David Lloyd George, Georges Clemenceau, Woodrow Wilson
The Treaty of Versailles concluded the First World War. Signed between the Axis powers and the victorious Allies, it was drafted primarily by the “Big Three,” Britain, France, and the United States, represented by their leaders, David Lloyd George, Georges Clemenceau, and Woodrow Wilson, respectively. Signed at the Palace of Versailles, outside Paris, the treaty reflected the different positions of the victors. France looked to permanently end any future threat from Germany and exact vengeance for wartime losses, while President Wilson’s “Fourteen Points” offered a somewhat softer landing for Germany. The British government walked a fine line between its public’s demands for vengeance and its own concerns that Germany should remain a solid wall against Russia’s Communism. The final treaty imposed heavy reparation costs and territorial losses on Germany, however, and its severity played a role in the rise of Hitler and the Second World War.
From Jonathan F. Scott and Alexander Baltzly, Readings in European History since 1814. New York: F. S. Crofts & Co., 1930, pp. 546–50.