Treaty of Versailles 1919

The Treaty of Versailles was responsible for officiating the end of World War I which lasted from 1914 to 1918. The negotiations for this treaty started at the Peace Conference of Paris in January 1919. The end of the war saw the collapse of empires such as the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, Austrian Empire and German Empire. This called for a new international order that was unlike anything in modern history. The Treaty of Versailles was the first treaty to be certified at the Peace Conference as it “tried to regulate the new international order that had emerged in Europe as a result of the outcome of World War I” (Keleher et al.).

The four core delegates that put together this treaty were from France, Britain, United States and Italy. Their main and unanimous goal was figuring out the best way to stop Germany from causing any more harm. On June 28, 1919 the Treaty of Versailles was officially signed and the only great power not to sign it was the United States. What might be best known about this treaty is the harsh financial implications that it had for Germany. “The treaty’s provisions placed an extreme financial burden on Germany, thereby laying the foundation for another world conflict within a generation” (Keleher et al.). But there were also more implications for Germany such as a substantial loss of territory and disarmament.

Germans taking apart German war machines as part of the disarmament terms.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

President Woodrow Wilson was hoping that the inclusion of the League of Nations in the treaty would be enough to keep the peace. However, the Treaty of Versailles created a lot of bitterness and desire for something more in the German people. It left the door open for someone like Adolf Hitler to gain control. Almost inevitably, the next world war started in 1939 just twenty years after the signing. 

Video of the Peace Conference of Paris

Works Cited

Keleher, Edward P., and Lewis L. Gould. “Treaty of Versailles.” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2019. EBSCOhost,

Associated Place(s)

Event date:

18 Jan 1919 to 28 Jun 1919