On 10 January 1920, the Treaty of Versailles came into effect. Signed the previous year, the treaty disarmed Germany as well as forcing them to make significant territorial concessions and pay reparations to the victorious Entente powers.
The treaty was controversial at the time, with the economist John Maynard Keynes writing:
“If we aim at the impoverishment of Central Europe, vengeance, I dare say, will not limp. Nothing can then delay for very long the forces of Reaction and the despairing convulsions of Revolution, before which the horrors of the later German war will fade into nothing, and which will destroy, whoever is victor, the civilisation and the progress of our generation.”
It was also criticised in France, but for the opposite reason of being too lenient on Germany. General Ferdinand Foch famously and presciently predicting that the treaty was "not peace. It is an Armistice for twenty years."
The photo below depicts the so-called Big Four of, going from left to right: British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, Italian diplomat Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, and US President Woodrow Wilson
Image source: Wikipedia
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