The Versailles Peace Process

January 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History, European History, War And Revolution (1914-1938), Russian Revolution
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The Versailles Peace Process US History 2 AP Mr. Melvin Unit 4, Lesson 2

Wilson’s Peace Ideas  Wilson sought a liberal peace (Popular in US and England)

 Advocated 4 principles  International organization rather than alliances  Arbitration rather than armaments  Self-government amongst all people  Avoid territory seizure and reparations demands

 1916-Wilson starts advocating League of Nations  1917 – “Peace without victory”

Wilson’s Peace Ideas  Assigns Colonel House and

experts to begin preparing peace  Peace aims:

 Remove Kaiser from power

in Germany  Remove Germany’s power over other countries  Establish Democratic government in Germany  Free other ethnic groups still under Central Powers’ control

Problem with Wilson’s Vision  Underestimated role of power in world affairs

 Underestimated selfishness of nations  Wilson didn’t exact any commitment from Allies for a liberal

peace during war  US fought as an associate, not “ally”

 Enabled Allies to make secret agreements regarding peace

process during war, without US knowledge

 Russian revolution focused world on problems with peace  November 1917 – Bolsheviks make separate peace with

Germany  Exposed secret treaties Tsar previously had with Allies

Wilson’s 14 Points (Jan. 1918)  Open Diplomacy

 Alsace-Lorriane back to

 Freedom of Seas

France  Establish Poland as country  Autonomy for ethnic groups in Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Empire  Establishment of League of Nations

 Arms Reduction  Removal of trade barriers

 Arbitrate all colonial claims  German evacuation of

Russian territory  Restore Belgian independence

14 Points  Widespread opposition in    

Europe and US Allied ambitions and American Attitudes? Still like protective tariffs Resist international involvement Revenge against Germany!

Armistice  October 1918 – Germany asks for Armistice based on 14

Points  Stern enough to make Germany admit defeat, but also

charitable  In order for armistice to occur, Wilson demands:  Withdrawal of all German forces in invaded territory (October

23rd completed)  Establishment of democratic government  Kaiser abdicates on November 9, 1918

Allied Response  Allies not fond of 14 Points  Britain – want to control seas  France – Germany to pay large reparations

 House threatens to make separate peace if 14 Points aren’t

included  US agrees to have Germans surrender more territory  Destroy larger amount of war materials  Mainly U-Boats

1918 Midterm Elections  Henry Cabot Lodge (leading Republican) orders party to

back off politics during peace and war process  October 25 - Wilson makes election test of policies  “Vote Democrat if you like what we’re doing”  Made foreign policy even more of a partisan issue

 Result – Republicans take both houses  November 11, 1918 – Armistice reached  Wilson now face treaty approval and ratification by

Republican majority Senate

Treaty Negotiations  Wilson chose to lead negotiations himself  Appointed no influential Republican  Robert Lansing, Colonel House, Tasker Bliss, Henry White

 Wilson also slighted public opinion

Press distrusted George Creel Before meetings, Wilson said no secret meetings Had to go along with European insistence for secret meetings Lacked proper methods to communicate compromises to US citizens Still believed solid peace can be achieved even with constant bargaining  Gave him hope when Europe greeted him with cheering crowds and parades     

The Big Four  Other delegates wanted their own goals to succeed:  Nobuaki Makimo (Japan) – territory promised to them by

England  Vittorio Orlando (Italy) – land promised to them by Allies  David Lloyd George (England) – vast reparations  Georges Clemenceau (France) – crush German power  Problem for Wilson:  Made secret treaties during war  Armies controlled territory they wanted

Russia and Others  Allies afraid of Bolsheviks – excluded them from peace

process  British fighting with Anti-Bolsheviks still

 Revolution in Austria-Hungary  Wilson’s “self-determination” led ethnicities to rise up  Forming states whether peace talks allowed or not

 German problems – food shortages, Communist plots

 Germany excluded from peace as well  Peace without victors????

League of Nations/Colonies  Wilson wanted small neutral nations to be in charge of

former German colonies  England & Japan other ideas – through previous secret treaty  Wilson proposes mandate system:  League of Nations countries serve as “foster parents” until ready

for independence

League of Nations  Wilson met problems getting Allies to approve of League  France – military alliances against Germany  Japan – statement of racial equality and anti-discrimination

 France accepted League because it got what it wanted in

other areas of treaty  Charter approved and reported to peace conference in

February 1919

League Charter  Each country – 1 vote in Body of Delegates

 Executive Council = other house  Reps from US, England, France, Italy, Japan + 4 other members

from Body of Delegates  League decisions required unanimous vote (unless 1 EC member involved in dispute)  New members added by 2/3 BOD vote  Amendment to charter by ¾ BOD vote

League Charter  Established permanent secretariat, Bureau of Labor, and

mandate system  Members submit disputes to Court of International Justice for arbitration  Breach of League – other members stop economic relations

with offender  Council can recommend military force  Most important – Article 10  “Respect and preserve against external aggression on territorial integrity”

Pros and Cons of League  Pros

 Cons

 Succeeded in setting up 1st

 League could only

international diplomatic body  Recognized that war is a threat to ALL countries

recommend, not force  What happens if country

disobeys League decision?  Couldn’t bind Germany or

Russia to anything  Not members

Wilson returns Home  Met with opposition to League from different groups  Republicans – avoid international entanglements  German-Americans – too hard on Germany!

 Irish-Americans – Fight for Irish independence from

England!  March 4, 1919 – Senator Lodge presented round robin of 37 Rep. Senators to Wilson (enough to veto)  Complete treaty and League separately  Wilson – condemns as selfish and ignorant  Treaty and League are tied together

Return to Europe and Treaty  Wilson knew treaty needed to be somewhat modified to

meet demands of American moderates  Withdrawal procedures from League  Optional mandate acceptance  League couldn’t control domestic issues  Immigration and Monroe Doctrine

But…  When reopened treaty, Wilson opened up changes from

other delegates  France insisted Germany be dismembered  Poland and Czechoslovakia created on Germany’s east  Creation of Rhenish buffer state (Germany’s west)  France gains control of Saar Basin  Wilson balks and almost threatens to leave

Compromise  France compromises:  Poland and Czechoslovakia created  League conducts plebiscite to determine if Germany or Poland

owns Silesia  Poland gains access to sea  Leaves Germans under Polish rule

 France receives Alsasce-Lorraine from Germany  League controls Saar – plebiscite after 15 years  France occupies Rhineland for 15 years  German army demilitarized  England and US – treaty that would involve them if France

ever attacked in future

Other Compromises  England and France want Germany to pay larger reparations  Wilson compromises to include civilian costs and troop

pensions  $120 billion in all  War Guilt Clause also placed in treaty  Placed full blame for war on Germany  Makes Germans outraged!

Other Compromises  Italy – insisted on gaining Fiume (Port in Adriatic)

 Took it when Allies didn’t support their claim  Left Conference in rage, but signed treaty anyway that didn’t

give port to them  Japan – wanted to further economic ambitions in China and

take over German sphere of influence  Wilson caves

Final Treaty Saar Basin under League control for 15 years (plebiscite after) 2. US and GB guarantee France protection against future German attacks 3. Adjustment of Italy’s northern border (includes old AH territory) 4. Japan receives German Pacific Islands – mandate 1.



China outraged

Creation of new countries from AH and Germany- Poland (sea corridor),Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

Final Treaty 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.


Plebiscite areas: Saar, Northern Poland, Silesia, AustriaHungary German war guilt clause France given Alsasce-Lorraine and 15 year occupation of Rhineland German military reduced Reparation payments – 120 billion (included Allied pensions) Mandates – Syria (France), Iraq (GB), Jordan, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia

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