The Aims of the Participants

Paper 1- Prescribed Subject # 1

"Peacemaking, Peacekeeping- International Relations, 1918-36"

16- 17 Emily, Kristen, Chris, Alexandria and Shandra

Aims and Goals- Some Background Issues

A. External Pressures

1. Revolutionary movements

a. Bolshevik Revolution in Russia

· Leaders feared communism would spread “like a virus”

· Challenged democracy, power of democracies

2. Needed to fix problems that made people turn to communism

B. Collapse of Pre-war Structure/Balance of power

1. Collapse of 3 Great powers

a. Ottoman empireàpower vacuum in Middle East, Britain wanted to control the area

b. Austro-Hungarian Empire

c. German Empire

· Most has assumed that all the Great Powers would last through the war

· They needed to decide how to divide the land that had been in these vast empires

2. 3 nations making decisions

a. United States (Wilson)

b. Great Britain (Lloyd George)

c. France (Clemenceau)

C. Domestic politics and opinions

1. Decision makers all from DEMOCRATIC nations

a. All influenced by popular opinion in home country

b. Needed to fulfill political promises made during war

c. Needed to try to justify actions taken during the war

· Mass media: allowed people to constantly scrutinize leaders

· Propaganda: huge propaganda campaigns during war promoted extreme nationalism and bred hate for other nations, inhibited international cooperation that Wilson envisioned

D. New Ideology

1. Idealism of Woodrow Wilson vs. Realpolitik (emphasizes practical goals, such as the security of the state or gaining territory, over idealistic/humanitarian aims)

a. Leaders used to just splitting up land, creating new territories, adjusting balance of power rather than actually attempting to prevent future war

b. Wilson called for cooperation to prevent waràhope for better relations, idealism

19-22 Lucy, Maya, Laura, Gabbie and Matthew

The Aims of the Participants

At the Paris Peace Conferences, there were two different mindsets: one of idealism and peace, the other of revenge.

The United States

American goals—expressed through the Fourteen Points
designed to create a peaceful world, removing the reasons for war through Wilson's eyes
basis for negotiation with the other powers
Wilson's personal goal = establish democracy and self-determination
self-determination = principle that countries should be established according to the views of the people
eliminating the causes of war
Wilson's most important goal = the League of Nations
forum for the reasonable and rational settlement of disputes

Specific aims = punishment of Germany
considered the cause of the war and establishment of a period of probation

The United Kingdom:

eliminate German fleet
end Germany as a potentional source of conflict
end German plans to gain control of Europe
return to normal Europen relations and trade (aka restore British economy to how it was before the war)
did not want to get involved with an alliance in Europe. Wanted freedom of action.
did not want France to expand beyond the recovery of Alsace-Lorraine.
a declaration of German war guilt and Germany to pay extensive reparations beyond only physical damage of the war. (This was a response to popular emotions about Germany being a big bully and Lloyd George made a lot of promises during the campaign in 1918).

Main interest: Maintain the balance of power, so Britain would only have to intervene when its power was threatened. It liked to be left alone with its navy.


all about the concrete —- the League of Nations was of no interest because its solutions were vague
motivated by a fear of future Germany that had been allowed to regain its strength
the goal was to place as many restrictions on Germany as possible in order to reduce the country’s ability to recover
wanted extensive disarmament, reductions in German territory, huge reparations that would negatively impact Germany’s economy
wanted to recover Alsace-Lorraine
wanted to have control of Luxembourg and Belgium and use the land west of the Rhine as a buffer against possible German attacks
wanted to take the Saar region of Germany as financial compensation
wanted a set-in-stone alliance with the United Kingdom and United States to guarantee against future German aggression

Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929)
premier of France during the negotiations
strong right-wing nationalist
opposed to any talk of a peace settlement short of absolute victory
insisted on a treaty that would be VERY detrimental to Germany, including territorial losses and economic penalties


* wanted territorial gains promised when Italy joined the Allied ranks during WWI. Promised the Dalmatian Coast, Trieste and South Tyrol.
* Anti-self-determination: wanted lands that were not necessarily populated by Italians. Self-determination interfered with Italy's economic and territorial goals.
* Was denied land and walked out of the conference.


recognition of dominance in China
recognition of possession of former German territories in China and the Pacific (acquisition/reward for participating in the war)
establish a larger empire for security and economic strength (consideration as a major power)
recognition through idealism—racial equality in the peace settlements
Source D:

-Japan, like Italy, wanted to maximize war-time gains
-Wanted racial equality clause in Covenant of the Leauge of Nations in order to
protect Japanese immigrants in America
-Japanese made claims in China and in January 1915, present China with the
Twenty-One Deamnds, which included the appointment of Japanese officials to
Chinese government and China becoming a Japanese protectorate (which was later dropped after British and American objection

24- 25 Tina, Kerry, Marshall, Michael, George and Jennifer

General Issues for Consideration

General Questions for the Allies to deal with:
The treatment of Germany:

* What should be done with German Colonies?How should they divided amongst the allies? Should they be divided or let free?
* What should be done about the German borders? Should they remain the same to prevent German retaliation, or should the Rhineland be split so it will never come together again? Should Germany be used as a buffer zone between the communists and the democracies?
* Is Germany to blame for the War? Should Germany have to pay reparations for to all of the other nations? How much should the Germans have to pay? Should the goal be to ultimately destroy the German economy, or allow them to survive as a buffer from communism?
* How should individual German leaders be dealt with? Should the leaders be prosecuted, and what should their punishments be? Should they be blamed for the war?

The Austro-Hungarian Empire:

* How should the newly collapsed map be dealt with? Should the lines be determined by the people of the nations? Should it be controlled by the allies for strategic purposes? Will certain boundaries cause more problems?
* How much of an influence should the new nations have on their own governments? Are they fit enough to lead themselves? Would it be more beneficial to treat them as more developed colonies? How can the spread of communism be prevented?


* How could the dangers of the spread of Bolshevism be prevented? Should the new Soviet state be pandered to in order to erase a Communist threat?
* Should a stronger Germany be allowed so as to oppose the threat from Communist Russia
* How should Poland be dealt with? Should it be given extra power to serve as a buffer between Western Europe and the Soviet Union? Or should the Soviet Union be coalesced into a peaceful stance by a division of Poland?

Ottoman Empire:

* How should the Ottoman Empire's Middle East claims be divided? Should independent states be created as opposed to protectorates? How should control be established in the now rapidly disintegrating Ottoman Empire so as to protect valuable resources?
* How should the Arab-Jewish conflict be resolved?

Other European Claims:

* Should Italy be rewarded for its contributions as called for by the Treaty of London and by the policy of self-determination?

Non-European States:

* Should racial equality be pursued? Or should the European Dominated System persist?
* How much attention should the minor non-European powers be given?
* Should self-determination extend to colonized areas in Asia or Africa? Or should the European World Dominated Order be allowed to continue?

General Ideas for Change

* The peace conference after WWI (1919-23) was all about preventing future conflicts and maintaining peace
* The Fourteen Points: Peace and cooperation should apply not only to international relations but also to politics, economics and social issues
* Wilson's idealistic aims did not meet the traditional attitudes/standards of European diplomacy, which favored specific alliances and agreements over vague ideas like collective security and the League of Nations
* Wilson condemned the old diplomatic practices as the main cause of war and demanded a new higher level of understanding and cooperation
* Basically, the old = selfishness, power struggle; Wilson's idea = altruism

German Aims:

* Asked for an armistice in October 1918 based on terms of Wilson's Fourteen Points and his speech in January 1917 (the "peace without victory" speech)
o In speech, Wilson expressed view that reconciliation of the opposing sides would "be necessary to prevent the outbreak of further wars"

Germany, due to lack of a true defeat (i.e. they were not crushed or invaded) could have expected some kind of compromise—i.e. neither side was favored considerably.

They may have expected to attend the peace negotiations—like they did after the Napoleonic wars (Vienna 1825).

Although they may have expected some kind of territorial concessions or sanctions, they probably did not expect to be so thoroughly humiliated and blamed with the guilt clause.

Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated—Germany created a democratic republic. They thought this would help them gain sympathy (especially from Wilson since he was such an advocate for democracy for peace).

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License