The Treaty of Versailles
Woodrow Wilson USA
David Lloyd-George Great Britain
Georges Clemenceau France
Vittorio Orlando Italy
The Big Four at Versailles in 1919
Clemenceau : The Tiger
Clemenceau wanted to make sure that Germany could not invade France in the future. He was determined that Germany should be made to pay for the damage that had been caused in northern France by the invading German armies.
In public Lloyd-George said he wanted to punish the Germans. The British public was very anti-German at the end of the war.
In private he realised that Britain needed Germany to recover because she was an important trading partner.
He was also worried about the “disease from the east”, communism. The Russian government had been overthrown by a communist revolution in 1917. Lloyd-George believed that the spread of communism had to be stopped. A strong Germany would be a barrier against it.
Woodrow Wilson wanted the treaty to be based on his Fourteen Points
He believed Germany should be punished but not severely. He wanted a just settlement that would not leave Germany feeling resentful
Wilson wanted to set up an international organisation called The League of Nations which would settle disputes
The American public did not support him. They were fed up with involvement in European affairs. The USA became more isolationist.
To do with Germany’s armed forces :
The German army was to be reduced to 100,000 men. It was not allowed to have tanks.
Germany was not allowed an airforce
The area known as the Rhineland was to be de-militarised
The Allies were to occupy the west bank of the Rhine for fifteen years
The German navy was to have no submarines or large battle-ships
The Military Clauses