Free Essay in History: Effects of Peace Settlement of 1919

Published: 2021-01-25
Free Essay in History: Effects of Peace Settlement of 1919
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  History World War 1 Treaty of Versailles
Pages: 8
Wordcount: 1975 words
17 min read

The Treaty of Versailles was a peace agreement signed in 1918 after WW1 had ended. The treaty was signed in France near the capital in Paris at the vast Versailles Palace hence its title; the treaty was signed among Germany and its Allies of war at the time. The key political figures at the time were Lloyd George David and Georges Clemenceau without forgetting Woodrow Wilson Henig (1995).The Versailles Palace was regarded the most convenient venue due to its size that could accommodate the large contingent of delegates concerned in the development of the treaty, and the eventual signing ceremonial in the Mirrors lobby.

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The Versailles Peace Treaty Conference uncovered the ideological split that had developed among the Allies Henig (1995). During and after Versailles Britain and France had different angles of the way they viewed Germany as Allie. While the notions of the citizens of both nations were resolutely backing the recommendations of the treaty to have Germany pay to the fullest extent, France solely observed Germany as a probable threat to the stability of Europe eventually. The biggest concern for France was that if severe punishment were not imposed on Germany the outcome would be that she would emerge stronger and attack France in retribution. Thus the contradicting points of view that had the British feel the treaty was severe on Germany while France observed that a heavier penalty should have been imposed Henig (1995).

The Versailles peace treaty on the other hand had diverse effects on the rest of non-European nations. In this essay we shall observe how the treaty was detrimental to the existence of these nations which were mostly colonies of Germany, Britain, Italy and France.

Effects of the Versailles peace treaty to the Middle East and Asian Nations

At the signing of the Versailles Peace Treaty Conference, Japans' push for inclusion of a clause on racial equality was met with resistance from the western nations. Wilson was seen to oppose greatly this clause as a declaration seeming because colonialism was reliant on the idea of superiority of the white race over Asians, Arabs and the Africans. Rather than work to quash imperialism the signatories of the peace treaty were backing its continuation. Germany's colonies in Africa were made the common ownership among the member states of the League of Nations. This decision was made in plain sight without the consultation of the nationalities concerned. This decision, therefore, pitted German East Africa and Cameroon as a settlement offered to Britain to have it under their control. France was offered control over Africas' Togoland and South Africa even though an African nation was given control over another portion of Germany's African empire. In the Pacific islands, Germany's holdings were shared among Japan, New Zealand and Australia Andelman (2008).

In the Middle East, the Arabs perceived the Versailles peace treaty as a complete betrayal. Arabs had taken up arms to join forces as allies to fight against the Ottoman Empire, in return they had been promised freedom as agreed in Wilson's fourteen points. In 1917, a decree by Wilson was disbursed by British soldiers passing through Baghdad; it read that Arabs would realize the aspirations of their race. Instead, the British resolved to occupy Bazra a section of the upper Persian Gulf rich in oil claiming that the bloodshed of British soldiers gave them the mandate to do so. An act of occupation enforced to safeguard the interests of Britain in the oil-rich region of the Persian Gulf. Andelman (2008).

The local citizens of Lebanon and Syria astoundingly preferred to have a sovereign rule as a unified front. But the French left the people of Syria grieving at the loss of fellow Arab nations mainly Palestine, the West of Iraq and Lebanon, which France choose to rule them all as large Syrian zone other than let them unite. Palestine was dealt a blow when Jews were offered Palestine land as their homeland. Britain chose to focus on Jews settlement other than Syria thus a breach in the signing of the treaty MacMillan (2001).

The League of Nations gave Britain the right of control over Palestine and Mesopotamia now the current Iraq. France, on the other hand, was mandated to take control of Syria and Lebanon. This height of injustice left Arabs with no one to vouch for them. In 1920 while fighting a coup in Iraq the British prime minister, Lloyd-George, refused to withdraw troops saying that pulling out of Iraq would leave the nation in a state of anarchy and confusion. Ochsenwald, William, and Fisher (2003)

In Asia, China joined forces as allies with the expectation of taking control over Germany's holdings in China, to cement this notion China sent its men to work in Europe as part of their grant to the efforts of the allied front. The Chinese were not aware of the under dealing of the Allies as they went behind their backs to hand over the Germany's holdings in Shandong Province to the Japanese. It was discovered that a Chinese warlord had taken a significant amount of money from the Japanese and in return they would take over the German holdings. This was viewed by the Chinese as a betrayal in part of signing the Versailles peace treaty and saw Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points as lacking in morals and deceptive. As a result of the double standards and the pressure from the public opinion in China, the warlord declined refused to sign the peace treaty Habib (1997).

In Korea, the peace conference brought with it a sense of betrayal. Having suffered at the hands of the Japanese rule Wilsons speech on a just settlement after the war in 1918 made them ambitious of self-rule. But after riots, due to the injustice by the Japanese due to; lack of education and no participation in economic activities. In Paris, the Peace Conference declined to allow Koreans to plead their case Habib (1997).

The major drawback of the treaty was not the terms the parties were to abide by, but the unwillingness of the League of Nations to enforce them on the allies. It was ignorant on the part of the allies to presume that Germany as a hostile would collaborate with the allies to abide by the terms of the treaty. In under a year, the peace alliance that had walked out triumphant of the Germany forces and mediated on a set of conditions for peace had fallen apart. It was a detracting downfall due to the arrangement they had other than ensuring the treaty was fully enforced. The mediation process at the peace conference disclosed the undertones of a divided house and opened and exposed a rift that could not hold together that had won a war Gilbert (1996).


Historians have often argued that things would have been different if Germany had been contained by breaking them down completely in the war. If allies of the league of nations had sought real powers to punish the treaty would hold, and the world as a whole would not be destroyed by war MacMillan (2001).

Margaret Macmillan contends that as a result of the peacemakers offhand treatment of the non-European world, they stirred up resentments for which the West is still paying today.

The allies that signed the Versailles peace treaty in 1919 finalized a flawed document. By casually handling the non-European nations, they aggravated them and created animosity towards themselves, an attitude that the West has to face in modern day politics of diplomacy. They carried on with impunity in foreign lands, they gave allies mandate over African land to affirm the imperialist authority. In the Middle East, they governed people with disregard of their ambitions an example of Iraq, which has failed to blend as a civilized nation. They lived in the moment and could not prepare for the future they left that to the generation that would come after them. Thus when they were faced with an uprising in 1939 they were faced with decisions they should have made over a period of twenty years and not of a treaty signed in 1919 MacMillan (2006).

The break-up of the Ottoman Empire and the mandate system in the Middle East

The Ottoman Empire was established by the tribes of Turkey and flourished to become the most authoritative rulers in he world in the 15th and 16th century. The duration of theOttoman rule traversed more than six hundred years and fell in the year 1922. The Turkish Republic replaced it and after that arose the leadership of other successor states from the southeast of Europe and the Middle East. The word Ottoman is an empirial moniker copied from Osman I the nomadic Turkmen chief who founded both the dynasty and the empire about 1300. Holt (2001).

Britain was keen to keep the course to India secure and open to trade, as a result, they signed a number of treaties with the local leaders. These treaties carried the clause that only Britain would have access o these territories, to their dismay Britain took over Aden in 1839 and made it their naval base. It signed more treaties to keep their territories especially port and the immediate lands near it. The remote lands of central Arabia were barely touched due to their unstrategic importance Holt (2001).

The reign of the Ottoman Empire came down at the end of the First World War. Britain and France were given the mandate to take control of Ottomans remnant provinces, Britain to control Iraq, Palestine, and Transjordan and France to control Lebanon and Syria. The underlying rule was that these states would remain under the guidance of the administrative rule of the Allied nations until such a time when they shall be able to govern themselves. Even though this was not expounded the clause was infinite although it was short-term, it ended leading to the formation of Israel setting it apart from Palestine control in 1948 Holt (2001).

In 1918, the allies triumphed over the Ottoman Empire at the end of the war. This was the fall of the empire even though the name carried on to the year 1922 and the Ottoman style of rule of enforcing caliphate fundamentals came down in 1924. All the land that previously belonged to the Ottoman empire was put under receivership of the European states, thus putting the future of the Middle East in the balance with the three sides still imposing rule over it Holt (2001).

The greatest impact of the off-hand treatment was that the League of Nations drew up borders that stand today in the modern day geographical that marks borderlines. A great injustice is that they drew these borders without consulting and disregarded the opinions of the citizens in those lands. The borders that divide citizens of the Middle East today are not based on their differences as people but rather formulated by their colonies from Europeans, a divide and rule form of governance Habib (1997).

The mandate system was the backboard on which, the British and the French annexed and acquired all they needed in the Middle East under their mandate us member states of the League of Nations. Although the sons of Sharif Hussein were allowed control over the land under British authority and Prince Faisal and Abdullah crowned King over Iraq and Jordan respectively the ultimate authority in those lands was with the British and French Ochsenwald, William, and Fisher (2003).

How the Ottoman empire reacted to the offhand treatment of the non-European world

After the war Ottomans, objectives of self-rule were tossed to the side. Instead, Britain and France settled to share to feed their greed. The promise made to Ottomans did not matter to the Allies.Britain and France formed new countries in the Middle East; they disregarded the diverse religions and customs that governed the way they lived their lives under the Ottoman rulership. This resentment lead to a political and social crisis among the Arab countries that has carried on to modern day religious, political and s...

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