The Treaty of Versailles, 1919 World War I officially came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919. 32 countries had come together in Paris in January 1919 to hold a conference which would make peace after the First World War. It would be dominated by the big three: David Lloyd George representing Britain; Georges Clemenceau representing France; and Woodrow Wilson representing the USA. Germany was not invited. The Big Three wanted different things for Germany and disagreed on how harshly they were to be punished reflecting how their countries were treated in the war. They had to negotiate with each other until there was a compromise. This was difficult because Wilson was opposed to harsh punishment for Germany. The USA had not been involved in the war as long as Britain and France and had not received as much damage. He wanted to prevent another world war by creating the league of nations based on his fourteen points to ensure Germany would not be destroyed and that Germany shouldn’t be blamed for the war. Clemenceau aims were the harshest of the three — representing the damage Germany had done to France’s land and people and its threatening proximity. He wanted revenge and to punish Germany to return Alsace Lorraine to France, an independent Rhineland, no league of nations, Germany to pay huge reparations for the damage and losses caused, the disbandment of the German Army so that Germany would never be strong enough to attack France again. Lloyd George was an in-between. This reflected Britain which had little land damage, but high war losses. He wanted a punishment that would be tough enough to please those who wanted to make Germany pay, but would leave Germany strong enough to still trade, land for Britain’s Empire to safeguard Britain’s naval supremacy. When the Treaty of Versailles was ready, Germany was shown the document, but there was no negotiation, their rebuttal ignored. On 28th June 1919 the Delegates met at the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles near Paris and forced two German representatives to sign it. See part 2 to learn what the terms of the Treaty of Versailles were and the devastating effects it would have for the future of Germany. Watch our other videos to learn more. Get your copy of Simple History — World War I available on Amazon now.