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1919 and All That: The Treaty of Versailles and "Appeasement" at the Paris Peace Conference

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`The Peace to End Peace. . . was signed . . .in the ever-memorable Chamber of Horrors at Versailles’ —Sellar and Yeatman, 1066 and All That.

Despite later historiography, the popular impression of the Treaty of Versailles still largely reflects the powerful negative image of `the Carthaginian peace’ portrayed at the time by J. M. Keynes in The Economic Consequences of the Peace as `one of the most outrageous acts of a cruel victor in civilised history’. Flagging up some of the counter-arguments, this survey includes, among the geopolitical realities underlying the Treaty, the strong undercurrent of `appeasement’ in the British delegation at the Peace Conference which helped to drive revisionism and to sustain the enduring verdict on Versailles.

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Humanities Society talks series.

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