• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Peace Settlements and the New Europe 1918-1923

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

History Internal Assessment The Peace Settlements and the New Europe 1918-1923 Discuss the view that the Paris settlements were an unsatisfactory compromise between hopes for reconciliation and a desire to punish the Central Powers. Jens Vall� January 21, 2002 I.B. World History HL Table of contents Introduction 1 Body The War Aims of the Great European Powers 2 The Peace Settlements 4 The Economic and Social Crisis 5 Conclusion 6 Bibliography 7 The Peace Settlements and the New Europe 1918-1923 Discuss the view that the Paris settlements were an unsatisfactory compromise between hopes for reconciliation and a desire to punish the Central Powers. Introduction The Peace Treaties of 1919-20 were seen by some contemporaries as a triumph of democracy, a victory for the rule of law that would end the militaristic tendencies of the Great European Powers. To other critics it seemed no more than a hypocritical act of vengeance and economic ignorance, and a short-term victory for the allies. As for the hopes for reconciliation, the victorious Great Powers desired to prevent future conflicts as the casualties and destruction had been so immense during the war. It failed to do so as the conditions of the final settlements only humiliated the German people, and in the short-term crippled one of the strongest economies on the European continent. For the victorious nations including Britain and France the treaties left only some short-term advantages. It failed to reestablish a balance of power in Europe that maybe would have prevented future disasters. ...read more.

Middle

and communist expansion in western Europe. Another dilemma facing the representatives negotiating the peace treaties was to set up new national states in the vacuum created by collapse of Austria-Hungary and the defeat of Germany (Binder p. 70). These newly created states were particularly vulnerable to revolution. Combined with the influenza pandemic which by the spring of 1919 had caused the deaths of millions of people, it was certain that strong nations should be established in eastern Europe in order to withstand communism. This is also why the negotiaters refrained from weakening Germany too badly as this would send the nation into the hands of the Bolsheviks. The immediate armistice presented by Wilson according to his Fourteen Points and revised by the allies went far to protect their position at the coming Peace Conference. It demanded Germany to evacuate all occupied territory, including Alsace-Lorraine and to withdraw beyond a 10 kilometre wide neutral to the east of the Rhine. The German navy was also to be interned in either a neutral or a British port. These terms immediatly ended German influence outside of Germany itself, thereby making it easier for the victorious nations to negotiate the future of Europe. The French Premier Clemenceau was convinced that only an effective balance of power in Europe coul dcontain Germany. He was aware that France, with it's 1.3 million casualties and severely weakened economy was facing Germany which, as a consequence of her collapse of Austria-Hungary and Tsarist Russia, was potentially stronger than in 1914. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore it can be said that the Versailles Treaty was only a short-term victory for the Allies. When the American Senate voted against the Treaty it also took away the prestige from the League of Nations that was the only hope for persistent peace that remained after the war. As the balance of power had been knocked over by the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian empire and the Russian revolution, Europe was left in a very unstable situation. The Allied hopes for reconciliation were in some ways met. The autocratic and militaristic ideas that led great powers like Germany and Austria-Hungary disappeared with the victory of the Allies. The long-term mobilization and race for overseas expansion that were factors of war, became ideas of the past. Even though England and the United States remained a colonial power to be reckoned with, the empiralistic tendencies of the Great Nations of the world were partly forgotten after the war. But this didn't mean that the Allies achieved reconciliation because of the negotiations after the war. The balance of power was lost, and the situation was unstable. Therefore it would be correct to say that the Paris settlements were an unsatisfactory compromise between hopes for reconciliation and a desire to punish the Central Powers, because neither of the two were achieved. Germany prevailed as a more potential power because of the disturbance in the balance of power, and reconciliation between the nations of Europe is not the correct way to describe post-war international relations. It was a short-term victory for democracy and security against militarism, but at the same time a hypocritical act of vengeance and economic ignorance. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    He was convinced that the enemy could be overwhelmed by sheer weight of numbers, and that final victory could only be achieved on the Western Front. He Somme was his first major battle * Haig originally intended to fight his first major battle near Ypres in 1916, but he was

  2. American History.

    Colonial militias served under their own captains but the Brits. wanted to? take charge. The colonials had no military protocols; the British were big on all that? stuff. The colonials didn't want higher taxes to help pay for the war but the?

  1. The Collapse of Communism in the USSR and Eastern Europe

    It provided a frame of reference by which the peoples of the world could judge both domestic conditions and superpower behaviour in the various conquests of the 1980s. It formed the foundation for reformist debates behind the Iron Curtain, particularly on the subjects of state sovereignty and d�tente.

  2. "The Cold War in Europe brought the big powers into fighting wars outside Europe ...

    abroad, as already demonstrated in Europe with the Berlin Blockade 2. Economic restrictions * Limits to involvement include the sheer shortage of aid resources that can be sent to support one side in a globalised conflict * USSR's severe economic damage from WWII and its draining aid obligations to its

  1. Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe?

    In East Germany in 1953 there were a series of strikes and protests. (8) The Russians, under Stalin, used their armed forces to put down the revolt and to protect East Germany's communist government. This shows the importance of Soviet military force in maintaining communism's tenuous grip on power.

  2. Many peoples have contributed to the development of the United States of America, a ...

    Under the leadership of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander HAMILTON, Congress pledged (1790) the revenues of the federal government to pay off all the outstanding debt of the old Articles of Confederation government as well as the state debts. Much of the domestic debt was in currency that had badly

  1. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    In early 1976, the situation seemed ripe for a large scale military action within the army. On that objective Palestinian leaders, notably Arafat, Abu Iyad, Abu Jihad, Abu Hassan Salameh, were in agreement. Fateh leaders Abu Jihad and Abu Hassan Salameh were in control of the LAA, and were assisted by military commanders.

  2. How far do you agree that the terms of the Paris peace settlements were ...

    is doubtful whether a formal and legal revision is as yet practicable. The main powers Britain America and France all had different aims: Wilson (the American president) wanted a fair peace, Clemenceau (French prime minister) wanted a harsh peace and lastly Lloyd George (British prime minister) wanted a compromise peace.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work