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Lecture

Lecture Note


Department
History
Course Code
HIS103Y1
Professor
Denis Smyth

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The Search For Security and Stability, 1920-32 Parts One and Two
Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
Frances action to defend the treaty of Versailles as the last rampart it possessed was in many ways a
desperate gamble
By the end of 1923. The German economy was recovering height of inflation was cooling, and it was
now the country in which it appeared to be the winner
As a condition by being bailed out, the French government was forced to adopt a more considerate
policy
Example of economic pressure causing foreign policy change
May, 1924 Spring General Election inside France (Herriot new French government)
He found ready partners in Macdonald (he was a pacifist during WWI)
What made the deal feasible was the new moderation in German policy
Stresemann (he was a realist)
His moderation caused him is job as chancellor
Stresemann was skillful in extracting concessions
Conference held in London from late July to early August 1924, thee was an immediate deal done to
pave the way for future concessions
Reparations commitment was turned into a hollow instrument
August 1925 the French left
The genuine relief evident in Western Europe in particular was the essential context in which a
remarkable new international agreement was signed (Locarno Agreement) October 16th, 1925
(formally signed the following first of December in London)
It addressed the issue of French National Security
Belgium France, Germany, and the permanently demilitarized zone within the Rhineland these
geopolitical frontiers were declared enviable by the signatory powers via the Locarno Agreement
Britain and Italy also signed on - meant joint military action
This collected security guarantee meant they were signing onto a collective effort to protect France
In return, Germany was promised membership to the League of Nations (the League Council)
The Locarno agreements was not supposed to come into effect until Germany was officially accepted
into the League of Nations
Stresemann was pleased enough to follow through with this
September 19th, 1926 city of Geneva Germany was admitted to the LON
It was then Briand that gave the warmest of welcomes to Germany as it took its seat
Barely a week later, Briand and Stresemann met over lunch and they came up with the basis of a
closer Franco-German rapprochement
This deal was a step to far for the French
The most symbolic agreement in this regard was the Kellog-Briand Pact (August 1928)
Reported to do nothing less than abolish war as an instrument of state
As always, these proposals have a slightly more self-interest
This was Briand
Briand had been anxious to secure some guarantee or promise from the US to defend France
June, 1927 he proposed to the US that just between themselves, should renounce war as an
instrument of state
Briand wanted to associate the US somewhere with defending France
It was enough for Kellog to see the French self-interest
Kellog then came up with a counter-proposal
That the US was prepared to sign a formal public declaration renouncing war as an instrument in the
conduct of foreign policy, but it should be open to any other state (not just France)
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