Georges Clemenceau: A Political Biography

By David Robin Watson | Go to book overview

17

THE VERSAILLES TREATY

I THE ARMISTICE

The sudden collapse of the enemy powers in the late summer of 1918 presented the Allies with the task of preparing armistice terms, a situation for which they had made no provision. Even in August it still seemed most likely that a campaign would be needed in 1919. Then, in quick succession, came the Bulgarian request for an armistice, and on 5 October the German and Austrian notes to President Wilson demanding an armistice on the basis of the Fourteen Points. Bulgaria was out of the war by 29 September, Turkey by 31 October, Austria-Hungary by 3 November and Germany on II November. Only the German armistice produced much top-level negotiation among the Allies. 1 The Allies were uncertain about how far Germany could be pushed, as her fighting capacity had by no means disappeared. At the same time they were determined not to give terms allowing the German army time to withdraw to a better defensive position from which it could resume the war. Thus their minimum terms were to ensure that the Germans would be unable to resume war, and to provide the main desiderata of the eventual peace settlement. This introduced the question of the nature of the peace terms and these negotiations between the Allies foreshadowed their conflicts about the terms to be imposed on Germany during the peace negotiations themselves. The situation was complicated by the fact that the Germans

____________________
1
The best study of the armistice with Germany is now P. Renouvin, L'Armistice de Rethondes (1968). F. Maurice, The Armistices of 1918 (1943), is a useful collection of the texts of the various armistices. Cf. also H. I. Nelson, Land and Power, British and Allied policy on Germany's frontiers, 1916-1919 (1963), pp. 53-87, S. P. Tillmann, Anglo-American Relations at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 (1961), pp. 39-54, and D. R. Watson, 'The making of the treaty of Versailles', in N. Waites (ed.), Troubled Neighbours, Franco-British Relations in the Twentieth Century (1971).

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Georges Clemenceau: A Political Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Georges Clemenceau - A Political Biography *
  • Contents 5
  • Illustrations *
  • Acknowledgements 11
  • Part One - Childhood, Youth and the Commune I84i-1871 *
  • 1 - Childhood and Youth 15
  • 2 - The Commune 34
  • Part Two - The Radical Attack I87i-1889 *
  • 3 - Challenger from the Left 59
  • 4 - Clemenceau versus Ferry 81
  • 5 - Boulangism 101
  • Part Three - Defeat and Resurgence I889-1906 *
  • 6 - Panama 117
  • 7 - The Dreyfus Affair 138
  • Part Four - The First Ministry I906-1909 *
  • 8 - Minister of the Interior 167
  • 9 - Clemenceau as Premier 183
  • 10 - Clemenceau as Strike-Breaker 200
  • 11 - Foreign Policy 215
  • Part Five - Opposition I909-1917 *
  • 12 - In Opposition before the War 237
  • 13 - Opposition in Wartime 249
  • Part Six - Pere-La-Victoire I9i7-1918 *
  • 14 - Second Ministry: Domestic Politics 275
  • 15 - Military Strategy 293
  • 16 - Russian Intervention and Victory 315
  • Part Seven - The Peace Settlement and after I9i8-1929 *
  • 17 - The Versailles Treaty 331
  • 18 - The Middle East and Russia 366
  • 19 - Domestic Politics and Last Years 380
  • Part Eight - Conclusion *
  • 20 - Conclusion 397
  • Appendices Sources and Bibliography Index *
  • Appendix I 411
  • Appendix II 414
  • Appendix III 416
  • Appendix IV 417
  • Appendix V 424
  • Appendix VI 428
  • Appendix VII 434
  • Sources and Bibliography 438
  • Index 455
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