Treaty Of Versailles Essay Research Paper Before

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Treaty Of Versailles Essay, Research Paper Before the First World War had finished, the groundwork for the early stages of another world war was beginning to take place in Germany. By the end of World War I, the economic and social foundation of European society was shaken. France had lost twenty percent of its young to middle-aged men, and Germany had also lost well over 15 percent. A Treaty was being proposed by President Woodrow Wilson in hope to finally end the bloodshed brought on by the first World War. The victorious Allied Powers met in Paris in January 1919 to speak of peace treaties to finally end the devastating war. President Woodrow Wilson had drawn up a series of proposals that he hoped would mark the beginning of a lasting era of peace and prosperity. These

proposals came to be known as the Fourteen Points. The first five proposals would help set general goals for the postwar and aftermath. They included the following: 1. Ending Secret treaties 2. Agreeing to freedom of the seas 3. Removing economic barriers to trade 4. Reducing the size of national armies and navies 5. Adjusting colonial claims with fairness toward the colonial peoples The sixth through the thirteenth propositions implied changing national borders and creating new nations. Throughout all fourteen points, Wilson s main idea was self-determination; allowing people to decide for themselves under what government they wish to live. Finally, the fourteenth point in Wilson Woodrow s proposals was a general association of nations, made to protect great and small states

alike. This was Wilson s most important point of all. His plan was for an organization that would keep peace by encouraging its members to solve problems and conflicts through negotiation instead of war. This fourteenth point eventually led up to the formation of the League of Nations. The Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires were eager for the peacemakers to grant them their own independent nations. This posed a problem since many other groups claimed the same lands. There were other problems which posed a threat to the entire treaty. Originally, both France and Britain had agreed to Wilson s terms of agreement for peace. Now, both countries insisted that Germany pay for the pain and death caused by the war. In addition to this, Italy had its own demands. The Allies had lured

Italy into the war by promising it parts of Austria-Hungary where many Italian speaking people lived. Meanwhile Russia, which had suffered possibly the greatest losses of all the Allies, now had a civil war on their hands and was not invited to attend the conference. The treaty fell short of a just and lasting peace which President Woodrow Wilson had been aiming for, these were its terms: Germany lost thirteen percent of its land, where nearly ten percent of its people lived. France, Poland, Belgium, and Denmark all received equal shares of this territory ceded to them. In addition to this, France also reclaimed Alsace-Lorraine, which Germany had taken from them in 1871. France also won the right to work the rich coal mines of the Saar Basin for fifteen years. Once the fifteen

year term ended, the people of the Saar region were to have the right to rejoin Germany if they indeed wanted to. Poland became an independent nation once again. The new Poland received a large strip of German land called the Polish Corridor. This strip cut off East Prussia from the rest of Germany and gave Poland much needed access to the Baltic Sea. The territories in Africa that Germany had once seized were given as mandates to Britain, France, and Japan. The military restrictions were especially harsh on Germany and its forces. The treaty had many clauses made especially to keep Germany from ever regaining the power they once had and threatening the peace. The size of the German army was strictly limited. Germany could not manufacture any more war materials. This ban included