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Treaty of Versailles
Paris Peace Conference
January 18 – June 28, 1919
• The British Dominion governments were not originally granted
separate invitations to the conference, but rather were expected
to send representatives as part of the British Empire delegation.
• Convinced that Canada had become a nation on the battlefields
of Europe, its Prime Minister demanded that it have a separate
seat at the conference. This was initially opposed not only by
Britain but also by the US, who perceived such a delegation as
an extra British vote. Borden responded by pointing out that
since Canada had lost a far larger proportion of its men
compared to the U.S. in the war, Canada at least had the right to
the representation of a "minor" power. British Prime Minister
eventually relented, and convinced the reluctant Americans to
accept the presence of separate Canadian delegate.
The Treaty Of Versailles
On 28 June 1919, the victors
met at the Hall of Mirrors in the
Palace of Versailles, near Paris,
and forced two Germans to
agree to the terms of peace.
Germany and its allies were not
allowed to send any delegates,
and had no choice but to
accept whatever was decided.
The first 26 Articles of the Treaty set out the Covenant of
the League of Nations; the rest of the 440 Articles
detailed Germany's punishment.
What did the winners want?
• Prime Minister Clemenceau
wanted to punish Germany;
Made 3 demands to ensure war
never happened again:
– Return Alsace-Lorraine
(taken during FrancoPrussian War)
– Pay reparations to cover the
entire cost of rebuilding
– Give up Rhineland so
Germany cannot attack
France again
• Many in England wanted to
punish Germany too: “Squeeze
‘em until the pips squeak”; but
Prime Minister David Lloyd
George disagreed:
– If Germany was treated too
harshly it will cause more
trouble in the future;
Germany should be
allowed to recover
– Rhineland should be
demilitarized (military
removed), not taken over
• Prime Minister Orlando had
agreed to leave the Triple
Alliance (with Germany &
Austria-Hungary) & fight for
Allies after France & England
secretly promised to give
Adriatic Coast to Italy after
the war; Italy’s only demand:
– France & England should
keep their promise to give
this land to Italy
• President Woodrow Wilson
came up with 14 Points of
Light to restore Europe:
– Europe should have
freedom of seas, free
trade; Reduction of
weapons; Divide all
– Self Determination—
countries should have
right to choose their own
type of government
– Create a League of Nations
to prevent future wars
The Treaty Of Versailles
The main points of the Treaty [BRAT]
B lame
A rmy
T erritory
The Treaty Of Versailles
1. War Guilt Clause - Germany had to accept the Blame for
starting the war.
The Treaty Of Versailles
2. Germany had to pay £6.6 billion (called Reparations) for
the damage done during the war.
The Treaty Of Versailles
3. Germany was forbidden to have submarines or an
air force. She could have a navy of only six
battleships, and an Army of just 100,000 men. In
addition, Germany was not allowed to place any
troops in the Rhineland, the strip of land, 50 miles
wide, next to France.
The Treaty Of Versailles
4. Germany lost Territory
(land) in Europe. Germany’s
colonies were given to
Britain and France.
Also, Germany was
forbidden to join the League
of Nations, or unite with
The Treaty Of Versailles
The Treaty Of Versailles
What did Germany have to say?
Germany had no choice but to agree to the above
terms – No debating, or compromising.
“The criminal madness of this peace will drain
Germany's national life-blood. It is a shameless blow
in the face of common-sense. It is inflicting the
deepest wounds on us Germans as our world lies in
wreckage about us.”
from a speech made by a German MP in the Reichstag
in 1919.
Results of Versailles
• Treaty of Versailles created more problems
than it solved
• Riots, debt, humiliation in Germany will allow
leaders (Hitler) to rise to power by promising
• Italy was not given land it was promised;
economic problems will lead to strong leaders
who promise a return to glory (Mussolini)
The Treaty Of Versailles
The Failure of
the Treaty
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