Woodrow Wilson’s idealist opinion was due to the United States late entry into the First World War, and thus the United States had emerged profitably from the war. The Treaty seemed to satisfy the "Big Three" as in their eyes it was a just peace as it kept Germany weak yet strong enough to stop the spread of communism; kept the French border with Germany safe from another German attack and created the organization, the League of Nations that would end warfare throughout the world. However if left Germany angry about the Treaty making them feel that they
It was agreed on that France was not punished militarily or economically. Prince Klemens von Metternich, Austrian’s foreign minister, sought to offset French strength with a balance of power leading to territorial gains by most of the continental European powers. In addition, Austria, Russia and Prussia formed the “Holy Alliance” to actively confront the revolutionary and nationalist energies that the French Revolution had unleashed. The Alliance repressed republican and nationalist ideas in universities and the press; they defeated liberal revolutions in Spain and Italy. They also attempted to meet the potential challenge posed by subversive ideas.
On the one hand the League of Nations was successful in preventing conflict and building international co-operation up to 1925. This is evident from, the Washington Conference 1921. America although not part of the League of Nations did not want a war of this scale to happen again so was keen to cut its commitments and limit the world’s major fleets. It was also concerned by Japan’s rising strength. On 6th February 1922 the major powers signed a five power treaty in Washington.
They achieved this by penalizing France with indemnities; however, they didn’t embitter France to want to fight for revenge. Castlereagh approved of this because peace meant that trade could continue with one of Britain’s most important trading partners. It was also decided that France should take part in the future Congresses, consequently the Quadruple Alliance was transformed into the Quintuple Alliance; this was supported by Castlereagh which shows how he wanted to maintain peace with France. Castlereagh opposed harsh treatment towards France because of the consequences that would arise from a negative relationship. However, to maintain the peace with France and of course other powers, the congress balanced the powers by the introduction and reappointment of other states such as the grouping of Belgium and Holland to act as a buffer against France.
Was the policy of appeasement justified? The arguments for appeasement: We can understand why the British and French appeased Germany: 1. The desire for peace. It was perfectly understandable that Britain and France would want to find peaceful solutions to Germany’s problems, and so avoid another war. Memories of the First World War were still strong.
Russia was keen to expand their territory and to get a warm water port. Ultimately the war ended in 1918 due to the diplomatic defeat of Germany. In the Triple Entente, which triumphed over the Central Powers, there are two countries that succeeded in achieving their aims, England and France. Although England and France worked cooperatively as an alliance during the World War One, they had different motives in the war. Both England and France had specific aims for entering the World War One.
This was because the new middle class that had emerged in the 'German states', from industrialisation, wanted political representation, and felt that it could only be achieved in a united Germany. The Congress of Vienna wanted to make sure that no country could take over Europe in the way that France did in the early 1800s, it aimed to do this by allocating more land to Prussia and creating a 'barrier' that would block any attempts of French expansion and also war from Russia in the east. The German Confederation divided Germany into thirty-nine states, as Napoleon did during the French occupation. A reduction in the number of German states may seem like a move towards nationalism and in turn unification, however it was in fact a direct move against it, as can be seen in the second amendment of the confederation. This is known as 'particularism', the principle of leaving each state in a federation free to govern itself and promote its own interests.
Ostpolitik was a policy introduced by Willy Brandt who was the chancellor of the SPD. The aim of Ostpolitik was to improve relations between East and West Germany. This had a big impact on the development in relations between East and West Germany. In order to reduce the negative effects of the division of Germany Willy Brandt introduced Ostpolitik. This was a way of developing relations with the GDR with diplomacy and agreement and it led to a series of agreements which helped smooth relations between the West and East such as, the treaty of Moscow where the FRG and the USSR agreed that they had no territorial claims against each other.
Britain unknowingly was succumbing to Germany’s desire to rearm by providing them with economic aid. The Lausanne Conference, therefore, created the conditions of conflict as it led to a stronger German military, which gave Germany the ability to cause conflict. The conflicts eventually led to a full fledged World War, proving appeasement, in the form of peace settlements, creates new conflict. Similar to Lausanne, the Munich agreement was also blatant appeasement in the form of a peace settlement. The Munich agreement stems from Hitler’s invasion of Czechoslovakia.
The Treaty of Versailles is an issue that has garnered much controversy and contention on the topic of whether or not it was fair. The byzantine web of diverse opinions often bars one from a neutral and unbiased insight into the degree of equitability of the Treaty of Versailles. While many argue that the terms were too harsh for the deemed “aggressor” of the war, Germany, others assert that the Treaty was really quite lenient. Although it is impossible to stamp the Treaty as absolutely fair or unfair, it is conceivable to analyze whether it was equitable based on the outcome and effect it brought forth. In the era of the World War I, for the deemed aggressor to take responsibility was not an unfair or preposterous idea.