Military operations in World War One concluded at 11 am on November 11, 1918, but the war's official end did not come until the Treaty of Versailles was signed.
The Treaty of Versailles was the official document that decided who was to blame for the war, and what their punishment would be. This treaty was named after the location where it was created: the palace of Versailles, just outside of Paris in France.
The four main global leaders who led the discussions and negotiations were Lloyd George of Britain, Orlando of Italy, Clemenceau of France, and Woodrow Wilson of the United States. They met together in 1919 to consider how Germany would be compelled to pay for the devastation caused by World War One.
President Wilson brought a 14-point strategy with him that he felt would bring Europe's peace if the treaty was based upon it.
On the basis of these fourteen criteria, Germany expected a treaty. However, discussions between the "big four" of England's Lloyd George, Italy's Orlando, France's Clemenceau, and America's Woodrow Wilson did not go easily. Wilson thought that enacting his fourteen ideas was the best way to ensure perpetual peace. The French, on the other hand, wanted the vanquished nations punished harshly and thought Wilson's approach was too mild. Although Lloyd George allied with Wilson in private, despite his concerns about Communism, the British public, like Clemenceau, wanted Germany punished harshly. Lloyd George was well aware that siding with Wilson would result in him losing the following election.
After much deliberation, an agreement was ultimately achieved. On June 28, 1919, the Germans were called to Versailles to sign the Treaty of Versailles.
The final version of the Treaty of Versailles contained 440 clauses: the first 26 clauses focused on the creation of the League of Nations, while the remaining 414 detailed how Germany was to be punished.
Here is a brief summary of the main details:
While the Treaty of Versailles was the most important document created to resolve the outcome of the war, it was not the only one. There were a number of other treaties that reshaped Europe following the war. Here are a few significant ones:
The Treaty of St Germain, which was signed on the 10th of September 1919, took land from Austria and gave it to Italy, Czechoslovakia and Serbia. Austria's army was limited to 30,000 men and the country was not allowed to merge with Germany. Also, Austria had to pay reparations.
At the Treaty of Trianon on the 4th of June 1920, Hungary lost land to Austria, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Serbia. Also, its army was reduced to 35,000 men, and it was also assigned reparations.
At the Treaty of Neuilly in 27th November 1919, Bulgarian land was given to Greece, Romania and Serbia. Bulgaria was also ordered to pay 90 million pounds in reparations, and its army was reduced.
At the Treaty of Sevres on the 20th of August 1920, Turkey had to give land to Greece and lose all of its colonial possessions.
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