the treaty of versailles the peace treaty that would lead to war

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  • Slide 1
  • The Treaty of Versailles The Peace Treaty That Would Lead to War
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  • At Versailles In 1919, delegates from numerous nations gathered at the palace of Versailles in France to create a peace treaty to officially end WWI. The treaty would also spell out the conditions and penalties that Germany would have to accept if she wanted to avoid invasion. German delegates were not invited to the conference or asked for their input.
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  • Canada sent two officials to the conference. This was significant as they were not there as part of the British delegation. Canada was representing itself, apart from Britain, on the international stage. The Canadian govt demanded this right from Britain, due to the major contribution Canada made to the war effort. While there were hundreds of representatives from numerous Allied countries, it was the Big Three (USA, Britain, France) that made the major decisions. (Russia, which was now communist, was not invited)
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  • The Big Three British PM David Lloyd-George wanted to punish Germany, but felt that they had to also keep Germany economically strong. This would help re-establish European trade and keep communism from growing in Europe. Frances Georges Clemenceau wanted only to punish Germany severely for the damage the war had caused. He wanted to crush the German economy and break the country up into smaller, disconnected states.
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  • The US Pres. Woodrow Wilson thought Germany should be punished, but not too severely. He also had a plan of 14 Points that he thought should be the basis for the treaty. None of the leaders got exactly what they wanted. In the end, the treaty was a mish- mash of compromises that were too harsh on some points and too lax on others.
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  • David Lloyd George Georges Clemenceau Woodrow Wilson
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  • The Terms Military: Germany cannot have an army exceeding 100,000 soldiers. Germanys navy can have only 6 battleships and NO submarines or new crafts over 10,000 tonnes. Germany cannot have a military air force of any kind. Germany could not enter into a military treaty or any alliance with Austria
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  • Territory: Germany must had over all of its overseas colonies to the new League of Nations (went to the Allies). Sections of Germany were to be cut-off and given to other nations (in this way, an independent Poland was created) The Rhineland area of German (on the French border) was demilitarized. The coal-rich Saar Basin was also given to France
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  • Make Germany Pay! In addition to the other punishments, it was decided that Germany must pay reparations to the winners of the war. This meant that Germany had to pay for the cost of the war for all the Allies, plus the damage the war had done. The bill was set at 6.6 Billion (British Pounds), to be paid in currency, steel, coal and other resources It was estimated that it would take until 1984 for Germany to fully pay the reparations bill. This would be crippling to the shattered German economy
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  • Article 231 The section of the treaty that made many Germans furious was Article 231, the War Guilt Clause This section blamed the war entirely on Germany and her Allies. This was hard to accept as many Germans believed they had been defending themselves against British/French military aggression.
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  • Other Sections New countries were created out of the shattered Austro-Hungarian Empire. Also, many Balkan states were joined together into a country called Yugoslavia Other new countries were formed from parts of Germany and the old Russian Empire
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  • 19141919
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  • No Choice Initially, the German govt refused to sign the treaty, but the Allies threatened to invade so on June 28, 1919, the Germans signed, under protest and under threat of force. The German people were shocked and angered by the terms of the treaty and many felt unjustly punished by the Allies.
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  • League of Nations One of Wilsons 14 Points was the creation of an international organization that could mediate disputes and help to avoid war. This idea was adopted and the League of Nations was created. Canada was given its own seat in the organization, separate and independent from Britain. Germany was not allowed to join because of the war, and Russia was also left out because it was a communist country
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  • Prophetic Words WWI was soon called the War to end all wars. People felt that after the losses of WWI, no one would want to fight another war again. Also, the new League of Nations was in place to mediate disputes and the Treaty of Versailles would solve the old problems in Europe. Not everyone shared this opinion. Some felt that the treaty not only wouldnt prevent war, but would actually serve to cause it.
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  • After hearing the terms of the Versailles treaty, Marshal Foch (high commander of WWI Allied Forces) was heard to remark, This isnt peace! This is a truce for twenty years! The Treaty of Versailles was signed June 28 th 1919. Twenty years and sixty-seven days later, Nazi Germany invaded Poland and WWII had begun.