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IR 2.3.docx

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Tufts University
Political Science
Kelly Greenhill

IR 2.3 The Interwar Period and the Origins of WWII Background Difficulties: • Spanish Flu Epidemic o globally, infected 500 million people, killed 50-100 million • Preserve and Perverted Social Ideas • “Misperception Hangover” o “we don’t think we are losing” • Devastation of the War itself Woodrow Wilson and the Europeans • The Fourteen Points, Collective Security, and League of Nations all confront skepticism, anger, and a serious urge for retribution Paris Peace Conference • participants o Georges Clemenceau (France) o David Lloyd George (Britain) o Woodrow Wilson (U.S.) o Vittorio Orlando (Italy) • Versailles Treaty o after months of difficult negotiations o five treaties  one each with Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey  Treaty of Versailles, which Germany signed June 28, 1919, was the most significant • fundamental conflict: the urge to punish as opposed to reestablishing order and balance in the international system o France regainedAlsace and Lorraine o German Rhineland was demilitarized and occupied byAllied troops o Germany blamed for the war o Poland granted sovereignty again and was granted part of Prussia, including a corridor to the Baltic Sea  Germans would never resign themselves to this loss of territory o Germany was vanquished without a voice and excluded from the new order; reparations were imposed, they lost colonies and much territory, and given a new democratic government (Weimar Republic) o to strip Germany of any offensive capability  settlement abolished the German general staff and forbade military conscription in Germany  German Army limited to 100k volunteers and deprived of heavy artillery, tanks, and warplanes  German Navy limited to token force, did not include submarines o reparations clause assigned Germany the guilt for the war and ordered it to pay a debt the Germans perceived as catastrophically large o Austrian-Hungary empire
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