The Treaty of Versailles Was the Most Pleasing to Woodrow Wilson or George Clemenceau?
After the First World War a treaty had to be made to punish Germany
for their actions. This had to be done as Germany had lost the war and
had signed the Armistice on the 11th November 1918. The German peoples
were hungry, war weary and demanded peace. The Paris peace
conference's job was to write the Treaty of Versailles. Britain,
America and France all had representatives at this meeting; the Big
Three. The 'Big Three' included George Clemenceau, Lloyd George and
Woodrow Wilson. In June 1919, those three powers discussed the peace
treaty thoroughly. They all wanted peace, but this was hard to come by
the wide scale disruption to Europe during the war.
The German people thought that their nation had been 'stabbed in the
back' when they learnt of the nature of the treaty. This expression is
normally used when something is killed, suggesting that German hopes
were killed. This was as they though that their country was winning
the war. This idea had been planted because of government propaganda.
The people only heard of German victories at war in newspapers, never
of losses. This was to keep the nation's morale up and to try and
prevent a revolt.
As there were three huge nations, they all had different ideas as to
how Germany should be dealt with.
France had suffered greatly at the hands of the Germans. The north of
Had been left in pieces, and 1,400,000 soldiers had been killed. As a
result, they wanted a harsh treaty. France wanted to ensure that no
third attack would ever take place, and wanted Germany to be reduced
to a minor European State. France was an Imperialist country,
therefore it had vast expanses of empire around the world; as did
England who opposed the idea of self determination too.
Britain had debts reaching to £9 billion, some of which had to be paid
back. They were left to rebuild their industrial towns and cities
after German bombardment. Therefore, they wanted a harsh, but fair
Woodrow Wilson wanted the treaty to be based on his own '14 Points'
plan. These aims were not based around punishing Germany as such, but
ensuring that no war of that escalation should happen again. Only
116,000 American soldiers died in the war; this is as they only
entered the war in the last year. Also, Woodrow Wilson. believed
strongly in self determination; where a country is allowed to make the
decision itself as to whether it should have it's own government.
Their land was not damaged as battles were fought in Europe therefore
war effort also did not cost them much financially.
The treaty of Versailles was signed on the 28th June 1919. Germany had
no choice but to sign. This was as if they did not sign it would
result in war which Germany could not...