Paris Peace Conference of 1919–20

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Paris Peace Conference of 1919–20

 

an international conference convened by the victorious powers to draw up and sign peace treaties with the states that had been defeated in World War I (1914–18). The Paris Peace Conference took place from Jan. 18, 1919, to Jan. 21, 1920 (with interruptions).

Among the participants in the Paris Peace Conference of 1919–20 were Great Britain, France, the USA, Italy, Japan, Belgium, Brazil, and the British dominions (Australia, Canada, the Union of South Africa, and New Zealand). The participants also included India, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hejaz, Honduras, China, Cuba, Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Siam, and Czechoslovakia, as well as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. Also among the participants were states that had broken off diplomatic relations with the German bloc (Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Uruguay). Germany and its former allies were admitted to the conference only after the drafts of the peace treaties had been completed. Soviet Russia was not invited to attend.

The conference rules ensured a dominating role for Great Britain, France, and the USA, the chief representatives of which (D. Lloyd George, G. Clemenceau, and W. Wilson) decided the major questions through secret negotiations. A number of treaties were prepared at the conference: the Peace Treaty of Versailles with Germany, signed June 28, 1919; the Treaty of St.-Germain with Austria, signed Sept. 10, 1919; the Treaty of Neuilly with Bulgaria, signed Nov. 27, 1919; the Treaty of Trianon with Hungary, signed June 4, 1920; and the Treaty of Sèvres with Turkey, signed Aug. 10, 1920. The conference adopted a resolution calling for the creation of the League of Nations, and it approved the Covenant of the League, which was included in the peace treaties.

Together with the agreements accepted at the Washington Conference of 1921–22, the peace treaties of 1919–20 prepared by the Paris Peace Conference laid the foundation for the imperialist Versailles-Washington system. The chief participants at the conference discussed plans to suppress Soviet power in Russia and planned a number of measures to support the White Guards and form a cordon of hostile states around the Soviet state. The map of the world as redrawn by the conference gave rise to very acute international contradictions that were later among the causes of World War II (1939–45).

PUBLICATIONS

Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1919: Paris Peace Conference, vols. 1–6, 8–12. Washington, D.C., 1942–47.

REFERENCES

Istoriia diplomatii, 2nd ed., vol. 3. Moscow, 1965.
Shtein, B. E. ”Russkii vopros” na Parizhskoi mirnoi konferentsii (1919–1920 gg). Moscow, 1949.
Nicolson, H. Kak delalsia mir v 1919 g. Moscow, 1945. (Translated from English.)

A. I. STEPANOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.