Monday, October 1, 2012
1. The Wages of War
2. The Winners
3. The Peace
League of Nations
David Lloyd George (British representative)
Georges Clemenceau (French representative)
The Wages of War
The human cost of the Great War was 10 millions dead, with twice as many
wounded. European map had to be reordered after the “mostly continental”
war was over (primarily fought in Europe). Britain still seemed supreme, but
the rest of European countries would be forever altered.
The countries that were once world creditors were now “debtees”.
Germany was in ruins.
Austro-Hungary and Ottoman Empire broke into smaller nation states.
By early 1919, Allies met at Versailles to construct a peace contract. Headed
by Woodrow Wilson (who dismissed old diplomacy). He envisioned a peace
without “victors or vanquished”. He wanted a treaty based on equity and
fairness. He wanted countries to be able to rule themselves, and not by an
empire. He wanted to dispose of Arms Races, colonial systems and secret
alliances. He was a complete idealist.
Most important of Wilson’s 14 points was the last- construction of a “League
of Nations” that would serve as a peace council.
There was no way Europe could be redrawn to suit everyone perfectly.
Throughout the war, Britain and France promised their people that Germany
would be made to pay reparations- $$$ for the damages to civilian property
during the war.
The allies all had different ideas of what they wanted to come out of the
meeting at Versailles.