The paris peace conference
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The Paris Peace Conference. Vocabulary:. Total War Fourteen Points Bolshevism Realpolitik Self-determination League of Nations Reparations Collective Security. Important People:. Lloyd George Woodrow Wilson Georges Clemenceau Kaiser Wilhelm II Vittorio Orlando

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The Paris Peace Conference

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The Paris Peace Conference


  • Total War

  • Fourteen Points

  • Bolshevism

  • Realpolitik

  • Self-determination

  • League of Nations

  • Reparations

  • Collective Security

Important People:

  • Lloyd George

  • Woodrow Wilson

  • Georges Clemenceau

  • Kaiser Wilhelm II

  • Vittorio Orlando

  • Emperor Taisho/Hara Takashi

Aims and Goals: background issues

  • Aims and goals were fueled not only by war but by pre-war hopes and dreams

  • Countries that wanted independence or that at revolted needed to be addressed

  • Things that need to be considered:

  • 1. The Bolshevik Revolution: new political philosophy in Europe(feared by some)

  • 2. Great Empires shattered: A.H., Ottomans

  • 3. A Few Decide: Britain, France and U.S. (Democratic)

Aims and goals con’t…

  • 4. The war was big on every level: even concepts, “war to end all wars” “To make the world safe for democracy”…

  • 5. Popular opinion, propaganda and the media

  • 6. Wilson and his 14 Points: assumed that war could be prevented if people made the effort

The Aims of the participants…

  • There were two different approaches

  • 1. new order of international relations for permanent peace

  • 2. desire to punish those who had caused conflict and to get compensation

  • I need help thinking of people to represent this concept…Mean Girls, Heathers…I need a genuinely nice example??

The United States - Wilson

  • The desires of the US were expressed by the 14 points

  • Reflected ideals of democracy and self-determination

  • Lacked specifics

  • Set up League of Nations (forum to settle disputes)

  • Some punishment of Germany and then they could join the League

  • Wilson was in Paris for a very long time which took a toll at home

The United Kingdom: Lloyd George

  • A house divided: Britain fell into two categories

  • 1. Traditional British Foreign Policy

    -elimination of the German fleet

    -end of German Empire

    -defeat German plans for control of Europe

    -return to normal European relations, restore British economy to fight Bolshevism

    -no involvement in alliances (except Alsace-Lorraine for balance)


  • And the Second Camp: non-traditional

    • Wanted a declaration of German war guild

    • Wanted Germany to pay extensive reparations $$$

    • This reflects some campaign promises…


  • France was very afraid of Germany’s growing power

  • France suffered 2 million dead and wounded during war

  • France territory had suffered as a major battle zone

  • So France wanted to weaken Germany:

    • Disarmament

    • Territory reduction

    • Heavy reparations to weaken economy

    • Wanted alliance with UK and US


  • Simple: territorial gains

  • Wanted territory that had been promised when they entered WWI

  • Not fans of self-determination if it impacted them

  • Walked out when denied rights to Dalmatian Coast territories (promised)


  • Did not like self-determination and wanted to secure a larger empire for security and economic reasons

  • Japan wanted German territories in China

  • Japan wanted to be “in” with the major players


  • Germany asked for an armistice in Oct. 1918, they had not been defeated or invaded at the time

  • Some influence of Wilson’s 14 Points…

  • Germany was not invited to the Conference as they were after Napoleonic Wars in 1815

  • Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated and they established a democratic republic in hopes to gain sympathy

…the French people knew what they wanted to write into the treaty of peace-revenge…

…”compensation for all they had suffered, and guarantees that a similar war would never happen again…

For four years they had believed that the only good German was a dead German. Now they felt that the only safe Germany would be a crippled Germany…” Williamson, D. 2003. War and Peace: International relations 1919-1939, p. 23.

And your homework…

  • Because we do not have books yet…I will re-issue a weekly reading/outline chart

  • Due Friday: Select a speech from one Allied leader prior to the PPC. Answer the questions:

  • 1. what promises did the leaders make? 20 pts

  • 2. compare the promises/expectations set with their position at the PPC. 20 pts

  • 3. Was the public aware? How did they react? 20 pts

  • Don’t forget to cite your sources!

Metacognition and reflection journal…

  • Reflect on the following:

  • Should Germany and the other “losers” have attended the PPC?

  • How do you personally feel about war? Peace? Revenge?

  • Think of a short playlist for the PPC…mine starts with Summertime Sadness and then goes to Shattered by BDOD…  maybe throw in HELP by the Beatles…

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