Skip to Main Content

Towards WWII: Treaty of Versailles

Treaty of Versailles | Definition, Summary, Terms, & Facts | BritannicaSource: Britannica

The Treaty of Versailles was a peace treaty that signalled the end of World War I. It outlined the conditions of German surrender, which included significant reparations, and it has often been credited with playing a significant role in the rise of Nazism in Germany.

Treaty of Versailles

Click this link to read through the full contents of the Peace Treaty of Versailles, signed on 28 June 1919 by Germany and the Allied powers at the Palace of Versailles.  A sizeable document, the treaty featured some 440 Articles, with the addition of numerous Annexes.

Treaty of Versailles 1919 (including Covenant of the League of Nations)

This was the first political treaty signed by Australian officials, and the first negotiated with direct participation by Australian government delegates. This was a major step in the recognition of Australia as an independent entity in international law.

At the time, treaties were regarded as either 'political' (mainly concerning relations between governments) or 'commercial' (mostly concerning the treatment of private persons or interests, particularly as regards business). Prior to 1919 the Australian Government was frequently not even consulted regarding political treaties, which were signed by Britain for its Dominions.

With the other three British Dominions, Australia was among the 32 signatories of the Treaty, and a founding member of the League of Nations it established. This newly defined status is indicated in the list of nations on page 18 of the Treaty, where the names of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa are indented under the 'British Empire'. The Treaty recognised a new status for these nations among all the colonies of Great Britain, as only fully self-governing nations could be members of the League of Nations.

German Peace Delegation at Versailles, France

Some images of the people and places involved with the Treaty of Versailles.

Boundaries of Germany Under Terms of Treaty

A picture showing the land Germany lost in WWI under the terms of the treaty

Demonstrations in Berlin Against Treaty Terms

These images show the protests that took place in Berlin against the harsh terms of the peace treaty.