- USA had entered the war despite its Irish and Herman population, the Monroe Doctrine, and the profit it gained from the war.
- The sinking of the Lusitania was used as propaganda against the German brutality to push the country towards war.
- German intelligence acted in the USA due to the two-faced dealings of the USA, its funding of the war, and it pretending to be neutral.
- The Germans entered all-out submarine war to prevent the Allies from getting resources from the USA since America would take a while to get to war.
- The Zimmerman telegram was the final straw for America since it was from Germany to Mexico stating for Mexico, which was in a revolution, to attack America to take the southern states so they’d benefit from Germany’s win.
Status of the Central Powers
- By 1918, Germany had lost millions of men, the people at home no longer supported the war, and they no longer battled to control the technological balance of power since they had long fallen behind in the production of tanks.
- The Austrian Empire was already breaking up according to its nationalities. 1/3 million soldiers had gone to Russia. They tried to surrender, but were rejected.
- At the end of the war, the Germans looted and destroyed French villages when retreating. Trenches were no longer used so many men died and quickly.
- Germany went through a revolution near the end of the war seeking democracy. The Kaiser was forced to abdicate and went into exile.
Wilson’s Fourteen Points
- Wilson had created 14 points, which were now seriously considered for an end to the war:
- Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.
- Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.
- The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the establishment of equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.
- Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.
- A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.
- The evacuation of all Russian territory and such a settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest cooperation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of her own political development and national policy and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing; and, more than a welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and may herself desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come will be the acid test of their good will, of their comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests, and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.
- Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored, without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other single act will serve as this will serve to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined for the government of their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of international law is forever impaired.
- All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all.
- A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.
- The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity to autonomous development.
- Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into.
- The Turkish portion of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.
- An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant.
- A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.
After the Great War
- On 11/11/1918 at 11 am, the armistice was signed.
- The Paris Peace Conference would begin and last a year.
- Clemenceau was under pressure to make Germany pay. The French felt threatened by Germany and wanted them crippled badly. The French population was in decline and they had lost much land. They especially sought reparations.
- Wilson, the USA president, wanted the world to be more peaceful, but knew that he’d have to compromise his ideals. He believed that if Germany were treated badly, they would one day want revenge. He believed in self-determination (nations should rule themselves). He wanted a League of Nations formed to prevent future wars.
- Lloyd George was between Wilson and Clemenceau. He wanted to punish Germany, but not harshly. He didn’t want Germany to seek revenge and sought to have Britain and Germany trade together. He was under harsh public pressure to treat Germany poorly. He had won the 1918 election by promising to make Germany pay.
- The main concerns were war guilt, armaments, colonies, and reparations.
The Treaty of Versailles
The final agreements of the war included:
Germany and his allies were to accept all war guilt. The armed forces would be reduced to 100,000 men. Conscription was banned. Germany could not keep armoured vehicles, submarines, or aircraft. The navy could only have six battleships. Rhineland became a demilitarised zone. Germany was to pay $6.6 billion. Their colonies were taken away and given to the League of Nations. Treaty with Russia would be revoked.
Eupen, plentiful in resources, was given to Belgium
Malmedy, plentiful in resources, was given to Belgium
Rhineland, between France and Germany, would be a no-military zone for Germany only
British, French, and American troops could occupy Rhineland in three zones, one removed every 5 years
Saar, with a German population and coal, would be watched by France with a plebiscite in 15 years
Alsace-Lorraine was given back to France
North Schleswig, Danish population, was given the right to plebiscite
South Schleswig, German population, was given the right to plebiscite
Sudetenland, Austrian area with German speaking people, given to Czechoslovakia
West Prussia, with its useful forests, was given to Poland
Danzig, a German port in the Baltic Sea, was made a free city
Posen, part of the former German Empire, became part of Poland
Thorn, formerly part of the German Empire, was given to Poland
East Prussia remained with Germany
Marienwerder, with a mixed German-Poles population, was given the right to plebiscite
Allenstein, a mixed German-Polish area, was allowed to plebiscite
Austria was forbidden to join in any way to Germany
Upper Silesia was given the plebiscite
Germany’s government was fragile. Ebert agreed to the treaty and drove Germany into chaos. Germany fell behind on reparation payments in 1922 so Belgium and France took what they wanted from factories on the Rhineland. These factories closed down, leading the Germany economy to ruin. Germany printed more money making the wages of the people worthless (hyperinflation).
The Treaty of St. Germain separated Austria and Hungary. Bohemia and Moravia were now part of Czechoslovakia. Bosnia and Herzegovina became Yugoslavia along with the former Serbia. Austria lost territory to Poland and Italy. Italy desired more land. Austria suffered economic troubles since most resources went to Czechoslovakia.
Treaty of Trianon was not signed until 1920. Transylvania was given to Rumania. Ruthenia and Slovakia became part of Czechoslovakia. Slovenia and Croatia went to Yugoslavia. Hungary lost most of its territory, population, and raw resources. Many other territories went to Rumania.
Treaty of Neuilly where Bulgaria lost land to Greece, Rumania, and Yugoslavia, and its access to the Mediterranean.
Treaty of Sevres in 1920 gave the Turkish area of Smyrna to Greece and Syria to the French. The Turks lost control over the Dardanelles. Turks had to accept that Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco were independent from them. Turkish nationalists under Kemal drove the Greeks out of Smyrna. The Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 gave Smyrna back to Turkey.
Credit to Breeann for these wonderful History notes.