147: Peacemaking in Paris: The Treaty of Versailles

History That Doesn't Suck

Nov 20 2023 • 1 hr 6 mins

“A Peace which cannot be defended in the name of justice before the whole world would continually call forth fresh resistance” This is the story of peacemaking in 1919–a fraught peacemaking. With the Armistice signed, some 30 nations (led by the major Allied Powers) are gathering in Paris, France, to deliberate on the terms they’ll give to Germany. But the conference is beset with conflicting views. Not only do these various nations and other unofficial representatives have conflicting views, but the three most powerful Allies–France, the UK, and the US, a.ka., The Big Three–aren't always on the same page. That’s especially true of the American President Woodrow Wilson, who’s pushing hard for his 14 points, particularly, for the creation of his League of Nations; he’s clashing with France’s Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau who’s far more interested in ensuring France’s security against German aggression than any idealistic (or as he sees it, unrealistic) notions of a world at perpetual peace. Filled with shouting matches, disagreements, and voices from across the globe, this Conference will create a League of Nations. It will also redraw some of the map of Europe, lay the foundation for a new map of the Middle East, and lay severe penalties on Germany's shoulders. They’re trying their best–but are they creating a better world? Or laying the seeds of future conflicts? And will the US Senate approve this Treaty of Versailles? We shall see. ____ Connect with us on HTDSpodcast.com and go deep into episode bibliographies and book recommendations join discussions in our Facebook community get news and discounts from The HTDS Gazette  come see a live show get HTDS merch or become an HTDS premium member for bonus episodes and other perks. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices