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The Treaty of Versailles 1919

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1 The Treaty of Versailles 1919
Portrait of Versailles The “Big Three” Signed in this room

On 8th November 1918, Imperial Germany came to an end when a democratic republic was established. Though it was intended to have Wilhelm tried as a ‘war criminal’ he was eventually allowed to spend the rest of his life in exile in the Netherlands. He died in 1941.

3 Vittorio Orlando Italy
Woodrow Wilson United States Georges “The Tiger” Clemenceau France David Lloyd George “The Wizard” Great Britain

4 Clemenceau: “The Tiger”
Most fighting had been done on French soil 1.4 million French soldiers died Farmland, factories and homes were destroyed What did he want? To have revenge on Germany for French suffering To make Germany pay for the cost of the damages To ensure Germany would never be able to attack France again by taking away its land, weaken its industries, and to reduce its armed forces

5 Woodrow Wilson Was influenced by his belief in Idealism – finding perfect solutions for problems He proposed “The Fourteen Points” which the most important was Self-Determination people of different national groups to have the right to rule themselves To prevent Germany from becoming aggressive again To punish Germany for her aggression but avoid forcing her to pay very heavy damages To prevent secret diplomacy and allow freedom of the seas

6 David Lloyd George “The Wizard”
Known as a clever politician, he could not ignore British public opinion Britain had lost 750, 000 men and 1.5 million wounded The British public wanted to “hang the Kaiser” and “make Germany pay” So what did he do? End the German threat to the British navy and its Empire Make Germany non-aggressive and without colonies Prevent Germans from becoming so poor that they would turn to Communism Avoid humiliating Germans so that they would want revenge

7 Peace?


9 All Germany’s colonies in Africa were given to Britain, France, or South Africa. New Guinea was given to Australia and Samoa to New Zealand The League of Nations This was established to keep peace in the future. The League was made responsible for ensuring the peace settlement was maintained. War Guilt – Article 231 The War Guilt Clause forced Germany to accept FULL responsibility for the war Reparations Germany had to pay compensation for the damage caused by the war. The total cost of the War was determined by the Allies at 6.6 million pounds (33 billion U.S. dollars) to be paid over 42 yr period to the Allies. Primary Source: The War Guilt Clause The Allied governments affirm, and Germany accepts, the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied governments and their peoples have been subjected as a result of the war. Military Terms: The Treaty greatly reduced the size of the of the German armed forces: 1. The army was limited to 100, 000 men. There was to be no conscription. All soldiers had to be volunteers. 2. Germany was not allowed tanks, U-boats, or military aircraft 3. The navy could only have six battleships 4. The Rhineland was de-militarised. This meant that no German troops were allowed into this area next to the French border. The Allies were to keep an army of occupation on the west bank of the Rhine for fifteen years. Question: Do you think the Treaty of Versailles was a fair and reasonable Treaty? Explain why or why not. Use specific evidence to support your answer from the above information What happened to Germanys colonies as part of the Versailles Treaty? Note four conditions under Military Terms Germany was forced to follow. What were reaparations and what was Germany forced to do under this clause of the Treaty?

10 German reactions to the Treaty
Germans were horrified when they discovered the terms of Treaty. They called it a ‘Diktat’ or ‘dictated peace.’ There was a growing myth in the country that the German army was ‘stabbed in the back’ by German politicians the so called ‘November Criminals’ Why were Germans so upset? 1.Territorial losses. Germans complained that the loss of 7 million citizens to other lands was too harsh. Specifically the loss of territory to Poland and the city of Danzig 2. Germans complained that the Allies were trying to bankrupt their economy 3. The terms were worked out in secret and forced upon the Germans 4. All of Germany’s colonies were taken away but the Allies kept theirs 5. The Germans hated having to accept FULL blame for the War 6. Germans hated having to disarm because this left the country defenceless against neighbouring states Primary Source Vengeance! German Nation Today in the Hall of Mirrors of Versailles the disgraceful Treaty is being signed. Do not forget it! The German people will with unceasing labour press forward to reconquer the place among nations to which it is entitled. Then will come the vengeance for the shame of 1919. From the ‘Deutsche Zeitung’ [‘The German Express’] newspaper. Primary Source The Allies are driving the knife into the living body of the German people. The proposed peace means the miserable enslavement of children. Herr Schneidermann, speaking in the German Assembly Primary Source Only fools, liars and criminals could hope for mercy from the enemy. In these nights hatred grew in me, hatred for those responsible for the dead. By Adolf Hitler, who had served in the army and became a future leader of Germany Question: Some historians argue that the Treaty lay within it the seeds of the Second World War. Do you agree with the statement provide several reasons with your answer Primary Source “Thi s is not a peace. It is an armistice for twenty years.” French Marshal Ferdinand Foch

11 Political Cartoon Analysis
Questions: 1. Who produced this source? 2. Identify all the images and symbols in the source 3. When was it produced, and what is the significance of that date? What does the cartoon tell you about German reactions towards the Treaty? 4. Describe exactly what you see – look at the position and gestures of each character. What do they imply? 5. How reliable is this source to an historian studying the impact of the Treaty of Versailles on the Germans? 6. What are the limitations of this source for that same historian? Although Germany had the choice to accept or reject the Versailles peace proposals, this political cartoon from the German magazine “Simpliccimus” published on June , implies that it was already condemned to death. The Treaty was signed on June 28th Who are the principal judges and executioners from left to right? Who is represented in the middle? Did you know? Germany paid the final payment of 59.5 million British pounds on Oct 4, 2010, 92 years after the Great War concluded!

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