HISTORY REVISION – ARRRGHH!
LESSON 2 – Treaty of Versailles &
the League of Nations
ToV & LoN summary
This is a PAPER 1 topic for your exam on 3rd June.
You will need to revise the following:
1. Aims of the Big 3
2. Terms of the Treaty
3. Opinions of the treaty
4. Structure of the League
5. Failures 0f the League – Manchuria
6. Failures of the League - Ethiopia
Aims of the Big 3
DAVID LLOYD GEORGE WOODROW WILSON
1. He said he would ‘make 1. He wanted to make the
1. He wanted revenge, and Germany pay’ – because world safe. He wanted
he knew that was what the
to punish the Germans to end war by making a
British people wanted to
for the war. fair peace.
2. In 1918, Wilson
2. He wanted ‘justice’, but he
2. He wanted to make did not want revenge. He
Points’ saying what he
Germany pay for the said that the peace must
not be harsh – that would
damage done during the
3. He said that he wanted
just cause another war in
a few years time. He disarmament, and a
3. He also wanted to tried to get a ‘halfway League of Nations
weaken Germany, so point’ – a compromise (where countries could
between Wilson and
France would never be talk out their problems,
invaded again. without war).
3. He ALSO wanted to 4. He also promised self-
expand the British
determination for the
Empire, maintain British
peoples of Eastern
control of the seas, and
increase Britain's trade.
Terms of the Treaty
Blame – Germany forced to accept the blame for the war
(war guilt clause).
Reparations – Germany had to pay £6600 million in
compensation to the Allies.
Army – Germany was restricted to 100,000 soldiers (not
in the Rhineland), no tanks, submarines or air force and
only 6 battleships.
Territory – Germany lost all its colonies and lots of land
including – Alsace & Lorraine, Saar, Danzig, West
Prussia and Eupen and Malmedy.
Germany were also forbidden from uniting with Austria!
This table summarises how Versailles was 'the hated treaty'
Opinions of the treaty
The Treaty of Versailles was unpopular, not only with the Germans, but
also with the people who had drawn it up. Even at the time, the peace-
makers left the conference feeling that they had failed to make a treaty
that would keep the peace, and historians have ever since blamed the
Treaty of Versailles for helping to cause the Second World War.
Germans British French Americans
League of Nations Hated it OK Hated it Hated it
Guilt Clause Hated it OK OK Hated it
Hated it Hated it OK Hated it
Reparations Hated it Hated it OK Hated it
German lost land Hated it Hated it Hated it Hated it
The League of Nations
• The League of Nations was set up by the Treaty of Versailles.
• Its aims were to stop wars, encourage disarmament, and make the world a
better place by improving people's working conditions, and by tackling
• Its organisation comprised an assembly, which met once a year; a
council, which met more regularly to consider crises; a small secretariat to
handle the paperwork; a Court of International Justice; and a number of
committees such as the International Labour Organisation and the Health
Committee to carry out its humanitarian work.
• strengths was that it had set up by the Treaty of Versailles, which every
nation had signed, and it had 58 nations as members by the 1930s. To
enforce its will, it could offer arbitration through the Court of International
Justice, or apply trade sanctions against countries that went to war.
• Its main weaknesses were the fact that it was set up by the Treaty of
Versailles (which every nation hated); that its aims were too ambitious; that
Germany, Russia and the USA were not members; that it had no army; that
its organisation was cumbersome; and that decisions had to be unanimous.
Manchurian Crisis 1932
• In 1932, Japan (a member of
the League's Council) invaded
Manchuria. It took the League
nearly a year to send a
commission and declare that
Japan ought to leave -
whereupon Japan left the
League. The League couldn't
send an army, and it needed
America's support to impose
sanctions successfully. In the
end, it did nothing.
Ethiopian (Abyssinian) Crisis 1935
• In 1935, Italy invaded
Abyssinia. Although the
Abyssinian emperor Haile Selassie
went to the League himself to ask
for help, all the League did was to
ban arms sales, which did
Abyssinia more harm than Italy. A
League commission offered Italy
part of Abyssinia, but Italy invaded
anyway. Far from stopping Italy,
Britain and France tried to make a
secret pact to give Abyssinia to