris Peace Conference took place in Paris in the year 1919 and ended in January of 1920. It followed the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers after the armistices ...view middle of the document...

Of course some of it changed as part of World War II and other historical events, chiefly the separation of Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and the smaller land now owned by Germany, however the similarity between the map of today and the map of 1919 are staggering. Countries such as France, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland all own the same land they were allocated in 1919. The reworking of the world map was extraordinarily significant because it was the first time that nations had come together to allocate land, as opposed to taking it by hard imperialism, and because it laid the foundation for what Europe has become today.

Another major result of the Paris Peace Conference was the creation of the League of Nations. The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. As stated in its Covenant, the primary goals of the League of Nations included preventing wars through collective security and disarmament, and settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration. The League of Nations also handled issues in labour conditions, human and drug trafficking, arms trade, global health, prisoners of war, just treatment of native inhabitants, and the protection of minorities in Europe. At its height, the membership of the League of Nations consisted of 58 members. Of the League of Nations 42 founding members, only 23 remained until it dissolved. Although the League of Nations is widely known for its inability to stop World War II, before that it did have some successes. The first international agreement concluded by the League of Nations was the Åland islands conflict. Åland is a collection of over 6,500 islands between Finland and Sweden. The islands themselves are almost entirely Swedish-speaking. However, the government of Finland controlled the islands because in 1809 the Russians gave the islands to them in the Grand Duchy of Finland. In 1920, the dispute had escalated so rapidly that the two countries were on the verge of war. The League of Nations created a small council to decide if it should intervene in the dispute and eventually came to an agreement that it should, ultimately creating a neutral commission. The commission came to the agreement that the islands were to remain under Finnish control so long as there was guaranteed protection of the islanders, and demilitarization. Another example of one of the League of Nations successes was the Upper Silesia. After two Silesian Uprisings in 1919 and 1920, a plebiscite took place as to which country Upper Silesia should join, the choices were Poland or Germany. On March 20, 1921, 59.6% of the votes were cast in favor of Germany. However, Poland stated that the conditions surrounding the plebiscite had been unfair, which led to a Third Silesian Uprising. After the League of Nations was asked to solve the dispute, it created a...

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