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big 4 paris peace conference

The loss of 700,000 Italians and a budget deficit of 12,000,000,000 Lire during the war made the Italian government and people feel entitled to these territories. There was an especially strong opinion for control of Fiume, which they believed was rightly Italian due to the Italian population. In 1914 at the outset of First World War Japan had seized the territory granted to Germany in 1897. They also seized the German islands in the Pacific north of the equator. In 1917, Japan had made secret agreements with Britain, France and Italy as regards their annexation of these territories. With Britain, there was a mutual agreement, Japan also agreeing to support British annexation of the Pacific islands south of the equator. Despite a generally pro-Chinese view on behalf of the American delegation, Article 156 of the Treaty of Versailles transferred German concessions in Shandong, China to Japan rather than returning sovereign authority to China.

big 4 paris peace conference

The Big Four or the Four Nations refer to the four top Allied powers of World War I and their leaders who met at the Paris Peace Conference in January 1919. During the Paris Peace Conference, thousands of people gathered to discuss the situation in the world.

The Ideas Of Woodrow Wilson And The Treaty Of Versailles

Russia became the Soviet Union and the Ottoman Empire later became the country of Turkey. Each of the four nations had different opinions on how Germany should be treated. President big 4 paris peace conference Woodrow Wilson felt that the best solution was to incorporate his Fourteen Points. He thought that Germany should not be blamed for the war or punished too harshly.

Drawing on his 14 Points, which was a declaration he had read before Congress a year earlier, President Wilson believed that the goal of the treaty should be to create a lasting peace. Wilson wanted the Great War to be the one which would end all future wars, and he felt that could not happen unless global peace was established. In expectation of the conference, all four of them came prepared with their own vision and goals for the treaty which would ultimately end the First World War. Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that 32 state legislatures passed resolutions in favor of the treaty, there was intense opposition to it within the U.S.

What Were The 4 Major Nations At The Paris Peace Conference?

In addition to territorial disputes, the League also tried to intervene in other conflicts between and within nations. Among its successes were its fight against the international trade in opium and sexual slavery and its work to alleviate the plight of refugees, particularly in Turkey in the period up to 1926. One of its innovations in this latter area was the 1922 introduction of the Nansen passport, the first internationally recognized identity card for stateless refugees. The Russian Empire, which had withdrawn from the war in 1917 after the October Revolution, lost much of its western frontier as the newly independent nations of Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland were carved from it. President Wilson became physically ill at the beginning of the Paris Peace Conference, allowing French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau to advance demands substantially different from Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Clemenceau viewed Germany as having unfairly attained an economic victory over France, due to the heavy damage their forces dealt to France’s industries even duringretreat, and expressed dissatisfaction with France’s allies at the peace conference. It proved to be Lloyd George who pushed for more favorable terms for Germany.

Though the Paris Peace Conference boasted the Big Four, there were other statesmen who sough to get their own slice of the new world order. Japan sought to retain its territories taken in the Pacific from the German navy. When it received neither, Japanese leadership felt slighted and they sought to become the main power in Asia by pushing out European and American colonialists.

While the Allies at the Paris Peace Conference made up more than twenty nations, the Big Four entered Versailles and were the decision makers. However, Orlando pulled out of the conference after his demands weren’t met, leaving the Big Three as the only remaining decision makers at the conference.

Certainly Lawrence’s support for the political aspirations of Hussein, Feisal and their family — the Hashemite monarchy — was crucial, as Fromkin argues. And Fromkin also suggests that the British may not have been all that upset to see Lawrence challenging the deal they had made giving control of Syria to France. When the 1918 midterm congressional elections transferred control of the Senate from the Democrats to the Republicans, Lodge became both majority leader and Foreign Relations Committee chairman.

Lawrence did his best to persuade delegates to support the Arabs but may have alienated some because of his disregard for protocol – officially, he was present as an interpreter. In 1918, before leaving for the Conference, he had presented an alternative map of the region which included a Kurdish state and boundaries based on local sensitivities rather than on imperial interests.

The League lasted for 26 years; the United Nations replaced it after the end of the Second World War in April 1946 and inherited a number of agencies and organizations founded by the League. After the war, the Paris Peace Conference imposed a series of peace treaties on the Central Powers, officially ending the war. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles dealt with Germany and, building on Wilson’s Fourteen Points, created the League of Nations in June 1919. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson initiated a secret series of studies named The Inquiry, primarily focused on Europe and carried out by a group in New York that included geographers, historians, and political scientists. This group researched topics likely to arise in the anticipated peace conference. The Fourteen Points was a statement of principles used for peace negotiations following the end World War I, outlined in a January 8, 1918, speech to the United States Congress by President Woodrow Wilson. Wilson’s attempts to gain acceptance of his Fourteen Points ultimately failed after France and Britain refused to adopt some specific points and its core principles.

In his Fourteen Points, an outline for the postwar world, Woodrow Wilson proposed a League of Nations that would arbitrate disputes between nations and serve as an international peacekeeping agency, much like today’s United Nations. In addition to assuring postwar peace, Great Britain, France, and Italy wanted to punish Germany for, in their view, starting the war. They demanded not only reparations in the form of payments for the destruction caused by the war, but also military disarmament of Germany to weaken the country and prevent aggression. Britain and France coveted land in the oil-rich Middle East, and they also wanted to deprive Germany of its colonies and form new buffer states in Europe to further protect against German power.

American Neutrality

Later, as conflicts between Japan and America widened, the Japanese media reported the case widely—leading to a grudge toward the U.S. in Japanese public opinion and becoming one of the main pretexts of Pearl Harbor and World War II. The Australian delegates were Billy Hughes , and Joseph Cook , accompanied by Robert Garran (Solicitor-General). Their principal aims were war reparations, annexation of German New Guinea and rejection of the Japanese racial equality proposal. Hughes had a profound interest in what he saw as an extension of the White Australia Policy. Despite causing a big scene, Hughes had to acquiesce to a class C mandate for New Guinea. Germany was required, under the terms of the treaty of surrender, to accept full responsibility for the war.

big 4 paris peace conference

Back in 1915, Italy had entered a secret agreement with France, Britain, and Russia, and in return for entering the war, the three had promised that Italy would receive various territories. Orlando argued that it was time Italy got what it was promised, namely the areas of Trieste and southern Tyrol. In order to ensure a long-lasting peace, Wilson advocated for the creation of a peace-keeping organization known as the League of Nations, which would solve disputes and prevent future large-scale conflicts. In good faith, he also asserted that Germany should be treated fairly following the end of the war. Woodrow Wilson (28 December 1856 – 3 February 1924) was elected President of the United States based on domestic issues in 1912, and re-elected in 1916.

British Approach

As the conference’s decisions were enacted unilaterally and largely on the whims of the Big Four, for the duration of the Conference Paris was effectively the center of a world government that deliberated over and implemented sweeping changes to the political geography of Europe. Most famously, the Treaty of Versailles itself weakened Germany’s military and placed full blame for the war and costly reparations on Germany’s shoulders.

The Germans were pushed out of France and were forced to retreat back into Germany. All three leaders were satisfied to different extents regarding the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Clemenceau was quite pleased, Lloyd-George was slightly regretful, and Woodrow Wilson was only really happy about establishing the League of Nations. The Treaty was overall fairly satisfying for the three men, as it seemed enough https://simple-accounting.org/ to maintain peace while keeping Germanyweak, but not so weak that she would be crippled. Ultimately, Britain did not see the Racial Equality proposal as being one of the fundamental aims of the conference. The delegation was therefore willing to sacrifice this proposal in order to placate the Australian delegation and thus help satisfy its overarching aim of preserving the unity of the British Empire.

Britain and France were able to use the oil resources of the new territories. By coming back with concessions from Germany as well as the right to govern more areas, George and Clemenceau could return to their respective constituencies and claim that they had won the war and the war itself was a worthwhile cause. Wilson acquiesced on punishing Germany and allowing the victorious powers to grab more territory since he believed that this was the only way to get his League of Nations passed. When the American people heard about the squabbling that took place after WWI over conquered territories, they became disillusioned as well. This would make the United States very slow to join the next war, even though Hitler would prove to be a bigger threat to the United States than the Kaiser would in 1917. Allied leaders faced a difficult task, far greater than the only comparative peace conference in 1815 that officially ended the Napoleonic Wars. Four empires—Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire—lay shattered, their people facing an uncertain future amid social and political unrest.

The Council met daily, sometimes two or three times a day, knowing that the eyes of the world were on them. The two principal rchitects of the covenant of the League of Nations were Lord Robert Cecil and Jan Smuts . Smuts’ proposals included the creation of a Council of the great powers as permanent members and a non-permanent selection of the minor states.

Leaders Of The Big Four Nations Meet For The First Time In Paris

According to French and British wishes, Germany was subjected to strict punitive measures under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The new German government was required to surrender approximately 10 percent of its prewar territory in Europe and all of its overseas possessions. The harbor city of Danzig and the coal-rich Saarland were placed under the administration of the League of Nations, and France was allowed to exploit the economic resources of the Saarland until 1935. Kaiser Wilhelm II and a number of other high-ranking German officials were to be tried as war criminals. Germans would grow to resent these harsh conditions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles.

  • During World War II, the three greatest powers-Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union-coalition that ultimately led to victory formed a Grand Alliance.
  • The actual agreements reached at the Paris Peace Conference were quite different than Wilson’s plan, most notably in the harsh economic reparations required from Germany.
  • His chief goal was to weaken Germany militarily, strategically, and economically.
  • It should be noted that the Japanese delegation did not realize the full ramifications of their proposal, and the challenge its adoption would have put to the established norms of the international system of the day, involving as it did the colonial subjugation of non-white peoples.
  • Beck describes Wilson’s heroic effort to convince the US Congress to ratify the Covenant.
  • Japan demanded a racial equity clause and equal standing in the League of Nations, both of which demands were rejected.

French premiers Georges Clemenceau and Vittorio Orlando led as well as British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, US President Woodrow Wilson, and Italian premier Vittorio Orlando. At the Paris Peace Conference in January 1919 on the Versailles campus, hundreds of people gathered from around the world. After World War I, the terms of the peace agreement were established at the conference. “The World, Today and Yesterday” was a pamphlet published by Rand McNally in 1919. It includes maps of the changes to countries and territories brought about by the war, as well as information on the treaties, the League of Nations and provides summaries on key figures and events. By the time the Allies formalized peace with the former Central Powers through a series of treaties, including an additional negotiation with the new nation of Turkey in 1923, the fragmented process of “making peace” had lasted longer than the war. President Woodrow Wilson—acting as the primary decision-makers for the first six months, and their foreign ministers and ambassadors overseeing the remainder of the conference.

Watch What Were The Big Four Int The Paris Peace Conference Video

They met informally 145 times and made all the major decisions, which in turn were ratified by the others. Each major power had its own agenda coming to the Conference and not every aim was represented in the final treaties. Finally, Lloyd George of Britain wanted to ensure that a treaty would protect the British navy. Although he also wanted Germany to pay for having caused the war, he was not as bitter nor pessimistic as Clemenceau. Lloyd George made it clear that he envisioned his country having the ability to trade with Germany in the future.

Who Were The Big Three At The Paris Peace Conference?

He wanted to bring about a new international order along idealistic lines. Many Europeans called for a “Wilson Peace.” He promoted his 14 Points and the League of Nations. The map of Europe changed significantly after World War I. Several new independent countries were formed including Poland, Finland, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia.

Despite the treaty’s shortcomings, peace could not be achieved for many years to come. Four of the most powerful figures representing the Allied powers during World War I participated in the Paris Peace Conference of January 1919. To meet their own visions and goals for the final treaty of the First World War, all four prepared their own draft during the conference. In order for Wilson to believe that war could not be eliminated from the world, a constitution, an independence-seeking nation and a non-complacent international legal system were essential. Furthermore, open diplomacy was needed, and international assistance was needed to resolve humanitarian problems, as well as international . Several stages were devoted to achieving peace, including the “Big Four,” which included Prime Minister Lloyd George of Great Britain, Foreign Ministers Georges Clemenceau of France, Vittorio Orlando of Italy, and US Defense Secretary Francis Harvey.

The “Big Four” at Versailles, France during the peace treaty of 1919 at the end of World War One. From left, David Lloyd George, Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, Georges Benjamin Clemenceau and Thomas Woodrow Wilson. In a break with traditional diplomacy, Germany was not invited to this preliminary round of talks. Victors of the Great War, the leaders of these four nations were determined to control the agenda of the conference that would decide its peace terms. There was no precedent for such a momentous peace conference; even the Congress of Vienna of 1815, which had preserved order in Europe for almost a century before collapsing in 1914, had been far smaller and less complicated than the gathering at Versailles. From left to right, David Lloyd George of Britain, Vittorio Emanuele Orlando of Italy, Georges Clemenceau of France, and Woodrow Wilson of the United States discussed major policy decisions during the Paris Peace Conference. In early decades, a coalition of four led by Lloyd George of Great Britain, Georges Clemenceau of France, Vittorio Orlando of Italy and Robert Kennedy of the US established a framework for peace between two nations.