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What is the treaty of Versailles?

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Introduction

What is the Treaty of Versailles? The treaty of Versailles was a treaty, put together at the Paris Peace Conference (starting in January 1919) which was signed (in the Palace of Versailles in the Hall of Mirrors) at the end of World War One, on 28 June 1919. Germany had lost the war, and therefore, the allies who had won the war against Germany, decided to hold a peace conference in Paris, to decide what they should do now, having won the war. The Conference was leaded mainly by three countries: France, England and USA. Of coarse Germany wasn't invited to the Peace Conference. The leaders of each country, often called the 'Big Three', were France by their Prime Minister George Clemenceau, England by their Prime Minister David Lloyd George, and America by their president Woodrow Wilson. Firstly, let us consider the attitudes of each country that attended the Paris Peace Conference: Georges Clemenceau- Prime Minister of France France had suffered much more that USA or Britain in World War 1. It suffered damage to its land, people, and industry. Over two-thirds of the men who had served in the army had lost their lives, which is 1.5 million military personnel. In addition to this, estimates of 400,000 civilians were lost to the war. ...read more.

Middle

No secret treaties 2. Free access to the seas in peacetime or wartime 3. Free trade between countries 4. All countries to work towards disarmament. 5. Colonies to have a say in their own future 6. German troops to leave Russia 7. Independence for Belgium 8. France to regain Alsace-Lorraine 9. Frontier between Austria and Italy to be adjusted 10. Self-determination for the peoples of eastern Europe 11. Serbia to have access to the sea 12. Self-determination for the people in the Turkish Empire 13. Poland to become an independent state with access to the sea 14. League of Nations to be set up You can probably guess now, that the talks at Versailles weren't easily agreed, because all of them had different opinions. That's because the USA had not suffered as bad as France, and Britain also didn't suffer as much as France, as but suffered more than the USA. Clemenceau disagreed to Wilson's kind attitude towards Germany. There were many disagreements, between the Big Three; for example, Britain particularly disagreed with point 2 of the Fourteen Points, which allowed everyone to be able to have access to the seas. Other examples might be disagreements between Wilson and Clemenceau about what to do with the Rhineland, Clemenceau and Lloyd George disagreeing with self-determination because this didn't seem practical and also because allowing people to rule themselves were somewhat threatening to Britain, and last of all, also disagreements on point 4 of the fourteen points, where it says all countries to work towards disarmament. ...read more.

Conclusion

These were the restrictions: * The army was limited to 100,000 men * Conscription was banned * Germany was not allowed armored vehicles, submarines or aircraft * The navy could build only six battleships * The Rhineland became a demilitarized zone, meaning that German troops were not allowed into that area. 5. League of Nations League of Nations was set up as an international police force, for keeping peace. In total, this treaty meant Germany lost 10% of its land, all of its overseas colonies, 12.5% of its population, and 16% of its coalfields, and almost half of its iron and steel industry. The treaty and its terms were announced on 7 May in Germany, and this horrified and outraged the Germans. For example, Germans were angry for the war guilt and reparations. Germany was already corrupt in its economy, because it spent so much money in the war. It would cripple them if they had to pay that much for reparations. Also, the disarmament terms upset the Germans, because the size of their armies had been their pride. Same went to the lost territories. This made them lose their pride. Most of all, they were very angry because they weren't even invited to the Paris Peace Conference, and that their government was not represented at the talks, and that they were forced to accept a harsh treaty. ...read more.

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