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The Treaty of Versailler was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke François Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo, triggering the outbreak of war. Although the treaty contained a treaty establishing the League of Nations, an international organization that sought to maintain peace, the difficult conditions imposed on Germany contributed to the peace not lasting long. In January 1919, two months after the end of the fighting of the First World War, a conference was convened at Versailles, the former domain of the French monarchy outside Paris, to draw up the terms of a peace treaty to officially end the conflict. Although representatives of almost… Germany expected the 14-point plan drawn up by US President Woodrow Wilson in January 1918 to form the basis of the peace treaty. However, France, which had suffered greatly during the war, was determined to ensure that Germany was not able to challenge them again. The First World War had complex origins and the war was fought in four years, which wiped out a generation of young men and caused massive social, political and cultural upheavals. In my class on the First World War, we spend 10 weeks carefully studying the war, and we still have a lot of questions and concerns at the end of the term. When we talk about the Treaty of Versaille, my students conclude that it was impossible for a treaty, a conference or an agreement to get European nations back on track after such an exhausting and complicated war. They also conclude that it seems unfair to make the Treaty of Versaille responsible for the Second World War. How did some actors see or understand what was going to happen? I agree with my students on both points.
Keynes was only a leading critic of the Treaty of Versaille. French military chief Ferdinand Foch refused to participate in the signing ceremony, believing that the treaty was not doing enough to protect itself from a future German threat, while the US Congress did not ratify the treaty and then concluded a separate peace with Germany; the United States would never join the League of Nations. During the peace conference, the Commission on the Responsibility of War Writers and the Enforcement of Sanctions was established to investigate the context of the war. The Commission justified this decision by the fact that the „war was deliberated by the central powers“ … and was the result of acts deliberately committed [by them] to make it inevitable,“ and concluded that Germany and Austria-Hungary „deliberately worked to defeat all the many conciliatory proposals of the powers of the Agreement and their repeated efforts to avoid war“. This conclusion was duly echoed in the Treaty of Versailles, led by Clemenceau and Lloyd George, both of whom insisted on the inclusion of a clear declaration of Germany`s general responsibility.  This left Wilson at odds with the other leaders of the conference.