British wartime Prime Minister David Lloyd George had a pretty big say on what went down at the Paris Peace Conference. This was good for Britain but bad for you, because you now have to remember everything he wanted. Ready to learn? Fabulous.
Many people in Britain wanted revenge on Germany for WWI, including the hanging of the Kaiser as well as compensation payments. And so, Lloyd George went into the Paris Peace Conference prepared to accept a compromise peace.
The PM was in favour of hanging the Kaiser, and punishing Germany for starting the war. He also wanted to disarm Germany and weaken its Navy to avoid a future threat to Britain. On top of this, Lloyd George believed Germany should pay reparations for the damage caused by the war, and wanted to take German colonies and divide them amongst the victors. That being said, the PM also tried to avoid seeking revenge in order to resume trade with Germany and to keep it strong enough to be a buffer against the spread of Bolshevik Communism. This was because Lloyd George viewed Bolshevik Russia as a threat and to this end wanted to improve the defences of Eastern Europe.
For all the PM’s efforts, a number of British politicians were unhappy with the immediate outcomes of the Paris Peace Conference. To start, they thought the Versailles Treaty – one of the most important agreements to come out of the summit – had been too tough on Germany. They believed it had the potential to cause a future war, and that a strong Germany was required to prevent the spread of Soviet Bolshevism. On top of this, Britain needed Germany as a trading partner and Europe needed Germany to prevent the Western spread of Soviet Communism.
French President Georges Clemenceau also had a pretty big impact on the Paris Peace Conference. Going into the summit, he wanted to punish Germany for the devastation of France, take back Alsace and Lorraine, take land from the Rhineland and divide Germany. He also wanted to disarm Germany, share German colonies amongst the victors, and collect reparations for the damage caused to France and Belgium. So, a lot. Clemenceau wanted to punish Germany so badly because most of the fighting on the Western Front took place in northern France, devastating an area the size of Wales.