The Roles and Goals of Lloyd George in Creating the Treaty of Versailles Ministry Position Ambitions The Paris Peace Conference & The Treaty of Versailles Ministry Position Lloyd George was considered a pacifist yet the outbreak of of World War 1 altered his attitude dramatically, in the early years of the war George was the Chancellor of the Exchequer yet in 1915 he was appointed Minister of Munitions by Asquith, the Prime Minister of Britain at the time who he became increasingly critical of due to his failure to adapt the machinery of government to the need of war. In 1916 he was appointed ‘Secretary of State for War’ and later that year, after the resignation of Asquith, on the 6th of December George became Prime Minister of Britain and leader of the ‘War Coalition’. George was Britain's senior representative at the ‘Paris Peace Conference’ where in which the Treaty of Versailles was negotiated. As the leader of one of Europe's ‘Great Powers’ Lloyd George, as well Frances Georges Clemenceau and Italy's Vittorio Orlando, along with Americas Woodrow Wilson made up the ‘Big Four’ who dominated the Conference. 6 th of December 1916. Lloyd George was appointed Prime Minster of Britain after the resignation of Herbert Asquith, he would be faced many predicaments during his 6 years in power most notable the Paris Peace Lloyd George being appointed as British Prime Minister Conference of 1919. The War Coalition Lloyd George was the leader of the Liberal Party and relied heavily on the Conservatives for support during his time in office. The War Cabinet was a very successful innovation, it made all major political, military, economic and Lloyd George entering Parliament, 1918 diplomatic decisions The Big Four Vittorio Orlando Woodrow Wilson The “Big Four” Lloyd George dictated the proceedings of the Paris Peace Conference and made many important decisions. Georges Clemenceau Public View in 1918 “The mandate of this government at the next election will mean that the British Government will be in favour of peace” Lloyd George speaking to Parliament (12 November 1918) However A cartoonist interpretation of Georges role at the Paris peace The “Hang the Hun” campaign was very Conference apparent in the British press and many people in Britain wanted to see Germany punished. George was re-elected in 1918 as he convinced the British Public that he shared this view. AMBITIONS Lloyd George anticipated the afflictions of the future, his foresight motivated his sympathetic attitude towards the Germans at the ‘Paris peace Conference’ of 1919 as he knew of the economic state in which Britain depended upon, “was it sensible to treat her (Germany) as a cow from which to extract milk and beef at the same time”. George described Germany as a race who were ‘proud, intelligence, with great tradition’. The prospect of retribution was dismissed by the French President Clemenceau, as revenge was seen as paramount, George believed that Germany would not react well to be put under ‘races whom they regard as their inferior’, thus his ambitions fir the Paris Peace Conference was to ensure the well fare of his country and prevent future Wars. Foresight Georges foresight is apparent in his ambitions, Britain was not subjected to the devastation of France thus George did not share the desire for retribution, his sympathetic attitude towards German in the Treaty of Versailles was very much to prevent the onset of another World War. “We shall have to fight another Lloyd George in his study. war again in 25 years time.” Lloyd George, talking about the Treaty of Versailles “Stern but Just” “The terms are in many respects terrible terms to impose upon a country. Terrible were the deeds which it requites... Germany not merely provoked, but planned the most devastating war the earth has ever seen... She deliberately embarked upon it, not to defend herself against assailants, but to aggrandize herself at the expense of her neighbours. I cannot think of a worse crime. Georges “Stern but Just” approach alludes to his [The aim of the Treaty is] to compel ambitions, he wished to Germany, in so far as it is in her power, to punish the Germans as restore, to repair and to redress. Yes, and to his campaign in the take every possible precaution of every kind “Khaki election” of 1918 that is in our power against the recurrence of pledged yet not to put another such crime - to make such an Germany in such a state example as will discourage ambitious peoples in which they will attempt from ever attempting to repeat the infamy.” redemption. Lloyd George, speaking in Parliament (3 July 1919). Support for the League of Nations Lloyd George says that Woodrow Wilson can think and talk of nothing but his League of George was a good friend with Nations. Wilson will only take any interest in Woodrow Wilson who found him talks if everything centers on the League. He has 'extremely pleasant', ‘genuine started to annoy Lloyd George by talking of and friendly in his accost‘, both matters that have already been settled as though George and Wilson apposed they were still open for discussion. Clemenceu and his motives and Wilson wished for the League of From the diary (March 1919) of Frances Stevenson, Nations to be put first on the Lloyd George’s private secretary conferences agenda to which George reluctantly agreed. However George did not wish for the Britain to be told what to do by the League nor wanted to break up the commonwealth. Georges other Ambitions for the Conference George wished to ensure the security of France as well as remove the threat of Germany’s “High Seas Fleet”. The crippling of Germany would result in unemployment in Britain as Germany was once there number 2 trading partner thus George wished “to restore, to repair and to redress” Germany. George and other menbers of the Big Four Leaving the Paris Peace Conference to ovations. The Paris Peace Conference & The Treaty of Versailles The Paris Peace conference was held at the Palace of Versailles where in which five treaties were constructed, one of which was the Treaty of Versailles which articulated the compromises reached at the conference, including the punishment brought upon Germany and a plan for League of Nations. George was Britains senor most representative at the conference and was put in a difficult political position. He was re-elected in the ‘Khaki election’ of 1918 as his ensure the people of Britain he was the best possible politician to deal with the punishment of Germany, he vowed to hold Germany accountable for the war as well as those responsible brought to justice. However. The prospect of future wars was of great concern to George, he believed that the mistreatment of Germany would result in a another revolution like that of the Russian and communism would spread “from Russia to the Rhine”, thus George indorsed a sympathetic attitude towards the Germans during the ‘Paris Peace conference’. The Signing of the Treaty of Versailles The signing of the Treaty of Versailles on January 18th 1919 brought much jubilation to the French people, it was a short proceeding with the Germans signing first followed by Clemenceau, George, then the remaining allied leaders, once the Germans exited the hall they were described as “prisoners from the dock, their eyes still fixed upon some distant The signing of the Treaty, Hall of Mirrors 1919. point of the horizon." Results •Germany lost 14% of its pre-war territory. •All of its overseas possessions, •Its industries were to be occupied by Allied forces, •The treaty also stipulates that Germany would pay for the devastation of the war in annual payments. •Its Military forces were restricted dramatically. Newspaper advertisement, June 30th 1919 Contrast from Clemenceau George Clemenceau was the French President and Frances major reprehensive at the Paris Peace Conference, he demanded retribution after the costly war Germany brought upon his country. Lloyd George did not share his desire for revenge rather wished to restore Germany to ensure economic security as well as have a buffer zone between England and Russia. George and Clemenceau “I don't like being double-crossed. Lloyd George has deceived me. He made me the finest promises, and now he breaks them” A quote describing Clemenceau’s feelings towards George. Achievements at the Conference It is evident that Lloyd Gorge was concerned about the territorial provisions of the Treaty, he was successful in preventing the separation of the Rhineland from Germany yet achieved little more. Germanys Military forces were not entirely depleted as George campaigned for as he wished for a barrier in which to prevent the spread of communism. George wished to prevent the “crippling” of Germany to resume trade, he was successful to an extent as the Treaty of Versailles specified that trade would be concentrated on countries such as Britain and France.
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