The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 was an international conference, organized by the victors of the World War I for negotiating the peace treaties between the Allied and Associated Powers and their former enemies. The conference opened on January 18, 1919 and lasted until January 21, 1920 with a few intervals.
The following treaties were prepared at the Paris Peace Conference:
- Germany (Treaty of Versailles, 1919, June 28, 1919),
- Austria (Treaty of Saint-Germain, September 10, 1919),
- Bulgaria (Treaty of Neuilly, November 27, 1919),
- Hungary (Treaty of Trianon, June 4, 1920),
- Palestine (Faisal-Weizmann Agreement, January 3, 1919), and the
- Ottoman Empire (Treaty of Sèvres, 10 August, 1920; subsequently revised by the Treaty of Lausanne, July 24, 1923).
The Paris peace treaties, together with the accords of the Washington Naval Conference of 1921-1922, laid the foundations for the so-called Versailles-Washington system of international relations. The remaking of the world map at these conferences gave birth to a number of critical conflict-prone international contradictions, which would become one of the causes of World War II.
The decision to create the League of Nations and the approval of its Charter both took place during the conference.
The 'Big Three': David Lloyd George of Britain, Georges Clemenceau of France and Woodrow Wilson of the United States of America played a predominant role at the conference and pretty much predetermined its outcome in the course of their secret negotiations.
The countries that took part were:
The last four were not participants in the war but had severed their diplomatic relations with the Central Powers. Germany and its former allies were allowed to attend the conference only after the details of all the peace treaties had been elaborated and agreed upon. Soviet Russia was not invited to attend the conference.
Ireland sent representatives in the hope of achieving self-determination and legitimizing the Republic declared after the Easter Rising in 1916 but had little success.