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Lecture 6

Grenville week 6 notes

2 Pages

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Neville Panthaki

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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 Kaisers 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 furtherGermany 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 differencesthe French, in particular, looked for more extensive territorial guarantees and reparationsin 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 lef
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