This essay has a total of 6114 words and 29 pages.
attempts made at peace
“What attemps were made to achieve a
lasting peace in Europe between the years
By: Paul Portelli
This Essay will Disscuss why the “peace treaties” of WW1 cause not peace but War. Focusing mainly on the Treaty of Versaille, Woodrow Willson and the league of nations. How the triple anntont where more intrested in imperialism instead of idealism.
The Versaille Treaty, an agreement for peaceful terms among the warring nations of World War I, was extinguished by the insatiable desires of all parties involved. Woodrow Wilson, an inflexible, idealistic, righteous President was up against the vengeful Allies. Each with their own imperialistic views, conflicted as peace negotiations began. Wilson wanting to “make the world safe for Democracy” swooped into Paris to negotiate his Fourteen Points, leaving the Republicans impotent state back in the United States. Thus, Wilson’s ideas faced great opposition by the Big Business Republican Party fearful he was going to run for re-election and by the Allies whom were looking to occupy German territory.
It became apparent that the Allies were far more concerned with imperialism than idealism Wilson pushed for in the League of Nations. This League leads to the basic understanding to the failure of the Versaille Treaty. The League of Nations faced great resistance first by the Allies and later the Republicans, which led to the Wilson -Lodge feud, the ultimate cause of destruction. Woodrow Wilson was thought to have a Messiah complex due to his desire to dictate peace and his unwillingness to compromise. At the end of World War I he compiled Fourteen Points, ultimately as propaganda. His main goal was to “make the world safe for Democracy,” in other words, extend America’s power and ideals through foreign nations. Of these Fourteen Points the most important was the League of Nations, an attempt to reorder the world.
However, a great opponent of this “Wilsonian League” was Henry Cabot Lodge, a Republican opponent. Ultimately, many of the obstacles Wilson faced could have been over come had he publicly admitted he was not running for re-election once his prominence grew if the League was authorised. He also would have avoided defeat if he had been more willing to compromise with the republicans and added on a few revisions. Once the treaty was fabricated it met Republican opposition. In 1918 Wilson had appealed for a Democratic Congress to support his policy, however, due to issues at home the voters did the opposite.
With Republicans in Control of both houses of American Government opposition was immense. Once the Senate denied the League, Wilson returned to Paris for modifications, but once again he faced resistance. France was looking to obtain the German Rhineland; likewise France and Japan were looking to gain territory. The outcome was the sacrifice of many of Wilson’s Fourteen Points to establish a stronghold for the League of Nation. However, the modified treaty was undermined by the return of soldiers when it was apparent that “wartime idealism” had plummeted and the war for democracy had failed seeing that the Allies “greedy Imperialists.” The illibreals, foreign groups and anti-British all had different views of the treaty, but ultimately it didn’t matter because it only brought more attention to an immerging “problem.” Republicans felt they had the right to revise the treaty when it returned from Paris because they had had no representative in at Peace Conference in France due to Wilson and also because their soldiers had fought in the war. This sort of division was what defeated the Treaty, American soldiers had not fought, Republican and Democrat soldiers had. Thus Lodge delayed the treaty by holding hearings in which foreign representatives sighted their objections to the pact.
Lodge then began to tact reservations on the treaty. However not all approved, many mild reservationists felt that Lodge’s reservation were too strong. They could have been persuaded by the Wilson to join the Democratic side, but he didn’t defer to them. In an attempt to fight Lodge’s reservations, Wilson toured across the country, however this is what brought the ultimate demise of the Versaille Treaty. After a powerful speech on the behalf of the League of Nations, Wilson suffered a stroke. With no Leader in the Senate to replace him, Lodge had control. Once Wilson was even capable of making decisions, he refused to compromise his beliefs to Lodge. However, public opinion still favoured the treaty (with some reservations) and when the Senate voted it down, they were forced to revote by the public. Lodge then entered into secret negotiations with the Democrats, which landed him in an accusation of treachery, and Lodge eventually dropped these negotiations. Wilson then directed his democratic following to reject the treaty, but they felt the pact could no longer be ratified, thus many vote in favour of it. The public never being able to directly express their views of the treaty gained the opportunity when Harding ran for president, whom was anti-League. This outcome was the end all to the Varsaille Treaty. Ultimately, many factors led to the demise of the Versialle Treaty.
Had Wilson not been so hard headed and willing to compromise the treaty might have survived. Had he involved the Republicans in the original peace conference the treaty may have serviced and Lodge may have not pushed him into a corner. With two different concerns, Wilson’s being the League of Nations and Lodge’s being and avoidance of division within the Republican Party, the two refused to negotiate with each other. And ultimately Republicans had little to gain through a Democratic treaty, designed to “make the world safe for Democracy.” Wilson’s stroke intensified the odds against the treaty and with the public still in favour of isolation its failure was inevitable
The Paris Peace Conference. Neither Germany nor Russia were allowed to attend the conference because Russia, who broke away from the war, because of conflicts at home, signed a separate peace treaty with Germany. The leaders of the "Big Four," consisting of Woodrow Wilson from the US, Georges Clemenceau from France, David Lloyd George from England, and Vittorio Orlando from Italy, made most of the important decisions at the Conference. Clemenceau was a tough, determined, and skillful politician. He was also a vengeful, old man. He was determined that Germany should not only suffer for what they had done, but that the peace terms should make it impossible for Germany to wage war ever again.
Lloyd George wanted Germany's war leaders to be punished. And he was determined that none of Wilson's 14 points should be allowed to interfere with England, its traditional policies, or its commitments to others. Orlando, the least influential of the "Big Four," was determined that Italy was to receive huge territorial rewards that had been promised to them in 1915 to lure Italy to fight the war for the Allies. After three and half months of argument the delegates finally finished the treaty, and it was ready to be presented to Germany. The treaty had called for a number of changes to Germany and the world. The League of Nations was adopted, the only aspect of the 14 Points that was accepted. The treaty called for world disarmament. The Allies were to occupy Rhineland for at least 15 or more years. The German provinces of Posen and West Prussia were given to Poland. Germany's colonies were given to the League of Nations. England and France divided up Germany's African colonies, and Japan took islands in the South Pacific. Germany had to accept sole responsibility for the war. The former emperor and war leaders were to be tried as war criminals, but that part of the treaty never came about. Germany's army was limited to 100,000 soldiers and they couldn't have any heavy artillery. The general staff was abolished, and the navy was reduced. No air force was allowed, and the production of planes was forbidden. The worst part of the treaty, for the Germans, was that they had to pay the large sum of reparations.
The French felt that the terms of the treaty were too merciful and voted out George Clemenceau. During the second debate at Versailles, the leader of the German delegation, Brockdorff-Rantzau, did not sign the treaty. He felt that the economic fulfilments were impossible. The German Chancellor Philipp Scheidemann also did not sign the treaty. When it became obvious that the treaty had to be signed, Brockdorff-Rantzau and Scheidemann resigned on June 21. New Chancellor Gustav and a new delegation on June 28 finally signed the treaty.
In the US, despite Wilson's efforts, the Senate did not ratify the treaty. Instead they made their own separate treaties with Germany, Austria, and Hungary. Other treaties were made for the other central countries in the war. Austria signed the Treaty if Saint-Germain. It said that the Austro-Hungarian Empire no longer existed. Its army was limited to 30,000 men and Austria agreed to pay economic reparations to Allied nations that were victims of Austrian aggression. Bulgaria signed a treaty, which said that they had to give some territory to Yugoslavia, Romania, and Greece. Its army was restricted and they had to pay reparations to its neighbours. Hungary signed the Treaty of Trianon on June 4, which reduced the country's size by about 66%. The army was limited to 35,000 troops, and reparations were demanded. The reparations were set in 1921.
Germany received the bill for the war in January. At first the Allies came up with a sum of $63 billion in cash and goods paid over 42 years. Germany, on the other hand, said they could pay $7 billion. But the French wouldn't here of it, so they had another meeting to come up with a smaller amount. Finally, in March, Germany agreed to pay $32 billion in cash and goods. The government decided on a policy of fulfilment. Which is that the government of Germany would make the payments, until they the Allies could see the burden was intolerable, and then renegotiate. At home Germany received numerous communist uprisings. The nationalists also opposed the reparations, and said that any reparations were unacceptable. Germany was still losing territory. The province of Upper Silesia was given to Poland. This outraged the nationalists, and deprived the nation of a major resource for payment on their huge debt. The biggest result of the war was the economic, political, and social changes throughout Europe.
The biggest impact of the war was on the people. The returning soldiers were deeply changed: Millions of unreasoned young men had been exposed to mind-numbing brutality, to the desperate pleasures of military life. Germany faced economic and political instability, which caused the rise of Hitler. Germany also had huge inflation. France had 10 million acres of farmland destroyed. They had to borrow more money, which led to inflation and a decrease in the French currency. England's exporting industries suffered greatly, and the industries had to compete against other trading nations. The government also put high tariffs on imports. The rest of the combatant nations also had many changes but not so severe as Germany, France, and Germany.
Bureaucracy and industry had expanded enormously. Labor shortages had led to new roles for women, and African Americans. The increased technology had greatly expanded our potential to kill. The Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 sought to outlaw war completely.
World War I will always be remembered as the first modern war. The casualties of this war surpass all those before it. Even though World War I was a terrible tragedy, it should be used as a lesson to all and reason to create resonable lasting peace.
The following terms were set by the Allied powers for the Armistice.
1. Effective six hours after signing.
2. Immediate clearing of Belgium, France, Alsace-Lorraine, to be concluded within 14 days. Any troops remaining in these areas to be interned or taken as prisoners of war.
3. Surrender 5000 cannon (chiefly heavy), 30,000 machine guns, 3000 trench mortars, 2000 planes.
4. Evacuation of the left bank of the Rhine, Mayence, Coblence, Cologne, occupied by the enemy to a radius of 30 kilometers deep.
5. On the right bank of the Rhine a neutral zone from 30 to 40 kilometers deep, evacuation within 11 days.
6. Nothing to be removed from the territory on the left bank of the Rhine, all factories, railroads, etc. to be left intact.
7. Surrender of 5000 locomotives, 150,000 railway coaches, 10,000 trucks.
8. Maintenance of enemy occupation troops through Germany.
9. In the East all troops to withdraw behind the boundaries of August 1, 1914, fixed time not given.
10. Renunciation of the Treaties of Brest-Litovsk and Bucharest.
11. Unconditional surrender of East Africa.
12. Return of the property of the Belgian Bank, Russian and Rumanian gold.
13. Return of prisoners of war without reciprocity.
14. Surrender of 160 U-boats, 8 light cruisers, 6 Dreadnoughts; the rest of the fleet to be disarmed and controlled by the Allies in neutral or Allied harbors.
15. Assurance of free trade through the Cattegat Sound; clearance of mine fields and occupation of all forts and batteries, through which transit could be hindered.
16. The blockade remains in effect. All German ships to be captured.
17. All limitations by Germany on neutral shipping to be removed.
18. Armistice lasts 30 days.
Animated by the firm desire to ensure the maintenance of general peace and the security of nations whose existence, independence or territories may be threatened;
Recognising the solidarity of the members of the international community;
Asserting that a war of aggression constitutes a violation of this solidarity and an international crime;
Desirous of facilitating the complete application of the system provided in the Covenant of the League of Nations for the pacific settlement of disputes between States and of ensuring the repression of international crimes; and
For the purpose of realising, as contemplated by Article 8 of the Covenant, the reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with national safety and the enforcement by common action of international obligations;
The Undersigned, duly authorised to that effect, agree as follows:
The signatory States undertake to make every effort in their power to secure the introduction into the Covenant of amendments on the lines of the provisions contained in the following articles.
They agree that, as between themselves, these provisions shall be binding as from the coming into force of the present Protocol and that, so far as they are concerned, the Assembly and the Council of the League of Nations shall thenceforth have power to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties conferred upon them by the Protocol.
The signatory States agree in no case to resort to war either with one another or against a State which, if the occasion arises, accepts all the obligations hereinafter set out, except in case of resistance to acts of aggression or when acting in agreement with the Council or the Assembly of the League of Nations in accordance with the provisions of the Covenant and of the present Protocol.
The signatory States undertake to recognise as compulsory, ipso facto and without special agreement, the jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of International Justice in the cases covered by paragraph 2 of Article 36 of the Statute of the Court, but without prejudice to the right of any State, when acceding to the special protocol provided for in the said Article and opened for signature on December 16th, 1920, to make reservations compatible with the said clause.
Accession to this special protocol, opened for signature on December 16th, 1920, must be given within the month following the coming into force of the present Protocol.
States which accede to the present Protocol, after its coming into force, must carry out the above obligation within the month following their accession.
With a view to render more complete the provisions of paragraphs 4, 5, 6, and 7 of Article 15 of the Covenant, the signatory States agree to comply with the following procedure:
1. If the dispute submitted to the Council is not settled by it as provided in paragraph 3 of the said Article 15, the Council shall endeavour to persuade the parties to submit the dispute to judicial settlement or arbitration.
2. (a) If the parties cannot agree to do so, there shall, at the request of at least one of the parties, be constituted a Committee of Arbitrators. The Committee shall so far as possible be constituted by agreement between the parties.
(b) If within the period fixed by the Council the parties have failed to agree, in whole or in part, upon the number, the names and the powers of the arbitrators and upon the procedure, the Council shall settle the points remaining in suspense. It shall with the utmost possible despatch select in consultation with the parties the arbitrators and their President from among persons who by their nationality, their personal character and their experience, appear to it to furnish the highest guarantees of competence and impartiality.
(c) After the claims of the parties have been formulated, the Committee of Arbitrators, on the request of any party, shall through the medium of the Council request an advisory opinion upon any points of law in dispute from the Permanent Court of International Justice, which in such case shall meet with the utmost possible despatch.
3. If none of the parties asks for arbitration, the Council shall again take the dispute under consideration. If the Council reaches a report which is unanimously agreed to by the members thereof other than the representatives of any of the parties to the dispute, the signatory States agree to comply with the recommendations therein.
4. If the Council fails to reach a report which is concurred in by all its members, other than the representatives of any of the parties to the dispute, it shall submit the disput
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