France and Post-WWI Security


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France and Post-WWI Security

  1. 1. France and the Search for Security in Europe With the League in place, why was Europe not secure?
  2. 2. The US and the League <ul><li>US didn’t join League or sign Versailles. </li></ul><ul><li>France had accepted a moderate treaty under the assumption that US would be involved I maintaining European security. </li></ul><ul><li>US public is isolationist. </li></ul><ul><li>Wilson can’t sell League or Versailles to Congress. </li></ul><ul><li>Europe stuck with a treaty and international organization that no one is happy with. </li></ul>
  3. 4. The German Question <ul><li>Question: what role will Germany play in European (and world) affairs?” </li></ul><ul><li>Despite being militarily defeated, Germany was still a major industrial power. </li></ul><ul><li>France tried to steal that industrial base, but Wilson prevented this. </li></ul><ul><li>US absence and Britain’s apparent indifference left France feeling alone. </li></ul>
  4. 6. Keep Germany Weak <ul><li>Clemenceau wanted Germany divided permanently, but got no support, only promises from Wilson for backup if Germany attacked again. </li></ul><ul><li>But with an isolationist Congress, Wilson’s promise meant nothing, so Britain withdrew its promise too. </li></ul><ul><li>France is ALONE. </li></ul>
  5. 7. The Reparations Question <ul><li>France wanted $$ from Germany, not only to pay for damage, but to keep Germany weak. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Set up payments so that the more the German economy recovered, the higher the payments were. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Through payments US maintained connection to Europe (German reparations went towards British and French loans to the Americans). </li></ul><ul><li>Deal was that if Germany failed to make payments, the Allies would occupy the Ruhr Valley (industrial heartland). </li></ul>
  6. 8. <ul><li>In 1922, Germany asked for a moratorium on payments. </li></ul><ul><li>France, Belgium and Italy voted to occupy (Britain against). </li></ul><ul><li>1923 French and Belgian moved in. </li></ul><ul><li>German government ordered passive resistance (population refused to work). </li></ul><ul><li>This lead to hyperinflation ($ worth nothing), which decimated the middle class (became Hitler’s support base later). </li></ul><ul><li>Hyperinflation lead to fall of current German government. </li></ul>
  7. 10. <ul><li>New government formed by Gustav Stresemann, who announced Germany would pay reparations. </li></ul><ul><li>Streseman introduced a new currency and introduced a new era in the Weimar Republic. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One of cooperation and international participation rather than sulking. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 12. Re-organizing Reparations: The Dawes Plan <ul><li>Germany requested expert international advice to manage reparation payments. </li></ul><ul><li>Response was a committed headed by Charles Dawes, an American banker. </li></ul><ul><li>5 Point Plan: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Evacuate Ally forces from Ruhr </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pledge government revenues for reparations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Payments begin at $250 mil. and build to $600 mil. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Payments still tied to German prosperity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foreign loan of $200 mil. offered to get Germany started. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 13. Re-organizing Reparations: The Young Plan (1930) <ul><li>Another plan, introduced at beginning of Depression by another American banker, Charles Young. </li></ul><ul><li>Cut reparations to $29 billion (from 33). </li></ul><ul><li>End Allied occupation of Rhineland (lost their last means of exerting force to make Germany pay). </li></ul>
  10. 14. End of Reparations <ul><li>During Depression, Germany could not pay at all. </li></ul><ul><li>The Luasanne Conference set new total to $750 million, which Germany never did pay. </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler cancelled reparations officially in 1937 (total paid: $5 billion dollars). </li></ul>
  11. 16. French Security: Maginot Line <ul><li>Maginot Line was a line of concrete forts and tunnels along France’s boarder with Germany. </li></ul><ul><li>Believed it could withstand anything. </li></ul><ul><li>Didn’t think of two things: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Boarder with Belgium (Schlieffen Plan) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Airplanes and tanks. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 19. French Security: Treaties of Mutual Assistance <ul><li>Treaty with Beligium in 1920 </li></ul><ul><li>Treaty with Poland in 1921 </li></ul><ul><li>Joined The Little Entente (Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia) in 1924, 1926, and 1927. </li></ul>
  13. 21. French Security: Appeasement <ul><li>France reluctantly agreed to appeasement as a last-ditch effort to maintain security. </li></ul>
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