Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 19 – The Paris Peace Conference and the Treaty of Versailles
In The Paris Peace Conference and the Treaty of Versailles David Simpson tells us about the delegates and the decisions taken. This talk follows on from David’s talk on the end of the First World War which you can listen to here.
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The Big Four
Clemenceau, Lloyd George Orlando and Wilson are known at the conference as the Big Four because they are responsible for the major decisions. In reality Clemenceau, Lloyd George and Wilson are the leaders as they all speak English. Orlando needs an interpreter whereas the Italian Foreign minister is fluent in English as his mother was Welsh!
There are many others at the conference
Over 30 countries send representatives to the conference, however, the losers are not represented.
Sergei Sazonov, the Tsarist Foreign Minister from 1910 to 1916, represents Russia, because there is a civil war in Russia and the Communist government isn’t invited.
T E Lawrence is there to argue in vain for the Arab cause whilst the Japanese seek equal rights and territories. Even Ho Chi Minh is there!
These minor powers attend a weekly plenary session and they have 52 committees. They discuss issues such as prisoners of war, international aviation, undersea cables and the responsibility for the war.
The Peace Treaties
We have all heard of the Treaty of Versailles. The conference results in five different treaties because there is one for each loser!
- Versailles with Germany signed on 28th June 1919.
- St Germain with Austria signed on 10th September 1919
- Neuilly with Bulgaria signed on 27th November 1919
- Trianon with Hungary signed on 4th June 1920
- Sevres with Turkey signed on 10th August 1920
What does the conference deliver?
- The establishment of the League of Nations.
- The five peace treaties with the defeated nations.
- The awarding of German and Ottoman possessions as mandates.
- Reparations and the war guilt clause imposed on Germany.
- Drawing of new national boundaries attempting to reflect the forces of nationalism.
Listen to the full story in this podcast.
Please note: there are parts where the sound is of variable quality because of line issues.
Copyright and the graphics accompanying this podcast
Unfortunately it has not been possible to include some of the graphics that accompanied the original talk because of copyright issues.
About this podcast:
This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.
The Farnham u3a site is found here.
AKM Music has licensed Media Magazine for use as the theme music.
© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2021