Reactions of victors and defeated powers


  • They had wanted and expected a much harsher settlement imposed on Germany

  • They feared that the settlement left Germany stable/strong economically and politically

> This led to French foreign policy being dominated by the fear that Germany may threaten France’s security


  • They felt increasingly isolated as they were not invited to send representatives to the peace conference and was not consulted about the peace settlement terms

> Britain and France argued that Russia had no right to attend the conference after they signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

> They also refused to have diplomatic relations with Russia’s Bolshevik Government as they were fearful of a revolution


  • Britain largely achieved it's aims, although Lloyd George believed the punishment inflicted on Germany was too harsh.


  • The peace settlement was a major disappointment to the Italians

  • The major decisions were made by the ‘Big Three’

> The Italian delegation were ignored and humiliated

  • Its claims to parts of Albania, Fiume, Dalmatia, Adalia and parts of the Aegean Islands were denied

> They were unhappy as they felt that other countries, namely Yugoslavia, gained at the expense of Italy


  • Majority of the public were opposed to the settlement

> Many Americans believed it was too harsh and would provoke Germany to take revenge in the future

  • Many argued that joining the League of Nations would involve USA in future wars

  • The US Senate, dominated by Republicans against Wilson, did not agree to the settlement, and signed their own treaty with Germany


  • The settlement was seen as a national catastrophe

> Their country was largely reduced in size and their economy was severely damaged


  • They resented the settlement as they no longer controlled its once great Ottoman empire and were under the control of the Allied army

Austria and Hungary

  • They were angered by the settlement as it divided the territories of the Habsburg Empire between newly formed nation states

  • They thought that the victors created new boundaries without regard to cultural, ethnic and linguistic factors

  • They were upset as their request for plebiscites were ignored


  • The settlement caused great resentment in Germany

  • German representatives were not allowed to attend the peace talks, which made Germans feel like a ‘diktat’ or forced peace was being forced upon them

  • The terms were not based on the Fourteen Points like they had hoped

  • They felt vulnerable as their army was reduced, and their military equipment was limited

  • Germany’s African colonies were taken over by Britain, France and South Africa

  • Millions of Germans would be living under foreign rule in countries such as Czechoslovakia and Poland

  • Germans were angry as they were forced to sign the ‘War Guilt Clause’, even though they were not the only country to start arming prior to the war

  • The amount of reparations they had to pay was extremely high, which they felt was impossible to pay


  • They became involved in territorial disputes, as they were bordering Italy, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania

  • Yugoslavia remained weak and vulnerable, despite their friendly agreements with other nations (e.g. “The Little Entente” with Czechoslovakia, Romania and France, 1924, as well as an alliance with Greece, Romania and Turkey)

  • They had backward agricultural methods and a limited industry, which made them heavily reliant on Western loans


  • Fewer than 18 million, in their population of 27 million, were Poles, while more than 1 million were German

  • There were 14 political parties in Poland, which meant that attempts to retain democracy led to weak/unstable governments

  • Due to border disputes, conflict rose between Poland and Germany, Czechoslovakia, Lithuania and Russia

> Poland wanted more land beyond the agreement made at the Paris Peace Conference

> The Treaty of Riga added a strip of land to Poland’s eastern borders


  • The German speaking populations of Bohemia, Moravia and the Sudetenland claimed they were being discriminated against


  • They were landlocked and most of their industrially productive areas were given to Poland and Czechoslovakia under the terms of the Treaty of Saint-Germain

  • They were reliant on foreign loans and inflation was high, which led to political instability

  • Under the Treaty of Versailles, they were forbidden from anschluss with Germany, which they thought would be the solution to their problems

> Foreign loans were only given in response to Austria committing to not uniting with Germany


  • The aftermath of WW1 led to political chaos in Hungary

  • Under the post-war settlements, Hungary lost two-thirds of its population and a lot of its industrial land to Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia

  • Hungary suffered from major economic problems, and heavily relied on foreign loans