The treaty of Versailles could accurately be described as an armistice for twenty years; not a peace treaty. The Big Four met at the Paris Peace Conference and they were: Lloyd George, Wilson, Clemenceau, and Orlando. Lloyd George was from Great Britain, Wilson was from the United States, Clemenceau was from France and Orlando was from Italy. Orlando played a very small role in these negotiations.
The Treaty of Versailles was considered by many to be an armistice for twenty years based on the overall harshness towards the German country and economy; mostly by France. The French wanted to destroy German unity, or at least to separate the Rhineland from Germany, and to keep Germany disarmed and economically weak. This reflects the bitterness and the animosity of the last four years of this World War. France feared Germany’s possibility of gaining more power, so they decided to make it almost impossible for Germany to do this. First off, Germany was required to pay reparations, a cost for being responsible for the war, and numbers show these reparations to be close to 5 billion dollars!Germany had to surrender its colonies, including land in Africa and Oceania, to be put under the protection of the French, English, and Japanese. Altogether, 13.1 percent of pre-war Germany and 10 percent of its population in 1910 were lost. The German army was reduced to bare minimum numbers, about one hundred thousand men, and their navy was reduced to practically nothing, about twelve ships. It was not to utilize aircraft tanks or aggressive weapons, and their production was prohibited. These are examples of the treaty’s harsh terms.
The United States and Great Britain did not believe they had to be exceedingly harsh in dealing with Germany. If the conditions of the treaty were too cruel then perhaps Germany could fall to the rise to power of the Bolsheviks in Russia, thus infiltrating communism in the center of Europe. The US and England had t…