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

Geddes said they should "Squeeze the German lemon until the pips squeak" - How far was this the aim of the Treaty of Versailles and did it succeed in fulfilling Geddes hopes?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Geddes said they should "Squeeze the German lemon until the pips squeak" How far was this the aim of the Treaty of Versailles and did it succeed in fulfilling Geddes hopes? The negotiations that became known as the Treaty of Versailles became highly contentious, especially whilst negotiating German frontiers and boundaries. The French demanded that Germany's western frontier be fixed on the river Rhine. The area to the left would go to France or would be an independent state. Lloyd George and Wilson (UK and US representatives) both opposed this proposal. A compromise was made but it was far from squeezing the German lemon till the pips squeaked. It was agreed that there would be an allied occupation of the Rhineland for 15 years. An Anglo- American treaty guaranteed France against a German attack. The Rhineland itself would be divided into three zones each would be evacuated after 5 years, following this would be a demilitarization of the area in which German troops would be barred but would be run by German administration. This compromise was hardly against Germany; in fact it is quite nice to the Germans. There is disagreement between the big 3 (France feel aggrieved) and they are offering to preserve a peace of land until Germany is economically stable enough to have back!!! ...read more.

Middle

By article 231 Germany had to accept full responsibility for causing this war. This war guilt clause was hated by the German people but provided a moral base for the allied demands for Germany to pay reparations. The main difficulty was deciding how much Germany should pay, how much they could pay and how to divide it between the allies. Wilson wanted a reparations settlement based on Germany's ability to pay. However the French and British publics wanted to extract huge payments which would help allied countries to meet the costs of the war and also weaken German economy for years to come. "To squeeze the German lemon till the pips squeaked". Lloyd George was pulled several ways. He was convinced that Britain would get their fair share, insisting, successfully, that damage should include merchant shipping loses and the costs of pensions to those disabled, widowed or orphaned by the war. But like Wilson he thought that Germany should pay only what it could reasonably afford. He didn't want to totally abolish any prospects of further exports to Germany which had previously been a good market for British goods. His personal feelings aside Lloyd George could no longer afford to ignore the prevailing mood of the people in the UK especially after promising to screw Germany "to the uttermost farthing". ...read more.

Conclusion

Opinion in Britain after 1919 also reached the conclusion that Germany had been treated unfairly. France however found the treaty far too soft. After a costly war, for which it was to blame, Germany had only lost 13% of its pre war territory and 10% of its population. Surrounded by small unstable states on its southern and eastern boundaries Germany remained potentially the strongest state in Europe. Clemenceau believed he only signed the treaty because Britain and the US had offered France a defensive alliance. Most Frenchmen in consequence felt betrayed. I believe that the treaty of Versailles was, at times, in particular the reparations, harsh to the maximum and the pips did squeak however in many other areas such as military and territorially the treaty was not harsh enough and its aims certainly were not simply to create peace. I believe the US saw mass economical gains and both Britain and France (and Italy to an extent) saw the prospect of new colonies to add to their illustrious egos. It can be foreseen that the failure to solve the German problem in 1919 laid the foundations of the 2nd World War and therefore Geddes hopes had not been fulfilled. A good summary echoed by contemporary historians is this... "The treaty was the worst of all worlds too severe to be acceptable to most Germans and too lenient too constrain Germany." ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1900-1939 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 GCSE International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. How Far Was The Treaty Of Versailles Fair?

    to be increasing with all the compensation and Germany's power weakening - the Prime Minister feared France becoming the dominating force in Europe. George may have demonstrated a slight sense of sympathy for the Germans in attempt to implicate his deprecation of the amount of compensation going through to France; because he felt they were becoming too powerful etc.

  2. To what extent was the Treaty of Versailles justifiable?

    Stressemen tried to get the treaty revised diplomatically while Hitler thought the best way was a show of force. �Translating commonplace talk into action.� This is a view of Taylor who believed that Hitler exploited the general feeling of the Germans and used it to his own advantage in gaining the policies that suited his ideas on foreign policy.

  1. "Was the treaty of Versailles fair?"

    During this same year, the Ruhr, an important mining region was occupied by the French troops. This action was taken, because it was during this year that Germany failed to pay debts and damages to France. This invasion by France angered many Germans who were still very hostile to the

  2. Who were the big three and why did they implement the Treaty of Versailles?

    This means that the ruling powers had to bear in mind the wishes of the inhabitants, who should also be prepared for self rule. Decisions over disarmament were a little easier, as all the rulers wanted the same in this area. Germany's army was to be limited to 100,000 men.

  1. Analyse the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Versailles Settlement.

    The re-organisation of Austria and Hungary (and to a lesser extent Bulgaria), left them with serious economic problems: a loss of land, peoples and factories. Austria faced something of a crisis and needed League loans, and Hungary lost important agricultural land to Romania.

  2. To what extent can the Treaty of Versailles be described as fair.

    This made the German people feel threatened, as France was still hostile towards them. Germany was also held back in the field of military development they were not allowed to develop any armoured vehicles, submarines and most importantly aircraft as these will become a major factor in later wars.

  1. In order for it to succeed, must a strategic alliance be an alliance between ...

    As a result of collaborating, one or both firms may experience an increase on their return on assets and return on capital employedn as a result of rationalising their supply chain. Therefore, it could be argued that an imbalance of power between two companies does not necessarily lead to the failure of an alliance.

  2. Wilson's Fourteen Points became the basis of the Treaty of Versailles, which was an ...

    "These leaders were known as the Big Four and met to decide the fate of Germany after the First World War," (#4, pg1). As the counties argued and negotiated, every representative from their country wanted their own unique part. Lloyd-George of Britain was eager for revenge, but was also worried about the dangers of treating Germany to harshly (#4, pg1).

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