ARTS 1810 - Lecture 3.222 [Compatibility Mode]

ARTS 1810 - Lecture 3.222 [Compatibility Mode] - ARTS1810...

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Unformatted text preview: ARTS1810 International Relations in the Twentieth Century International The Search for Stability, 1918-29 The ‘Big Four’ at the Versailles Conference in 1919 Dr Andrea Benvenuti Semester I, 2009 Lecture Plan Brief overview of 1919-29 period The Conference of Versailles (1919) The ‘German settlement’ France, US, UK positions on the German question WWI is over on the Western Front League of Nations (LN) and collective security The weaknesses of the ‘Versailles system’ The 1919-29 years: a brief overview The 1919-29 years are remembered as a period of economic instability social unrest incipient ideological conflict Redrawing the map of Europe as a complicating factor The peacemakers at work according to the Bulletin Victors sought a new order based on peace/stability They set the peace terms … … but failed to create a balanced international system Post-war settlement created a new set of problems 1 The Peace Conference (1919) In January 1919 Peace Conference began in Paris ‘Big Four’ arrogated all power of decision to themselves ‘Germany’ the most pressing issue Lloyd George, Orlando, Clemenceau and Wilson The ‘Versailles’ conference dealt with the ‘German problem’ But the ‘Big Four’ were divided Differing allied aims at Versailles France demanded a punitive peace to to prevent Germany from posing a threat to to make Germany pay for the war’s costs For the US peace should be be based on 14 points the the principle of collective security to to be achieved through a new international institution British mediated between the US & France Delegates from the 27 victorious nations Some of Wilson’s fourteen points No No harsh territorial penalties (III) Removal of economic barriers disarmament disarmament and reparations (IV) Armaments to be reduced The final result was: Germany Germany would not be reconciled France France was not made secure (V) Impartial adjustment of colonial claims (IX) Settlement along recognizable lines of nationality US US would reject the Versailles settlement Differing allied aims at Versailles France demanded a punitive peace It It aimed to prevent German power from posing a threat It It wanted to make Germany pay for the war’s costs ‘…The attempt to reconcile American idealism with France’s nightmares turned For the US peace should out to be beyond human ingenuity…’ be be based on 14 points the the principle of collective security to to be achieved through a new international institution Delegates from the 27 victorious nations principle principle nationality Kissinger,of Diplomacy British tried to mediate between the US and France Some of Wilson’s fourteen points (III) Removal of economic barriers The final result was that (IV) Armaments to be reduced Germany Germany would not be reconciled France France was not made secure US US would reject the Versailles settlement (V) Impartial adjustment of colonial claims (IX) Settlement along recognizable lines of nationality 2 The ‘German settlement’: the peace terms Reparations and the beneficiaries Germany lost 27,000 square miles • France: 52 per cent … and nearly 7 million inhabitants and Saar placed under LN administration for 15 years (then plebiscite) • British empire: 22 per cent •Italy: 10 per cent •Belgium: 8 per cent •Yugoslavia: 5 per cent Rhineland to be demilitarized & occupied for 15 years Colonies to be given up Navy Navy allowed only a few ships – no air force Army denied heavy weapons & limited to 100,000 men Reparations In May 1921 they were set at 50 bn gold marks (to be paid over 36 years) Was the treaty of Versailles unfair? Some saw the treaty’s punitive terms as one of the causes of WWII They They ‘exceeded the worst fears of the direst of pessimists’ (Martin Kitchen) They They were ‘ vindictive’ and ‘ruinous’ (Keynes) Others (William Keylor & Sally Marks) have argued that Versailles was not so harsh Berlin Berlin imposed severe terms on Russia in 1918 The ‘harsh’ terms imposed on Russia in 1918 Had Had it won the war, Germany would have levied heavy war costs on allies Reparations Reparations not so severe Germany Germany strengthened economically & geopolitically Was the treaty of Versailles unfair? Some saw the treaty’s punitive terms as one of the causes of WW II They They ‘exceeded the worst fears of the direst of pessimists’ (Martin Kitchen) They T The terms [of (Keynes) ‘…hey were ‘ vindictive’ and ‘ruinous’ the Treaty] were too onerous for conciliation but not severe enough fro Sally Marks) have argued Others (William Keylor &permanent subjugation…’ that Versailles was not so harsh Berlin Berlin imposed Kissinger, Dsevere terms on Russia in 1918 iplomacy The ‘harsh’ terms imposed on Russia in 1918 Had Had it won the war, Germany would have levied heavy war costs on allies Reparations Reparations not so severe Germany Germany strengthened geopolitically 3 German grievances Nationalist claimed: Germany Germany had not lost in battle … …. …. but suffered ‘stab in the back’ by ‘home front’ Germans felt terms were too punitive The Weimar National Assembly (1919) Nationalists would repeatedly make this claim Among these, Hitler (NSWP) became prominent He violently criticised Treaty of Versailles France’s obsession with Germany ‘German problem’ weighed most heavily on France France paid highest price for fighting Germany It It had lost 1.3 million men Much Much of its industrial heartland devastated Germany retained industrial/demographic strength Northern France at the end of the war Unfavourable geopolitical landscape in the East Imperial Imperial Russia had disappeared USSR USSR seen in France as a threat What What would emerge from collapse of A-H? A- France’s German policy (1) Military defeat would not curb German ambitions Germany had to be disarmed This would not be enough, though France France needed the support of its allies Territorial Territorial changes restricting Germany’s capacity to do harm Georges Clemenceau (PM 1917-20) Clemenceau demanded high reparations France France unable to rely on US/UK for economic assistance Reparations would: redress redress imbalances between Germany and France provide provide means for economic control of Germany weaken weaken its potential 4 France’s German policy (2) France sought to create strong/viable states in EE It supported Polish/Czech Polish/Czech independence & claims It It favoured enlarged Serbia & Romania Austrian Austrian independence from Germany In doing so, France sought to create Central and Eastern Europe after WWI ‘an ‘an eastern barrier’ against to Germany … … a cordon sanitaire against the USSR France’s German policy (2) France sought to create strong/viable states in EE It The ‘…supportedframers of the Versailles settlement Polish/Czech Polish/Czech weaken Germany but instead … tried toindependence & claims It It favoured enlarged it geopolitically …’ strengthened Serbia & Romania Austrian Austrian independence from Germany Kissinger, Diplomacy In doing so, France sought to create Central and Eastern Europe after WWI ‘an ‘an eastern barrier’ against to Germany … … a cordon sanitaire against the USSR Lack of allied cooperation US/UK had been less concerned with Germany US were happy that Germany Germany navy inoffensive air air force abolished UK happy that Military Military clauses and dismantling of German empire removed threat to UK and its empire US and UK offered France bilateral guarantees Lloyd George, Clemenceau and Wilson against against unprovoked German aggression included included in Versailles Treaty But But soon withdrawn 5 Postwar ‘balance of power’ – British style UK leaders assumed France was real winner of WWI France France had a strong army and air force PM Andrew Bonar Law (1922-23) Hence, France to be ‘balanced’ As the French struggled to enforce treaty, UK interpreted its provisions leniently ‘Revisionist’ ‘Revisionist’ Germany seen Stanley Baldwin (1923 & 1924-29) Not Not as a potential ‘threat’ But But as a bulwark against USSR Historically, Britain had never made alliance with strongest power in Europe PM Ramsay MacDonald (1924) France’s obsession with Germany ‘…[France was a] second rate power … [whose leaders] were so dreadfully afraid of being swallowed France at the end of war up by the tiger, but would spend their time poking it …’ Lord Balfour (UK Foreign Secretary, 1916-19) The ‘weaknesses’ of the Versailles Treaty Collective Security The policing of the Versailles Treaty rested on 2 principles: Arrangement where each state in the system accepts that the security of one is the concern of all Allied Allied cooperation Each state also agrees to join in a collective response to aggression Collective Collective security Allied cooperation failed because of disagreements amongst allies Collective security failed because it was too ambitious US/UK did not want to get embroiled in continental affairs 6 Collective security and the League of Nations LN consisted of Council, Assembly & Secretariat The Council consisted of: 4 permanent members (UK, France, Italy, Japan) permanent (UK, 4 rotating members chosen by Assembly rotating The LN Covenant obliged signatories to: Observe Observe international law The LN first assembly (Geneva, 1920) Reduce Reduce armaments Safeguard Safeguard the members’ territorial integrity Art. 16 Art. 16 Weaknesses: An attack against one member states would ipso facto be regarded as an attack against all members Lack Lack of unanimity in decision-making decisionLack Lack of a military force and power to raise one The US and the League of Nations The US Senate rejected The The Versailles Treaty … The The ‘League of Nations’ (LN) The The American guarantee to France Senate’s rejection undermined the credibility of the LN The LN had been Woodrow Wilson’s pet project American President Woodrow Wilson The result was that LN LN was ‘crippled’ Collective Collective security was weakened Burden Burden of defending treaty was thrust upon France and its eastern European allies Franco-German tensions in the 1920s FrancoFranco-German relations remained tense France France exasperated by German actions Treaty of Rapallo (1922) between USSR & Germany Resumption Resumption of diplomatic relations It It cancelled all mutual debts and claims It It provided for economic cooperation French troops occupy the Ruhr, the heartland of Germany’s industrial economy It It provided the impetus for military collaboration German attempts to sabotage reparations In In January 1923 Franco-Belgian troops occupied the Ruhr Franco- Crisis resolved in 1924 with the Dawes Plan FrancoFranco-German détente détente 7 Locarno (1925) UK, Fr & Ger reached agreement: Fr Fr would end military occupation of Rhineland Ger Ger would fulfill obligations under Dawes Plan UK UK (and Italy) to guarantee Franco-Belgian-German frontier Franco-Belgian- ‘Locarno’ as French attempt to forge wider security system Austen Chamberlain, Stresemann and Briand Fr Fr hoped to enmesh Ger in vast multilateral regime This This regime would limit Ger’s freedom of action But powers did not back it up with military means ‘Locarno’ seemed to usher in an era of better understanding The ‘Locarno Spirit’ Conclusions The IS established at Versailles was based on contradictions Its proper functioning relied on: Collective Collective security Allied Allied cooperation Collective security too ambitious No No country was prepared to devolve power Allied cooperation problematic Adolf Hitler UK/US UK/US unwilling to enforce Versailles France France willing but isolated and supported by diplomatic minnows USSR could not be used as a counterweight (and potentially revisionist) 8 ...
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This note was uploaded on 07/10/2011 for the course ARTS 1810 taught by Professor Andreabenvenuti during the Three '09 term at University of New South Wales.

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