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[O] History(Elect) Smart Guides

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  1. Unit 1: The World in Crisis

    1. Impact of World War I in Europe
    14 Topics
  2. 2. Stalin's Soviet Union
    12 Topics
  3. 3. Hitler's Germany
    27 Topics
  4. 4. Outbreak WWII in Europe
    13 Topics
  5. 5. Germany's Defeat in World War II
    21 Topics
  6. 6. Outbreak War in Asia Pacific
    6 Topics
  7. 7. Japan's Defeat
    10 Topics
  8. Unit 2: Bi-Polarity and the Cold War
    8. Reasons for the Cold War in Europe
    21 Topics
  9. 9. The Korean War
    19 Topics
  10. 10. Cuban Missile Crisis
    25 Topics
  11. 11. The End of Cold War
    19 Topics
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▪ Motivations and Aims of the Victorious Powers at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference

  • World War 1 finally ended in November 1918 with Germany agreeing to sign a temporary peace agreement or an armistice.
  • Germany did not feel that it had been defeated and the Germans expected to be consulted on the terms of an eventual peace treaty.
  • However, the Germans were not invited to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, where the victorious powers met to decide on the terms of the peace treaty.
  • The eventual treaty, known as the Treaty of Versailles, was the political settlement that resulted from of this conference.
  • The main powers, or the ‘Big Three’, as the US, Britain & France were collectively known, had various perspectives in resolving post-World War 1 matters, particularly in their issues towards Germany.
President Wilson reading the Armistice terms to Congress. WWI. Nov. 11, 1918.
CountryLeaderWhat did they want?Why?
The United
States (US
Woodrow Wilson

• Elected president in 1912 & reelected in 1916.
• Tried few times to negotiate peace between the European powers during the Paris Peace Conference.
• The Americans were reluctant to enter the ‘European war’.
• Wilson wanted to make his Fourteen Points as a basis for a ‘fair & lasting peace’ & international cooperation.
• The US was not keen to be entangled in European affairs and was more concerned about making the world safer.
• The US war experience was different than the European powers’ as it had not been invaded.
• It had also entered the war late, in 1917, and thus, they suffered very little and the US was not compelled to seek harsh reparations.
FrancePM Georges

• Was nicknamed ‘The Tiger’ for his fierce pursuit of ‘war until the end’ against Germany in World War 1.
• France hoped to reclaim Alsace Lorraine, which was lost to Germany in 1871.
• Wanted revenge for the war, heavy reparations from Germany for its war losses and damages.
• Wanted Germany to accept total blame for the war.
• Germany had attacked France twice in 1870 and 1914 and had lost lands.
• Determined to weaken Germany militarily so that France could never be in danger again.
• Wanted to punish Germany for death and destruction. Had suffered huge casualties and its economy shattered.
BritainPM David Lloyd

• Was re-elected PM in 1918.
• Personally he opposed treating Germany too harshly as he feared an unfair peace treaty would lead to another war.
• Wanted German navy to be weak as its own position of naval superiority was previously threatened by German rearmaments.
• Wanted Germany to be able to recover economically to prevent rise of communism.
• Britain concerned about threat of communism in Eastern Europe; a strong Germany in Central Europe could stop the communist tide.
• However, Britain had also suffered large numbers of
casualties during WW1. PM Lloyd George had won 1918 election promising to ‘make Germany pay’.
ItalyPM Vittorio

• Was keen supporter of Italy’s entry into WW1 on side of the Allies
• Entered WW1 based on 1915 London Pact which promised Italy control of Dalmatia, part of Germany’s colonies in Asia and Africa, & protectorate over Albania.• Joined the Allies as it was promised territorial gains and rewards.
• Had suffered heavy casualties and expected its sacrifices to be rewarded as promised.
JapanPM Saionji

• Former PM and elder statesman
• Led Japanese delegation to the Paris Peace Conference
• Wanted control over German possessions in Asia and the Pacific region.
• Wanted to be seen as a world power and equal to the European powers.
• At the start of 20th century, Japan had begun to modernise and strengthen militarily. Thus, it hoped to be recognised as equal to European powers.
• Entered WW1 based on Anglo-Japanese alliance.
  • In summary, the delegations from Japan and Italy were mainly concerned with getting the territorial gains promised to them for their contributions in the war.
  • The British and French representatives faced public pressure back home to keep Germany weakened and punished for waging the war.
  • As for the American delegation, President Wilson’s main interest was in securing the Fourteen Points rather than in shaping the future of Germany.
  • The final clause of the Versailles Treaty established the League of Nations, which was Wilson’s primary objective.