CHAPTER 1: WERE THE PEACE TREATIES OF 1919-23 FAIR?The British cartoon on the right was published in 1919 shortly after the terms of the Treaty of Versailles was published. The man does not think the Treaty is fair because it demands a large sum of money to be paid by Germany. The cartoonist however thinks the Treaty is fair because of the sarcasm used in the caption: the man is saying that the payment is a quarter of what the Germans would have made the Allies pay. The message the cartoon is trying to convey is that the Treaty of Versailles was fair and that Germany deserved what they got
Caption: : Pan-German. "Monstrous, I call it. Why its fully a quarter of what we should have made them pay, if we'd won."
Woodrow Wilson was the US President from 1912 to 1917. When USA joined the Great War, Wilson drew up the Fourteen Points on the basis of ending the war fairly. He was an idealist. Wilson's ideas were: 1. Don't be too harsh on Germany - in fear of them taking revenge once they recovered. Extremist groups might also exploit German resentment and seize power 2. Strengthen democracy in defeated countries - so that their people would not let their leader cause another war 3. Give self-determination to countries that were once part of the European empires 4. International co-operation - He wanted to achieve this through a 'League of Nations'
The British Prime Minister Lloyd George agreed with Wilson over the point that Germany shouldn't be treated harshly because Britain didn't want another war to break out and before the war Germany was Britain's 2nd largest trading partner. However, he disagreed with Wilson over giving self-determination because they wanted to preserve their empire. The needs of the British empire was on Lloyd George's mind and he wanted Germany to lose its navy and its colonies because they threatened it. His other aims were: 1. A share of Germany's colonies 2. Economic revival of Germany so trade can be re-established 3. To make key concessions with France to ensure they don't become the dominant power in Europe
Georges Clemenceau was the Prime Minister of France from 1906-1909. Then in 1917, he was elected to lead France through the last year of war. Clemenceau was a tough and uncompromising politician. France suffered severe casualties and enormous damages to land, industry and their self-confidence, so they wanted a harsh treaty that would severely weaken Germany. His other aims were: 1. To ensure future security for France 2. Permanent disarmament of Germany 3. The return of Alsace-Lorraine and the Saar Basin to France 4. For the Rhineland to become an independent state - so that France no longer shared a common border with Germany.
Terms of the Treaty
The main terms were: BRAT 1. BLAME - Germany had to accept blame for starting the war 2. REPARATIONS - Germany had to pay £6,600 million and they were consulted on it 3. ARMY - The German army was limited to 100,000 man and conscription was banned. They weren't allowed any armoured vehicles, submarines and aircrafts and the navy was limited to just 6 battleships. The Rhineland was demilitarised 4. TERRITORY - Substantial amounts of land was lost (more explained on next slide) 5. A League of Nations was to be set up as an international police force which Germany was not invited to join
(a) The European Borders: 1. Alsace-Lorraine - returned to France 2. The Saarland - to be administered to the League for 15 years, then a plebiscite was to be held to determine if it should belong to France, Germany or remain under League control 3. Danzig - was to become a Free City administered by the League. This was to give Poland a sea port (The Polish Corridor) 4. North Schleswig - Given to Denmark after a plebiscite 5. West Prussia, Posen, Upper Silesia - given to Poland 6. Anschluss was forbidden 7. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania become independent states (b) German colonies:(E.g. Cameroon and Togoland) became mandates which were controlled by the League
German Reactions to the Treaty
War Guilt and Reparations: 1. The war guilt clause was particularly hated, because the Germans felt that they had not started the war - The German population was shocked when they heard they lost the war because the government was feeding them propaganda that they didn't know what was happening on the battlefield 2. The German economy was severely weakened because of the high reparations amount, leaving much of the Germans bitter Disarmament: 1. The German army was a symbol of German pride, so they found the Treaty unfair 2. None of the other nations had disarmed the same way Germany had The Fourteen Points and the League: 1. Most Germans felt that their treatment wasn't in keeping with Wilson's Fourteen Points. Many German speaking peoples were hived off to new countries such as Czechoslovakia, whereas other countries were given self-determination. 2. They were insulted because they weren't invited to join the League Non-Representation: 1. They were angry for being forced to accept a diktat and not being represented during the peace talks German Territories: 1. Major blow to German pride and economy as they lost important industrial areas and colonies
Impact of the Treaty on Germany
Political Impact Right wing opponents of Ebert's government attempted a revolution in 1920 in protest of signing the Treaty. The Kapp Putsch, led by Wolfgang Kapp was defeated by a general strike of Berlin workers, which halted essential services like power and transport. In 1922, Germany's foreign minister Walther Rathenau was murdered by extremists In 1923, Adolf Hitler led an attempted rebellion in Munich called the Munich Putsch. Although he was arrested, he got off lightly - it was clear that many Germans shared his hatred towards the Treaty
Social Impact Germany had to reparations of £6,600 million. The first installment of £50 million was paid in 1921, but nothing in the following year. Ebert had tried to make concessions with the Allies, but the French ran out of patience. So in 1923, French and Belgian troops entered the Rhineland and took what was owed to them in the form of raw materials (this was legal under the Treaty). In response, the German government ordered the workers to go on a strike so nothing was produced for the French to take. This just angered them and they killed over a 100 workers. There was also no goods to trade and no money to buy things with, leading to hyperinflation in Germany.
Economic ImpactHyperinflation because of the conflict in the Ruhr threw Germany into a state of chaos. There was no money and to solve this problem, the government just printed more money. However, the money was virtually worthless and prices of goods shot up. Some Germans gained from this disaster. The government and big industrialists could pay off their debts in worthless marks. On the other hand, middle-class families, whose savings could buy a house in 1921, wouldn't even buy a loaf of bread in 1923. Germany recovered, but it left a bitterness amongst the civilians towards the Treaty
Other Peace Settlements
Treaty of St Germain 1919 1. Dealt with Austria 2. Army limited to 30,000 men and Anschluss with Germany was forbidden 3. Austrio-Hungarian empire was split up 4. Large minority groups such as the Germans were contained in the new states formed by the splitting of the Austrio-Hungarian empire 5. Suffered severe economic problems because of the treaty Treaty of Neuilly 1919 1. Dealt with Bulgaria 2. Lost land to Greece, Romania and Yugoslavia 3. Army limited to 20,000 men and had to pay £10 million in reparationsTreaty of Trianon 1920 1. Dealt with Hungary 2. Lost land to Romania, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia 3. Their economy was so weak that they never paid reparations
Treaty of Sevres 1920 1. Dealt with Turkey 2. Lost land to Bulgaria, Italy and Greece 3. Army limited to 50,000 men, navy strictly limited and no air force 4. Turkey's tax system, finances and budgets were controlled by the Allies 5. Its original empire was split up and was defines as zones of influence, controlled by the British, French or Italians
Past Paper Questions
The Versailles Treaty created disagreement and hostility.
(a) What did Wilson hope to achieve from the peace settlement of 1919–20? 
(b) Why did Clemenceau and Lloyd George disagree over how to treat Germany? 
(c) ‘The Treaty of Versailles was a fair settlement.’ How far do you agree with this statement?
Explain your answer. 
(a) He hoped for: 1. International cooperation 2. Self-determination for smaller nations that were once part of the European empire 3. The Treaty to not be too harsh on Germany 4. The democracy of defeated nations to be strengthened (b) They disagreed over how to treat Germany. France wanted to very harsh on Germany so that they would be weakened. This was to ensure the future security of France because they feared Germany attacking them again. However, the British argued that they shouldn't be too harsh, in fear of the German people taking revenge and another war breaking out. Germany was also Britain's second largest trading partner before the war, hence if their economy was too weak, it would mean lesser trade and more unemployment in Britain.
CHAPTER 2: TO WHAT EXTENT WAS THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS A SUCCESS?The British cartoon on the right was published in 1919 shortly after the terms of the Treaty of Versailles was published. The man does not think the Treaty is fair because it demands a large sum of money to be paid by Germany. The cartoonist however thinks the Treaty is fair because of the sarcasm used in the caption: the man is saying that the payment is a quarter of what the Germans would have made the Allies pay. The message the cartoon is trying to convey is that the Treaty of Versailles was fair and that Germany deserved what they got