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Current time:0:00Total duration:10:10
KC‑7.3.II.C (KC)
Unit 7: Learning Objective F
WOR (Theme)

Video transcript

as we've already seen the end of fighting in world war 1 or I guess we have the end of fighting in World War one at the end of 1918 and so in 1919 it's time to talk about the terms for peace and this happens at the Paris Peace Conference and at this conference you have all the parties of all the major warring parties but the terms of peace are dictated by the winners and the major powers among the winners are led by these gentlemen right over here this is Prime Minister Lloyd George of the UK Vittorio Orlando of Italy Georges Clemenceau of France President Woodrow Wilson of the United States and they come to the Paris Peace Conference with very different outlooks of what the peace should look like we already learned about President Wilson's fourteen points it was very idealistic it talked about making the world safe for democracy how people should determine their own fate how we should have the self-determination the end of Empires free trade creating a League of Nations so that you can avoid things like World War one again the European side was not quite as idealistic especially the French as you can imagine the French the u.s. lost a lot of soldiers in World War one but the French lost a significant fraction of their adult males in World War one the ugly Western Front was fought in their country so they were much more eager to make Germany pay for what for what it's done and so the terms of the treaty with Germany the Treaty of Versailles and the Treaty of Versailles it's important to note is only one of several treaties that came out of the Paris Peace Conference it tends to get the most attention because it was a treaty with Germany Treaty of Versailles and many people blame it for being part of the cause for world war ii it so humiliated Germany that it was so unacceptable that it allowed a character like Hitler to come along and and lead Germany back into war but the Treaty of Versailles was the Trudie with German you have other treaties with the Austrians and then and now since the austro-hungarian Empire has been broken up the Hungarians the Ottomans so on and so forth but the Treaty of Versailles did several things first and this was kind of in line with especially the French thinking is it assigned the guilt to Germany so war guilt war guilt war guilt for Germany and depending on where you view you could view this as a fairly strong thing the argument for saying Germany is responsible for the war is in in in late July early August of of 1914 it didn't take much for Germany to declare war on Russia than on France and then invade Belgium I mean this is literally a matter of days was pretty clear that Germany was already mobilized to do this it was eager to do this and it did do this without much of a much provocation at that point it was really just based on Russian mobilization now those who would argue that this was a little strong would say hey look look Germany definitely played a role in the war and maybe escalating the war but it didn't start the war you have the assassination of the Archduke of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Hungary and it was supported by or by elements in Serbia then you have the austro-hungarians who put out these very hard these very hard terms to the Serbians bring these people to justice immediately otherwise we're declaring war it seemed like they wanted to declare war they do declare war in July of 1914 then the Russians they don't let that just be a little regional conflict the Russians decide to start mobilizing given giving the German the Germans kind of the the pretext to justify their invasions to kind of trigger this blank check that they've given the austro-hungarian so there's a lot of blame that could go around but the Treaty of Versailles places it with Germany and then this justifies the rationale to make Germany pay for the war so this leads to reparations reparations for Germany which essentially is like look Germany you don't have to pay the Allied powers for all of their lost especially their losses to their economy due to the fact that you you are guilty of of starting of this war guilt and the reparations were not just in paper currency the reparations were in gold and resources and so it was a very it was a very tangible reparations now it's an interesting question because these reparations are often referred to when people talk to these were disabling reparations they brought the German economy down and and it is an open question they were large in mod earn dollars the estimates I've seen is that they were approximately four hundred four hundred billion dollars in 2013 money now that is a very very large number but it's not a huge number for a reasonably sized economy like Germany although the economy was in bad shape at the end of World War one but it wasn't it was this by itself it's not clear whether it by itself would have debilitated their economy more likely or if you if you were to think this is a cause it's more of the humiliation of it that the generations of Germans many of them 10 20 30 years in the future had nothing to do with World War one would be continuing to pay reparations to the Allies so there's a question of its impact on the economy and there's just a faction the the question of how how humiliating how humiliating it was and as we go and only the reparations only lasts for about ten years and a Germany pays the equivalent of about sixty billion dollars in modern terms sixty billion in 2013 dollars that's equivalent about five billion dollars in kind of nineteen twenty money but on top of the reparations the Allies were not interested in fighting another war with Germany although ironically by having very harsh terms of the treaty they might have triggered the next war in World War two the rise of Hitler and since they didn't want to have another war with Germany they essentially limited the German army to a hundred thousand men which is a very small army as we've seen in many of the the battles you had battles with four or five hundred thousand men so this is pretty much this is pretty much almost just like a like a police force it's it's not really an army and they weren't allowed any longer to have submarines u-boats kind of any kind of heavy military equipment artillery heavy artillery of military airplanes battleships of any kind so it's really just a scaffold of an army so that they so that you so that there wouldn't be another or they hope there would not be another German invasion and then on top of that Germany was stripped of territory territory and some of that was directly in Germany a Poland was carved out Poland was carved out out of part of part of the German Empire so this is the new Poland that's carved out of the Paris Peace Conference so you see right over here it kind of cuts Germany into two pieces East Prussia is still part of Germany but it's all by itself right out here so poor Poland is cut out Germany loses Alsace and Lorraine which had captured in 1871 after the franco-prussian war mineral-rich reason region the French have been eager to get it back the Germans actually that was one of the arguable justification why they wanted to preemptively attack France because they knew that France was eager to capture it back at some point in the future but on top of that Germany lost its colonies and Germany was not as and nowhere near as big of an empire say the British or even the French it was actually a fairly new country formed in in the 1871 but it did have an empire it had colonies in South West Africa just a darker color southwest actually throughout Africa throughout Africa it had colonies in the Pacific it even had a colony it even had a colony in China and all of that was then given over to given over to the Allies so the big idea from the Treaty of Versailles that it was most historians would say it was it was really kind of sticking it to the Germans the Germans felt it was humiliating and one could argue that it did help lead to some of the extremism that we'll see in the next few decades of Germany now the one wind that Woodrow Wilson was able to get out of the Treaty of Versailles is it did set up the League of Nations the League League of Nations now the irony here is that the u.s. does not ratify the Treaty of Versailles because it's suspicious of these kind of extra national organizations it actually wasn't happy with some of the territorial distribution that it was just giving it from one empire to another as opposed to kind of having self-determination so the US was not actually a signatory it did not actually sign the tree it did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles but regardless of that the Treaty of Versailles had a huge impact and kind of sticking it to sticking it to the Germans now on top of that the Paris Peace Conference as we've already said had various treaties with the other central powers and some of the and I'm not going to go into detail on what happened especially the Ottoman Empire that's I think worth another video but the big the big effect on the austro-hungarian Fyers is essentially not an empire anymore it was split up into various countries Austria was set up as a separate country and actually and actually the Treaty of Versailles in the Treaty of Versailles Germany is is is forbidden from in any way merging with Austria German a german-speaking country you have Austria you have Hungary becoming becoming a separate state you have a new state of Czechoslovakia you have you have a new state of Yugoslavia some of your vassal your the the kind of the trigger of over one the desire of having this unified southern Slovak state is now becoming a reality Bosnia and you have Bosnian Serbia and Croatia and Slovenia are taken out of out of the austro-hungarian Empire so you have a major redrawing of the map of Europe these some of these new nations here in Eastern Europe are out of the old Russian Empire they were able to declare their independence some of its short lived before kind of becoming satellite states for becoming part of the USSR but they have the short-lived independence as after the fall of the Russian Empire so the map of Europe is dramatically changed due to the Paris Peace Conference the Treaty of Versailles the fall of the Russian Empire and the other treaties that were outcomes of outcomes of World War one