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Introduction By 1918 it was clear that Germany was being defeated in many areas of the war. Defeat was only a matter of time. In January 1918, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, offered the Germans a plan for peace. This plan was called The 14 Points. THE 14 POINTS
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. No more secret treaties Freedom of the seas Free trade between countries Multilateral disarmament A review of the future of colonies Russian territory should be left Germany should leave Belgium Alsace-Lorraine to go back to France 9. Re-draw the Italian border 10. Self-determination for the people of Austria-Hungary 11. Balkan states to be left. 12. Self determination for people in the Turkish Empire. 13. Poland to be re-created with access to the sea. 14. A League of Nations to be set up to prevent future wars.
These had helped cause the war.


This would stop arguments over weapons.

These 2 areas had been taken from France in an earlier war.

Self-determination the right of people to choose who rules them

This would mean taking land from Germany

Wilson thought that an organisation of all countries could talk about problems rather than going to war.

8 million troops dead 21 million wounded France lost 250,000 buildings, 8,000 sq. miles of farmland 60% of Frances young men were killed or wounded. Britain spent 9 billion on the war. The empires of Germany, Austria and Russia collapsed. A flu epidemic spread through Europe in 1918-9 killing 20 million

The Germans refused to accept the 14 Points in January 1918. They still believed that the war could be won. However, when the war ended in November 1918, the Germans expected peace to be based on the 14 Points. In the end, the final treaty included some, but not all of the 14 Points. The British and French leaders believed that the 14 Points were not a sufficient base for peace. They said nothing about the future of Germany or reparations. The three leaders met in Paris in January 1919. Their aims were very different.

Who were the Big Three? What were their aims and attitudes I want revenge for the damage Germany has done to France. I want security and reparations to rebuild the country.

I want a fair peace that will last. We need peace in Europe to rebuild trade. It would be nice to have some of Germanys colonies.

I want a fair peace. Germany should not be punished too harshly. Self-determination is very important. A League of Nations too!

DAVID LLOYD GEORGE British Prime Minister He wanted a fair treaty but the British people wanted him to be harsh.

WOODROW WILSON President of the USA He want the USA to set an example to the people of Europe. He is too idealistic, thinking he can make the world a safer place.

GEORGES CLEMENCEAU French Prime Minister Obsessed with making France secure from a future German attack. Demanded high reparations

Views of the Big Three LLOYD GEORGE 1. Rebuilding Germany is essential to the future of British trade. 2. Germany should pay some reparations. 3. Germany will want revenge if we are too harsh. 4. People at home expect me to be harsh and demand high reparations. CLEMENCEAU 1. Germany must pay very high reparations. 2. The Rhineland should be given to France. 3. Alsace-Lorraine should be returned. 4. Germany should not have any military forces. 5. Germany must be severely weakened to prevent any future attack on France. 6. Germany was harsh on Russia at Brest-Litovsk. WILSON 1. Lloyd George and Clemenceau are too selfish. 2. Germany will want revenge if we too harsh. 3. We must have a peace without winners and losers. 4. We should all reduce our armies and navies. 5. Self-determination for all people. 6. The League of Nations will bring future peace.

The Treaty of Versailles, 28th June 1919 After months of discussion and argument the final treaty was presented to the Germans. They were given the chance to complain, but they knew that any complaints would be ignored. In this way, the Germans saw the treaty as a diktat. This means it was dictated to them!


Northern Schleswig This was returned to Denmark. Germany kept Southern Schleswig.

Posen (The Polish Corridor) This area was given to re-create Poland. It was to give Poland access to the sea. Many Germans lived in this territory under Polish rule! Other land losses DANZIG made a free city under League control GERMAN COLONIES taken away from Germany and given as mandates.

The Rhineland Demilitarised

Alsace-Lorraine This was returned to France.

Article 231 of the treaty made Germany accept that they were to blame for causing the war. This allowed the allies to impose reparations.

Army reduced to 100,000 No conscription No submarines No tanks No aircraft

The final figure was not agreed on until 1921! The final figure was calculated as 6.6 billion.

The League of Nations was set up. It was intended to be like an international police force to keep peace in the future, but Germany was not allowed to join!

And Germany was not allowed to unite with Austria

An easy way to remember the terms of the treaty:

G is for Guilt (war guilt, 231, blame) A is for army (reduced to 100,000, no tanks, no aircraft) R is for reparations (set in 1921 at 6.6 billion) G is for German land losses (Alsace-Lorraine, Posen) LE is for League of Nations (Germany banned)

Woodrow Wilson What happened to my 14 Points?

Achieved in full
7 8 10 13 Germany to leave Belgium Alsace-Lorraine to France Independence for Austria-Hungary Independence for Poland

Not achieved
1. A ban on secret treaties 2. Freedom of the seas 3. Free trade

Partially achieved
9 Italian borders to be settled 11 Invading armies to leave the Balkans 14 An effective League of Nations

4. Multilateral disarmament 5. Independence for colonies 6. Non-interference in Russia 12. Independence for non-Turks



Germany weakened Trade Colonies given as mandates Public happy Danzig made a free city.

Germany weakened Reparations set Army reduced Alsace-Lorraine given back War guilt

WILSON Satisfied
Alsace-Lorraine Germany punished League of Nations set up

Not satisfied
Too harsh Reparations too much Not based on 14 Points Self determination not applied fairly

Not satisfied
Germany may seek revenge Reparations not decided on time

Not satisfied
Reparations too low Rhineland not given to France Germany not weakened enough

How did different countries react to the Treaty?

FRANCE Most people were very enthusiastic. There were celebrations on the streets of Paris. Many believed that the threat from Germany no longer existed. Clemenceau was seen as a great patriotic hero.

BRITAIN Most thought that Germany got what they deserved. Lloyd George was greeted by the King on his return from Paris. Some people were more cautious though, they thought that Germany might look for revenge

U.S.A. President Wilson returned to the USA very disappointed. The Congress (US parliament) refused to sign the treaty. Many Americans disagreed with Wilsons views and wanted to be isolated (away from Europe).

12. 5% of Germanys population was lost War Guilt they did not start the war on their own

10% of German land was lost

Army restrictions were humiliating. Germany had always been very proud of their army.

Millions of Germans were now living under foreign rule.

The Treaty was a diktat. They had no say in it!

East Prussia was cut off from the rest of Germany


We shall seek revenge for the shame of 1919.

What was the impact of the Treaty of Versailles on Germany up to 1923?

Between 1919 and 1923 Germany suffered; 1923 was a crisis year. Historians can make some direct links between the crises Germany suffered and the Treaty of Versailles. This is an overview chronology of those years:

11. November 1918

28. June 1919 1921 1922 1923

WW1 ends. The new German government (The Weimar Republic) signed the armistice. Defeat comes as a huge surprise to most Germans. Treaty of Versailles is signed Reparations are fixed at 6.6 billion At the end of 1922 the Germans missed a reparations payment to the French France and Belgium invade the Ruhr Hyperinflation The Nazis attempt the Munich Putsch

I am Frederick Ebert. I was President of the new Weimar Republic. My government was very unpopular. The people blamed us for signing the Treaty of Versailles. What they didnt understand was that we didnt have any choice. I was also left with the debts that the old government had. This caused Germany huge financial (money) problems. The French invasion of the Ruhr in 1923 only made matters one hundred times worse.

A Diagram explaining the events of 1923

1919 TREATY OF VERSAILLES SIGNED This treaty humiliated the Germans by taking away land and the armed forces. Reparations were decided on but a figure was not set. 1921 REPARATIONS FIGURE DECIDED A figure of 6.6 billion was agreed. Germany was already in serious debt from the war. This was an added burden.

1922 GERMANY MISSES A PAYMENT At the end of 1922, Germany missed a reparations payment. This was the first instalment they had missed. 1923 FRANCE AND BELGIUM INVADE THE RUHR The French invaded the industrial heart of Germany and began taking coal and iron ore as reparations.

REACTION OF THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT The govt. continued to pay its workers. They printed more paper money. This led to inflation which got out of control, causing hyperinflation. People lost their life savings overnight. The govt. was blamed.

1923 MUNICH PUTSCH The small Nazi Party tried to take advantage of the crisis. They attempted to take over the government in Munich. Although this failed, it showed how unpopular the Weimar government had become.

Were the peacemakers very stupid men?

Harold Nicolson was a British diplomat. He was at the Paris Peace Conference and kept a diary throughout. After the treaty had been written, he wrote:

The historian , will come to the conclusion that we were very stupid men. We arrived determined to get a fair peace.We left feeling that the terms were neither fair nor wise.

Some historians agree with this view. They argue that the treaty just stored up problems for the future. There are those who disagree with this view. They say that the peacemakers faced an impossible job and that they did the best they could. It is important not to be affected by hindsight . We know that the treaty helped Hitler come to power and that it helped cause the Second World War. Here are the arguments that the two opposing historians would use:


It punished the wrong people. The government of the Kaiser that took Germany to war was not the same government that made peace. The treaty should have helped the new Weimar Republic become strong. Germany was not alone in causing the First World War. It was a mistake to include the war guilt clause (Article 231) The treaty damaged Germany, caused hatred, but did not weaken Germany enough so they could not seek revenge.

Public opinion in France and Britain demanded a much harsher treaty. The peacemakers held back from making it even harsher. The Germans would have been just as harsh if they had won. In 1918 Germany had imposed a very harsh treaty on Russia at Brest-Litovsk. Germany had planned to pay its debts by making the countries it defeated pay reparations. Bad government caused Germany problems not the treaty. Germany could easily have paid reparations. Germany sorted out its problems very quickly after 1923.

Deutsche Zeitung
28 June, 1919

oday in the Hall of Mirrors of Versailles the

Disgraceful treaty is being signed. Do not forget it! The German people will press forward to re-conquer the place among nations to which it is entitled. Then will come revenge for the shame of 1919!

To help you get the meaning of a cartoon follow this procedure: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Look carefully at all the details of the cartoon. Imagine the cartoon is a clock face. Go round all the numbers labelling the features. Use the features to get the MESSAGE. Back up the MESSAGE with DETAILS from the cartoon. Use your own KNOWLEDGE to judge whether the cartoon is accurate.

A worked example
Sarcastic title. Peace should not produce future cannon fodder What soldiers going to their deaths were called Orlando (Italy) Lloyd George 1940 CLASS This child will be old enough to fight by then.



Peace Treaty (Versailles) on the floor

Clemenceaus nick-name

Caption suggests that he doesnt realise why the child is crying

What is the cartoonist suggesting about the Treaty of Versailles? (6)

REMEMBER: M. D. K. Message Details - Knowledge

This is the message of the cartoon.

The cartoonist is suggesting that the Treaty of Versailles will not bring peace. In fact it will cause another war by 1940. Clemenceau is seen as the main figure in causing this. This message is clear because in the cartoon

Stating an accurate message will get you 2/6.

Here, the details of the cartoon are explained to show how the message was arrived at.

the artist has drawn a small child crying, the treaty at his feet. The child has 1940 class above his head. This means that by 1940 the child will be old enough to be a soldier in another war. The title of the cartoon supports this the child is future cannon fodder. In the cartoon, Clemenceau is the biggest figure, dominating the scene which suggests that the cartoonist believes Clemenceau was most to blame.
My own knowledge supports what the cartoon shows. The treaty was very harsh war guilt, reparations and land losses caused resentment in Germany. The people desired revenge. Also, Clemenceau was the leader who pressed for a harsh peace. This artist of 1919 predicted that the treaty would cause another war. He was right. War broke out again in 1939.

Explaining how you worked out the message by using details will get you a further two marks.

Now, knowledge is used to explain how accurate the cartoon is. This explains why the cartoonist drew things the way he did.

Using your own knowledge gives you the final 2 marks.

The other treaties

The Treaty of Versailles was only one of the treaties signed in 1919-20. Treaties also had to be made with other defeated countries.

= new countries

If you look carefully at these two maps you will see how much Europe changed after the peace treaties had been signed. This map (pre-1919) shows the countries that treaties were signed with and the names of those treaties:

Treaty of Versailles (Germany)

Treaty of St Germain (Austria)

Treaty of Neuilly (Bulgaria)

Treaty of Trianon (Hungary)

Treaty of Sevres (Turkey)

The Treaty of St Germain (with Austria)

Land lost to Italy, Czechoslovakia (e.g. Bohemia), Poland and Yugoslavia (e.g. Bosnia) No anschluss with Germany Army reduced to 30,000 men Reparations set

The Treaty of Trianon (with Hungary)

Land lost to Romania (e.g. Transylvania), Czechoslovakia (e.g. Slovakia) and Yugoslavia (e.g. Slovenia) 3 million Hungarians ended up living under foreign rule. Army reduced to 35.000 Reparation set but Hungary was to weak to pay.

The Treaty of Neuilly (with Bulgaria)

Land lost to Greece, Yugoslavia and Romania. Army restricted to 20,000 men. Reparations set at 100 million

The Treaty of Sevres (with Turkey)

Lost land to Greece (e.g. Smyrna) Countries of the Turkish empire became independent or mandates (e.g. Iraq) Reparations set

The Turks refused to accept the Treaty of Sevres. Turkish leader, Mustafa Kemal challenged the treaty with force. Another treaty was negotiated. This was the Treaty of Lausanne. It returned Smyrna to Turkey.

What were the impact of the treaties on central and eastern Europe?
C Z E C H O S L O V A K I A Czechoslovakia was made from the states of the old Austrian Empire. It was made economically strong. However, it was a mix of nationalities.

Y U G O S L A V I A This country was formed by merging Serbia with some of its neighbours. The allies hoped that Yugoslavia would become a strong stable state in the region where the First World War had its origins. Yugoslavia broke up in the 1990s.

P O L A N D Poland had existed before but it been swallowed up by Russia, Germany and Austria in the late 1700s. Poland was recreated to keep an eye on Germany and act as a barrier to Communist Russia. Poland soon became involved in fighting with Russia over borders.