Paris Peace Conference, 1919

Paris Peace Conference, 1919

Overview

The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 following the end of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

 following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities. They met, discussed various options and developed a series of treaties ("Paris Peace Treaties") for the post-war world. These treaties reshaped the map of Europe with new borders and countries, and imposed war guilt and stiff financial penalties
War reparations
War reparations are payments intended to cover damage or injury during a war. Generally, the term war reparations refers to money or goods changing hands, rather than such property transfers as the annexation of land.- History :...

 on Germany
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

.
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Encyclopedia

The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 following the end of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

 following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities. They met, discussed various options and developed a series of treaties ("Paris Peace Treaties") for the post-war world. These treaties reshaped the map of Europe with new borders and countries, and imposed war guilt and stiff financial penalties
War reparations
War reparations are payments intended to cover damage or injury during a war. Generally, the term war reparations refers to money or goods changing hands, rather than such property transfers as the annexation of land.- History :...

 on Germany
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

. The defeated Central Powers' colonial empires in Africa, southwest Asia, and the Pacific, would be parceled between and mandated
League of Nations mandate
A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I, or the legal instruments that contained the internationally agreed-upon terms for administering the territory on behalf of the League...

 to the victorious colonial empires, based on the different levels of previous development and the creation of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

.

At the center of the proceedings were the leaders of the four "Great Powers": President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 of the United States, Prime Minister David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor OM, PC was a British Liberal politician and statesman...

 of Great Britain, George Clemenceau of France, and, of least importance, Italian Prime Minister Vittorio Orlando; Orlando eventually had pulled out of the conference and did not play a role in constructing the final draft of the Treaty of Versailles. Germany and Communist Russia were not invited to attend, but numerous other nations did send delegations, each with a different agenda. Kings, prime ministers and foreign ministers with their crowds of advisers rubbed shoulders with journalists and lobbyists for a hundred causes, ranging from independence for the countries of the South Caucasus to racial equality
Racial equality
Racial equality means different things in different contexts. It mostly deals with an equal regard to all races.It can refer to a belief in biological equality of all human races....

.

For six months Paris was effectively the center of a world government, as the peacemakers wound up bankrupt empires and created new countries. The most contentious results included a punitive peace treaty that declared Germany guilty, weakened its military, and required it to pay all the costs of the war to the winners. This was known as the war-guilt clause
Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles
Article 231, commonly known as the "Guilt Clause" or the "War Guilt Clause", is the first article in Part VIII, "Reparations" of the Treaty of Versailles. Apart from "Article 231", there is no title for this article in the treaty itself...

 that was included in the final Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

. The Austro-Hungarian Empire had ceased to exist as its disparate peoples created new states. Unsatisfied with these results and conflicted with their Constitution, the United States never ratified the Treaty of Versailles, never joined the League of Nations, and signed separate peace treaties with the three countries it had declared war against. Historians debate whether or not the terms imposed on Germany helped the rise of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and were thus a cause of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and whether the terms were the best that could be expected, given the mood of the victors.

Overview


The conference opened on 18 January 1919. The opening date was deliberately chosen by the French so as to ensure the conference would commence on the anniversary of the Unification of Germany
Unification of Germany
The formal unification of Germany into a politically and administratively integrated nation state officially occurred on 18 January 1871 at the Versailles Palace's Hall of Mirrors in France. Princes of the German states gathered there to proclaim Wilhelm of Prussia as Emperor Wilhelm of the German...

 which had been proclaimed at Versailles 48 years earlier. The conference came to an end on 21 January 1920 with the inaugural General Assembly of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

.

The following treaties were prepared at the Paris Peace Conference (with, in parentheses, the affected countries):
  • the Treaty of Versailles, 1919
    Treaty of Versailles
    The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

    , 28 June 1919, (the German Empire
    German Empire
    The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

     in Weimar Republic
    Weimar Republic
    The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

     form)
  • the Treaty of Saint-Germain
    Treaty of Saint-Germain
    The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, was signed on 10 September 1919 by the victorious Allies of World War I on the one hand and by the new Republic of Austria on the other...

    , 10 September 1919, (Austria
    Austria
    Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

    )
  • the Treaty of Neuilly
    Treaty of Neuilly
    The Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine, dealing with Bulgaria for its role as one of the Central Powers in World War I, was signed on 27 November 1919 at Neuilly-sur-Seine, France....

    , 27 November 1919, (Bulgaria
    History of Independent Bulgaria
    The Treaty of San Stefano of March 3, 1878 provided for a self-governing Bulgarian state, which comprised the geographical regions of Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia. Based on that date Bulgarians celebrate Bulgaria's national day each year...

    )
  • the Treaty of Trianon
    Treaty of Trianon
    The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement signed in 1920, at the end of World War I, between the Allies of World War I and Hungary . The treaty greatly redefined and reduced Hungary's borders. From its borders before World War I, it lost 72% of its territory, which was reduced from to...

    , 4 June 1920, (Hungary
    Hungary
    Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

    )
  • the Treaty of Sèvres
    Treaty of Sèvres
    The Treaty of Sèvres was the peace treaty between the Ottoman Empire and Allies at the end of World War I. The Treaty of Versailles was signed with Germany before this treaty to annul the German concessions including the economic rights and enterprises. Also, France, Great Britain and Italy...

    , 10 August 1920; subsequently revised by the Treaty of Lausanne
    Treaty of Lausanne
    The Treaty of Lausanne was a peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland on 24 July 1923, that settled the Anatolian and East Thracian parts of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The treaty of Lausanne was ratified by the Greek government on 11 February 1924, by the Turkish government on 31...

    , 24 June 1923, (Ottoman Empire
    Ottoman Empire
    The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

    ).


The so-called "Paris Peace Treaties", together with the accords of the Washington Naval Conference
Washington Naval Conference
The Washington Naval Conference also called the Washington Arms Conference, was a military conference called by President Warren G. Harding and held in Washington from 12 November 1921 to 6 February 1922. Conducted outside the auspices of the League of Nations, it was attended by nine nations...

 of 1921-1922, laid the foundations for the so-called Versailles-Washington system of international relations. The remaking of the world map at these conferences gave birth to a number of critical conflict-prone international contradictions, which would become one of the causes of World War II.

The decision to create the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 and the approval of its charter both took place during the conference.

The "Big Four" were the dominant diplomatic figures at the conference. The conclusions of their talks were imposed on the defeated countries.

British approach



Maintenance of the British Empire's unity, holdings and interests were an overarching concern for the British delegates to the conference, but it entered the conference with the more specific goals of:
  • Ensuring the security of France
  • Removing the threat of the German High Seas Fleet
  • Settling territorial contentions
  • Supporting the Wilsonian League of Nations

with that order of priority.

The Racial Equality Proposal put forth by the Japanese did not directly conflict with any of these core British interests. However, as the conference progressed the full implications of the Racial Equality Proposal, regarding immigration to the British Dominions (with Australia taking particular exception), would become a major point of contention within the delegation.

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.

Although Britain reluctantly consented to the attendance of separate Dominion delegations, the British did manage to rebuff attempts by the envoys of the newly proclaimed Irish Republic
Irish Republic
The Irish Republic was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from Great Britain in January 1919. It established a legislature , a government , a court system and a police force...

 to put its case to the Conference for self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

, diplomatic recognition and membership of the proposed League of Nations. The Irish envoys' final "Demand for Recognition" in a letter to Clemenceau, the Chairman, was not replied to. Britain had planned to legislate for two Irish Home Rule states (without Dominion status), and did so in 1920
Government of Ireland Act 1920
The Government of Ireland Act 1920 was the Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which partitioned Ireland. The Act's long title was "An Act to provide for the better government of Ireland"; it is also known as the Fourth Home Rule Bill or as the Fourth Home Rule Act.The Act was intended...

. In 1919 Irish nationalists were unpopular with the Allies because of the Conscription Crisis of 1918.

David Lloyd George the Prime Minister claimed that he did "not do badly" at the peace conference, "considering I was seated between Jesus Christ and Napoleon." This was a reference to the very idealistic views of Woodrow Wilson (US President) and George Clemenceau (France), who was determined to see Germany punished.

Canada


The British Dominion governments were not originally granted separate invitations to the conference, but rather were expected to send representatives as part of the British Empire delegation.

Convinced that Canada had become a nation on the battlefields of Europe, its Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden demanded that it have a separate seat at the conference. This was initially opposed not only by Britain but also by the United States, who perceived such a delegation as an extra British vote. Borden responded by pointing out that since Canada had lost a far larger proportion of its men compared to the U.S. in the war (although less in absolute numbers), Canada at least had the right to the representation of a "minor" power. British Prime Minister David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor OM, PC was a British Liberal politician and statesman...

 eventually relented, and convinced the reluctant Americans to accept the presence of separate Canadian, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n, Australian, Newfoundland
Dominion of Newfoundland
The Dominion of Newfoundland was a British Dominion from 1907 to 1949 . The Dominion of Newfoundland was situated in northeastern North America along the Atlantic coast and comprised the island of Newfoundland and Labrador on the continental mainland...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

n delegations.

Despite this, Borden boycotted the opening ceremony, protesting at the precedence given to the prime minister of the much smaller Newfoundland over him.

Australia


The Australian delegation, led by Prime Minister Billy Hughes
Billy Hughes
William Morris "Billy" Hughes, CH, KC, MHR , Australian politician, was the seventh Prime Minister of Australia from 1915 to 1923....

, wanted war reparations
War reparations
War reparations are payments intended to cover damage or injury during a war. Generally, the term war reparations refers to money or goods changing hands, rather than such property transfers as the annexation of land.- History :...

, annexation of German New Guinea
German New Guinea
German New Guinea was the first part of the German colonial empire. It was a protectorate from 1884 until 1914 when it fell to Australia following the outbreak of the First World War. It consisted of the northeastern part of New Guinea and several nearby island groups...

 and rejection of the Japanese racial equality proposal. Hughes obtained a class C mandate
League of Nations mandate
A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I, or the legal instruments that contained the internationally agreed-upon terms for administering the territory on behalf of the League...

 for New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

.

President Wilson was especially offended by Australian demands and asked Hughes if Australia really wanted to flout world opinion by profiting from Germany's defeat and extending its sovereignty as far north as the equator; Hughes famously replied: "That's about the size of it, Mr. President".

Chinese approach


The Chinese delegation was led by Lou Tseng-Tsiang
Lou Tseng-Tsiang
Lou Tseng-Tsiang was a Chinese diplomat and a Roman Catholic monk. He was twice Premier of the Republic of China and led his country's delegation at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919...

, accompanied by Wellington Koo
Wellington Koo
Koo Vi Kyuin or Ku Wei-chün , often known by the Western name V.K. Wellington Koo, was a prominent diplomat under the Republic of China, representative to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, Ambassador to France, Great Britain, and the United States; participant in founding the League of Nations...

 and Cao Rulin
Cao Rulin
Cao Rulin was Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Beiyang Government, and an important member of the pro-Japanese movement in the early 20th century. He was a Shanghai lawyer working in Beijing when he was appointed by the provisional president, Yuan Shikai, to a vacant seat in the National...

.

Before the Western powers, Koo demanded that Japan return Shandong
Shandong Problem
The Shantung Problem refers to the dispute over Article 156 of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, which dealt with the concession of the Shandong peninsula....

 to China. He further called for an end to imperialist institutions such as extraterritoriality, legation guards, and foreign lease holds. Despite American support and the ostensible spirit of self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

, the Western powers refused his claims. Thus the Chinese delegation at the Paris Peace Conference was the only one not to sign the Treaty of Versailles at the signing ceremony.

French approach


The French Prime Minister
Prime Minister of France
The Prime Minister of France in the Fifth Republic is the head of government and of the Council of Ministers of France. The head of state is the President of the French Republic...

 George Clemenceau's chief goal was to weaken Germany militarily, strategically and economically. Having personally witnessed two German attacks on French soil in the last forty years, he was adamant that Germany should not be permitted to attack France again. In particular, Clemenceau sought an American and British guarantee of French security in the event of another German attack. Clemenceau also expressed skepticism and frustration with Wilson's Fourteen Points
Fourteen Points
The Fourteen Points was a speech given by United States President Woodrow Wilson to a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1918. The address was intended to assure the country that the Great War was being fought for a moral cause and for postwar peace in Europe...

: "Mr. Wilson bores me with his fourteen points", complained Clemenceau. "Why, God Almighty has only ten!" Wilson did sign a mutual defense treaty with France, but back in Washington the Senate refused to ratify it.

Another alternative French policy was to seek a rapprochement with Germany. In May 1919 the diplomat René Massigli
René Massigli
René Massigli was a French diplomat who played a leading as a senior official at the Quai d'Orsay, and was regarded as one of the leading French experts on Germany.-Early career:...

 was sent on several secret missions to Berlin. During his visits Massigli offered on behalf of his government to revise the territorial and economic clauses of the upcoming peace treaty. Massigli spoke of the desirability of “practical, verbal discussions” between French and German officials that would lead to a “collaboration Franco-allemande”. Furthermore, Massagli told the Germans that the French thought of the "Anglo-Saxon powers", namely the United States and British Empire, to be the major threat to France in the post-war world. He argued that both France and Germany had a joint interest in opposing "Anglo-Saxon domination" of the world and warned that the "deepening of opposition" between the French and the Germans "would lead to the ruin of both countries, to the advantage of the Anglo-Saxon powers". The Germans rejected the French offers because they considered the French overtures to be a trap to trick them into accepting the Versailles treaty "as is" and because the German foreign minister, Count Ulrich von Brockdorff-Rantzau thought that the United States was more likely to reduce the severity of the peace terms than France. In the final event it proved to be Lloyd George who pushed for more favourable terms for Germany.

Italian approach


In 1882 Italy joined the German Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire forming the Triple Alliance
Triple Alliance (1882)
The Triple Alliance was the military alliance between Germany, Austria–Hungary, and Italy, , that lasted from 1882 until the start of World War I in 1914...

. During World War I Italy aligned with the Allies, instead of joining its allies in the Triple alliance. In the Treaty of London, they had been offered the Trentino and the Tyrol
County of Tyrol
The County of Tyrol, Princely County from 1504, was a State of the Holy Roman Empire, from 1814 a province of the Austrian Empire and from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary...

 as far as Brenner, Trieste
Trieste
Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of land lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy's border with Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city...

 and Istria
Istria
Istria , formerly Histria , is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Bay of Kvarner...

, all the Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

n coast except Fiume, full ownership of Albanian Valona
Vlorë
Vlorë is one of the biggest towns and the second largest port city of Albania, after Durrës, with a population of about 94,000 . It is the city where the Albanian Declaration of Independence was proclaimed on November 28, 1912...

 and a protectorate over Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

, Antalya
Antalya
Antalya is a city on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey. With a population 1,001,318 as of 2010. It is the eighth most populous city in Turkey and country's biggest international sea resort.- History :...

 in Turkey and a share of Turkish and German Empires in Africa.

Vittorio Orlando was sent as the Italian representative with the aim of gaining these and as much other territory as possible. 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.

Nevertheless, by the end of the war the allies had made contradictory agreements with other nations, especially in Central Europe and the Middle-East. In the meetings of the "Big Four", in which Orlando's powers of diplomacy were inhibited by his lack of English the Great powers were only willing to offer Trentino to the Brenner, the Dalmatian port of Zara, the Island of Lagosta and a couple of small German colonies. All other territories were promised to other nations and the great powers were worried about Italy's imperial ambitions. As a result of this, Orlando left the conference in a rage.

Japanese approach



The Japanese delegation was headed by Marquess Saionji Kinmochi
Saionji Kinmochi
Prince was a Japanese politician, statesman and twice Prime Minister of Japan. His title does not signify the son of an emperor, but the highest rank of Japanese hereditary nobility; he was elevated from marquis to prince in 1920...

 (former Prime Minister), with Baron Makino Nobuaki
Makino Nobuaki
Count was a Japanese statesman, active from the Meiji period through the Pacific War.- Biography :Born to a samurai family in Kagoshima, Satsuma domain , Makino was the second son of Ōkubo Toshimichi, but adopted into the Makino family at a very early age.In 1871, at the age of 11, he accompanied...

 (former Foreign Minister), Viscount Chinda Sutemi
Chinda Sutemi
Count was a Japanese diplomat. In 1877 he went to study at DePauw University. He got his BA in 1881, and MA in 1884. In 1882 he married, and subsequently had one son.-Diplomatic career:...

 (ambassador in London), Matsui Keishiro (ambassador in Paris) and Ijuin Hikokichi (ja) (ambassador in Rome) and others making a total of 64. Neither Hara Takashi
Hara Takashi
was a Japanese politician and the 19th Prime Minister of Japan from 29 September 1918 to 4 November 1921. He was also called Hara Kei informally. He was the first commoner appointed to the office of prime minister of Japan...

 (Prime Minister) nor Yasuya Uchida
Yasuya Uchida
Count was a statesman, diplomat and interim prime minister, active in Meiji, Taishō and Shōwa period Japan. He was also known as Uchida Yasuya.- Biography :...

 (Foreign Minister) were prepared to travel so far from Japan so shortly after their election. The delegation focused on two demands: the inclusion of their racial equality proposal in the League's Covenant and Japanese territorial claims with respect to former German colonies, namely Shan Tung
Shandong
' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

 (including Kiaochow
Jiaozhou Bay
The Jiaozhou Bay is a sea gulf located in Qingdao Prefecture of Shandong Province. It was a German colonial concession from 1898 until 1914....

) and the Pacific islands north of the Equator (the Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
The Republic of the Marshall Islands , , is a Micronesian nation of atolls and islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, just west of the International Date Line and just north of the Equator. As of July 2011 the population was 67,182...

, Micronesia
Federated States of Micronesia
The Federated States of Micronesia or FSM is an independent, sovereign island nation, made up of four states from west to east: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae. It comprises approximately 607 islands with c...

, the Mariana Islands
Mariana Islands
The Mariana Islands are an arc-shaped archipelago made up by the summits of 15 volcanic mountains in the north-western Pacific Ocean between the 12th and 21st parallels north and along the 145th meridian east...

, and the Carolines). Makino was de facto chief while Saionji's role was symbolic and limited by his ill health. The Japanese delegation became unhappy after receiving only one-half of the rights of Germany, and walked out of the conference.

Racial equality proposal




Japan proposed the inclusion of a "racial equality clause" in the Covenant of the League of Nations
Covenant of the League of Nations
-Creation:Early drafts for a possible League of Nations began even before the end of the First World War. A London-based study group led by James Bryce and G. Lowes Dickinson made proposals adopted by the British League of Nations Society, founded in 1915. Another group in the United States—which...

 on February 13 as an amendment to Article 21:

The equality of nations being a basic principle of the League of Nations, the High Contracting Parties agree to accord as soon as possible to all alien nationals of states, members of the League, equal and just treatment in every respect making no distinction, either in law or in fact, on account of their race or nationality.


Because he knew that Great Britain was critical to the decision, President Wilson, as Conference chairman, ruled that a unanimous vote was required. On April 11, 1919, the commission held a final session and the proposal received a majority of votes, but Great Britain and Australia opposed it. The Australians had lobbied the British to defend Australia's White Australia policy
White Australia policy
The White Australia policy comprises various historical policies that intentionally restricted "non-white" immigration to Australia. From origins at Federation in 1901, the polices were progressively dismantled between 1949-1973....

. The defeat of the proposal influenced Japan's turn from cooperation with West toward more nationalistic policies.

Territorial claims


The Japanese claim to Shan Tung
Shandong Problem
The Shantung Problem refers to the dispute over Article 156 of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, which dealt with the concession of the Shandong peninsula....

 was disputed by the Chinese. In 1914 at the outset of World War I Japan had seized the territory granted to Germany in 1897. They also seized the German islands in the Pacific north of the equator
Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
The Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands was a United Nations trust territory in Micronesia administered by the United States from 1947 to 1986.-History:...

. 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
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

 transferred German concessions in Kiachow, China to Japan rather than returning sovereign authority to China. The leader of the Chinese delegation, Lou Tseng-Tsiang
Lou Tseng-Tsiang
Lou Tseng-Tsiang was a Chinese diplomat and a Roman Catholic monk. He was twice Premier of the Republic of China and led his country's delegation at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919...

, demanded that a reservation be inserted before he would sign the treaty. The reservation was denied, and the treaty was signed by all the delegations except that of China. Chinese outrage over this provision led to demonstrations known as the May Fourth Movement
May Fourth Movement
The May Fourth Movement was an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement growing out of student demonstrations in Beijing on May 4, 1919, protesting the Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, especially the Shandong Problem...

. The Pacific islands north of the equator became a class C mandate administered by Japan.

American approach


Prior to Wilson's arrival in Europe, no American President had ever visited Europe while in office. Wilson's Fourteen Points
Fourteen Points
The Fourteen Points was a speech given by United States President Woodrow Wilson to a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1918. The address was intended to assure the country that the Great War was being fought for a moral cause and for postwar peace in Europe...

, of a year earlier, had helped win the hearts and minds of many as the war ended; these included Americans and Europeans generally, as well as Germany, its allies and the former subjects of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 specifically. Wilson's diplomacy and his Fourteen Points had essentially established the conditions for the armistices that had brought an end to World War I. Wilson felt it was his duty and obligation to the people of the world to be a prominent figure at the peace negotiations. High hopes and expectations were placed on him to deliver what he had promised for the post-war era. In doing so, Wilson ultimately began to lead the foreign policy of the United States toward interventionism, a move strongly resisted in some domestic circles.

Once Wilson arrived, however, he found "rivalries, and conflicting claims previously submerged". He worked mostly trying to sway the direction that the French (George Clemenceau) and British (Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor OM, PC was a British Liberal politician and statesman...

) delegations were taking towards Germany and its allies in Europe, as well as the former Ottoman lands in the Middle East. Wilson's attempts to gain acceptance of his Fourteen Points
Fourteen Points
The Fourteen Points was a speech given by United States President Woodrow Wilson to a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1918. The address was intended to assure the country that the Great War was being fought for a moral cause and for postwar peace in Europe...

 ultimately failed, after France and Britain refused to adopt some specific points and its core principles.

In Europe, several of his Fourteen Points conflicted with the other powers. The United States did not encourage nor believe that the responsibility for the war that Article 231 placed on Germany was fair or warranted. It would not be until 1921 that the United States finally signed separate peace treaties with Germany, Austria and Hungary.

In the Middle East, negotiations were complicated by competing aims, claims, and the new mandate system. The United States hoped to establish a more liberal and diplomatic world, as stated in the Fourteen Points, where democracy, sovereignty, liberty and self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

 would be respected. France and Britain, on the other hand, already controlled empires, wielded power over their subjects around the world, and still aspired to be dominant colonial powers.

In light of the previously secret Sykes-Picot Agreement
Sykes-Picot Agreement
The Sykes–Picot Agreement of 1916 was a secret agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and France, with the assent of Imperial Russia, defining their respective spheres of influence and control in Western Asia after the expected downfall of the Ottoman Empire during World War I...

, and following the adoption of the mandate system on the Arab province of the former Ottoman lands, the conference heard statements from competing Zionist and Arab claimants. President Woodrow Wilson then recommended an international commission of inquiry to ascertain the wishes of the local inhabitants. The Commission idea, first accepted by Great Britain and France, was later rejected. Eventually it became the purely American King-Crane Commission
King-Crane Commission
The King-Crane Commission was an official investigation by the United States government during the summer of 1919 concerning the disposition of non-Turkish areas within the former Ottoman Empire...

, which toured all Syria and Palestine during the summer of 1919, taking statements and sampling opinion. Its report, presented to President Wilson, was kept secret from the public until The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

broke the story in December 1922. A pro-Zionist joint resolution on Palestine was passed by Congress in September 1922.

France and Britain tried to appease the American President by consenting to the establishment of his League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

. However, because isolationist sentiment was strong and some of the articles in the League's charter conflicted with the United States Constitution, the United States never did ratify the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

 nor join the League of Nations, which President Wilson had helped create, to further peace through diplomacy rather than war and conditions which can breed it.

Under President Warren Harding the United States signed separate treaties with Germany, Austria, and Hungary in 1921.

Ukraine


Ukraine
History of Ukraine
The territory of Ukraine was a key center of East Slavic culture in the Middle Ages, before being divided between a variety of powers. However, the history of Ukraine dates back many thousands of years. The territory has been settled continuously since at least 5000 BC, and is also a candidate site...

 had its best opportunity to win recognition and support from foreign powers at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. At a meeting of the Big Five on 16 January, British prime minister David Lloyd George called Ukrainian leader Symon Petliura (1874–1926) an adventurer and dismissed Ukraine as an anti-Bolshevik stronghold. Sir Eyre Crowe, British undersecretary of state for foreign affairs, spoke against a union of East Galicia and Poland. The British cabinet never decided whether to support a united or dismembered Russia. The United States was sympathetic to a strong, united Russia as a counterpoise to Japan, but Britain feared a threat to India. Petliura appointed Count Tyshkevich his representative to the Vatican, and Pope Benedict XV recognized Ukrainian independence.

Palestine


The Zionist Organization
World Zionist Organization
The World Zionist Organization , or WZO, was founded as the Zionist Organization , or ZO, in 1897 at the First Zionist Congress, held from August 29 to August 31 in Basel, Switzerland...

 submitted their draft resolutions for consideration by the Peace Conference on February 3, 1919. This shortly followed the Conference's decision that the former Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire should be separated from it and the newly conceived mandate-system applied to them.

The statement included five main points:
  • Recognition of the Jewish people's historic title to Palestine and their right to reconstitute their National Home there.
  • The boundaries of Palestine were to be declared as set out in the attached Schedule
  • The sovereign possession of Palestine would be vested in the League of Nations and the Government entrusted to Great Britain as Mandatory of the League.
  • Other provisions to be inserted by the High Contracting Parties relating to the application of any general conditions attached to mandates, which are suitable to the case in Palestine.
  • The mandate shall be subject also to several noted special conditions, including a provision to be inserted relating to the control of the Holy Places.

See also



  • Minority Treaties
    Minority Treaties
    Minority Treaties refer to the treaties, League of Nations Mandates, and unilateral declarations made by countries applying for membership in the League of Nations and United Nations...

  • Czech Corridor
    Czech Corridor
    The Czech Corridor was a failed proposal during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 in the aftermath of World War I. The proposal would have carved out an area of land to connect Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. A different name often given is Czech-Yugoslav Territorial Corridor...

  • League of Nations mandate
    League of Nations mandate
    A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I, or the legal instruments that contained the internationally agreed-upon terms for administering the territory on behalf of the League...

    • German New Guinea
      German New Guinea
      German New Guinea was the first part of the German colonial empire. It was a protectorate from 1884 until 1914 when it fell to Australia following the outbreak of the First World War. It consisted of the northeastern part of New Guinea and several nearby island groups...

       (given as a mandate to Australia)
    • German Samoa
      German Samoa
      German Samoa was a German protectorate from 1900 to 1914, consisting of the islands of Upolu, Savai'i, Apolima and Manono, now wholly within the independent state Samoa, formerly Western Samoa...

       (given as a mandate to New Zealand)
  • Commission of Responsibilities
    Commission of Responsibilities
    A commission of experts at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 that dealt with the issue of prosecution for war crimes committed during the First World War.-Background:...

  • Prince Lichnowsky

Further reading

  • Albrecht-Carrie, Rene. Italy at the Paris Peace Conference (1938) online edition
  • Ambrosius, Lloyd E. Woodrow Wilson and the American Diplomatic Tradition: The Treaty Fight in Perspective (1990) excerpt and text search
  • Andelman, David A. A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today (2007) popular history that stresses multiple long-term disasters caused by Treaty. excerpt and text search
  • Bailey; Thomas A. Wilson and the Peacemakers: Combining Woodrow Wilson and the Lost Peace and Woodrow Wilson and the Great Betrayal (1947) online edition
  • Birdsall, Paul. Versailles twenty years after (1941) well balanced older account
  • Boemeke, Manfred F., et al., eds. The Treaty of Versailles: A Reassessment after 75 Years (1998). major collection of important papers by scholars excerpt and text search
  • Clements, Kendrick, A. Woodrow Wilson: World Statesman (1999) excerpt and text search
  • Cooper, John Milton. Breaking the Heart of the World: Woodrow Wilson and the Fight for the League of Nations (2001) 454pp excerpt and text search
  • Dillon, Emile Joseph. The Inside Story of the Peace Conference, (1920) online review
  • Henig, Ruth. Versailles and After: 1919-1933 (2nd ed. 1995), 100 pages; brief introduction by scholar excerpt and text search
  • Keynes, John Maynard, The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1920) famous criticism by leading economist full text online
  • Knock, Thomas J. To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order (1995) excerpt and text search
  • Lederer, Ivo J. The Versailles Settlement—Was It Foredoomed to Failure? (1960) excerpts from scholars online edition
  • Lentin, Antony. Lloyd George and the Lost Peace: From Versailles to Hitler, 1919-1940 (2004)
  • Lentin, Antony. Guilt at Versailles: Lloyd George and the Pre-history of Appeasement (1985)
  • Macmillan, Margaret. Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War
    Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War
    Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War is a historical narrative based on the events of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. It was written by the Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan with a foreword by American diplomat Richard Holbrooke...

    (2002), also published as Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World (2003); highly influential study excerpt and text search
  • Marks, Sally. The Illusion of Peace: International Relations in Europe 1918-1933 (2nd ed. 2003)
  • Mayer, Arno J., Politics and Diplomacy of Peacemaking: Containment and Counter-revolution at Versailles, 1918-1919 (1967), leftist
  • Newton, Douglas. British Policy and the Weimar Republic, 1918-1919 (1997). 484 pgs.
  • Schwabe, Klaus. Woodrow Wilson, Revolutionary Germany, and Peacemaking, 1918-1919: Missionary Diplomacy and the Realities of Power (1985) online edition
  • Sharp, Alan. The Versailles Settlement: Peacemaking after the First World War, 1919-1923 (2nd ed. 2008)
  • Sharp, Alan. "The Enforcement Of The Treaty Of Versailles, 1919-1923," Diplomacy and Statecraft 2005 16(3): 423-438
  • Naoko Shimazu (1998), Japan, Race and Equality, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-17207-1
  • Steiner, Zara. The Lights that Failed: European International History 1919-1933 (Oxford History of Modern Europe) (2007), major scholarly work excerpt and text search
  • Trachtenberg, Marc
    Marc Trachtenberg
    Dr. Marc Trachtenberg is a professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his Ph.D in History from the University of California, Berkeley in 1974 and taught for many years for the history department at the University of Pennsylvania before coming to UCLA...

    . "Reparations at the Paris Peace Conference," The Journal of Modern History, Volume 51, Issue # 1, March 1979. pp 24-55 in JSTOR
  • Walworth, Arthur. Wilson and His Peacemakers: American Diplomacy at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919 (1986) 618pp online edition
  • Watson, David Robin. George Clemenceau: A Political Biography (1976) 463 pgs. online edition

External links