In 1919, this treaty imposed strict conditions on Germany, forcing them to take responsibility for the war and pay huge sums of money for the damage of the war, as described above. In January 1919, two months after the end of the fighting of the First World War, a conference was convened at Versailles, the former domain of the French monarchy outside Paris, to draw up the terms of a peace treaty to officially end the conflict. Although representatives of almost… The treaty is considered so important in the field of international relations that a replica hangs at the United Nations headquarters. The leaders of the «Big Four» of the victorious Western nations – Wilson of the United States, David Lloyd George of the United Kingdom, Georges Clemenceau of France and, to a lesser extent, Vittorio Orlando of Italy – dominated the peace negotiations in Paris. Germany and the other defeated powers, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey were not represented at the conference; Russia was also not one of the allies until 1917, when the country`s new Bolshevik government made a separate peace with Germany and withdrew from the conflict. But before November 1918, when Russia was involved in a civil war, its former allies were worried about Bolshevik ambitions. The new independent countries of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have also expressed concern and called on allied governments to provide support. In Britain, ideas of aid were counterbalanced by the fear of being drawn into a foreign conflict, with further loss of life. The ceasefire agreement stipulated that German troops in the Baltics should remain in the region as a precaution against Bolshevism. After the ceasefire, the number of Allied troops in the region increased.
The reasons for this commitment had changed, but they were still on the verge of losing lives. Many women also had to return to domestic life when men returned home as a result of a law called the 1919 Restoration of Pre-War Practices Act. It was not until the Second World War, in 1939, that many women returned to these industrial occupations. This is the time of resolution for the peace conference, where Allied leaders are able to demonstrate their determination and unity at the time of signing the treaty, as well as their political power. The stage is the dazzling hall of the mirrors of Versailles, erected by Louis XIV at a huge cost as a demonstration of his political power. Above their heads is the caption «The Roy Governs by himself» (the king governs alone), a sharp reference to the conference`s interminable quarrels, with Germany claiming that it was unable to respect the sentences imposed and the allies unable to agree on a compromise.