Friday, July 26, 2019

The Lessons of the Versailles Treaty

By July 25, 2019

The signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919 in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles. (Wikimedia) The failure of Versailles remains a tragic lesson about the eternal rules of war and human nature itself — 100 years ago this summer. The Treaty of Versailles was signed in Versailles, France, on June 28, 1919. Neither the winners nor the losers of World War I were happy with the formal conclusion to the bloodbath.

The traditional criticism of the treaty is that the victorious French and British democracies did not listen to the pleas of leniency from progressive American president Woodrow Wilson............But a century later, how true is the traditional explanation of the Versailles Treaty?  In comparison to other treaties of the times, the Versailles accord was actually mild — especially by past German standards..............So, under the terms of the Versailles Treaty, the winning democracies were far more lenient with Germany than Germany itself had been with most of its defeated enemies..............

The result was that Versailles did not ensure the end of “the war to end all wars.” As the embittered Marshal Ferdinand Foch of France, supreme commander of the Allied forces, presciently concluded of the Versailles settlement: “This is not peace. It is an armistice for 20 years.”

Foch was right.........To Read More...

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