This guide was
published by Sempringham in the new perspective journal
Sempringham eLearning resources The Study Centre About us Contact us
The Versailles Settlement,
The nature of the topic
The Paris Peace Conference is one of the great set-pieces of modern history and the resulting Versailles Settlement is a common topic at AS and A Level. You need a thorough knowledge of the contents of the treaties that comprise the Settlement, and of the interpretations that seek to make sense of them. You must also be familiar with the negotiations that preceded them and with their consequences. It is best, therefore, to study Versailles as an integral party of European diplomacy, 1918-39.
The vital first steps
It is essential to acquire a sound factual knowledge before attempting to answer particular essay questions. That means compiling a detailed set of notes. These should be most thorough on the Treaty of Versailles itself; but do not forget that the umbrella term ‘Settlement’ includes the treaties with the other defeated Powers as well. (You will need precise details but also convenient generalisations, for instance on the percentage of her European landmass that Germany lost.) You also need to be aware of the general context in which the treaties were produced, including the unexpected end of the war and the atmosphere in Paris, and of the process by which they were hammered out.
Once you’ve grasped the basic issues, you can ask the sort of awkward questions which test out, and add to, historical knowledge. These include the following:
Reading Suggestions. A good starting point is provided by the final two chapters in Vyvyen Brendon’s The First World War (Hodder & Stoughton, 2000). More detailed is David Williamson, War and Peace: International Relations 1914-45 (Hodder & Stoughton, 1994) and Ruth Henig, Versailles and After, 1919-33 (Routledge, 1995). Anthony Lentin’s works on this topic include Lloyd George and the Lost Peace (Palgrave, 2001).
RETURN TO HOME/Index PAGE - www.history-ontheweb.co.uk AND www.ehistory.org.uk
www.history-ontheweb.co.uk - Index I The Study Centre I e-new perspective I Students' study guide
Exam and study advice for AS/A Modern History I Topic guides I Core concepts I The world of sources
Guide to History degree course selection I History and theory I New texts from publishers I GCSE Resource bank
ehistory.org.uk - the Sempringham eLearning resources portal: access to online lectures, Study Centre, eLearning guides …