In What Ways Were the Aims of Clemenceau, Wilson and Lloyd George Different at the Paris Peace Conference
World War One lasted from 1914-1918, ending with an armistice on November 11th 1918. The allies (Britain, France and the USA) won. The war had reaped havoc across all those countries who participated in it. It left millions people dead or injured (8 million troops killed, 21 million injured) and destroyed huge areas of land and thousands of buildings. The Allies then had to agree a peace treaty with the losers. Everyone wanted to make sure a war like this wouldn’t happen again, but all of the Big Three disagreed on how to do this.
Clemenceau (the President of France) wanted Germany to be punished. He had seen his country invaded, large parts of its industry destroyed and millions of its people killed. Clemenceau was determined to make Germany pay compensation for France. He also wanted to weaken Germany so that she could never threaten France again. He wanted Germany to pay huge reparations; he wanted no German armed troops on his border, have their armed forces reduced to a minimum and wanted Germany to split up into smaller states. He felt they should be harsh on Germany as it was on Russia when they pulled out of the war the previous year – taking 40% of Russia’s best land and forced to pay 300 million gold roubles in reparations (the treaty of Brest-Litovsk). Clemenceau knew he had the French people behind him as they wanted to feel safe again; they were hugely angered and wanted to see Germany crippled.