When World War I came to a close in mid-November of 1918, many ideas were circulating in Europe as to what the peace settlement should entail. In Britain, leaders were thinking about how to increase British colonial power.
In France, many wanted to permanently punish the Germans, partly in revenge for Germany’s aggression in World War I, but also, perhaps subliminally, for the Franco-Prussian war in 1871. In Germany, citizens were worried about how radical changes after the war could affect their daily lives. Finally, in the United States, President Wilson was already concocting a system of permanently preserving European peace. All these biases, worries, plans, and ideas came together in Paris in 1919, with the Treaty of Versailles, establishing the post-war peace in Europe. Yet just twenty years later, war would once again break out in Europe. So why were the peace settlements of World War I unable to prevent the outbreak of war twenty years later in World War II? To underst! and this, one mustfirst have a detailed understanding of the World War I peace settlement at Versailles. Thefirst and most significant treaty signed after World War I was the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty, signed on the 28th of June 1919, was mainly orchestrated by David Lloyd George, representing Britain and Georges Clemenceau, representing France.
Woodrow Wilson was the official representative of the United States, though he was often unable to attend due to sickness or other problems. When Wilson was in absentia, Secretary of State Robert Lansing represented the U.S. Italy also sent their Foreign Minister Sonnino to the negotiations. The Treaty of Versailles had two main issues on which it focused: Germany’s post war territory and also the amount of reparations Germany must pay. In the East, Germany was literally split into two parts.
The Allies decided that the nation of Poland should be given access to the sea, so they formed the “Polish Corrid…