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

"The Versailles Peace Settlement failed to secure British Foreign Policy interests"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Milestone 2 19/10/05 "The Versailles Peace Settlement failed to secure British Foreign Policy interests" How far do you agree with this view? PLAN 1) British Foreign Policy interests at the time Peace - Britain had everything to lose and nothing to gain from a war. Balance of Power - Best insurance against renewal of war. Global interests rather than just continental. Preservation of empire Preservation of navy - had best navy fleet. Remain on good terms with USA - expenses. Britain needed to be defended - Security of UK - Protection of trade routes - Defence of the empire - Co-operate in defence of British allies. 2) The main aims of the Versailles settlement Make it so that Germany could not gain power (military or other) and cause threat. Reparations to be paid Army and navy cut (100,000 men) Acceptance of war guilt Union of Austria and Germany banned Demilitarisation of Rhineland and occupation of Ruhr 3) What British Government thought about the Treaty. Unfair to Germany - Peace should be restored 4) How it did secure British foreign policy. Meant that Germany could not expand - No threat to Britain With reparations to pay Britain could get some money to rebuild bigger army German Navy belittled, meant Britain had no threat of being challenged If Britain agreed with USA this wouldn't lead to conflict. ...read more.

Middle

The German navy was similarly reduced and Germany was forbidden to build major weapons of aggression, contributing to them not being able to build a strong enough army or weapons to fight with. Germany, after futile protests, accepted the treaty, which became effective in January 1920. The vital clauses that were included in the treaty were that Germany had to admit full responsibility for starting the war. This was Clause 231 - the infamous "War Guilt Clause", which angered many Germans, the British also thought that this was harsh on Germany, the clause was mainly introduced by the French and the USA. Germany, as she was responsible for starting the war as stated in clause 231, was, therefore responsible for all the war damage caused by the First World War. Therefore, she had to pay reparations, the bulk of which would go to France and Belgium to pay for the damage done to the infrastructure of both countries by the war. Quite literally, reparations would be used to pay for the damage to be repaired. However Britain was angry that they were not stated to get any of this money that was to be paid back, this would have helped with British expenses such as building up its army in defence for itself and its allies. ...read more.

Conclusion

As far as restrictions on armaments were concerned, they failed to prevent German rearmament because the victorious powers did not have the will to enforce them. That will was lacking especially in Britain, which was most critical of the Versailles Treaty. The British anxious to demobilize, were reluctant also to assume obligations which would provide France with an alternative scheme of security to that which required the crippling of Germany. The Peace settlement of 1919 had many positive and negative effects on British Foreign Policy and the government. British Foreign Policy was dictated by the principle of "balance of power". British politicians believed that Europe after Versailles had become dominated by France and her continental allies, and therefore these countries should be opposed and Germany should become strengthened against them. Also, the irrational British dislike of France and especially of Poland contributed towards the crystallization of a consistent, British anti-Versailles policy, which favoured the slow revival of German power and brought about the overthrowing of the system of Versailles by the conference of Munich and the destruction of Czechoslovakia, and finally by the Second World War. It would seem that there are more ways in which it did not secure British Foreign Policy than ways in which it did, this may be because foreign policy, although should have played a role in the Versailles treaty, revolved more around what Britain needed than the international affairs and what would have helped its allies. ?? ?? ?? ?? - Louise Arrundale - ...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. The Successes and Failures of the Treaty of Versailles in Addressing the Causes of ...

    Although it was probably affordable to Germany, many Germans disagreed and blamed this clause for the great economic depression in 1929. This created an atmosphere of anger and aggression towards the foreign policy. They held the belief that they had nothing much to lose and started to lean towards a more extreme political stance.

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

    a part of the League of Nation that includes Germany looked upon as representative within it. Coal and Iron: 1. Annex V must be cancelled, and Germany's obligation to make good France's loss of coal through the destruction of her mind should remain until Germany pays its due.

  1. Treaty of Versailles.

    All major countries to join and disarm. Disputes to be taken to league and protect each other if invaded. When league opened America did not join because of problems. Set up in Geneva (Switzerland). Structure of the league Council: Met 5 times per year + in emergencies. Sorting out disputes.

  2. Explain why the policy of appeasement helped Hitler to carry out his aims in ...

    him to do whatever he wanted, and the policy of appeasement often showed that countries were more willing to let Hitler get away with his actions rather than retaliating.

  1. The most important aim of wartime propaganda was to encourage hatred of the enemy. ...

    It also could be exaggerated by the author through censorship to reassure British soldiers. The purpose of source E is to get British government?s point of view across and to promote the feelings of moral superiority in Britain and amongst people.

  2. Why did international peace collapse in 1939?

    ?It will be asked how it was possible that the Soviet government signed a non-aggression pact with so deceitful a nation, with such criminals as Hitler and Ribbentrop? We secured peace for our country for eighteen months, which enabled us to make military preparations.? (Stalin in a speech, 1941)

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