World History






























Treaty of Versailles

The signing of the Treaty of Versailles took place in the Hall of Mirrors, at the famous Palace at Versailles.

The Great War, as it was called, changed the political landscape of Europe. Gone were the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the long- decaying Turkish Ottoman Empire. Their lands were broken up into smaller nations. Russia lost its tsar, and Germany’s Kaiser was replaced by a new German republic. The war nearly wiped-out an entire generation of young men in Europe. Almost 30 million people were killed or wounded during the Great War, and over a million civilians died as a result of the fighting.

Great War = another name for World War I.

The peace treaty ending the war between the Allies and Germany was signed at the palace of Versailles in June of 1919, and hence it is called the Treaty of Versailles. Against the wishes of President Wilson, the treaty punished Germany for the war by taking away its overseas possessions and strictly limiting Germany’s army and navy. Worse for the Germans, they were forced to make large payments, or reparations, to the Allies for war damages.

Treaty of Versailles = the treaty that ended World War I.

reparations = payments that Germany was forced to pay by France and England after World War I for the war damages it had caused.

The treaty also established the League of Nations, an assembly of sixty countries that agreed to work together for world peace. The League was the idea of President Wilson who hoped the Great War would be “the war to end all wars.” The United States Senate, however, refused to approve the treaty largely because many in America wanted no more foreign entanglements, an attitude called isolationism.

League of Nations = an international organization formed in 1920 to promote cooperation and peace among nations.

isolationism = the belief that America should not get involved in trouble in other parts of the world.