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Paris Peace Conference

Explain how the Paris Peace Conference revised the European map and established the League of Nations, and explain why the united States did not sign the Treaty of Versailles.

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Twenty-seven nations were present at the Paris Peace Conference, but all the major decisions were made solely by the representatives of the Big Four - David Lloyd George (Britain), Georges Clemenceau (France), Woodrow Wilson (United States) and Vittorio Orlando (Italy). Each power claimed to be a liberal democracy, but each nation's representative followed his own agenda.

Despite such friction, some non-contentious issues were settled fairly quickly. On January 25, the peace conference endorsed the principle of setting up a League of Nations, a body charged with resolving international disputes and preventing future wars. In the aftermath of such a bloody conflict, nobody was going to object to the formation of such an organization. However, giving the League the powers it needed to conduct its work would prove to be more difficult.

The conference also endorsed several faits accomplis. A number of new states - Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia - had come into existence at the end of the war, and the conference confirmed their right to exist. It did not create these states but offered them a useful degree of legitimacy and recognition.

However, the principle of self-determination was unevenly ...

Solution Summary

Paris Peace Conference changed Europe and established the League of Nations. Why the United States did not sign the Treaty of Versailles.