The Paris Peace Conference and the Treaty of Versailles

Powerful Essays
The damage inflicted on Europe during World War I was dire and left Europe in a state of chaos. Consequently, post-war peace settlements were complicated, but were necessary in order to end the period of disorder. World War I concluded on November 1918, when Germany agreed to an armistice. At the end of the war, European leaders realized that their reasons for initially engaging in the war had not been worth it. Countries were torn apart, as established dynasties had fallen during the war and new states were attempting to rise up. In early 1919, a conference was to be held, whose purpose would be to end the period of disorder. The victors of the war, the Allies, would negotiate peace settlements and then propose them to the losing countries, the Central Powers. As stated by a young British diplomat, the primary goal for this conference was “not merely to liquidate the war, but to find a new order in Europe. [They] were not preparing Peace only, but Eternal Peace” (qtd. in Goldstein 9). The Paris Peace Conference was successful in achieving its goal to come to an agreement about post-war peace settlements because of the attending countries’ eventual willingness to compromise.

The conference began with a grand opening ceremony on January 18, 1919. Over ten thousand people from twenty-seven nations were in Paris regarding the conference (Goldstein 9). The interests of the small countries were quickly settled and the major issues were left to the leaders of France, Great Britain, the United States and Italy.

The leaders from each country present at the conference, Premier Clemenceau of France, Prime Minister Lloyd George of Great Britain, President Wilson of the United States, and Premier Orlando of Italy, had distinctly differen...

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... WWII was the redrawing of the maps. Many enemy ethnic groups had been placed near each other, and large numbers of Germans were displaced and put under foreign rule. In general, there was a sense of bitterness and distrust among countries, making Europe vulnerable to another war.

Throughout the conference, the delegates were able to reach numerous compromises, which were the reason that the conference was able to produce peace settlements and a final treaty. Without these agreements, Europe might have immediately found itself at war again.

Works Cited

Goldstein, Eric. The First World War Peace Settlements, 1919-1925. London: Pearson Education, 2002. Print.

Mee, Charles L., Jr. The End of Order, Versailles, 1919. New York: Dutton, 1980. Print.

Pendergast, Tom, and Sara Pendergast. World War I Almanac. Ed. Christine Slovey. Detroit: U.X.L, 2002. Print.