Treaty_of_Versailles
First page of the Versailles Treaty
The Versailles treaty, was the main treaty that the triple entente and Italy put together following the first great war. With the mindset of Realpolitik being foremost for many of the leaders, all of them wanted something for their own country's benefit.

Below is a list of each country, their leader at the time and an outline of the main points they wanted accomplished going into the treaty.

France (Georges Clemenceau)
- Creation of the Rhineland republic to serve as a demilitarized buffer zone between Franc and Germany
- Obtain the territory Alsace-Lorraine
- Germany to pay for war reparations
- Wanted to enlist as many allies as possible in order to ensure future security

England (David Lloyd George)
- Wanted German Colonies
- German to pay war reparations

America (Woodrow Wilson)
- Wilson's 14 points

Italy (Vittorio Orlando)
-Wanted as much territory as possible to gain

(map of post WWI Europe )


Most of the demands of each nation were met after the proceedings. France received Alsace-Lorraine and the two million people that lived there. the Rhineland Republic was also created. All of Germany's territories were confiscated by the Entente powers and put under a "mandate" system in which the victorious party controlled the territories. The most Important aftermath of the Treaty of Versailles are as follows:

Article 231- this contained the war guilt clause which blamed Germany entirely for the war and justified their need to pay for all the damages. German was not only forced to pay for the war but also was restricted as to their military size and armaments (Austria and Hungary were also restricted in this respect). Article 231 would cause Germans to harbor animosity towards the Western European countries and could have been a possible cause of the second world war.

League of Nations- his was one of Wilson's 14 points. The League of Nations was created as a group of countries that would work together to "police the world". This league was the precursor to what we know today as the United Nations.

Successor States- the successor states were nations created from German territories and what was the Habsburg empire (Austria-Hungary). The successor states were Yugoslavia, Czechoslavakia, Poland, Austria and Hungary. All f these were doomed to fail considering their weak governments and diverse ethnic groups residing within the borders.

German Sentiment- Many Germans ( not all, i dont want to singularize) were very upset with the Treaty of Versailles. They were upset with the massive sums of money they were forced to pay and felt as though they were being pressed into signing a "blank check". Many Germans (no singularization intended) referred to the treaty as the "Diktat" or dictated peace.

Real Politik (realism)- Governing out of self-interest rather than moral, ideological or ethical concerns. Real Politik was a huge factor in the aims of the victorious powers after WWI. Realpolitik are based on the assumptions that:
  • There is no international authority (this shows what little trust was laid in the League of Nations)
    • Security is a self help system
    • States must maximize power to ensure security
      • All decisions are based on security
    • Security is based on Zero-sum: Security and power first

This idea can be illustrated through the aims of:
  • France, to obtain more territory and secure its borders
  • England, by wanting to gain more colonies
  • Italy wanting land
  • All three wanting to cripple Germany in hopes of it not being able to attack again