Terms of the Paris Peace Treaties 1919-20: Versailles, St Germain, Trianon, Neuilly, Sevre

1.2.1 The Paris Peace Settlement

  • The representatives of 32 countries met in 1919 in Paris to draw up the peace settlement.
  • The "Big Three" (France, USA and Britain) leaders were mostly in command of the decision makings and so was Italy but to a lesser extent.
  • The settlement was created from five treaties; the Treaty of Versailles, St Germain, Trianon, Neuilly, Sevres/Lausanne. 
  • The Treaty of Versailles dealt specifically with Germany and was the major discussion during the draw up of the peace settlement whereas the other treaties dealt with the geo-political and economic future of Europe.
  •  The agreement containing the principles on which the League of Nations was to operate on took into account all five treaties. 

1.2.2 The Treaty of Versailles

  • June 1919
  • Treaty with Germany
  • Was signed in the Palace of Versailles
  • Germany had to agree to accept full responsibility for the outbreak of the First World War

  • June 1919
  • Treaty with Germany
  • Was signed in the Palace of Versailles
  • Germany had to agree to accept full responsibility for the outbreak of the First World War

Territorial loses:

  • The Saar administered by the League of Nations
  • The creation of an independent Polish state
  • West Prussia and Posen were given to Poland
  • Alsace-Lorraine was given back to France
  • Danzig was appointed as an international city
  • Plebiscites in Upper Silesia, West Prussia and Schleswig
  • Germany lost colonies and investments 

Military Restrictions on Germany:

  • Was only allowed a regular army that was limited to 100,000 military personnel 
  • Was not allowed an airforce and only a very small fleet
  • End of compulsory enlistment into the armed forces
  • Rhineland to be occupied for 15 years by the allied military forces
  • All commissions in Germany controlled by the allies until 1927


  • Germany to pay £6,600 million (132 billion gold marks)
  • Reparations where to be paid in regular instalments, some in gold and some in goods
  • The Allies struggled to get payments from Germany from 1921 to 1923
  • Dawes Commission 1924
  • France took over Ruhr in 1923

League of Nations

  • The USA refused to join which weakened the league
  • Collective security
  • New mandate principles
  • Germany and the defeated nations were at first left out

1.2.3 The Treaty of St Germain

  • September 1919
  • Treaty with Austria
  • Dalmatia, Slovenia and Bosnia were given to Yugoslavia 
  • South Tyrol, Trentino, Trieste and Istria were given to Italy
  • Bohemia and Moravia were given to Czechoslovakia
  • Galicia was given to Poland
  • Bukovina was given to Romania
  • Austria was not allowed to unify with Germany

1.2.4 The Treaty of Trianon

  • June 1920
  • Treaty with Hungary
  • Hungary losses 2/3 of its territory
  • Slovakia and Ruthenia were given to Czechoslovakia
  • Transylvania was given to Romania
  • Burgenland was given to Austria
  • Slovenia and Croatia were given to Yugoslavia 

1.2.5 The Treaty of Neuilly

  • November 1919
  • Treaty with Bulgaria
  • Western Thrace was given to Greece
  • Dobrudja was given to Romania
  • Northern Macedonia was given to Yugoslavia

1.2.6 The Treaty of Sevres

  • 1920
  • Treaty with Turkey
  • The Straits of the Dardanelles to be controlled by the allies
  • Saudi Arabia became independent
  • Turkey lost the rights to Sudan and Libya
  • Eastern Thrace and some Turkish Aegean Islands were given to Greece
  • Mesopotamia, Palestine and Syria became League of Nation mandates and were to be run by France and Britain. 

1.2.7 The Treaty of Lausanne

  • 1923
  • Treaty of Sevres was altered at Lausanne
  • The Greeks were expelled
  • Constantinople was given back to Turkey

1.2.8 Paris peace settlement issues

  • Germany, Russia and non of the other defeated countries were allowed to take part of the discussions nor attended the Versailles conference
  • All the big decisions were made by the Council of four (United States, France, United Kingdom and Italy)
  • The aims of the major powers were often contradictory and so compromises had to be made within the treaties 
  • Terms of the Treaty of Versailles were not soft enough to allow for reconciliation with Germany but not harsh enough to weaken Germany's power

1.2.9 German Response

  • Germany had hoped for a softer punishment as it had thought the treaty would have taken in much more of Wilson's Fourteen Points
  • Did not think it was fair to have to accept responsibility for the start of the First World War
  • Did not think it was fair that it had no say or that it was not part of the discussions 
  • Did not like the fact that it was forced to sign the treaty without any negotiations of the terms
  • It disagreed with the reparations and especially the territorial losses
  • It was also angered by the exclusion from the principle of self-determination
  • The German population was angered by the treaty and wanted to see it revoked

1.2.10 Discussion and disagreements between the allies

  • Some thought the treaty was too harsh, others that it was too lenient
  • Those who supported Wilson's Fourteen Points argued that the treaty had failed to create a peaceful world
  • John Maynard Keynes argued that Europe would become weaker and poorer as a result of the restrictions, territorial losses and the economic weakening of Germany
  • The British people started to recognise that the treaty may have to be reviewed
  • The US refused to agree with the treaty as it opposed to Article X of the League of Nations. This was an article under which members of the League agreed to use their powers to resist aggression wherever it might occur. 
  • The US did not sign the Treaty of Versailles which had a big impact on the League of Nations