My daughter recently did a school project on The Treaty of Versailles and I helped her source some of the books from the local library. She had many more sources from her school library and, of course, her research was much more intense than mine but a strange thing happened – I learned a few things. I won’t even try to claim that I read all these books cover to cover but, by golly, I did absorb a few details. I now have a better understanding of the players involved and a pretty clear understanding why the treaty might have failed. In fact, if you ask some people when World War 2 started they may reply “June 28, 1919” — the day that the Treaty of Versailles was signed.
These are some of the books from our local library;
Paris 1919 Six Months that Changed the World by MacMillan, Margaret, 2002, Random House
The Guardians – The League of nations and the Crisis of Empire by Susan Pederson, 2015 ,Oxford University Press
With Our Back Against the Wall – Victory and Defeat in 1918 by Stevenson, D., 2011, Belknap Press of Harvard
A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin 1989. Holt
A Shattered Peace by David Andelman 2014, Wiley, John Wiley and sons
The Long Shadow by David Reynolds, 2014, W. W. Norton and co.
The Lights That Failed by Zara Steiner, 2005, Oxford University Press
The Deluge by Adam Tooze, 2014, Viking
The Fall of The Ottomans by Rogan, Eugene, 2015, Perseus Books
The Wilsonian Moment by Erez Manela, 2007, Oxford University press
Laurence In Arabia by Anderson, Scott, 2013, Signal
These books have lots of information on the Paris Peace Treaties and The Treaty of Versailles in Particular. I am not an academic yet I found some information that fascinated me. Here are a few points that fascinated me.
- The Germans agreed to surrender based on Wilson’s “fourteen points for peace” yet these were pretty much ignored once the negotiations began
- In fact The United States Of America opted out of “The League of Nations”
- It seemed each country had their own agenda.
- France suffered the most casualties and damage during the war and they demanded reparations from Germany resulting in a hungry and impoverished and unhappy Germany. This led to the groundwork for an upstart named Adolph Hitler and his Fascists to improve the conditions in Germany and become a hero.
- They league of nation had no muscle and the treaty was broken at various times by various countries with few consequences
- Boundaries all through Europe were redrawn willy nilly, especially in the Middle East
- Eventually several nations withdrew from the league of nations.
I usually like to write about fiction. novels but this subject peaked my interest so I thought I would include this biblioghraphy on my blog. Of course, I have only touched the surface on this topic.