Primary History

British History: Draft Peace Treaty

  • Is There Peace?

    At the end of the First World War, which ended in 1918, the Allied countries (including Britain, America and France) were keen to create an international agreement that would secure permanent peace between them and Germany. They also wanted to punish Germany for causing the war in the first place.

    Although the armistice, signed on November 11 1918, had brought the fighting of the First World War to an end, it took six months of discussions at the Paris Peace Conference and several different drafts before the final peace treaty was signed.

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  • Peace Conference in Paris

    The discussions between the Allied powers - the representatives of 27 countries in all - began in Paris on January 18 1919. Because they were defeated in the war, Germany, Austria and Hungary were not allowed to be part of the discussions and neither was Russia, as it had already drawn up a peace treaty with Germany in 1918.

    By the end of the Peace Conference in Paris, however, only the representatives of the 'Big Three', namely the strongest nations among the Allies, were still part of the discussions - the Prime Minister of Britain, David Lloyd George; the Prime Minister of France, Georges Clemenceau; and the President of the United States of America, Woodrow Wilson.

  • David Lloyd George

    David Lloyd George was born in Manchester in 1863 to parents from Wales. After his father died, he and his family went to live with his uncle at Highgate cottage in the village of Llanystumdwy near Criccieth in North Wales, and Lloyd George lived there between 1864 and 1880.

    Lloyd George was Prime Minister of Britain between 1916 and 1922, and he had a very important role to play in leading Britain during the First World War and in the discussions on the peace treaty afterwards. Welsh was his first language, and to this day, he is the only Welsh speaker to become Prime Minister of Britain.

    This draft World War I Peace Treaty was Lloyd George's personal copy, and he has signed it on the front. This version was completed by May 5, 1919. The title 'Conditions of Peace' is seen clearly in English and French on the front cover too.

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  • Museum in Llanystumdwy

    This draft World War I Peace Treaty is on display in the Lloyd George Museum in Llanystumdwy. The museum traces the life of Lloyd George from 1863 to 1945 by means of a number of interesting objects and items that belonged to him personally.

    Highgate cottage is also open to the public, and it has been furnished to look exactly as it would have been when Lloyd George lived there as a child, between 1864 and 1880.

    Another important item related to the First World War that is to be seen in the Lloyd George Museum is a laurel wreath that was thrown into an open vehicle in which Lloyd George was sitting with King George when he returned to London after signing the Peace Treaty of Versailles. The vehicle was driven through the happy crowds and the wreath was thrown at the Prime Minister as a sign of victory.

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