Peaceful surrender Signed on 11/11/19 @ 11 am in a railroad car Known as “Armistice Day”
Big Four 1. United States 2. Britain 3. France 4. Italy GERMANY NOT ALLOWED TO ATTEND Russia not allowed to attend 6 months of negotiations
Creator of Fourteen Points No more secret alliances Free navigation of the seas France to recover Alsace-Lorraine An independent Poland should be created. Became basis of the Peace Conference. Greeted with tremendous enthusiasm in France. Chief interests were League of Nations and Self-Determinations.
Still leery of French (long time enemy) Suffered little land devastation (Britain) during war. Wanted to preserve Britain’s imperial empire. Politician, who felt he “needed” to punish Germany to appease his countrymen and be voted into office. Privately, feared Russian communist movement and didn’t want a destitute Germany. Drove up reparations (Soldiers’ Pensions, Widows)
French patriot Primary goal was security of France. France occurred terrible devastation in men and land. Alsace-Lorraine goes back to France Demanded heavy reparations against Germans to bolster French economy and to weaken Germany. “Germany should be brought to her knees so she can never start a war again” Voted out in 1920, because he didn’t squeeze Germany enough.
Linked to “Big Three” Frequently left on the side lines during important negotiations. Italy was part of Triple Alliance w/ Germany Wanted territory along Adriatic, went to form new country Yugoslavia. Leaves talks when it was apparent Italy would not get what they wanted. Returned only to sign off documents.
Allied Powers : Britain : 750,000 soldiers killed; 1,500,000 wounded France : 1,400,000 soldiers killed; 2,500,000 wounded Belgium : 50,000 soldiers killed Italy : 600,000 soldiers killed Russia : 1,700,000 soldiers killed America : 116,000 soldiers killed Central Powers: Germany: 2,000,000 soldiers killed Austria-Hungary : 1,200,000 soldiers killed Turkey : 325,000 soldiers killed Bulgaria : 100,000 soldiers killed 8.5 million dead; 21 million wounded Vast areas of NE Europe reduced to rubble 750,000 French homes destroyed Spanish Flu killed 25 million additional Europeans
Territory Alsace-Lorraine (given to France) Eupen and Malmedy (given to Belgium) Northern Schleswig (given to Denmark) Hultschin (given to Czechoslovakia) West Prussia, Posen and Upper Silesia (given to Poland) Land taken in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (given to Russia) The Saar, Danzig and Memel were put under the control of League of Nations League also took control over Germany’s overseas colonies Military Army Reduced to 100,000 men Not allowed tanks No Air Force Only allowed 6 naval ships No submarines West of Rhineland was made into a demilitarized zone (DMZ). No German soldier or weapon allowed into this zone. Allies were to keep an army of occupation on the west bank of the Rhine for 15 years.
Financial 226 Billion RM in reparations. Coal from the Saar and Upper Silesia goes to Allied countries. Intellectual property stolen (Patents). Percentage of agriculture produce goes to Allied countries. In 1914, $1= 5 RM 1919, $1=19 RM 1922, $1=191RM Jan 1923, $1= 17,792 Aug 1923, $1= 110,000 Oct 1923, $1= 25,260,000,000 Nov 1923, $1= 4,200,000,000,000
3 Vital Clauses 1. Germany had to admit full responsibility for starting the war (Clause 231-”War Guilt Clause). 2. Germany then had to pay reparations, bulk of which would go to France and Belgium to pay for damages. Germany was told to write a blank check which the Allies would cash when it suited them. 6.6 million pounds, well beyond Germany’s ability to pay. 3. League of Nations was set up to keep world peace.
After signing the armistice Germany had been convinced they would be consulted by the Allies on the context of the Treaty. This did not happen. German representatives saw the terms only two weeks before they were due to be signed. 1. Lack of consultation angered Germans. 2. Treaty became known as Diktat (Dictated piece) as it was forced on them and had no choice but to sign it (Germany incapable of restarting the war) Germany had two choices: 1. Sign the Treaty or 2. Be invaded by the Allies Germany signed the Versailles Treaty under protest.
The treaty devastated Germany politically and economically. Because of the treaty, many Germans were desperate to find a new leader to get them out of the Great Depression, which they blamed on the extravagant reparations they had to pay to the Allies. They found this leader in Adolf Hitler. Hitler believed Germany had given up to easily to the allies and still had a chance to win the war because there had been no fighting on German soil. He encouraged many German’s feelings of being betrayed by their own government and therefore thought they had no obligation to follow the treaty; this group became the Nazi’s. They still felt like they had more fighting to do and the Versailles Treaty fueled their anger. It created aggressive resentment and nationalism in Germany. There was a lot of increasing hostility towards the allied nations. Leaders like Hitler saw this treaty as something that weakened the great empire he was striving for. He didn’t sign it and he was not about to follow it. But because of this treaty he was able to conquer and manipulate people by justifying his actions on the unfairness of the Versailles Treaty. This lead to the emergence of the National Socialist Party in Germany.