The Treaty of Versaille was the most important agreement, which came in 1919 from the Paris Peace Conference, which followed the end of the First World War. A new book, “The Treaty Of Versailles: A Concise History,” examines how this treatise was compiled and examines its mixed heritage. In his book The Economic Consequences of Peace, John Maynard Keynes called the Versailler Treaty a “Carthaginian peace,” a misguided attempt to destroy Germany in the name of French revanchism, instead of following the more just principles of lasting peace set out in President Woodrow Wilson`s fourteen points that Germany had agreed to the armistice. He said: “I believe that the campaign to secure the general costs of war from Germany was one of the most serious acts of political ignorance for which our statesmen have ever been responsible.”  Keynes had been the principal representative of the British Treasury at the Paris Peace Conference, using in his passionate arguments that he and others (including some American officials) had used in Paris.  He believed that the sums requested from Germany as reparations were several times greater than was possible for Germany and would lead to drastic instability. [viii] The opposition of the Senate cited Article 10 of the Treaty, which dealt with collective security and the League of Nations. This article, opponents argued, handed over the war powers of the U.S. government to the League Council. The resistance came from two groups: the “Irrversibles”, who in no way refused to join the League of Nations, and the “reservations”, led by the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Henry Cabot Lodge, who wanted amendments before ratifying the treaty. While President Lodge`s attempt to pass contract changes failed in September, he succeeded in November in tying 14 “reservations” to him. In a final vote on 19 March 1920, the Treaty of Versailler was not ratified by seven votes. Subsequently, the U.S.
government signed the Treaty of Berlin on August 25, 1921. This separate peace agreement with Germany provided that the United States would enjoy all the “rights, privileges, compensation, reparations or benefits” granted to it by the Treaty of Versaille, but did not mention the Federation of Nations, to which the United States had never joined. British military historian Correlli Barnett said the Treaty of Versaille was “extremely lenient with regard to the conditions of peace that Germany itself, in wanting to win the war, wanted to impose on the Allies.” Moreover, the fact of being confronted with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which Germany imposed in March 1918 on a defeated Russian SFSR, which took away a third of the Russian population (but mostly of the non-Russian ethnic group), half of russian industrial enterprises and one-tenth of Russian coal mines, coupled with compensation of six billion marks.  Finally, the German economy had been reduced to its pre-war status, even under the “cruel” conditions of the Treaty of Versaille. On November 11, 1918, when German leaders signed the armistice that ended hostilities during World War I, they believed that this vision, articulated by Wilson, would form the basis of any future peace treaty.