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GCSE History > Treaty of Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles was made at the Paris peace conference in the palace of Versailles. The important decisions were made by the "big three" (UK, USA, France) but there were problems from the start as Wilson was ill.

The general mood in 1919 was that Germany was viewed as responsible for the war and should be punished accordingly. The economy was bad in all countries so the USA and UK wanted to gain as much as possible from the treaty. At the time, ordinary people had shortages of food.

Politicians in the victorious countries knew that they could get support if they promised hard policies on Germany. Germany treated Russia badly in Brest-Litovsk so the allies used this as further evidence to punish Germany.

Terms of the Treaty

  • War guilt - Germany was to accept the blame for starting war and this lead to the reparation bill.
  • Reparations - 6600 million - enormous figure and Germany was not consulted.
  • Armed forces - Conscription banned, army limited to 100000, were not allowed submarines, aircraft or armoured vehicles, only 6 battleships, Rhineland demilitarized.
  • Territories and colonies - Overseas empire was taken away and the colonies became mandates to UK and France (e.g. Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France).
  • League of Nations - Germany wasn't invited to join until she proved she was a peace loving country.

See also:
The Victor's Policies / Wilson's 14 Points / Effects on Germany

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