What were the motives of the Big Three at Versailles?
- ?Lv 51 decade agoBest Answer
The Big Three started out as the Big Four, and before that the Council of Ten. The Council of Ten was composed of the heads of government and foreign ministers of the five major allied victors; the US, UK, France, Italy, and Japan. This unusual body proved too difficult to manage for effective decision making so Japan left and so did the foreign ministers, leaving us with the the Big Four. When Italian Prime Minister Vittorio Emanuele Orlando's territorial claims to Fiume (today Rijeka) were rejected by the other leaders, he left the negotiations and allowed the Big Three to draw up the final terms of the Treaty.
France's Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau had the harshest demands for Germany. France had lost more soldiers and civilians than both the US and the UK as well as being home to most of the fighting. In order to appease the public, Clemenceau wanted policies that would cripple Germany militarily, politically, and economically so that they could never invade France again. Another key demand of France's was that France gain control of the Alsace-Lorraine which France had lost to Prussia in the 1871 Franco-Prussian War. Frances third goal was that the Rhineland be separated from Germany, but settled with it only being demilitarized.
The United Kingdom's demands dealt mostly with the reparations that Germany was going to pay for the war. Prime Minister David Lloyd George supported reparations, but not the extent that France did. Lloyd George knew that if France's demands were met, France would easily become the most powerful country in Europe and upset the delicate balance of power on the continent. Llyod Goerge managed to increase the overall reperations paid by Germany as well as increasing the UK's share of the reparations by demanding compensation for the huge number of widows, orphans, and men left unable to work through injuries due to the war.
American President Woodrow Wilson pushed what we now as his Fourteen Points at the Treaty of Versailles. The fourteen points dealt with international problems such as free trade, the establishment of new countries, the evactuation of occupied territories, self-governance for colonial territories, and the establishment of a League of Nations.
- 1 decade ago
The Treaty of Versailles was an attempt to prevent future conflicts by limiting or banning large stores of weapons from countries like Germany and Japan after World War 1. The idea was to limit size of Armies, war ships to a certain tonnage, ban large Armor or Air Forces mainly Germany, but also the Allies. The idea was smaller armies would mean less wars or no wars at all. Well as we have seen it didn't really work as the League of Nations didn't enforce the treaty and this in turn lead to World War 2.
The Big Three at this Treaty was mainly seat up by Britain and The United Sates and France as Russia was still in a civil war at the time of the writting of the Treaty. Other reasons for the Treaty were to break up the large empires like the Ottoman and Austro-Hungry empires and set up new countries in place.
Money was Frances man thing as they wanted Germany to pay an inordinate amount of money in the Billions in damages but never were payed the amount they wanted as Germany was broke after the War and during the Great Depression of the late 1920's and into the mid 1930's Germany Deutsche Mark wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. This helped Nazism come about and also the punishment of Germany lead ot the out break of World War 2 in 1939-1946. Yes December 1946 as this was the Official year the war was considered over/ended by United States President Harry S. Truman.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
When President Wilson traveled to Paris for the peace conference that would lead to the Treaty of Versailles, he came armed with his Fourteen Points, an idealistic plan to reorder Europe with the United States as a model for the rest of the world. He failed to gain most of what he wanted as the French and British were more inclined towards a vengeful peace, requiring reparations from Germany, than to any idealistic requests of the United States.
From ShmoopSource(s): http://www.shmoop.com/wwi/summary.html
- ammianusLv 71 decade ago
Clemenceau, President of France - Punish the Germans, and cripple their economy and military to the extent that they would be incapable of posing any threat to France for the foreseeable future.
Wilson, President of USA - establish a peace based on his own 'Fourteen Points' which he believed would ensure world peace for the foreseeable future.Wilson was an idealist who thought his 'Fourteen Points' would be best for everyone.
Lloyd George, Prime Minister of Britain - punish Germany, but ensure that they would be able to recover economically as quickly as possible.This was because Germany was the largest economy in continental Europe, and a weak German economy meant a weak European economy. A strong German economy would mean a much quicker economic recovery for Europe as a whole, and thus help the British economy.
It was France that got its way, for 2 main reasons.
Firstly, many of Wilson's 'Fourteen Points' were simply unrealistic or unacceptable to the other Allies.For example, there was no way Britain was going to accept Point 2 'freedom of navigation of the seas'
Secondly, however much Lloyd George wanted to limit punishment of Germany,public opinion in Britain favoured the French view - "squeeze them till the pips squeak" was one newspaper headline.
Lloyd George faced an election in December 1914 so, publicly, had to go with British public opinion entering the Paris Peace Conference (began 18 January 1919). He therefore had to support France.