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article imageThe Versailles Conference 99 years on

By Alexander Baron     Jan 18, 2014 in Politics
This year is the centenary of the end of the First World War. Today is the 99th anniversary of the peace conference that followed.
This year will see worldwide commemorations of the 100th anniversary of what was called at the time the war to end all wars. There is a lot already going on; the Imperial War Museum has launched an interactive website, and the National Archives at Kew have released digitised versions of one and a half million pages of war diaries from that conflict.
Immediately after the end of the war, a conference was held at Versailles; this opened 99 years ago today. Its ostensibly purpose was to ensure a just peace, and to form a league of nations that would prevent future wars. This became known cynically as the League of Notions; Al Stewart wrote a song on the theme which reflects it to a tee.
The three heavies at Versailles were David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of England; American President Woodrow Wilson; and Georges Clemenceau, Prime Minister of France. The conference resulted in the Treaty of Versailles signed June 28, 1919; the Treaty of Saint-Germain signed September 10, 1919; and several others.
The terms of the former were so harsh that they led to the Second World War, and would have even without the rise of Hitler.
With literally hundreds of regional conflicts since the end of the Great War in addition to the Second World War, some of them very large, it is clear that the so-called peace conference was an abject failure, and that later generations have learned precisely nothing from it.
More about First World War, The Great War, david lloyd george, war diares
 
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