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Treaties after First World War
Treaty with Germany
Treaty of Peace between the Allied Powers and Germany was signed in Versailles, France. 80 delegates from 37 nations took part but only four nations, the Big Four - England, France, United States of America and Italy have framed the Treaty of Versailles. David Lloyd George, Georges Benjamin Clemenceau, Thomas Woodrow Wilson and Vittorio Emanuele Orlando were the delegates represented England, France, United States and Italy respectively. It was agreed that Fourteen Points of Woodrow Wilson shall not be violated. However, Orlando left the negotiations since there are no provisions in the treaty in favor of Italy. The main provisions of the Treaty of Versailles were as follows;
- Alsace-Lorraine, a territory created by the German Empire was given to French Republic.
- The Territory of the Saar Basin and its coalfields, to be annexed and administered by the United Kingdom and France for a period of 15 years. A plebiscite would be conducted after the period to decide the future of the same.
Analysis of Versailles Treaty
- The treaty was Carthaginian (Carthaginian Peace) in nature, Keynes in his book The Economic Consequences of the Peace referred to the Versailles Treaty as the same. Spirit of revenge (by France) was very much seen in the treaty. It was a dictated peace treaty. Victors framed the provisions of the treaty.
- Versailles Treaty is a highly humiliating treaty; territories and colonies were separated, huge war indemnity was imposed. Unethical disarmament; no sufficient armed forces to protect the nation, hardly any naval forces, etc.
- A very weak republic was created in 1919 and it was completely failed due to the economic crisis.
- Finally, Fourteen Points of Woodrow Wilson of United States were almost violated. Principle of self-determination was violated.
- Northern Schleswig was given to Denmark.
- The territory of Eupen-Malmedy was given to Belgium.
- Danzig Corridor also known as the Polish Corridor was internationalized. The region was given over to the administration of Poland.
- Rivers of Germany namely; Elbe, Rhine and Oder were internationalized.
- Colonies of Germany were shared among the victors; Kiaochow Bay and Shantung in China were given to Japan, Samoa in the South Pacific Ocean was given to New Zealand, Cameroon in Africa was given to France and England gained Tanzania in Africa.
- Military restrictions were imposed on Germany; German armed forces cannot be more than one lakh, limited naval forces, prohibition of import and export of weapons, manufacture of machine guns are restricted.
- Huge war indemnity was imposed on Germany.
- Complete abolition of monarchy in Germany. Republic was created in 1919.
Treaty with Austria
Treaty of Peace between the Allied Powers and Austria was signed in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. The main provisions of the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye were as follows;
- Hungary was made a separate nation.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina was given to Serbia.
- The two provinces of Austria, Bohemia and Moravia were merged into one and a state was created called Czechoslovakia.
Treaty with Bulgaria
Treaty of Peace between the Allied Powers and Bulgaria was signed in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. The main provisions of the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine were as follows;
- Macedonia was given to Serbia.
- Dobruja was given to Romania.
Treaty with Turkey
The Treaty of Peace between the Allied and the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) was signed in Sevres, France. The main provisions of the Treaty of Sevres were as follows;
- Palestine and Jordan were given to England.
- Syria and Lebanon were given to France.
- Trento was given to Italy.
Thus, the First World War has come to an end with several peace treaties. But the allied powers forgot the consequences of peace of Versailles in the future. The treaty was nothing but merely an armistice for twenty years.
© 2013 Dilip Chandra