The War to End All Wars

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World War I, known as the Great War, was the first total war between the European nations. Many soldiers had died in the terrible conditions of the trenches. Not only were countless lives lost in the war, but land, especially in France and Belgium, were also destroyed. There were also many controversies when the Great War finally ended. Many leaders had different and conflicting opinions on how the treaty was going to be put together. Some, like Clemenceau and Lloyd George of Britain, wanted the Treaty of Versailles to punish and blame Germany for starting the war. Others, like Woodrow Wilson of the US, felt that laying blame would not lead to peace. The United States, France, and Britain were called the "Big Three," since they dominated in the League of Nations and in the creation of the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles consisted of 440 clauses. Some of the most important clauses of the treaty was that Germany had to give up certain parts of her European territories and colonies, and limit the size and power of her army and navy (Articles 159-213). Articles 45-50 states that the Saar Basin, an important coal area, was to be owned and controlled by France because of the destruction of the coalmines north of France. Also, Articles 100-108 states that the city of Danzig was to be made a free city. This weakened Germany territorially, militarily, and economically. Moreover, a League of Nations (Articles 1-26) was created in order to maintain peace. Article 231, the famous "war guilt clause", was an important part of the Treaty of Versailles. It stated that Germany and her allies were responsible for the war and had to pay reparations for the damages done. Some argue that the treaty created peace, others argue that it created disputes that later led to World War II. I believe that to a small extent, the Treaty of Versailles did achieve the goal of creating the conditions that led to a peaceful world; in spite of its failures, the treaty was the first...
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