Was the Treaty of Versailles Just?

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Was the Treaty of Versailles Just?

In 1919 the mood between France and Germany was very bad. The French wanted to get everything they could out of Germany. They felt that it was Germany who had started the war and therefore it was Germany that should pay for everything. The French minister Geddes had referred to it as “squeezing lemons” because he wanted to squeeze Germany for everything they had. The reason he felt like this was that after the last War, the Germans had treated France just as badly so he wanted to do to them what they had done to France. He also knew that if the Germans had won then they would have demanded just as much money.

At this time the big three were Clemenceau, the French Prime Minister, Lloyd George, the English Prime Minister, and Wilson, the American President. Clemenceau was a cynic and believed that they should make Germany pay for everything they had done. His main aim was to establish a buffer state in the Rhineland, which would give him a natural defence line if the Germans tried to attack. Lloyd George was a realist who believed that they should not make Germany pay too much because someday if Germany re-built their Armies then they would want revenge. However in public he wanted to show that he wanted a ‘Hard Treaty’ that would make Germany pay. Wilson was an idealist that believed he could make the world perfect. He agreed with Lloyd George. His main aims were to use the principle of national self-determination, and create a League of Nations. Each leader however could not get what he wanted so the treaty was decided to suit all.

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The first rule was that there was to be a League of Nations set up but Germany was not allowed in. This pleased Wilson. The next rule was that Germany had to lose some of its territory. Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France, which pleased Clemenceau, the Polish Corridor was decided to be a free city, which pleased Clemenceau and Germany, lost all its colonies, which pleased Lloyd George. Germany also had to admit to starting the War and had to agree to pay reparations. This pleased all of the Big Three. However no figure was set until 1921. There were ...

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