The Treaty of Versailles

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In 1914 the First World War was started. Sadly it cost millions of lives. In 1918 the war ended leaving many countries in debt. The Treaty of Versailles was meant to stop future wars. In the end it was the cause of the Second World War. Looking back it is clear the treaty caused more problems than it solved.

Germany and Austria-Hungary, being the losers of the war, where not allowed to go to Versailles at the conference to decide what should happen in the treaty. Present at the meeting were “The Big Four” which were Lloyd George, PM of Great Britain, Georges Clemenceau, PM of France, Woodrow Wilson, President of the USA and Vittorio Orlando, PM of Italy. They all had different ideas about what should happen and this is what probably made it a disaster.

Lloyd’s opinions about what should happen were not those of many of the British. Most people wanted Germany to be punished: “Squeeze them until the pips squeak!” and “Make Germany Pay!” were popular sayings but Lloyd didn’t believe that. He believed that Germany should not be treated too harshly otherwise it would only lead to future trouble and they should be allowed to recover. France wanted to take the possession of Rhineland (the area near the River Rhine). Lloyd didn’t want for France to do this and only wished for the area to be “demilitarised”.

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On the other hand Georges held an opposing opinion. He was nicknamed “The Tiger” because of the huge demands he made. He wanted to strip Germany of all its wealth to pay for the damage France had suffered during the four years of conflict. France had undoubtedly suffered the most since most of Northern France had been a battlefield. Germany had invaded her for the second time since 1870 when Alsace-Lorraine had been taken over by Germany. Georges thought that by stripping Germany of everything he would make sure that there was not another war again. He had three ...

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