treaty was signed today at Versailles. At 10:30 am
Washington time Phillips and I sat in the telegraph room
on the 4th floor of the Dept. and had a direct wire
from there to Versailles - with only two relays, one at London
and one at Newfoundland, where it went into and came out of
the submarine cable. It was 5¼ hours different
time at Versailles. As each signed it was
signalled out over the wire and ticked off on the receiver at
our side and the operator read it by ear and wrote it out as
received on a typewriter. We leaned over his
shoulder and read the bulletins. It was a unique
and most interesting experience - and a great occasion.
Long, Diary (Saturday, 28 June 1919)
was an US diplomat
For five months the Big Three debated the terms
of the Treaty. They crawled over
huge maps of Europe spread over the floor. Clemenceau and
Wilson quarrelled to the point where the Conference was in
danger of failing altogether; that was where Lloyd George
stepped in -- on 25 March he issued the
Memorandum, then he persuaded Clemenceau to accept the
League of Nations, and Wilson to accept reparations, and the
Conference was saved.
Meanwhile, thousands of people turned
up to lobby the Big Three, hoping to get a hand-out in the final
treaty. The Arab and Zionist Jewish delegations competed
to get control of Palestine (in the end,
it was given to Britain). Queen Mary of Romania turned up
in person and flirted with Wilson; he thought she was a dreadful
woman, but Romania came away with Transylvania. A group of
20 Ukrainians turned up and tried to persuade the Big Three to
recognise the Ukraine as an independent country (they failed).
The Conference became a huge goody-bag, in which everybody was
trying to dip their hand.
The small German delegation in Paris, who had
been watching proceedings but not allowed to take part, were at
last given the
text of the Treaty on 7 May 1919. They issued an outraged
statement and returned home. For a while, it seemed that
Germany might reject the Treaty. However, Germany had no choice but to accept
whatever was decided, and eventually two Germans were found who were
prepared to sign the Treaty.
28 June 1919, the victors met at the Hall of Mirrors in the
Palace of Versailles, near Paris,
and the two Germans were called into the room and instructed to sign.
first 26 Articles of the Treaty set out the Covenant of the League of
Nations; the rest of the 440 Articles detailed Germany's punishment:
had to accept the Blame for
starting the war (Clause 231).
This was vital because it
provided the justification for...
had to pay £6,600 million (called Reparations)
for the damage done during the war.
was forbidden to have submarines or an air force. She could
have a navy of only six battleships, and an Army
of just 100,000 men. In addition, Germany was not allowed to
place any troops in the Rhineland, the strip of land, 50 miles wide,
next to France.
lost Territory (land) in Europe
Germany’s colonies were given to Britain and France.
Germany was forbidden to join the League of Nations, or unite with
of the treaty - fuller
terms of the treaty - full text
- Giles Hill on the Treaty of Versailles
(BBC bitesize) Was the Treaty Unfair?
Describe how the Treaty of Versailles weakened Germany: a. Through the loss of territory, b. Militarily, c. Economically.
If you had been a German in Paris in 1919, can you find FOUR things about the
conduct of the Conference which would have outraged you?
The Allied governments affirm, and Germany accepts, the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied governments and their peoples have been subjected as a result of the war.
The Treaty of Versailles, Clause 231 (the 'War Guilt' clause)