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Treaty of Versailles. Wilson’s Fourteen Points Wilson’s peace plan- “Peace without victory” Goal was to eliminate the causes of wars Called for an end.

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Presentation on theme: "Treaty of Versailles. Wilson’s Fourteen Points Wilson’s peace plan- “Peace without victory” Goal was to eliminate the causes of wars Called for an end."— Presentation transcript:

1 Treaty of Versailles

2 Wilson’s Fourteen Points Wilson’s peace plan- “Peace without victory” Goal was to eliminate the causes of wars Called for an end to secret agreements and the web of alliances that drew the nations of Europe into war Freedom of the seas- right of merchant ships to travel freely in international waters in times of peace and war

3 Wanted European countries to reduce their armaments, or weapons of war, instead of competing to make their military forces bigger and better Ensure self-determination for ethnic groups so they could control their political future Set up international organization called the League of Nations to ensure world peace Member nations would agree to protect one another’s independence and territorial integrity. League members would resolve conflicts before escalating into war

4 Wilson’s Unusual Decisions Wilson travels to France for the peace talks 1918 mid-term election: calls for Americans to elect Democrats to Congress before he leaves Republicans win a majority of Senate and House  Why is this important?  Weakens Wilson’s position just as he was to seek support of European leaders for his peace plan

5 Choice of other American delegates to conference None of the delegates had the confidence of key Republican leaders in the Senate The Senate has to ratify the treaty; this oversight would hurt the president

6 Who Showed Up? Leaders of the four largest victorious nations made almost all the decisions “The Big Four” President Wilson David Lloyd George- Britain Georges Clemenceau- France Vittorio Orlando- Italy Representatives of Germany and the other defeated nations took no part in the talks o Russia, which made a separate peace with Germany after its revolution, did not attend

7 Ideals vs. Self-Interest Other leaders liked Wilson’s vision of a peaceful world; yet more interested in protecting the interests of their own countries French security Wanted to weaken Germany to the point that they could never threaten France again Reduce German army to 100,000 men War-Guilt Clause British insisted that Germany accept responsibility for starting the war Demolished Wilson’s hope of “peace without victory”

8 Reparations Required Germany to pay $33 billion to the Allies Payments demanded of a defeated nation by the victor to offset the cost of the war Germans resented both the war-guilt clause and reparations  Payments would later cripple their economic recovery o Wilson reluctantly agreed to the harsh treatment of Germany in order to gain support for his most important point: The League of Nations

9 Self-Determination? In the Fourteen Points, Wilson called for self- determination for the peoples of Europe Collapse of Austria-Hungary left unclear the fate of many ethnic groups Wanted these peoples to be free to determine their political futures Some formed their own nations: Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, etc. gained independence

10 Problems? Parts of Germany given to France and other countries with little thought to the desires of the people living there In other areas, self-determination was ignored Allies took control of German colonies in Asia and Africa

11 Treaty of Versailles signed on June 18, It included plans for the League of Nations. Wilson’s fight for the treaty was just beginning

12 Great Debate About Ratification Wilson needs 2/3 vote of the Senate to ratify the treaty Republicans hold majority of the seats in Senate Reservationists Would vote yes if a number of reservations, or changes, added to it Concerned with collective security  Required member nations to work together- and even supply troops- to keep the peace

13  Feared this would draw the US into wars without approval from Congress Henry Cabot Lodge was leader of the reservationists Hated Wilson Debate gave Lodge and fellow Republicans an opportunity to embarrass the president and weaken the Democratic Party

14 Irreconcilables Vote no for certain Completely opposed to any treaty that included an international organization that might draw the nation into war Internationalists Supported the treaty Believed greater cooperation among nations could work for the benefit of all

15 Wilson Takes His Case to the People Public began to lose interest in the debate Wilson decides to go directly to the public for support Grueling speaking tour of the West; many speeches President collapsed; stroke Left him partly paralyzed

16 Partisanship Rivalry between political parties Both sides put loyalty to their party above all else Rep. added amendments to treaty which Wilson rejected Senate did not vote to ratify the treaty

17 Problems with the Treaty Alsace-Lorraine returned to France Germany ordered to pay $33 billion in reparations Germany barred from maintaining an army War guilt clause Russia lost the most territory even though they had lost the most people Ignored calls for self-determination in colonies including SE Asia

18 In 1921, the US signed a separate treaty with Germany. The League of Nations had begun by that time, but the nation whose president had created it was not a member. Could the next war have been avoided if the United States had joined the League of Nations?


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