The Paris Peace Conference
and the TreatyofVersailles, 1919
An extensive literature exists on the ‘lessons of Versailles’ and particularly
on the ‘failure’ of the League of Nations (LON), one that started even
before the signature of the TreatyofVersailles. The first focus of this
chapter is an exploration of the process of disillusionment as it comes out in
the documentary record. The key areas that have been identified by contemporaries and historians alike are the mismatch between the security- and
The problem of war aims and the TreatyofVersailles
Why did Britain go to war in 1914? The answer that generated popular
approval concerned the defence of Belgian neutrality, defiled by German
invasion in the execution of the Schlieffen Plan. Less appealing, and therefore less invoked for public consumption, but broadly consistent with this
promoted justification, was Britain’s long-standing interest in maintaining a
balance of power on the continent, which a German victory would not only
disrupt, according to Foreign Office officials, but
This book explores the way in which the Anglo-American new world order (NWO) debate changed by 9/11, and the encouragement this has given to the 'neoconservatives' or 'neocons' within the George W. Bush Administration. It examines the policy-making process as it developed before the Versailles Conference of 1919. An extensive literature exists on the 'lessons of Versailles' and particularly on the 'failure' of the League of Nations (LON), one that started even before the signature of the Treaty of Versailles. The book then explores how the Conference and the LON attempted to frame the immediate problems of the post-war period. It shows how NWO architects' thinking developed in what might be called the area of 'global security' from the period of the First World War until the present. The clear evidence is that the American thinking on the NWO had a huge impact in Britain's processes in the same direction. President Theodore Roosevelt shared a deep suspicion of British motives for the post-war settlement in line with most Americans. He attributed blame for the inter-war crisis as much to British and French intransigence and balance of power politics at Versailles as to German aggression. The results of the Versailles settlement hung like a cloud over Allied relationships during the Second World War and gave a powerful impetus in American circles for an attitude of 'never again'. The variety of historical archival material presented provided the background to the current and historical American obsession with creating the world order.
action against villains who disregarded the international order. Borchard, by contrast, refused to brand the Nazis aggressors and propagated neutrality and non-interference. He did not change his mind during the Second World War, when the strategy of appeasing Hitler had quite obviously failed. 69
The German connection
When Borchard discussed the scope and function of international law, he often cited the TreatyofVersailles, which was both his political target and his favourite example to illustrate his theory. Germany was Borchard’s ultimate case to prove that
always retained the greatest respect for Steed, whom he called ‘my protector
and teacher in the ways of this contradictory people’.10 Their friendship certainly outlived Lehmann-Russbueldt’s ability to supply useful information.
MI5’s early interest in Lehmann-Russbueldt resurfaced as a result of his
research for the book Germany’s Air Force, an exposé of secret German aerial rearmament in contravention of the TreatyofVersailles.11 Preliminary
details of Germany’s secret aircraft programme, based on material supplied
by Lehmann-Russbueldt and his fellow
scholars have argued that displays of colonial self-determination
gave favourable impetus to nationalist debate in the Celtic
countries, and there is some evidence of this for the Scottish
As the terms of the TreatyofVersailles were being crafted, the
Scottish nationalists petitioned American President Woodrow Wilson
This volume offers a series of new essays on the British left – broadly interpreted – during the First World War. Dealing with grassroots case studies of unionism from Bristol to the North East of England, and of high politics in Westminster, these essays probe what changed, and what remained more or less static, in terms of labour relations. For those interested in class, gender, and parliamentary politics or the interplay of ideas between Britain and places such as America, Ireland and Russia, this work has much to offer. From Charlie Chaplin to Ellen Wilkinson, this work paints a broad canvass of British radicalism during the Great War.
This volume traces changing images of Germany in the field of International
Relations (IR). Images of countries are mental representations with audio-visual
and narrative dimensions that identify typical or even unique characteristics.
This book focuses on perceptions of Germany from the English-speaking world and
on the role they played in the development of twentieth-century IR theory. When
the discipline originated, liberal internationalists contrasted cooperative
foreign policies with inherently aggressive Prussianism. Early realists
developed their ideas with reference to the German fight against the Treaty of
Versailles. Geopoliticians and German emigre scholars relied on German history
when they translated historical experiences into social-scientific vocabularies.
The book demonstrates that few states have seen their image change as
drastically as Germany during the century. After the Second World War, liberals,
lawyers, and constructivists developed new theories and concepts in view of the
Nuremberg trials, the transformation of the former enemy into an ally of the
West, and Germany’s new commitment to multilateralism. Today, IR theorists
discuss the perplexing nature of ‘civilian power’ Germany – an economic giant
but a military dwarf. Yet the chapters in this volume also show that there has
never been just one image of Germany, but always several standing next to each
other in a sometimes compatible and sometimes contradictory manner.
groups with a specific humanitarian vocation – caring for war victims. These new entities often drew their impulse from religious philanthropy but they were also connected to the different expressions of the growing international activism. An important example is the Save the Children Fund, which, founded in 1919, had a threefold origin: the British philanthropic tradition; the spirit of internationalism that condemned the punitive TreatyofVersailles; and the network of supranational cooperation that intertwined itself with feminist associations. This humanitarian
aggressive and militarised ‘Prussian’ foreign policy. Western observers described the country as the uncivilised other, a rogue that thwarted attempts at a peaceful organisation of IR. 7 In that sense, one particular image of Germany was almost constitutive for the nascent discipline of IR. In the interwar years, the German fight against the TreatyofVersailles allowed liberal internationalist to distinguish the West, multilateralism and the international rule of law from Germany’s revanchism and aggression.
As German resistance against the Versailles order became ever