Paris Peace Conference 1919: An Overview

The Big Four at the Paris Peace Conference, left to right: British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, Italian Premier Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, French Premier Georges Clemenceau, and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in Versailles on May 27, 1919. Photo: Public domain

In January 1919, the victorious powers: the British Empire, France, United States, Italy, and Japan gathered in Paris to impose their peace terms on the defeated German Empire, Austro-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Ottoman Empire. This was the first time in human history that such a large gathering of diplomats met in one location to chart a new course for humanity.

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson argued for open covenants meaning that the secret diplomacy of the major European powers which resulted in the …

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  1. Folks should read Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillan (Lloyd George’s granddaughter), , pp. 440-441. “When Venizelos reached out for Smyrna and its hinterland, he was going well beyond what could be justified in terms of self-determination. He was also putting Greece into a dangerous position. Taking the fertile valleys of western Asia Minor was perhaps necessary, as he argued, to protect the Greek colonies along the coast. From another perspective, though, it created a Greek province with a huge number of non-Greeks as well as a long line to defend against anyone who chose to attack from central Anatolia. His great rival General Metaxas, later dictator of Greece, warned of this repeatedly. ‘The Greek state is not today ready for the government and exploitation of so extensive a territory.’ Metaxas was right.”

    1. Or was it that Lloyd George’s granddaughter was simply telling the story with an eye toward soft-peddling the eventual treacherous betrayal of Greece by Great Britain and the other powers?

  2. All the Greeks who hate Brits are nostalgic for their own lost Ottoman franchises as 1919 ended the Ottoman EMpire.

    1. Nontas is being very short-sighted in his apparent defense of the British imperialist policies toward Greece.

      Britain did much over its 200 years of being a powerful nation to hurt the Greeks or to assist the Turks. My yiaya suffered in the 1916-1917 British-French starvation blockade of the Athens- Peloponnese area. She had no franchise. Neither did must of those who ended up being refugees from Asia Minor or those in a family of my Asia Minor in-laws who died.

    2. Sakelaris is another oxymoron. Why did they blockade Greece? In order to support the Venizelos 1917 coup which still today floods Salonica with Cretins. Why was Greece “betrayed” because like today’s Brexit they couldn’t make up their mind and brought back the king after the Venizelos coup? And where did the idea of “Neutralizing Greece” come from? The Crimean War. And it reappeared in the 1967 Prometheus Plan. And since you want to make it personal, Venizelos executed many of my relatives because they fought the Bulgarians in 1913, preventing his Balkan Entente. Not to mention his executing elected prime ministers. Metaxas and the Junta never did that! But somehow this Napoleonic goon is the paradigm of democracy? I saw Napoleonic because Napoleon was the model for most Latin Bolivarian Caudillos. And yet his uniate family dominates both major parties.

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