The Treaty of Versailles: A Reassessment after 75 Years by Manfred F. Boemeke, Gerald D. Feldman, Elisabeth Glaser

By Manfred F. Boemeke, Gerald D. Feldman, Elisabeth Glaser

This booklet at the Treaty of Versailles constitutes a brand new synthesis of peace convention scholarship. It illuminates occasions from the armistice in 1918 to the signing of the treaty in 1919, and scrutinizes the explanations, activities, and constraints that expert selection making by means of the French, American, and English politicians who bore the primary accountability for drafting the peace cost. It additionally addresses German reactions to the draft treaty and the ultimate contract. an in depth exam of the complaints from the perspective of the most protagonists kinds the center of the research.

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Prologue: 1919-1945-1989 RONALD STEEL There have been three great wars in this century. Each concluded with hopes, even blueprints, for transcending ancient rivalries of states and peoples. In 1919, after World War I, came the Fourteen Points and the League of Nations. In 1945, after World War II, the world welcomed the United Nations and the principles of the Atlantic Charter. In 1989, which saw the end of the Cold War, the breaching of the Berlin Wall, and the crumbling of the communist bloc, there was neither treaty nor ceremony.

51 See chapters 3, 14, 16, and 17 in this book. For a recent antireparations synthesis, see Bruce Kent, The Spoils of War: The Politics, Economics, and Diplomacy of Reparations, 1918—1922 (Oxford, 1989). The different positions are summarized in Peter Kriiger, "Die Reparationen und das Scheitern einer deutschen Verstandigungspolitik auf der Pariser Friedenskonferenz im Jahre 1919," Historische 18 Manfred E Boerneke, Gerald D. Feldman, and Elisabeth Glaser Sally Marks stresses the contrast between original treaty provisions and eventual outcomes of the reparations clauses (chapter 14).

Yet most international violence is rooted in ambiguity. By demanding military action against aggressors as a matter of principle, the doctrine of collective security could embroil the great powers in wars everywhere. Rather than reducing the recourse to war, collective security can — by raising local quarrels to the level of regional, or even global, ones — in some cases make it more likely. The Cold War, for all its irrationalities, was based on real military, political, and economic issues. The issues may have been misunderstood by leaders, but they were at least grounded in concepts of security.

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