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

"The treaty of Versailles represented neither a Wilson peace nor a Clemenceau peace, but a witch's brew concocted of the least palatable ingredients of each". To what extent is this judgment of the Treaty of Versailles appropriate?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

22-January-2003 Roham Gharegozlou, 1oIB Versailles Treaty Controversy History Essay The Versailles Treaty Controversy "The treaty of Versailles represented neither a Wilson peace nor a Clemenceau peace, but a witch's brew concocted of the least palatable ingredients of each". To what extent is this judgment of the Treaty of Versailles appropriate? Language: English Subject: History Teacher: Mme Therrode Institution: EABJM One of the most controversial and debated topics in modern history today is the issue of the Versailles Treaty: an admitted compromise by several Great Powers with vastly different aims, there is no question of its being with at least a few faults. However, there are many who maintain that the Versailles Treaty was an unacceptable treaty exactly because of its compromising nature, which weakened its impact and indeed rendered its original aims redundant. The Treaty of Versailles was viewed by many as a treaty to the "War to end all Wars", and therefore it was expected to prevent any further wars from taking place in the world at large and in Europe in particular. Such was the aim that the most important Powers present at the Treaty conference had in mind. All, however, disagreed strongly on the ways to implement this peace. Therefore, "The treaty of Versailles represented neither a Wilson peace nor a Clemenceau peace, but a witch's brew concocted of the least palatable ingredients of each" As stated by medieval war philosopher and statesman Niccolo ...read more.

Middle

Public opinion in the aforementioned countries (Britain and France) was very much in favor of an extremely harsh peace, with cries of 'lets squeeze the Germans 'till their pips squeak' being echoed by the people. Lloyd George, as mentioned before, was not prepared to take such a hard stance against Germany, if only because he realized that Germany's economic benefits to Britain would be greater in the long term than any immediate spoils the Allies could reap from the war. He did, however, have to at least partially reflect the wishes of his people, and indeed wished for complete German naval inability and also German reparations to be paid. This put him in the same camp as Georges Clemenceau in certain matters, and thus strengthened the latter's position greatly. Clemenceau was about as far from Wilson in terms of policy towards Germany as you could get at the conference. He represented a peace of vengeance, and meant to destroy Germany so absolutely so as to completely remove her as a future military danger to his country. France advocated as harsh a peace as they thought they could get away with. Clemenceau wanted a separate Rhine state to be created as a buffer state to France, Danzig to be annexed, the Saar to be annexed, and heavy reparations to be set upon Germany, in addition to the practical extinguishment of Germany's military prowess. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thus it came to be that one of Clemenceau's worst fears came to be realized: he said, during the conference, that he would be adamant about the creation of a new Rhine state as demilitarization alone would not suffice to keep Germany in check. As it turned out, he gave in, and this came back to haunt France twenty years later, before World War II. Also, the war-guilt clause, put there for an added punch to the humiliating blow the French were dealing the Germans, caused truly an anger and indignation among the Germans that virtually guaranteed their non-comitance to the treaty. Despite all this 'giving ins' the French made, the Americans also had to completely change their view of a peace in Europe. It was this also that made the American senate refuse the treaty, putting additional burden on the French and the English and meaning that the Germans would have one less very powerful country looking over their shoulder. The lack of American support also took away from the Treaty's credibility and re-enforced the view that it was based on vengeance and not justice. In conclusion, it can be said that the Versailles treaty both angered the defeated, and gave them the means with which to express their anger. It is this that made the Versailles treaty a "witches brew": in effect it was like shooting someone in the leg and then giving the loaded gun back to them for them to do as they pleased. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Was The Treaty Of Versailles Justified?

    5 star(s)

    Whether or not Woodrow Wilson's peace would have fared better than the Treaty of Versailles is really immaterial; no one will ever know. But the fact that Wilson was simply ignored, mocked, and insulted, reinforces the idea that Britain and France only cared about punishing Germany, not seeking peace.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Why did the treaty of versailles provoke widespread hostility among Germans?

    4 star(s)

    The Weimar government almost considered re-starting the war rather than sign the treaty but after all "it was better to keep the German people together under humiliating conditions than risk their complete disintegration." An important point, as J.W. Hiden argues, this 'Diktat' argument led to the concentration of nationalist resentment

  1. "Was the treaty of Versailles fair?"

    This would have been a difficult task.. The allies did however declare war, but no military actions were taken. This war is often referred to as the phony war becaus! e they never fought. In the following spring of 1940, after a cold and long winter, Hitler went on to

  2. Summary of John Maynard Keynes' "The Economic Consequences of the Peace".

    Hoover addresses the unemployment rate due to the post-war exhaustion in Europe (15 million families were receiving unemployment allowance). In Germany, there is an avoiding to labor and the capital that anything they might produce after the barest level of existence will be taken away from them eventually.

  1. Explain the different aims of the three leaders, Clemenceau, Lloyd-George, and Wilson at the ...

    Lloyd-George wanted to regain British supreme domination of the seas by reducing the German navy. Britain also had a great policy of colonialism and aimed to confiscate and control Germany's overseas territories. As Britain had been damaged by the war, she wished to remove the possibilities of further conflict.

  2. Who was most pleased with the Treaty of Versailles. Woodrow Wilson or George Clemenceau?

    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.

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

    But the feeling in Whitehall was different. The civil servants felt that the treaty was harsh and unfair but it was the responsibility of Britain to help maintain those terms drawn up in the treaty and to police the new Europe that was created.

  2. Was the Treaty of Versailles a Mistake? This peace treaty compelled Germany to ...

    This is shown in 'The treaty of Versailles did not pacify Germany, still less permanently weaken her'. This is also reflected in 'it was neither a Wilson peace nor a Clemenceau peace.' This source argues that the treaty was a mistake and did not for fill its potential as made nor peace or war.

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