Chapter 11 Section 4
Making the Peace
The Costs of War
• Loss of human life and materials
– 1918 “pandemic” of influenza killed 20 million
• Financial Toll
– Rebuilding period, resentment among citizens
– Allies demanded “reparations”
• Political Turmoil
– Governments collapsed, “radicals” emerged
– Radicals pushed bolshevism (later Communism)
– Colonial troops saw weakness and hoped for
The Paris Peace Conference
• Allies met to discuss the future of Europe
• Conflicting Goals “The Big Three”
– Wilson urged “peace without victory”
– British prime minister David Lloyd George wanted money to
build a post-war Britain “fit for heroes”
– French leader Georges Clemenceau wanted a weak Germany
that wouldn’t threaten France
• Problems with Peace
– Other leaders had other demands and interests
– Many demanded land promised to them and their own national
states (Italy, people governed by Russia, Austri-Hungary, or the
Ottoman Empire)
– Wilson wanted a League of Nations based on “collective
The Treaty of Versailles
• June 1919: Allies demanded that Germany sign the
– Germany was to take all the blame for the war
– Germany had to pay huge reparations ($30 billion then,
$2.7 trillion today)
– Limited Germany military, returned Alsace and Lorraine to
France, removed hundreds of miles of German territory in
the east and west, stripped Germany of its colonies
– Compelled many Germans to leave Russia, Poland, AlsaceLorraine, and German colonies
– Germans had no choice but to sign – led to resentment
that would last for 20 years and eventually help cause
another world war
Outcome of the Peace Settlements
• Other treaties were signed with the other Central
Powers, leaving similar dissatisfaction
• Self-Determination in Eastern Europe
– New nations emerged where German, Austrian, and
Russian Empires once ruled
– Poland, Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia
all gained independence
– New Republics of Czechoslovakia, Austria, and
Hungary in the Hapsbrg heartland
– In the Balkans, Yugoslavia was created and dominated
by Serbia
Outcome of the Peace Settlements
• The Mandate System
– European colonies in Africa and Asia hoped for similar independence
and an end to imperial rule
– Instead, through “mandates” they were divided among the Allies
(Britain, France, Japan, Australia)
– Overlapping claims threatened peace settlements
– It was supposed to be temporary, but the colonies felt betrayed
• The League of Nations offers Hope
– More than 40 nations joined, hoping for negotiations instead of future
– Not the US. Senate wanted to prevent the US from being forced into
war. This weakened the power of the League
– The League only had influence over its members and could not
prevent war
– Still, a step in the right direction