The Treaty Of Versailles Was A War Of Slaughter On A New Scale

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The Treaty of Versailles was first and foremost the end to World War 1, the Great War. The Great War was a war of slaughter on a new scale as all countries involved had suffered massive loss of life; 1.8 million Germans, 1.7 million Russian, 1.4 million French, 1.3 million Austro-Hungarians and 750 thousand British soldiers. As a result, the victors were bitter and were uninterested in Woodrow Wilson’s promise of a gentle peace agreement. They wanted to receive money and territory as compensation. “Even before the guns fell silent in 1918, the voices – plaintive, demanding, angry, had started. ‘China belongs to the Chinese.’ ‘Kurdistan must be free.’ ‘Poland must live again’... They complained: the Slovaks about the Czechs the Croats about the Serbs; the Arabs about the Jews; and the Chinese about the Japanese.” --- Margaret Macmillan (2001) (Paris 1919: Six Months That Change the World)
The French demanded the most in reparations because the war had been fought almost exclusively on French territory, and the French had sustained the heaviest loses and damages among the Allies, after Russia, who had already negotiated a separate peace treaty. Also, Germany had invaded France 50 years earlier and the French wanted to prevent another German offensive. “France was determined to squeeze the maximum sum from the prostrate foe, not only to secure revenge, but to render Germany powerless in the future.” --- Margaret Macmillan (2001) (Paris 1919: Six Months That
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