Grenville week 6 notes

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31 Dec 2010
1. Peacemaking in an unstable world, 1918 – 23
history of period from armistice in November 1918 until conclusion of majority of peace treaties a year later has a dual aspect
on one hand the victors, assembled in Paris, argued about peace terms to be imposed on Germany and its allies as they knew that after 4
years of war and all the changes it brought about, the people of the West longed for an immediate and a stable peace; decisions would be
taken to reconstruct the map not of Europe, but also of the Middle East, Africa and China; a new framework of conducting international
relations would be created by establishing the League of Nations
other side of picture has that eastern, central and southern Europe was daily becoming more disorganised; in Turkey nationalist revolution
would reject the peace terms altogether; China continued to disintegrate, rent by internal dissension and the pressure of the Japanese and
the West; future of Russia and ultimate size of territories that would fall under Soviet control was one of the biggest uncertainties of all
peacemakers did not preside over empty map of world waiting for settlement in light of their decision reached around conference table
when the peace conference opened on 18 January 1919, just two months after the signing of the armistices with Turkey, Austria, Hungary
and Germany, obviously the problem that most weighed on Wilson, Clemenceau and Lloyd George was the future of Germany
Hindenburg and his generals brought German armies home from France and Belgium in good order where they were received more as
victors than as defeated troops by the German population; but, once on German soil, these once great armies simply dissolved; they did
not wait to be demobilised according to plans which did not exist; they just went home
to combat Bolshevism, the Allied armistice conditions actually required the Germans to remain in occupation of the eastern and Baltic
territories until Allied troops could be spared to take over their responsibilities as guardians against the “reds”
despite changes in Germany and proclamation of a republic, the Allied attitude in Paris did not noticeably alter as the Allies continued to
regard them as arrogant and dangerous Germans, and treated them accordingly; but they also dealt with Germans at a distance, rejecting
the responsibility of occupying the country and confining themselves to the strategic occupation of part of the Rhineland alone
during that first winter and spring of 1918 – 19, Germany was left to survive as best as it could
for Ebert, the new chancellor, the most important tasks ahead were to establish law and order, revive industry and agriculture so that the
German people could live, preserve Germany unity and ensure that the “revolution that had begun with the Kaiser’s departure should
itself lead to the orderly transfer of power to a democratically elected parliamentary assembly
during the winter and spring following the armistice it was uncertain whether Ebert would surviveGermany was torn by political strife
of unprecedented ferocity, and separatist movements in several regions even suggested that Germany might disintegrate
in Paris there was a keen awareness that to delay making of peace would endanger stability even further—Germany should be presented
with the terms and given a short period for a written submission embodying their reply; there should be no meaningful negotiations with
Germans, instead, better a “dictated” peace quickly than a long-drawn-out wrangle that allowed the Germans to exploit Allied differences
it was a remarkable achievement that despite their serious differences—the French, in particular, looked for more extensive territorial
guarantees and reparations—in the short space of 4 months an agreed treaty was presented to the Germans on 7 May 1919, which
represented the compromises reached by Wilson, Lloyd George, and Clemenceau
crucial decisions were taken by Wilson, Lloyd George, and Clemenceau and details were left to experts who accompanied statesmen
one of the few undertakings of the Allies, and incorporated in the Fourteen Points, was to reconstitute an independent Polish nation and
so to undo the 18th-century partition of Poland by Russia, Austria, and Prussia
an important guarantee of French security was the requirement that the Germans were not permitted to fortify or station troops in the
Rhineland; all the German territory west of the Rhine and bridgeheads across the Rhine, moreover, were occupied by the Allies for 15
years and evacuation would only occur in 3 stages every 5 years in Germany fulfilled the treaty conditions of Versailles
but Clemenceau never lost sight of the fact that France remained, even after these German losses, inferior to its neighbour in population
and industrial potential, and therefore militarily as well in the longer term; he realised that France would need the alliance of Britain and
the US even more after 1918 as France had been gravely weakened by the war
it became, from the French point of view, all the more vital to write into the treaty provisions for restricting German army and armaments
and to have the means of supervising these provisions to see that they were carried out
the “war guilt” article (231) and the one that followed represented a compromise between the Allies on the question of reparations
the Germans were presented with the treaty draft on 7 May 1919; their voluminous protests and counter-proposals delivered on 29 May
were considered, a small number of concessions made and then they were presented with the unalterable final draft in the form of a
virtual ultimatum on 16 June, which the Germans formally accepted and signed on 28 June 1919 as they were unable to resume the war
total amount of reparations payable by Germany fixed in May 1921—132 000 million gold marks—was actually not so excessive, but
only a prosperous, stable Germany in a relatively free international market could contribute to general European prosperity
Lloyd George understood that to “punish” Germany financially would create a powerful competitor in export markets as Germany sought
the means to pay; if there was to be security from Germany in the longer term—(1) reduce German power by dividing the country, but
this offended prevailing views of nationality; (2) ensure that Germanys political development would lead to a fundamental change of
attitudes: genuine democracy coupled with a renunciation of nationalist aspirations
instead, the peace weakened the democratic movement and heightened nationalist feelings
for two decades from 1921 to 1941 the Soviet Union remained essentially cut off, a large self-contained empire following its own road to
modernisation and living in a spirit of hostile coexistence with the West
up to last year of war Allies did not desire to destroy Habsburg Empire, which was seen as stabilising influence in south-eastern Europe
Habsburg Empire broke apart before the armistice on 3 November 1918 and there was no way Allies could have brought it together again
Allies modified central European frontiers created by strong national leaders, attempted to ensure good treatment of minorities, enforced
penal conditions on defeated Hungarians and German Austrians; in its essentials, power had been transferred to new nations already
peace settlement in Near East eluded the “peacemakers altogether; with the defeat of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish acceptance of
an armistice on 30 October 1918, the Arab people had high hopes of achieving their independence
Arabs were denied truly independent states except in what became Saudi Arabia; other Arab lands were placed under French and British
tutelage as “mandates” despite wishes of inhabitants—Iraq and Palestine became British mandates and Syria and Lebanon, French; within
a few years, the Arab states of Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan, and Iraq emerged but remained firmly under British and French control
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