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The Attitude Of The British Public Was The MAIN Reason Why Britain's Government Were Reluctant To Commit Themselves To The Versailles Agreement. How Far Do You Agree?

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Introduction

The Attitude Of The British Public Was The MAIN Reason Why Britain's Government Were Reluctant To Commit Themselves To The Versailles Agreement. How Far Do You Agree? The three main powers organising the Treaty of Versailles were Britain, France and the USA, also known as the 'big three'. Being in the major contributors they got a lot of the requests they made to be added into the treaty, not all but more than other countries would have received. It is generally unfair to say that the British public considered the treaty to be too lenient on the Germans, as many thought it was also too harsh, but generally speaking they were not happy with what was agreed. Those looking back a few years after considered the treaty to have been too harsh, but at the time a majority did feel that Germany should feel more punished. We also need to consider whether we are referring to the British general public, or the media as it played a very influential role on society. ...read more.

Middle

It is unfair to assume that all of the British public wanted Germany to be severely punished; some did see the long-term benefits of trying to maintain a stable German economy and not creating resentment. Not only did the public have conflicting opinions, politicians also had their own ideas on the best advancement Britain could make towards the Treaty of Versailles. The conservatives wanted greatly to punish Germany and collect repayment for all they lost. The liberals on the other hand thought a more lenient approach was more appropriate for the repercussions that could follow. One particular politician who opposed Lloyd's choices was Sir Eric Geddes; he spoke openly about his views on how the situation should be handled: 'Germany is going to pay...I will personally have no doubt that we will get everything out of her that you can squeeze out of a lemon and a bit more' (2) Britain was also undergoing problems with the British Empire and some politicians thought that Britain's power and money could be best-used focusing on strengthening the already existing Empire, which was struggling. ...read more.

Conclusion

This then caused a reluctance to enter the Treaty as Lloyd George had to be sure of what he was allowing Britain to enter into. To conclude, the attitude of the British public was one, but not the main, reason for Lloyd George being so reluctant to enter into the Treaty of Versailles. There were many other factors in which he had to ponder, in order to ensure he was making the right decision for the country, which I have merely touched upon. He had to consider the opinions of fellow politicians, the general public, reactions of the media, other issues Britain was facing at the time and the actual clauses he would be subjecting Britain to. However, he did take the opinion of the public seriously as it was this group of people who would be deciding whether he was to remain in power. Without the support of the country, he had nothing, and he knew this and considered it when compromising deals with France and America. FOOTNOTES: (1)- Even MP Sir Eric Geddes opposed Lloyd George's views. (2)- said in 1918. ...read more.

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