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Lecture 6

HIS242H1 Lecture 6: 6. Post War Settlements

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Vasilis Dimitriadis

Lecture 6: Post War Settlements - Idealism v Realism Introduction Treaty of Versailles was not a spark for facism - it would have happened despite the treaty International Relations, until Wilson, had been dominated by Europeans • During negotiations, Europe is sidelined and replaced as key contributor to a post-war settlement Wilson’s 14 Points (January 1918) Woodrow Wilson • Saw that Europeans (and their ideal of balance of power) formed alliance systems to prevent hegemony (and shifting alliances) - undermined their own system of stability • Proposed a different approach to IR: balance of power was to be forgotten and replaced with a free international system (eliminate nationalism, colonization, and power) with collective security. 14 Points He believed there were only two solutions to war: democracy or revolution 5 pillars: 1. Open diplomacy: no secret deals (alliances are removed), must be transparent in order to avoid a misunderstanding 2. Self-determination: new to Europe - allow every state to decide on their own on what political system they want, and what state they want to belong - 3. Free trade: equal access and no competition (no alliances) 4. League of Nations: creates an international community (first time in history) and to remove large powers (France, Britain, Germany) - every political issue would be debated within 5. Collective security: problem between two states could easily lead to catastrophe (Austria and Serbia), - with countries working together, this would not happen France and Britain agreed with his proposal - no one had the power to oppose him despite critics (state he doesn't know European relations) 1 • Were in the hands of USA- 10 billion dollar loan were given to allies • Depended on military and financial assistant • Germany also depended on Wilson - allowed them a seat at the table and to try to settle points to benefit all parties (if they refused, they would have been invaded) Paris Peace Conference (January - June 1919 ) Wilson was a hero - messiah and saviour of the world • US had a profound influence on Europe - now a big power Issues: • Wartime objectives • National self-interest • Bolshevism • German Problem Revolution by the extreme left or right would occur if these issues were not solved The German Problem The problem with Germany was to be settled in Versailles by only the allies (didn’t allow Germany to negotiate - against Wilson’s principles) Two issues emerged: 1. Article 231: War Guilt Clause - pin all blame of the work on the Germans (debt, death) • Based this on the blank cheque on supportingAustria (if they do anything on Serbia) • Problem: Germany wasn't the only one, France issued one to Russia (which caused Russian action) 2. Article 232: Reparations - responsible for all material and financial damages of the war - $31-33 billion at the time, $400 billion today • 28 June 1919 - Germa
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