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Designed especially for learners taking the ordinary level examinations in history in various countries around the world from the United Kingdom to Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe, the course gives the learner in-depth information on the following topics:

Peace Treaties 1919-23:

When all is said and done, the learner should confidently outline and discuss the peace treaties of 1919-23, the roles of individuals such as Woodrow Wilson, Georges Clemenceau and Lloyd George in the peacemaking process, the impact of the treaties on the defeated countries, contemporary opinions about the terms of the treaties.

League of Nations:

When all is said and done, the learner should confidently outline and discuss the League of Nations’ strengths and weaknesses in its structure and organisation, its successes and failures in peacekeeping during the 1920s, and the impact of the World Depression on the work of the League after 1929, the failures of the League in the 1930s, the increasing militarism of Italy and Japan, Abyssinia and Manchuria representative

The collapse of international peace:

When all is said and done, the learner should confidently outline and discuss the collapse of international order in the 1930s: the increasing militarism of Germany, Hitler’s foreign policy to 1939: the Saar, remilitarisation of the Rhineland, Anschluss with Austria, Appeasement, crises over Czechoslovakia and Poland, the outbreak of war.

The Cold War

When all is said and done, the learner should confidently outline and discuss the origins of the Cold War taking into account the 1945 summit conferences and the breakdown of the USA-USSR alliance in 1945-6 as well as the Soviet expansion into Eastern Europe to 1948 and American reactions to it including the occupation of Germany and the Berlin Wall / Blockade, the Cuban missile-crisis and the Vietnam War.

Section 1Peace Treaties 1919-1923
Lecture 1Lesson One An Introduction to Peace Treaties 1919-23Free Preview

Lesson One- Peace Treaties 1919-23

On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and within a week the war several other countries joined in on different sides thus beginning what eventually came to be known as World War I or the First World War.

On one side of the fighting in World War I, there was Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire (the Triple Alliance countries also called the Central Powers).

They fought against the other side which had against Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy and Japan (the Allied Powers or the Triple Entente in reference to the first three countries).

The Allied Powers were later joined in 1917 by the United States and for four years up to the victory of the Allied Powers in November 1918, there was massive destruction of infrastructure, cities and loss of lives which was made possible by the new fighting methods and new weapons such as machine guns, tanks and chemical weapons

The casualty figures vary according to different sources.

According to http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk, 65 million people were mobilised to take part in the fighting.

Of these, 8.5million were killed, 21million were wounded, 7.7million were either prisoners of war or went missing and this brought the total casualties to 37million.

The casualties were 57% of the total number of those who were mobilised.

Once the fighting was over it was time to focus on achieving peace and reconstructing the world.

This section of the syllabus focuses on the period 1919 to 1923 when the main powers in the victorious Allied Powers, namely Britain, France and the United States drew up treaties which were signed with the defeated countries.

This tutorial is primarily designed to fulfil the requirements of the Lesotho General Certificate of Secondary Education, History syllabus (code 0184) whose first examination was in November 2014.

Despite its primary objective of fulfilling the requirements of the Lesotho syllabus, the material presented here is never-the-less useful for learners taking examinations in other countries at the ordinary level including Namibia, the United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, South Africa and many others.

 

 

 

Lecture 2Lesson Two: The Big Three in the peace-making process: Woodrow WilsonFree Preview

Lesson Two

The Big Three in the peace-making process: Woodrow Wilson

At the end of the First World War the Allied Powers that defeated Germany met to discuss the post-war settlement.

Not surprisingly the discussions were dominated by the leaders of the big countries that had defeated Germany and its allies.

These were Woodrow Wilson (President of the United States of America), Georges Clemenceau (Prime Minister of France) and Lloyd George (Prime Minister of France).

Known as the Big Three, these leaders were responsible for drawing up and dictating the terms of the peace treaties.

As these lessons will show, coming from different countries which had been affected differently by the war, the Big Three had different aims and each of them did not get everything they wanted out of the peace treaties.

Woodrow Wilson:

America was furthest from Europe and did not suffer invasion or physical destruction in the same way that France did.

The war was fought far away from America and it did not have much effect on the lives of ordinary people although the American military participated and suffered casualties.

Naturally, Woodrow Wilson who had been a college professor had different expectations of the post-war settlement, moreso from France’s Georges Clemenceau whose country was invaded by Germany and suffered economic destruction, loss of lives and territory among other things.

As will be shown below, Wilson did not really have revenge and punishment in mind.

He had a more philosophical aims in mind including ensuring there would be no more future wars by setting up a League of Nations to settle disputes.

In summary, Wilson’s aims included among other things, a settlement where Germany was not destroyed as an economic, military and political power

He also wanted different nationalities in Eastern Europe to have the right to self-determination- in other words to rule themselves than to be part of the Ottoman or Austro-Hungarian empires.

He also wanted a settlement that would build democracy in the defeated nations as he believed this would help prevent future wars.

Lecture 3Lesson Three: Georges Clemenceau and Lloyd George in the peace-making processFree Preview

Lesson Three

The Big Three in the peace-making process: Georges Clemenceau and Lloyd George

Georges Clemenceau’s aims:

Unlike Woodrow Wilson and America who were far removed from the main theatre of the war, the war was fought in France and consequently, France suffered so much damage in the form of lost lives, destruction of infrastructure and invasion and the economy was also destroyed.

Naturally, Georges Clemenceau had different expectations of the post-war settlement, moreso from the United States’ Woodrow Wilson whose country was not invaded and bombed to the ground in certain areas.

As will be shown below, revenge and punishment for Germany and her allies was high on Clemenceau’s agenda.

Instead of philosophical aims of achieving world peace through international co-operation, Clemenceau had a more or less single-minded determination to weaken Germany to an extent where it would never threaten France again.

His aims are captured below:

  • He wanted revenge and to punishment for Germany for the invasion of France, destruction of infrastructure, loss of territory, lives and economic ruin.
  • He wanted to ensure Germany could not attack France ever again and he thought this could be best achieved by splitting Germany into small states or by taking away land such as the Rhineland, Saarland, Upper Silesia, Danzig and East Prussia.
  • He also wanted to achieve that by weakening Germany’s industry, reducing its armed forces, navy and weapons.
  • He wanted Germany to return Alsace-Lorraine to France which was annexed in 1871.
  • He wanted Germany to pay compensation for the losses material losses France had suffered in the war.

Lloyd George

Britain was an island which was not affected by the war in the same way that France which was on the continent of Europe was.

Britain certainly suffered casualties and economically but not as much France which suffered so much damage in the form of lost lives, destruction of infrastructure and invasion and the economy was also destroyed.

Naturally, Lloyd George’s expectations of the post-war settlement were not the same as those of Georges Clemenceau of France.

There were some similar aims though.

Lecture 4Lesson Four Territorial terms of the Treaty of Versailles with GermanyFree Preview

Lesson Four Territorial terms of the Treaty of Versailles with Germany

 

In this lesson it is important to remember that we should study, recall and state the territorial terms of the Treaty of Versailles in order to use that knowledge to:

  • argue how far this treaty was fair to Germany
  • argue how far this treaty was unfair to Germany
  • explain the overall impact of the treaty on Germany
  • explain the overall impact of the treaty on Europe and the world

 

The Territorial terms of the Treaty of Versailles

  • Alsace-Lorraine was given back to France
  • The Saar coalfields were given to France for 15 years
  • The Rhineland was demilitarised – the German army was not allowed to go there.
  • Malmedy was given to Belgium
  • North Schleswig was given to Denmark (after a plebiscite)
  • West Prussia (including the ‘Polish corridor’) and Upper Silesia were given to Poland.
  • Danzig was made a ‘free city’.
  • Memel was given to Lithuania.
  • Forbade Anschluss (union) between Germany and Austria.
  • Made Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania independent states.
  • German colonies were made ‘mandates’ of the League of Nations, to be looked after by France (Cameroons), Britain (Tanganyika), Japan (islands in the Pacific), Australia (New Guinea) and New Zealand (Samoa)

The Territorial terms of the Treaty of Versailles were fair because:

  • It gave back to France the provinces of Alsace-Lorraine which were taken away from her after she was defeated in war by Germany in 1871.
  • It gave to France the Saar coalfields for 15 years to help its economy to recover from the impact of the war which was blamed on Germany.
  • The removal of German soldiers from the Rhineland (demilitarisation) would ensure that Germany would not be easily able to attack and invade France in future as it had already done in 1870 and 1914.
  • It gave back North Schleswig to Denmark which was taken away from her after she was defeated by Germany (Prussia) and Austria in war in 1864.
  • It gave back North Schleswig to Denmark after a referendum which confirmed that the majority wanted re-unification with Denmark.
Lecture 5Lesson Five Military and Economic terms of the Treaty of VersaillesFree Preview

Lesson Five Military and Economic terms of the Treaty of Versailles

 

The Military terms of the Treaty of Versailles

  • The German army was reduced to only 100 000 soldiers
  • Conscription was prohibited and only volunteers could become soldiers
  • Germany was only allowed six battleships
  • Germany was banned from owning submarines and aeroplanes
  • The Rhineland had to be de-militarised

 

The Military terms of the Treaty of Versailles were fair because:

  • The removal of German soldiers from the Rhineland (demilitarisation) meant that Germany would not be easily able to attack and invade France in future as it had already done in 1870 and 1914.
  • The reduction of the size of the German army and the ban on having a navy and an air force meant that Germany would not be able to easily attack weaker countries as it had done when it invaded Belgium in 1914

 

The Military terms of the Treaty of Versailles were unfair because:

  • The removal of German soldiers from the Rhineland (demilitarisation) meant that Germany would not be able to defend itself in the event of an attack especially by France.
  • The reduction of the size of the German army and the ban on having a navy and an air force meant that Germany would not be able to easily defend itself in the event of an attack by any country
  • The reduction of the size of the German army and the ban on having a navy and an air force also contributed to the unemployment problem as thousands of soldiers had to be retrenched while arms factories would have to close down and retrench workers

 

Lecture 6Lesson Six: The terms of the Treaty of St Germain with AustriaFree Preview

Lesson Six: The terms of the Treaty of St Germain with Austria

In this lesson it is important to remember that we should study, recall and state the territorial, military, economic and other terms of the Treaty of St Germain in order to use that knowledge to:

  • argue how far this treaty was fair to Austria
  • argue how far this treaty was unfair to Austria
  • explain the overall impact of the treaty on Austria
  • explain the overall impact of the treaty on Europe and the world

 

The Territorial terms of the Treaty of St. Germain:

  • The Treaty formally dissolved the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
  • The Treaty recognised the independence of Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia.
  • Italy gained the Tyrol and Trentino in the North, and Istria and Trieste in the Northeast.
  • Czechoslovakia gained the Sudetenland (German speaking), the Czech provinces and Slovakia.
  • Serbia was given various states in the Balkans: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia and Dalmatia, to form the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
  • Austria lost Galicia to Poland.
  • Austria only received Burgenland from Hungary.
  • The Anschluss (unification of Austria and Germany) was expressly forbidden.
  • Austria was forced to settle for the name Austria after it was denied permission to call itself by its preferred name German Austria as the victorious Allied Powers sought to ensure there would be no links between Austria and Germany.
  • All in all, what had been the Austro-Hungarian empire of 30 million people which covered 116 000 square miles was reduced to small land-locked republic with a population of just 6 million and covering just 32400 square miles.

 

The Territorial terms of the Treaty of St. Germain were fair because:

  • The dissolution of the Austrian empire gave some nationalities their freedom from Austria and the opportunity to become the independent states of Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia.
  • It gave Italy Tyrol and Trentino in the North, and Istria and Trieste in the Northeast. This was fair because Italy had been under Austrian rule for centuries until it was unified in 1870 but some Italian speaking had remained outside the new nation.
  • Austria also received some territory when it was given Burgenland which was taken from Hungary.
Lecture 7Lesson Seven: The terms of the Treaty of Trianon with HungaryFree Preview

Lesson Seven: The terms of the Treaty of Trianon with Hungary

In this lesson it is important to remember that we should study, recall and state the territorial terms of the Treaty of Trianon in order to use that knowledge to:

  • argue how far this treaty was fair to Hungary.
  • argue how far this treaty was unfair to Hungary.
  • explain the overall impact of the treaty on Hungary.
  • explain the overall impact of the treaty on Europe and the world.

 

The Territorial terms of the Treaty of Trianon:

  • The Austro-Hungarian Empire was dismantled and Hungary became a republic.
  • Hungary lost Slovakia, Pressburg and Ruthenia to Czechoslovakia.
  • Hungary lost most of Banat and all of Transylvania to Romania.
  • Hungary lost Burgenland to Austria.
  • Hungary lost Slovenia and Croatia to Yugoslavia.
  • Hungary lost Fiume to Italy.

 

The Territorial terms of the Treaty of Trianon were fair because:

  • The dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire gave some nationalities their freedom and the opportunity to become the independent states of Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia.
  • The treaty took away Slovenia and Croatia from Hungary to form the nation of Yugoslavia which was fair because most of the people in these areas were of the Slav nationality and they were ethnically different from the Hungarians.
  • The treaty took away Slovakia, Pressburg and Ruthenia to form the nation of Yugoslavia which was fair because many people in these areas were of the Slav nationality and they were different from the Hungarians.

 

The Territorial terms of the Treaty of Trianon were unfair because:

  • Hungary lost two thirds of its territory and at least half of its population to the newly created states.
  • Hungary lost at least one third of its ethnic Hungarian population and this was unfair because it violated the Allied Powers’ own principle of allowing people of the same nationality to have their own state.

Hungary lost its seaports industry, railways and other infrastructure which were in the territories that it was forced to give up.

Lecture 8Lesson Eight: The terms of the Treaty of Neuilly with Bulgaria Free Preview

Lesson Eight: The terms of the Treaty of Neuilly with Bulgaria

In this lesson it is important to remember that we should study, recall and state the territorial terms of the Treaty of Neuilly in order to use that knowledge to:

  • Argue how far this treaty was fair to Bulgaria.
  • Argue how far this treaty was unfair to Bulgaria.
  • Explain the overall impact of the treaty on Bulgaria.
  • Explain the overall impact of the treaty on Europe and the world.

 

The Territorial terms of the Treaty of Neuilly:

  • Thrace was awarded to Greece which resulted in Bulgaria losing its access to the Aegean Sea that it had gained in the First Balkan War in 1913.
  • Bulgaria had to give up Macedonia to the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (which became Yugoslavia in 1929).
  • Bulgaria had to give up Southern Dobruja to Romania.

 

The Territorial terms of the Treaty of Neuilly were fair because:

  • The loss of Thrace to Greece was fair because this enabled the Greek population in that area to come under the rule of Greece in line with Allied Powers’ principle of allowing people of the same nationality to have their own state.
  • The return Southern Dobruja to Romania was fair because Bulgaria was only giving back a territory it had captured during the World War.
  • Bulgaria was forced to recognise the existence of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia).

 

The Territorial terms of the Treaty of Neuilly were unfair because:

  • The loss of Thrace to Greece resulted in Bulgaria losing its access to the Aegean Sea which was important for facilitating trade.
  • The treaty placed many Bulgarians under Greek rule and this was unfair because it violated the Allied Powers’ own principle of allowing people of the same nationality to have their own state.
  • Bulgaria lost valuable infrastructure in the territories that it was forced to give up.
  • The loss of territories was accompanied by the loss of population of up to 300 000 people.
Lecture 9Lesson Nine: The terms of the Treaties of Sevres and Lausanne with Turkey Free Preview

Lesson Nine: The terms of the Treaties of Sevres and Lausanne with Turkey

In this lesson it is important to remember that we should study, recall and state the territorial terms of the Treaties of Sevres and Lausanne in order to use that knowledge to:

  • argue how far these treaties was fair to Turkey.
  • argue how far these treaties was unfair to Turkey.
  • explain the overall impact of the treaties on Turkey.
  • explain the overall impact of the treaties on Europe and the world.

 

The Territorial terms of the Treaty of Sevres:

  • The treaty abolished the Turkish Empire also known as the Ottoman Empire.
  • Turkey lost Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Palestine which became British mandates under the League Nations.
  • Turkey lost Syria and Lebanon which became a French mandates under the League of Nations.
  • Turkey was forced to grant autonomy to Kurdistan.
  • Turkey lost Armenia which became a separate republic under international guarantees.
  • Turkey lost Smyrna (modern Izmir) which was placed under Greek administration.
  • Turkey lost parts of Eastern Thrace and the Aegean islands to Greece.
  • Turkey lost Dodecanese and Rhodes to Italy.

 

The Territorial terms of the Treaty of Sevres were fair because:

  • The dissolution of the Turkish Empire confirmed what had looked like happening even before World War One because instability had resulted in the Empire being labelled the “Sick Man of Europe”.
  • The dissolution of the Turkish Empire gave autonomy to some ethnic groups/nationalities like the Kurds in Kurdistan.
  • The treaty gave Armenia the right to become a separate republic with international guarantees.