1. In 1919, Europe had just been through a devastating war,
which left political, social, and economic turmoil in its wake. The
war also had a considerable impact on the Middle East and parts of
Asia and Africa. What were the main issues and concerns facing the
peacemakers in 1919?
2. Some historians-Arno Mayer, for example-have argued that the
peacemakers of 1919 were determined to prevent the spread of
revolution westward from Russia. To what extent did fear of
Bolshevism shape the decisions made in Paris?
3. It has often been said that there was a gulf between Woodrow
Wilson and his new diplomacy, on one side, and the Europeans and
their old diplomacy on the other. Discuss what is meant by the new
and the old diplomacy. Was there in fact such a gulf?
4. What did Woodrow Wilson mean by "national
self-determination"? Why did some of his colleagues, such as Robert
Lansing, worry about it? What impact did the notion of
self-determination have? Was it easy to put into effect?
5. Each country in Paris had its own concerns and aims. Evaluate
the main interests that each of the major powers-France, Great,
Britain, Italy, Japan, and the United States-brought to the
6. The peace settlements, in particular the resolution with
Germany, have often been blamed for the outbreak of World War II.
Was the Treaty of Versailles as punitive, unfair, and vindictive as
has often been said?
7. Discuss the ways in which decisions made in Paris affected
China and Japan. Did the relationship between the two countries
grow better or worse as a result?
8. The Paris Peace Conference was the first major international
peace conference where the press was present in force. In addition,
the leaders of the powers had to pay attention to the views and
wishes of their electorates. How important was public opinion in
the making of the peace settlements after World War I?
9. A number of countries had designs on the territory of the
Ottoman empire after World War I, and the Ottoman empire itself was
in no position to fight back. Nevertheless, why did the Treaty of
Sèvres remain a dead letter? In what ways was the later Treaty of
10. During the war, the Allies-the British and the French in
particular-made a number of agreements and promises about the Arab
parts of the Ottoman empire. To what extent have those agreements
and the decisions made by the peacemakers about the Middle East had
an impact on developments there since?
11. Although Woodrow Wilson is often seen as the person
responsible for the League of Nations, many people, both in Europe
and North America, shared his goals. What was the League supposed
to accomplish? Why is it often described as a great experiment?