Presentation on theme: "“Through the doors at the end…come four officers of France, Great Britain, America and Italy. And then, isolated and pitiable, come the two Germans, Dr."— Presentation transcript:
“Through the doors at the end…come four officers of France, Great Britain, America and Italy. And then, isolated and pitiable, come the two Germans, Dr. Muller and Dr. Bell. The silence is terrifying…They keep their eyes fixed away from those two thousand staring eyes, fixed on the ceiling. They are deathly pale…There is general tension. They sign. There is general relaxation…We kept our seats while the Germans were conducted like prisoners from the dock.” (Sir Harold Nicolson, British delegate at Versailles, 1919.) What impression does this account give of events at Versailles in 1919? What were the aims of the victorious allies and why did Germany sign?
What were the terms of the Treaty of Versailles? Army reduced to 100 000 Navy of just 6 battle ships – no submarines No air force Land lost to Belgium, France, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark Lost overseas colonies £6.6 billion Reparations of £6.6 billion No military allowed in the Rhineland War Guilt Clause Article 231 Accept full blame for causing war – the War Guilt Clause Article 231 What was the purpose of these terms?
“The British General Election in December 1918 was punctuated by bellowings that the Kaiser should be hanged, that Germany should pay up….Few realised the harmful effects of uniformed and aggressive public opinion which had been aroused by years of war propaganda, and whipped up by the popular press…” Martin Kitchen, Europe Between The Wars, 1988. “The Germans, if this government is elected, are going to pay every penny; they are going to be squeezed, as a lemon is squeezed, until the pips squeak.” (Sir Eric Geddes, December 1918) What impression do these account s give of the victorious powers attitude towards Germany? What do you think influenced the Allies in imposing harsh terms upon Germany?
Did the Treaty of Versailles create a lasting peace? Historian AJP Taylor claimed that the peace settlement at the end of the Great War in 1919 was responsible for starting another war 20 years later – ‘sowed the seeds’ Is he right in this claim? In 1919, David Lloyd George (British PM) claimed that the great war was to be the ‘war to end all wars’ and that never again would Europe go into a destructive war – Versailles treaty would be a ‘lasting peace’ Why would Lloyd George claim this and is he right? However not everyone shared his optimism! Marshall Foch (French military leader) said the peace would not last and was simply a ‘20 year truce’ How accurate is this opinion?
What does this newspaper article imply about Germany’s reaction and how they will respond?
In reaching a judgment to this question, it is vital that you are aware of the terms of the other treaties decided at Paris and how Germany’s allies were also treated: Treaty of St Germain-Austria....Most of the Empire was dismantled. Independent states were established, the army was reduced to 30,000 and Austria was unable to pay any reparations as the economy was bankrupt and had no money! Treaty of Triannon-Hungary....Divested 2/3 of territory and population. Any areas not purely Magyar (Hungarian) were put under the control of other nations. Huge protest at harsh treatment.
Treaty of Neuilly-Bulgaria...300,000 people were lost under transfer of land, army was reduced to 20,000 and vast reparations were to be paid. Land given to Greece and Yugoslavia and Bulgaria was denied access to the Mediterranean. Treaty of Sevres-Turkey...433 pages long!!! Denied access to parts of Africa, Asia and had to accept Allied control of their economy. Anger resulted in the treaty being revised at Lausanne in 1923. Finally, you need to consider and make notes on the aspects of the Treaty of Versailles that Germany was able to revise and also act within the limitations as regards training troops, negotiating the level and interest of reparations payments after 1923. Overall, you must judge to what extent the Treaty of Versailles was unfair.......
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