Tuesday, October 09, 2012

World War One Wednesday

Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles

How did World War One end? Though the armistice/cease fire was signed on November 11th, 1918, it took six months of negotiations to hammer out the details of a treaty between Germany and the Allied Powers. (Other countries were dealt with, with individual treaties.) On June 28th, 1919, exactly five years to the day after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand that started the War to End All Wars, the Treaty of Versailles was signed in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, just outside Paris, France.

One of the most difficult points of the treaty called upon Germany (along with Austria and Hungary in their treaties) to accept the blame for starting the war. They were called upon to give up territorial concessions, as well as to make monetary reparations to those countries they had warred against. In addition, they were to disarm, and Emperor Wilhelm II would be tried as a war criminal.

None of these tenants of the Treaty of Versailles was enough to hamper Germany, as proved in just twenty years when Germany launched another military offensive that began World War II. Only a handful of years after Allied troops withdrew from the Rhineland (another tenant of the treaty) Hitler would march German soldiers against most of Europe once more.

Do you remember learning about World War One in school? Or, like me, do you feel your teachers glossed over this period of history in order to focus on the people and events of the Second World War? 


  1. For me, history in grade school concentrated on the Revolutionary War and Civil War. In high school it was World History though the focus was on ancient civilizations. Junior year in high school was Civics focused on voting, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights.

  2. I don't know if my teachers glossed over it, or if I went glassy eyed. As a kid, I didn't much care for history. Now I love it!