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

Were the Peace Settlements after World War One Justified?

Extracts from this document...


Were the Peace Settlements after World War One Justified? The end of 1919 saw several peace treaties. Designed by the Allied leaders, the 'Big Three'- Georges Clemenceau of France, David Lloyd George of Britain and Woodrow Wilson of the United States, they dealt with the nations defeated in World War One. They were created to ensure a lasting peace, and to reward the victors of the war; however, were they justified? The Treaty of Versailles. This was accompanied by several controversies, for it was considered to be the harshest of the post-war treaties. It was a peace settlement designed to deal with Germany, and it imposed several unsympathetic restrictions and burdens upon her already frail shoulders. For example, the 'war guilt' clause that infuriated so many Germans. Germany was obligated to accept sole blame for initiating the war. This term was unfair; it was preposterous to blame a single nation for such a huge iniquity, especially a new government that was trying to replace the old Kaiser's regime with a democratic rule. Furthermore, several countries had shown signs of aggression during events leading up to 1914. Thus, it was unreasonable to accuse Germany for exclusively beginning the war which ravaged the lives of so many. Germany's disarmament was another term of the Treaty of Versailles. Her army was limited to a mere 100 thousand and her armored vehicles, aircraft and submarines were seized from her. ...read more.


Hence, Germany was outraged that, whilst her empire was no longer in existence, Britain's empire was expanding. This is seen as unjust by most, as Britain was thriving on Germany's losses. Perhaps the severest term of the peace settlement was the 'reparations' clause. Without consulting her, the Allies agreed to have Germany compensate France with �6.6 billion in reparations- a colossal amount that she could not afford. Her economy was already crippled; people did not have enough food or drink, and many were homeless. Furthermore, because she no longer controlled the Saarland or her overseas empires to support her finance, it was inequitable for the Allies to demand such ludicrous amounts of money. However, perhaps there were some justifications for Clemenceau's wish for such a large amount. It must be considered that France had been ravaged by four years of war; her industrial and residential areas wrecked and her landscape reduced to debris. Along with the Treaty of Versailles, four other treaties were created. The Treaty of St. Germain-this dealt with Austria-was formed in 1919. It proclaimed that Austria and Hungary would now be separate nations; this was to the joy of many. It forbade a union between Germany and Austria; this was not justified, because there were German speakers in Austria. Several Austrian territories were handed to the new states of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, as well as to other countries. ...read more.


There were several positive outcomes of the peace settlements after World War One. The most significant one was the establishment of the League of Nations. This was the first-ever world organization of its kind; it aimed to discourage aggression for any nation, to encourage nations to disarm, and to improve the general working and living conditions of people. Britain, France, Italy and Japan were permanent members of the League. Surprisingly, USA was not involved in the League, although it was Woodrow Wilson who preliminarily mentioned such an organization in his 'Fourteen Points.' However, Germany was not invited to any meetings of the League, and therefore this incensed her. Other positive outcomes of the treaties include the self-determination of several countries, once again initiated by Wilson. The dreams of peoples who had been part of former empires finally came true; they gained independence. For example, the Czechs were overjoyed to finally be liberated, free from the clutches of the former Austrian Empire. The new state of Czechoslovakia was especially significant because it was created by the Allies for the future security of Europe. Although the Treaty of Versailles is usually depicted as relentless, it must be taken into account how challenging it was for Clemenceau, Lloyd George and Wilson to create an impartial treaty whilst meeting public demand for revenge. In conclusion, it is evident that the peace settlements after World War One can be perceived as both just and unjust. Reja Nadeem 10A Tuesday 14th October 2003 ...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)

    In addition, the political situation in Germany easily allowed the rise of radical ideas. With the inflation, the Weimar Republic, which was governing Germany in the early 20s, collapsed and socialist revolts and strikes in cities like Kiel caused total political upheaval.

  2. "Was the treaty of Versailles fair?"

    Why was it difficult to redraw these frontiers ? The Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919. Hitler came to power in 1933. Between these dates, little of the treaty had been carried out. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

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

    Germany should receive back both the mines and territory without payment. France should supply Germany from Lorraine with at least 50%. 3. Problems in Upper Silesia should be held and in coming to a final decision the regard will be pay by the principles of the allies.

  2. To what extent did nationalism within the Austria-Hungarian Empire contribute to the outbreak of ...

    3. The preservation of peace: President Wilson's concept of a general association of states built into the peace treaties; the concept of collective security embodied in the League of Nations was weakened by the exclusion of Germany and the

  1. Questions on World War One.

    But its history began with the proclamation of the German Empire on January 18, 1871, in Versailles after the Franco-Prussian War. To consolidate his creation of a unified Germany, in particular internally, Bismarck required peace in Europe. This was not only peace for Germany herself, but peace throughout Europe which directly or indirectly would effect her.

  2. were the paris peace settlements fair

    Germany's army was reduced to one hundred thousand men and were not allowed tanks. She was not allowed an air force, six naval ships but no submarines. Austria's army was reduced to thirty thousand men. This was due to the fact that the size of the country was reduced massively.

  1. Why did international peace collapse in 1939?

    But even a greater cause of the collapse of international peace in 1939 was the end of appeasement. When Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, after having faced no opposition in the past, he did not expect Britain and France to declare war on Germany.

  2. Who or what was to blame for World War One: Did two bullets lead ...

    This meant you could lead a joint attack with the combined number of legions of both countries. The two countries are united against the one. Such was the power of an alliance. The alliances formed in the World War One were the Triple Alliance (also known as The Central Powers)

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