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How Far Were the Big Three Pleased with the Treaty of Versailles

By coolmecat Oct 13, 2012 743 Words
The Treaty of Versailles was signed in Paris, at the Palace of Versailles. The three main representatives were Clemenceau, Lloyd-George and Wilson, and these became known as ‘the Big Three’. Clemenceau represented France, and, voted for by the public, had to please those who supported him. So in a country that had lost so much, he wanted to get all he could from Germany to satisfy the angry nation and make them as weak as possible to protect France in the future. Lloyd-George was Great Britain’s representative, and after winning an election in December 1918 and promising to make Germany pay, he was split in half. On one hand, he should comply with the wishes of his country and keep his promise to the public, by forcing Germany to pay and suffer, but on the other hand, he wanted to let Germany off relatively easy as he knew they were a big trading partner and so without them Britain would suffer. Wilson, however, wasn’t interested in Germany’s punishment; he was set on the idea of world peace, and did not believe this could be achieved by threatening and reproving Germany. The German’s were allowed representatives at the conferences, but they were not allowed to have any say in what was discussed. They had to sit and listen to their fate being decided for them. So, inevitably, deciding on the term of the Treaty were a long, difficult and drawn out process due to the conflicting opinions. Once the Treaty was decided, there were still conflicting emotions and there were still issues where each of the Big Three hadn’t got exactly what they wanted. Wilson was pleased that his idea of The League of Nations was put into action, because he felt this was one step closer to world peace. However, he still felt Germany needed to be punished, so he was happy when Germany was forced to accept war guilt, despite the fact that this annoyed the Germans, as they felt the war was not solely their fault. Although there was a point to the treaty Wilson was pleased with, he was bitterly disappointed that Germany was not allowed to join the League of Nations, as he felt this defeated its purpose to bring world peace. Also, he felt the large sum of £6.6 billion Germany was forced to pay was too large and that the over sea colonies should not have been seized from Germany. His reason for thinking this was a bad idea was that he felt Germany may be angry about punishment and do the same thing in the future. But it could be argued that Wilson should have had less of a say in the Treaty due to the fact that America came into the war late and did not suffer to the extent of the French or British. Clemenceau was pleased that Germany was not allowed to join the League of Nations, the opposite of Wilson. He was also happy that Saar was run by the League of Nations, as this meant the French had the coal mines there. And demilitarising the Rhineland was a good thing too, as it took armed German men off the borders of France. However, he did not feel the Germans were punished enough. He was not happy the German’s got to keep an army, even though it was reduced to only 100,00 men, and he felt the £6.6 billion was not enough to compensate for the lives lost and homes destroyed. Lloyd-George was very happy with the War Guilt Clause because he felt it was Germany’s fault. He also felt the sum of £6.6 billion was a fair amount of money in reparations, but he felt taking the over sea colonies from Germany would have a negative impact on the country’s economy. He felt having Saar run by the League of Nations also resulted in less trade. In conclusion, I feel all of the Big Three were pleased to a certain extent. They all were happy with points in the treaty, but unhappy about others. This was pretty inevitable due to the conflicting opinions. I feel that, on one hand, Wilson shouldn’t of had as much say in the Treaty because America came into the war later and lost less, but on the other hand, if the punishments hadn’t left Germany starving and in economic crisis, we may not have had world war 2.

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