What is the treaty of Versailles?

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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. Much of the western front had been fought on French soil. To appease the French public, Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau wanted to impose policies deliberately meant to cripple Germany militarily, politically, and economically so that it would never be able to invade France again. Georges Clemenceau also wished to regain the rich and industrial land of Alsace-Lorraine, which had been taken from France by Germany in the 1871 War. So as you can see, the main aim of France was revenge.

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David Lloyd George- Prime Minister of Britain

At the Peace Conference, Lloyd George often took the middle grounds of Woodrow Wilson and Georges Clemenceau. He was a realist, and an experienced politician, and he knew that there would have to be compromise. David wanted Germany to be punished, but not too harsh like how France wanted to punish Germany. He wanted Germany to lose their navy and its colonies though, because Britain thought they somehow threatened the British Empire. Lloyd George was also worried by Woodrow Wilson's proposal for "self-determination" and, like the French, wanted to preserve his own ...

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