1919 was the year after the Armistice. The First World War had ended. People were thankful that the fighting had stopped, but many people in Britain and France now wanted to punish Germany. The leaders of all the countries that had been fighting met in Paris to decide on a peace settlement to end the War.
The defeated powers were all there but they were given very little say in the debates. They were there simply to sign the treaties. Germany hoped for a reasonable settlement. The Kaiser had abdicated and there was now a more liberal government in Germany. But the Paris treaties were not negotiated.
Th terms of the treaties. Separated treaties were made with each of the defeated countries.
A-The League of Nations was created. LON was the first intergovernmental
organisation. It's primary goals, included preventing war through collective
security, international negotiation and arbitration.
B-New European borders (the defeated Central Empires had severe changes on their borders):
Austria-Hungary disappeared and was divided into Austria, Hungry and czecalovacia
Yugoslavia was formed composed of Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro Bosnia, Slovenia
C-At Versailles the Allies made a treaty with Germany. THE TREATY OF Versailles, June 1919, decided:
1-Reparations. Germany and her allies had to accept full responsibility for causing the war. This was called the War Guilt Clause. Germany then agreed to pay for damage done during
the war. No figure for this could be fixed in 1919. Later this amount was eventually fixed at an extremely high price.
2-Colonies. Germany lost her colonies and the League of Nations would look after them until the people were ready to rule themselves.
3-Disarmament of Germany. The German navy was to be limited (to 6 small battleships, 6 cruisers and 12 destroyers); also the army could be no more than 100,000 men, no submarines were allowed, neither an airforce, tanks nor heavy guns.
4-Changes in Germany's borders:
Alsace and Lorraine for France
-In the North, for Denmark North Schleswig,, for Belgium Eupen-Malmedy
-In west Prussia, West Prussia, Posen and Danzig, for Poland
Trench warfare is a form of land conflict using dug trenches, occupied fighting lines in
which troops lived for months, protected and sheltered from the enemy's small arms,
fire and artillery. The most prominent case of trench warfare is the Western Front in
World War I, they couldn't make any breakthrough, not even with high casualties.
It was a German strategy devised by General von Schieffen who
assumed that war would be won on two fronts against Russia and France, in the war
of movements (at the beginning). The Germans would knock-out Western France
through neutral Belgium and then they would fight Russia (which was supposed to be
very slow). The plan failed because of the British support and led to a stalemate
situation since the beginning of war in Western Europe.
Stalemate (guerra de posiciones): It was the war deadlock situation in which Germans and
the Allies ended up when both sides faced and had to dig defensive trenches at
Marne, when the Schlieffen Plan had failed. Then, they went on a trench race, trying
to outflank each other and digging defensive trenches from north to south of France.
In that situation they couldn't make any breakthrough, not even with high casualties.
They were stuck, that was a dead stop.