Develop an argument that evaluates the extent to which the 1919 Paris Peace Conference after World War I was a success or a failure.

Sample Answer

Sample Answer



Evaluating the 1919 Paris Peace Conference: Success or Failure?

The 1919 Paris Peace Conference, held in the aftermath of World War I, was a pivotal event that aimed to establish a new world order and prevent future conflicts. This conference led to the creation of the Treaty of Versailles, which outlined the terms of peace and imposed significant penalties on Germany. The extent to which the Paris Peace Conference was a success or a failure remains a topic of debate among historians. This essay will evaluate the outcomes of the conference and argue that while it had some successes, it ultimately fell short of achieving lasting peace.

Thesis Statement:

The 1919 Paris Peace Conference can be seen as both a success and a failure. While it successfully addressed some immediate issues and established the League of Nations, its failure to address underlying causes of future conflicts and its harsh treatment of Germany contributed to the seeds of discontent that would lead to World War II.

Successes of the Paris Peace Conference:

1. Establishment of the League of Nations: One of the key achievements of the Paris Peace Conference was the creation of the League of Nations, an international organization aimed at maintaining peace and resolving disputes diplomatically. The League of Nations represented a significant step towards international cooperation and collective security.

2. Redrawing of National Borders: The conference led to the redrawing of national borders in Europe, with the creation of new states such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. This restructuring aimed to address ethnic and nationalist aspirations, promoting self-determination for various groups.

3. Accountability for War Crimes: The Treaty of Versailles included provisions for holding individuals accountable for war crimes and atrocities committed during the war. This marked a significant step towards establishing international norms and responsibilities for acts of aggression.

Failures of the Paris Peace Conference:

1. Harsh Treatment of Germany: The Treaty of Versailles imposed heavy penalties on Germany, including massive reparations, territorial losses, and military restrictions. This punitive approach humiliated Germany and fueled resentment, creating a sense of injustice that would later contribute to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the outbreak of World War II.

2. Failure to Address Root Causes: The Paris Peace Conference failed to address some of the underlying causes of conflict, such as nationalism, economic instability, and unresolved territorial disputes. The failure to create a sustainable framework for peace left unresolved tensions that would eventually erupt into another global conflict.

3. Limited Scope of Inclusion: The conference was dominated by the Allied powers, particularly France, Britain, and the United States, with limited representation from defeated nations and smaller states. This lack of inclusivity undermined the legitimacy of the peace settlement and hindered its long-term effectiveness.


In conclusion, the 1919 Paris Peace Conference can be viewed as a mixed outcome, with both successes and failures. While it achieved some important milestones such as the establishment of the League of Nations and national self-determination, its shortcomings in addressing root causes of conflict and its punitive treatment of Germany set the stage for future instability. Ultimately, the Paris Peace Conference was a missed opportunity to create a lasting and just peace, underscoring the complexities and challenges of post-war diplomacy.


This question has been answered.

Get Answer