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George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 7:38:34 AM
Quote:
What President Wilson faced was a Great Britain and France intent on not only revenge, but a pound of flesh. They are the ones who planted the seeds for WW II.



Such a simplistic analysis.

I mentioned that Wilson was rather naive. He did not understand how massive the negotiations surrounding the Treaty of Versailles would be. And he arrived with an agenda that was somewhat different and at odds with the creation of a treaty to guarantee peace in Europe.

The Big 4 (UK, France, USA, Italy) and later the Big 3 when Italy had a temper tantrum over the meagre spoils that it would attain and left, received deputations from ethnic groups all over the world who wanted borders adjusted to reflect their wishes. Even Ho Chi Minh was in Paris to make his pitch for autonomy. Restructuring the world map proved to be a daunting task especially since the Big 3 were often dealing with groups with whom they had no familiarity. For the Europeans, this distracted them from the goal which was to make sure that Germany could never again create the kind of chaos that had been experienced since 1914.

The UK and France both faced enormous war debt and France had seen its infrastructure destroyed by Germany. When the German delegation boarded the train for the trip to Paris, the train was slowed to a crawl to allow the German delegates to see what they had wrought. It was a clear message that the French were angry. The German delegation could see the path of destruction on the way to Paris.

Plus only 50 years before the French had fought a war with the Prussians, in 1870. And they had lost. The result was a loss of a position of predominance on the continent for the French. And the German nation was united.

But Germany also exacted reparations from the French that were extreme and costly. France had to pay an indemnity of 5 billion francs (1 billion dollars) and German troops continued to occupy parts of France until the indemnity was paid. The final payment was made in 1873 and that is when the German troops left France.
As well, Germany annexed Alsace and Lorraine from France. To add insult to injury, Germany conducted a victory parade through the Arc de Triomphe.

Bismarck said that the only way to maintain control of France was to "empty its pockets".

Perhaps we can understand the French desire for retribution and to keep Germany poor and with an ineffective military. It was a tactic similar to the one employed by Germany in 1871.

The USA suffered comparatively little and had not had as significant a role in the victory as many other countries had.

The US had floated loans to the two countries that did the bulk of the fighting. And so Britain and France brought a different mindset with them to the negotiations than did Pres. Wilson.

None of the leaders of the Big 3 were fully content with the Treaty of Versailles. They had been given good reason to fear a strong Germany and perhaps that explains their response in negotiations

Wilson was unhappy because the Treaty did not address many of his 14 points. He wanted to limit or destroy the British and French colonial systems. He wanted Austria and Germany to be joined. He pushed for his "freedom of the seas" concept but the British would have none of that as it would mean that they would lose control of the one aspect of their military that guaranteed security, dominance on the seas. These were non-starters for the Europeans who had a continent and continental trade system to rebuild.

Georges Clemenceau wanted reparations to be so severe that Germany would never again attack his country. In his view, reparations were not high enough.

Lloyd George actually opposed Clemenceau's most severe demands for reparations. He was pleased that the German navy was neutered. But it was Lloyd George who predicted that another war would have to be fought because of the Treaty of Versailles.

Remember that Wilson did accept the terms of the Treaty of Versailles because he was able to advance his peace initiatives somewhat so if there is a problem with the terms of the treaty, Wilson also bears that responsibility. He approved it after all even if the US Congress did not.

NYGiant's initial statement was too simplistic. There are a number of factors that contributed to the start of the second world war. We cannot simply say that the Treaty of Versailles caused WWII.

example: Wilson wanted his League of Nations and was prepared to guarantee French security if the League was tied to the treaty. And it was so. But Wilson couldn't convince Congress to approve of his deal and the US decided that it no longer wished to be influential in Europe. French security guaranteed by the US also fell by the wayside. Was this development also a factor that supported the conditions leading to a second world war? Yes but like the Treaty of Versailles, it was not the only influential factor.

Cheers,

George

NYGiant
home  USA
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 8:01:59 AM
Quote:
Quote:
What President Wilson faced was a Great Britain and France intent on not only revenge, but a pound of flesh. They are the ones who planted the seeds for WW II.



Such a simplistic analysis.

I mentioned that Wilson was rather naive. He did not understand how massive the negotiations surrounding the Treaty of Versailles would be. And he arrived with an agenda that was somewhat different and at odds with the creation of a treaty to guarantee peace in Europe.

The Big 4 (UK, France, USA, Italy) and later the Big 3 when Italy had a temper tantrum over the meagre spoils that it would attain and left, received deputations from ethnic groups all over the world who wanted borders adjusted to reflect their wishes. Even Ho Chi Minh was in Paris to make his pitch for autonomy. Restructuring the world map proved to be a daunting task especially since the Big 3 were often dealing with groups with whom they had no familiarity. For the Europeans, this distracted them from the goal which was to make sure that Germany could never again create the kind of chaos that had been experienced since 1914.

The UK and France both faced enormous war debt and France had seen its infrastructure destroyed by Germany. When the German delegation boarded the train for the trip to Paris, the train was slowed to a crawl to allow the German delegates to see what they had wrought. It was a clear message that the French were angry. The German delegation could see the path of destruction on the way to Paris.

Plus only 50 years before the French had fought a war with the Prussians, in 1870. And they had lost. The result was a loss of a position of predominance on the continent for the French. And the German nation was united.

But Germany also exacted reparations from the French that were extreme and costly. France had to pay an indemnity of 5 billion francs (1 billion dollars) and German troops continued to occupy parts of France until the indemnity was paid. The final payment was made in 1873 and that is when the German troops left France.
As well, Germany annexed Alsace and Lorraine from France. To add insult to injury, Germany conducted a victory parade through the Arc de Triomphe.

Bismarck said that the only way to maintain control of France was to "empty its pockets".

Perhaps we can understand the French desire for retribution and to keep Germany poor and with an ineffective military. It was a tactic similar to the one employed by Germany in 1871.

The USA suffered comparatively little and had not had as significant a role in the victory as many other countries had.

The US had floated loans to the two countries that did the bulk of the fighting. And so Britain and France brought a different mindset with them to the negotiations than did Pres. Wilson.

None of the leaders of the Big 3 were fully content with the Treaty of Versailles. They had been given good reason to fear a strong Germany and perhaps that explains their response in negotiations

Wilson was unhappy because the Treaty did not address many of his 14 points. He wanted to limit or destroy the British and French colonial systems. He wanted Austria and Germany to be joined. He pushed for his "freedom of the seas" concept but the British would have none of that as it would mean that they would lose control of the one aspect of their military that guaranteed security, dominance on the seas. These were non-starters for the Europeans who had a continent and continental trade system to rebuild.

Georges Clemenceau wanted reparations to be so severe that Germany would never again attack his country. In his view, reparations were not high enough.

Lloyd George actually opposed Clemenceau's most severe demands for reparations. He was pleased that the German navy was neutered. But it was Lloyd George who predicted that another war would have to be fought because of the Treaty of Versailles.

Remember that Wilson did accept the terms of the Treaty of Versailles because he was able to advance his peace initiatives somewhat so if there is a problem with the terms of the treaty, Wilson also bears that responsibility. He approved it after all even if the US Congress did not.

NYGiant's initial statement was too simplistic. There are a number of factors that contributed to the start of the second world war. We cannot simply say that the Treaty of Versailles caused WWII.

example: Wilson wanted his League of Nations and was prepared to guarantee French security if the League was tied to the treaty. And it was so. But Wilson couldn't convince Congress to approve of his deal and the US decided that it no longer wished to be influential in Europe. French security guaranteed by the US also fell by the wayside. Was this development also a factor that supported the conditions leading to a second world war? Yes but like the Treaty of Versailles, it was not the only influential factor.

Cheers,

George



Such a juvenile explanation. Any book you read about World War II and its origins, STARTS with the Treat of Versailles.

And since the presence of the United states in WW I, allowed the Allies to be victorious, Wilson had the right to be at any Peace table.

Recall that the Allies learned from their mistakes and did not impose such a burden on Germany and Japan after World War II

NYGiant
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 8:03:48 AM
Cold War events in world history....

On October 20, 1947, the notorious Red Scare kicks into high gear in Washington, as a Congressional committee begins investigating Communistinfluence in one of the world’s richest and most glamorous communities: Hollywood.

After World War II, the Cold War began to heat up between the world’s two superpowers—the United States and the communist-controlled Soviet Union. In Washington, conservative watchdogs worked to out communists in government before setting their sights on alleged “Reds” in the famously liberal movie industry. In an investigation that began in October 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) grilled a number of prominent witnesses, asking bluntly “Are you or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” Whether out of patriotism or fear, some witnesses—including director Elia Kazan, actors Gary Cooper and Robert Taylor and studio honchos Walt Disney and Jack Warner—gave the committee names of colleagues they suspected of being communists.

A small group known as the “Hollywood Ten” resisted, complaining that the hearings were illegal and violated their First Amendment rights. They were all convicted of obstructing the investigation and served jail terms. Pressured by Congress, the Hollywood establishment started a blacklist policy, banning the work of about 325 screenwriters, actors and directors who had not been cleared by the committee. Those blacklisted included composer Aaron Copland, writers Dashiell Hammett, Lillian Hellman and Dorothy Parker, playwright Arthur Miller and actor and filmmaker Orson Welles.​



Some of the blacklisted writers used pseudonyms to continue working, while others wrote scripts that were credited to other writer friends. Starting in the early 1960s, after the downfall of Senator Joseph McCarthy, the most public face of anti-communism, the ban began to lift slowly. In 1997, the Writers’ Guild of America unanimously voted to change the writing credits of 23 films made during the blacklist period, reversing—but not erasing—some of the damage done during the Red Scare.
================================================== ================================================== ========================================

Hollywood doesn't forget either. Elia Kazan's testimony helped to ruin the careers of Morris Carnovsky and Art Smith, along with the work of playwright Clifford Odets.​ Nearly a half-century later, his anti-Communist testimony continued to cause controversy. When Kazan was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1999, dozens of actors chose not to applaud as 250 demonstrators picketed the event.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6498
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 8:16:07 AM
Quote:


Such a juvenile explanation. Any book you read about World War II and its origins, STARTS with the Treat of Versailles.





Here's a passage from a book that I've just been reading :

Wars and Population, Boris Urlanis, (1971), page 216 :

The Treaty of Versailles did not bring Europe a lasting peace. German imperialism, revived by a golden shower of American dollars, was to spark off another conflagration 20 years later

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
NYGiant
home  USA
Posts: 953
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 8:57:00 AM
Quote:
Quote:


Such a juvenile explanation. Any book you read about World War II and its origins, STARTS with the Treat of Versailles.





Here's a passage from a book that I've just been reading :

Wars and Population, Boris Urlanis, (1971), page 216 :

The Treaty of Versailles did not bring Europe a lasting peace. German imperialism, revived by a golden shower of American dollars, was to spark off another conflagration 20 years later

Regards, Phil

Phil. a couple of things....the book has a few big problems. The work has limited coverage, leaving out the American Civil War and other conflicts outside Europe, and leaving out any estimate of civilian losses in Poland in the Russo-Polish War. Also work lacks an index and lacks a bibliography. HOW can you verify any work, if there is no bibliography? I don't waste my time reading any book where the comments can't be verified.

As far as a golden shower of American dollars, recall that a loan of 800 million marks was to be raised—over 50 per cent coming from the United States, 25 per cent from Britain, and the balance from other European nations—to back the German currency and to aid in the payment of reparations.

Nice try though. Good thing I am up on my history of World Wars I and II.


George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 9:29:50 AM
Quote:
Such a juvenile explanation. Any book you read about World War II and its origins, STARTS with the Treat of Versailles.

And since the presence of the United states in WW I, allowed the Allies to be victorious, Wilson had the right to be at any Peace table.

Recall that the Allies learned from their mistakes and did not impose such a burden on Germany and Japan after World War II


Childish response NYG, which is your usual tactic when in "push-back" mode. Perhaps you should deal with the points that I made.

The Treaty of Versailles has been analyzed to death but it is not accepted that that treaty alone could cause the second war. And we could have a worthwhile discussion about the antecedent conditions that contributed to the war that began in 1939. But that doesn't seem to be something that you would be interested in. Rather, you have fixated on the Treaty of Versailles and obduracy prevents you from seeing complexities and nuances.

There are noted scholars including Keynes who link the treaty directly to the next war.

But there are many other factors that were beyond the influence of the Versailles negotiators.

1. Nationalist politicians who were busy pushing their own agendas to recreate Poland (see Polish corridor and Germany) or to create a new country like Czechoslovakia. Both would occupy the German agenda after the war leading to a deal with the Soviets and partitioning of Poland. German speakers would be living in Sudetenland giving Hitler a cause for invasion.
Note as well, that both France and the US supported the Polish desire for a corridor to the Baltic. This made Germany angry.

2. Wilson's agenda at Versailles did not focus on rebuilding Europe with a balance of powers. As mentioned, despite Wilson's assurance that the US would guarantee French security, the US reneged on that and became more insular and withdrawn from European affairs. More foresight was needed. The US has not made the same mistake since WWII

3. Let us not let events in Germany post war be forgotten. Politicians like Hitler profited by pointing at Jews and Communists who had stabbed Germany in the back by accepting blame for starting WW1. Germany did start the war I believe but it is another thing to ask the German people to accept that admission after what was supposed to be an armistice. However, isn't it also true that acceptance of "war guilt" was never addressed in the treaty?

Articles 231 and 232 affirms that Germany was responsible for damages caused. I have read the two articles and they certainly are damning but seemed to deal more with Germany making reparations rather than an admission of guilt. This of course is not the way that the German press and a man like Hitler would interpret them.

Let's check out the articles. Are they an admission of war guilt

Quote:

ARTICLE 231.

The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies.

ARTICLE: 232.

The Allied and Associated Governments recognise that the resources of Germany are not adequate, after taking into account permanent diminutions of such resources which will result from other provisions of the present Treaty, to make complete reparation for all such loss and damage.

The Allied and Associated Governments, however, require, and Germany undertakes, that she will make compensation for all damage done to the civilian population of the Allied and Associated Powers and to their property during the period of the belligerency of each as an Allied or Associated Power against Germany by such aggression by land, by sea and from the air, and in general all damage as defined in Annex l hereto.

In accordance with Germany's pledges, already given, as to complete restoration for Belgium, Germany undertakes, in addition to the compensation for damage elsewhere in this Part provided for, as a consequence of the violation of the Treaty of 1839, to make reimbursement of all sums which Belgium has borrowed from the Allied and Associated Governments up to November 11, 1918, together with interest at the rate of five per cent (5%) per annum on such sums. This amount shall be determined by the Reparation Commission, and the German Government undertakes thereupon forthwith to make a special issue of bearer bonds to an equivalent amount payable in marks gold, on May 1, 1926, or, at the option of the German Government, on the 1st of May in any year up to 1926. Subject to the foregoing, the form of such bonds shall be determined by the Reparation Commission. Such bonds shall be handed over to the Reparation Commission, which has authority to take and acknowledge receipt thereof on behalf of Belgium.


4. With the German economy in tatters and with inflation looming in the post war years, the US and to a lesser extent the UK, loaned a lot of money to Germany. US investors bought or set up plants in Germany. Germany used the loan money to deal with the reparations payments, something that they had fought paying since the treaty was signed. So the harsh outcomes imposed by reparations were actually mitigated by foreign dollars. And weren't the reparation payments cancelled in the early '30's anyway? (someone help me on that one, please)

In retrospect, had the allies entered Germany in force and had won a complete victory, there would have been no opportunity to argue about the intent of the Treaty of Versailles. But who was willing to pay the price in blood. The British and the Commonwealth and France had sacrificed a generation of young men on the battlefield.

The political and economic situation in Germany made it possible for a man like Hitler to curry favour with a disaffected population and to accept that internal ethnic elements were responsible for the poor economy. I don't think that the massive inflation in Germany can be blamed solely on reparations demanded in the treaty. But that inflation planted the seeds of discontent in Germany.

This is by no means a complete analysis of the conditions that precipitated the second war but to simply point at the Treaty of Versailles and to say that it is the reason for war doesn't pass academic rigour, does it?

George

George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 9:30:16 AM
double
NYGiant
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 10:05:26 AM
A couple of things you forgot George.

Where were the delegates from Russia? From Germany? from Austria-Hungary? You seem to ignore the fact that the Treaty was forced down the throats of the losers.

In 1961, in an equally celebrated book, The Origins of the Second World War, the British historian AJP Taylor asserted that “the peace of Versailles lacked moral validity from the start” and claimed that “the first war explains the second and, in fact, caused it, in so far as one event causes another”. Similarly, in 1984 the US diplomat and historian George Kennan flatly stated that the Second World War resulted from “the very silly and humiliating punitive peace imposed on Germany”.
https://www.historyextra.com/period/first-world-war/versailles-peace-treaty-what-when-who-where-terms-date-reparations-signed-ww2-ww1-dates-diktat-german-army/

Most importantly, Article 231 of the treaty placed all blame for inciting the war squarely on Germany, and forced it to pay several billion in reparations to the Allied nations.
https://www.history.com/news/treaty-of-versailles-world-war-ii-german-guilt-effects


Terms of the Treaty of Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles established a blueprint for the postwar world. One of the most controversial terms of the treaty was the War Guilt clause, which explicitly and directly blamed Germany for the outbreak of hostilities. The treaty forced Germany to disarm, to make territorial concessions, and to pay reparations to the Allied powers in the staggering amount of $5 billion.
Although US President Woodrow Wilson was opposed to such harsh terms, he was outmaneuvered by French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau. France was the only Allied power to share a border with Germany, and therefore suffered the bulk of the devastation and casualties from the German war machine. The French aimed to weaken Germany to the greatest extent possible.

Not only did Hitler announce a moratorium on all debt payments and cease making reparations, but he began to build up the German armed forces in earnest.


Some historians believe that the onerous terms of the treaty laid the psychological and economic groundwork for the rise of the Nazi party, which capitalized on German resentment of the burdens imposed by the Allied powers after the First World War.
https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/us-history/rise-to-world-power/us-in-wwi/a/the-treaty-of-versailles


Anything else I can clear up for you George?



NYGiant
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 10:17:23 AM
By placing the burden of war guilt entirely on Germany, imposing harsh reparations payments and creating an increasingly unstable collection of smaller nations in Europe, the treaty would ultimately fail to resolve the underlying issues that caused war to break out in 1914, and help pave the way for another massive global conflict 20 years later.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6498
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 10:56:58 AM
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:


Such a juvenile explanation. Any book you read about World War II and its origins, STARTS with the Treat of Versailles.





Here's a passage from a book that I've just been reading :

Wars and Population, Boris Urlanis, (1971), page 216 :

The Treaty of Versailles did not bring Europe a lasting peace. German imperialism, revived by a golden shower of American dollars, was to spark off another conflagration 20 years later

Regards, Phil

Phil. a couple of things....the book has a few big problems. The work has limited coverage, leaving out the American Civil War and other conflicts outside Europe, and leaving out any estimate of civilian losses in Poland in the Russo-Polish War. Also work lacks an index and lacks a bibliography. HOW can you verify any work, if there is no bibliography? I don't waste my time reading any book where the comments can't be verified.

As far as a golden shower of American dollars, recall that a loan of 800 million marks was to be raised—over 50 per cent coming from the United States, 25 per cent from Britain, and the balance from other European nations—to back the German currency and to aid in the payment of reparations.

Nice try though. Good thing I am up on my history of World Wars I and II.




The tragedy is that you weren’t there to save the world.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
NYGiant
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 11:19:19 AM
My Uncle Stanley was, and he was wounded, defeating the Germans.


The tragedy was the inability of the League of Nations to intervene in the build-up to World War II. Another tragedy was the inability of the League to protect those nascent democracies that the League formed.

FDR recognized that, as he was a member of the Wilson Administration who spoke in favor of the League.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 12:31:21 PM
Quote:
Anything else I can clear up for you George?


Yes, indeed there is. Have you bothered to ask whether the Treaty of Versailles was actually the cause of the second war? Seriously, just google, "Did the Treaty of Versailles cause the second world war?" Now you may be forced to study something that doesn't necessarily comport with your assertion. There are several compelling factors that contributed to the second conflict and several sources that do not toss out a trite phrase that blames the Treaty of Versailles, full stop.

I tried to explain that earlier but as usual, you got your nose out of joint. How dare anyone not accept a single sentence explanation of the cause of WWII from NYGiant.

BTW, you haven't cleared anything up at all. Just another childish statement as if to say that you must be correct. You seem to have a short list of annoying concluding statements like that. And yet all I see is a jumble of cut and paste and no compelling or well written explanation from you.

I provided the text of Articles 231 and 232 to promote discussion. Why? Because it is not clear to me that the two articles constitute a confession of "war guilt" as was told to the people of Germany after the war. To me, it seemed that Germany agreed that it had caused great damage in Belgium and France and would have to pay for it. German press and politicians certainly emphasized the shame in admitting "war guilt" even though the phrase never appears in the treaty. So did the allied press and politicians also speak of war guilt with reference to Germany? I don't know. Does 231 read like a war guilt clause to you?

I can see how it may be interpreted that way but it doesn't clearly state that.

And so I asserted that the treaty in itself did not cause the war and I think that I explained why that statement is far too simplistic. There were other contributing factors that were beyond the control and purview of the treaty negotiators.

The tactic to cut and paste comments from quick hit history sites does not sway me from my position. They do however, cause me to dig a little deeper. Try it sometime.

You did ask why Russia wasn't at the peace conference. They weren't invited because the allies would not recognize the godless Bolsheviks now in charge. Russia had stopped fighting remember and their presence wasn't welcome. And Russia owed money to the allies. They were hardly in a position to demand any spoils.

Now what happened to Austro-Hungary? They were defeated but confusion reigned in the dual monarchy. It dissolved. I believe that A-H asked the US to allow it be a part of the treaty negotiations but the US told them that it had already decided that certain pieces of the old dual monarchy would be incorporated into new states, like Czechoslovakia. In other words, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was not recognized as an entity worthy of a position at the negotiations. It's pieces were already being incorporated into new national entities.

Austria itself remained as a separate entity and it signed a separate treaty. It kept them weak militarily and prevented them from joining with Germany, but they got out of paying reparations even though the war began with German support of the A-H war with Serbia.

RE: Treaty forced down the throat of the losers.

Indeed. You recognized that Germany had lost the war and had there not been an armistice but a full and complete victory, there would have been little discussion of which side gets to dictate terms. The allies were not willing to spill more blood after more than four years of unbelievable casualties. Had the war continued the US which had not suffered anywhere near the losses that the other allies had in its brief combat experience would have had to have accepted a major role had the war continued into Germany in 1919.

But that would have resolved the ambiguity issue surrounding the defeat of German as they would have been clearly defeated rather than a country that had accepted an armistice to end the fighting, when they were being chased home.

And yes, the terms were dictated. Germany was in no position to decline to accept although it did initially refuse to sign and wanted certain clauses removed including 231 and 232. The allies informed Germany that if they did not sign the document as written, then the war would resume. This was June of 1919. With that ultimatum a new German government accepted.

Do I think that the treaty could have been constructed differently? Yes. But a four or three man negotiating team must compromise. And that meant listening to France who had every reason to seek retribution. The destruction in Belgium and France was severe.

Did the treaty cause WWII? No. War was not inevitable. For sure, Germany was upset by the terms but there were other things that were upsetting Germany and the rise of Naziism cannot be blamed directly on the treaty. We have to look a the world economic collapse of the '30's as one contributing factor.

Would a League of Nations in Wilson's image have helped control the situation in Germany? Possibly but the US reneged on that promise when it failed to ratify the treaty.




George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 12:46:21 PM
Quote:
By placing the burden of war guilt entirely on Germany, imposing harsh reparations payments and creating an increasingly unstable collection of smaller nations in Europe, the treaty would ultimately fail to resolve the underlying issues that caused war to break out in 1914, and help pave the way for another massive global conflict 20 years later.


Now NY, if you aren't going to compose anything on your own then please cite sources.

The statement that you wrote was lifted from"

[Read More]

Now if this site is going to be your go to for information then at least read the whole thing. Another viewpoint was expressed in the same article.

Quote:

The Versailles Treaty made World War II possible, not inevitable.

In 1945, when the leaders of the United States, Great Britain and Soviet Union met at Potsdam, they blamed the failures of the Versailles Treaty for making another great conflict necessary, and vowed to right the wrongs of their peacekeeping predecessors. But Neiberg, like many historians, takes a more nuanced view, pointing to events other than the treaty—including the United States not joining the League of Nations and the rise of the Stalinist regime in the Soviet Union—as necessary elements in understanding the path to the Second World War.

“In my own personal view as a historian, you need to be really careful directly connecting events that happened 20 years apart,” he says. “A different treaty produces a different outcome, yes. But you shouldn’t draw inevitability. It’s part of the recipe, but it’s not the only ingredient.”



Thanks NY. I think that the last paragraph which was a quote from the historian Nieberg is sensible and probably the mark of a true academic. American too. That should appeal to you.

NYGiant
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 1:21:56 PM
George, Thanks for agreeing with me!

Fact is, the Treaty did lead to war, as events turned out.

And we are still living with the consequences.
Phil Andrade
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 2:25:53 PM
NYG,

Unfinished business, I suppose : the second conflict was so very much a consequence of the first, and, to a large degree, it’s continuation. The words of John Keegan, if memory serves me .

Margaret Macmillan, Canadian historian and g-granddaughter of David Lloyd George, wrote a good history of the Versailles Treaty.

Dads and uncles, damaged by war : a widespread experience. George’s uncle was killed.

Shame that you introduce such antagonism when you bring your message.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
George
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 3:55:38 PM
Quote:
NYG,

Unfinished business, I suppose : the second conflict was so very much a consequence of the first, and, to a large degree, it’s continuation. The words of John Keegan, if memory serves me .

Margaret Macmillan, Canadian historian and g-granddaughter of David Lloyd George, wrote a good history of the Versailles Treaty.

Dads and uncles, damaged by war : a widespread experience. George’s uncle was killed.

Shame that you introduce such antagonism when you bring your message.

Regards, Phil


Hi Phil,

I really enjoyed Macmillan's, "Paris 1919: 6 Months That Change the World". I can't imagine being handed a more difficult task than this one. That treaty was so much more than dictating terms to Germany.

Another of her books was, "The War that Ended the Peace: The Road to 1914". Also excellent.

Cheers,

George
George
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 4:22:01 PM
Quote:
George, Thanks for agreeing with me!

Fact is, the Treaty did lead to war, as events turned out.

And we are still living with the consequences.


Fact is, you aren't thinking very deeply about this, NYG.

The rise of militarism and nativist nationalism in Germany was an important factor that created conditions that made war more palatable to some of the German people. And indeed, a politician like Hitler used the terms of the Treaty of Versailles as a weapon to promote the idea that the honour of the German people had been sullied. And so revenge was a factor.

Consider the economic conditions across the world in the '30's. The German economy was in trouble and inflation was out of control. We cannot blame the treaty for all of that but poor economic conditions make for unrest among the people. Unemployment created a large population who were ready to listen to a man like Hitler.

Some German politicians were in an expansionist mode. Hitler subscribed to the theory that the German population needed more space in Europe and he was prepared to seize it.

The Nazis were particularly effective in identifying non-Aryan people in the population who could be blamed for the economic downturn.

Much like the conditions prior to WW1, there were military alliances that demanded that nations support one another. Hitler forged an uneasy alliance with Stalin that led to the division of Poland between them. He allied with Italy and with Japan and had deals with less influential nations. These would be important when it came time to attack.

Of course, Britain had alliances too and when Poland was attacked, Britain declared war in support. So did France.

Most of this is not directly related to the Treaty of Versailles.

Look the general topic of the causes of WWII is very interesting and complex. We could have a good discussion if you didn't feel that you had to win all discussions. Hell, you claim victory every time someone asks you to explain in greater detail.

I don't deny that the Treaty was a factor and influenced the political and perhaps the economic situation in Germany but there are many other factors that set the table. I have tried to address some of them here in the interest of a good exchange of ideas.

Would you like that?








NYGiant
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10/20/2022 4:55:49 PM
Never let it be said that the NYGiant prevents a discussion and a good exchange of ideas.

Certainly the Treaty of Versailles is the foundation of the unrest in Europe and particularly in Germany that led to World War II.

1. The Treaty blamed and punished Germany.
2. The defeated countries...Germany, Russia ( really the Soviet Union by 1919), Turkey, Bulgaria and Austria-Hungary did not have any say in the Treaty.
3. Germany and Russia lost land and population.
4. Germany had to pay reparations...which Germany. did pay off, finally in 2010.
5. Germany was limited to an Army of 100,00,
6. The Rhineland was occupied and de-militarized.
7. Guns confiscated.
8.Reparations led to hyper-inflation which was exacerbated by the Great Depression.
9 Right wing politicians in Germany began to blame the Jews and Communists, stabbing the German Army in the back.
10. Leaders in Russia and Germany were dissatisfied with the re-drawing of countries..lines in the dirt they would say.

I think this is a good start.
Michigan Dave
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 5:48:39 PM


10-18 in history, check out these events!? New comments? Anyone?

1469 Isabel 1, Married Ferdinand II, Spain had quite the leadership to explorev-& claim new lands!? Comments on how Spain gained so much territory!??

1851 Herman Melville writes Moby Dick, one of the most read adventure novels of all time!? What say you??

1931 Thomas Edison dies! What were some of his best inventions & achievements is he responsible for? Anyone?

1931 Al Capone is of all things, convicted of tax evasion! Maybe history will repeat itself??

1919, Pierre E Trudeau is born! What effect did he & his family have on Canada's leadership!? Commrnts, maybe from our Canadian posters!?? A lil help here!?

10-19 in history, comments??

1781 the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, at Yorktown puts the Patriots, in the drivers seat to win the Revolutionary war!? What say you?? A lil help from France!? Viva la France!??

1789 John Jay becomes the 1st chief justice of the Supreme Court! What's wrong with today's Supreme Court?? Anyone??

1812 Napoleon begins his disastrous retreat from Russia, & winter is coming on!? How will this workout for him??

1864 Confederate Forces based in Canada attack St Albans, VT. So would you say Canada was harboring Rebels, letting them use Canada as a base!? It sure seems that way? & not the 1st time!? ( the attack on Johnsons Island Ohio) What say you??

1914 the Germans emphasized trench warfare! Does this keep casualties down?? 1st battle of Ypres! How did the Commonwealth forces handle this? What say you??

Sieze the day!
MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 6:34:37 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Hi George,

I was just surprised that the Puerto Ricans were at such odds with the US!?
We afterall did liberate them from the evil country of Spain!??

They are a US Territory afterall!?? Damn straight they are!!
MD


MD, I think that the resentment on the part of the Puerto Ricans, Cubans and Filippinos is perfectly understandable?

## I dont get it!??? Gee we buy their rum, smoke their cigars, & eat their pineapples!?

So indeed, Puerto Rico is a US territory. Can they vote for the President? So what exactly is a territory in US parlance? Is it any different than a semi-autonomous colony? It's a serious question, not a dig Dave.

## Well I dug this answer up, voters in US territories can vote in the primary but not for the President on election day! All because of the archaic Electoral college!! It would be messed up?? IMHO it should be amended!?


Cheers,

George

----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
NYGiant
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 7:59:56 PM
1851 Herman Melville writes Moby Dick, one of the most read adventure novels of all time!? What say you??....Call me Ishmael.

1781 the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, at Yorktown puts the Patriots, in the drivers seat to win the Revolutionary war!? What say you?? A lil help from France!? Viva la France!?? I thought it put the Patriots in the drivers seat to win the Super Bowl. Beating Cornwallis put the Americans in the drivers seat to defeat Great Britain

1864 Confederate Forces based in Canada attack St Albans, VT. So would you say Canada was harboring Rebels, letting them use Canada as a base!? It sure seems that way? & not the 1st time!? ( the attack on Johnsons Island Ohio) What say you??

21 Confederate soldiers is a Force? I don't believe that Great Britain was allowing rebels to use Canada as a base. As an unintended consequence, the raid served to turn many Canadians against the Confederacy since they felt that Canada was being drawn into the conflict without its consent. The Confederate agents in Canada realized that and so no further raids were made.



George
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This day in World History! Continued
10/20/2022 9:31:25 PM
Quote:
Never let it be said that the NYGiant prevents a discussion and a good exchange of ideas.

Certainly the Treaty of Versailles is the foundation of the unrest in Europe and particularly in Germany that led to World War II.

1. The Treaty blamed and punished Germany.
2. The defeated countries...Germany, Russia ( really the Soviet Union by 1919), Turkey, Bulgaria and Austria-Hungary did not have any say in the Treaty.
3. Germany and Russia lost land and population.
4. Germany had to pay reparations...which Germany. did pay off, finally in 2010.
5. Germany was limited to an Army of 100,00,
6. The Rhineland was occupied and de-militarized.
7. Guns confiscated.
8.Reparations led to hyper-inflation which was exacerbated by the Great Depression.
9 Right wing politicians in Germany began to blame the Jews and Communists, stabbing the German Army in the back.
10. Leaders in Russia and Germany were dissatisfied with the re-drawing of countries..lines in the dirt they would say.

I think this is a good start.



How much say does the losing side have in any treaty negotiation? Terms are often imposed even under protest.

The Treaty of Versailles was the document that dealt with the main opponent Germany. Other members of the Central Powers like Bulgaria came to the negotiation table to sign a separate treaty. Many lost land and were forced to pay reparations. The price of choosing to be on the wrong side I suppose.

I already explained why Russia wasn't at the table. They had quit the allied side and were now run by Bolsheviks. As a monarch had been deposed, the allies no longer recognized the government of Russia as legitimate. As well, Russia owed a lot of money to the allies.

Here is an interesting map of the German territory that was ceded to a number of existing countries and to the new country of Czechoslovakia. The return of Alsace and Lorraine to France was expected as they had been taken as a result of the loss to Prussia in 1871.

[Read More]

I don't know the rationale that the allies used to give German territory to other countries.

BTW, didn't Germany gain some land ceded to it by Russia?

If the objective was to ensure that Germany could not fight then I do not understanding why the occupation of the Rhineland is surprising. There was also an occupation force in Germany right at the end of the conflict.

I cannot say whether inflation was caused by reparations. The US provided a lot of money to Germany and they used some of it to pay reparations but for the most part, Germany resisted payments and I was reading that they wound up paying a lot less than was originally planned. And they stopped paying in 1932.

But I don't think that reparation payments were the only factor leading to hyper inflation in 1921. The Weimar republic borrowed heavily to pay off debts and refuse to raise income taxes to handle the debt problem. They also printed money like crazy and tried to use it to borrow more money using devalued marks. So was the debt the problem or was the debt management strategy selected the problem? Hyper inflation was over by 1923 I believe and the German government issued a new currency that had a more solid backing.

The Great Depression beginning in 1929 was a separate issue that affected many of the world's countries. I concede that Germany was in a weaker position to manage it although it still had much of its industrial infrastructure intact. The war did not really come to the German homeland.

Your list is still missing a number of factors that were part of the antecedent conditions leading to WWII. I described them in a previous post.

NYGiant
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10/20/2022 9:59:47 PM
If the Germans had been present, they would have not agreed to he guilt clause. And there was always the chance that they could leave the negotiations and resume fighting. I don't believe the Allies actually had crossed the borders and were fighting in Germany. This too added to the myth that Germany was stabbed in the back by the homefront.

Germany didn't have much of an economy after the war either, to add to your comments.

Decisions were made regarding the Soviet Union. The Russians had to give territory to Germany and both had land taken from them to form the state of Poland. And we both know that it was the invasion of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union that started World War II.

I agree that Germany and Europe were not prepared for the Great Depression and that is a separate issue.

Phil Andrade
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This day in World History! Continued
10/21/2022 1:39:35 AM
NYG,

“ Decisions were made regarding the Soviet Union.”

The Soviet Union wasn’t established until the end of 1922.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
NYGiant
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This day in World History! Continued
10/21/2022 8:06:23 AM
On October 21, 1861, Union troops suffer a devastating defeat in the second major engagement of the Civil War. The Battle of Ball’s Bluff in Virginiaproduced the war’s first martyr and led to the creation of a Congressional committee to monitor the conduct of the war.

After the Battle of Bull Run, Virginia, on July 21, President Abraham Lincolnappointed General George McClellan to organize the defeated Federal Army of the Potomac. McClellan spent the fall assembling and training his force, but he was under pressure from Lincoln, the public, and Congress to take action against the Confederates, who were waiting just across the Potomac River. McClellan ordered General George McCall to make a reconnaissance across the river, and he instructed General Charles Stone to watch the nearby town of Leesburg, Virginia, while McCall’s men were moving.

Stone sent a detachment across the river on the night of October 20, and the inexperienced soldiers reported seeing a Rebel camp, which turned out to be shadows. Stone decided to move more men over until a force of 1,600, under the command of Colonel Edward Baker, was poised for an attack the next morning. Baker was a close friend ofLincoln, and the president had named his second son after him.

Baker placed his men in a dangerous position. They were in a clearing with their backs to the edge of Ball’s Bluff, a 100-foot high cliff above the Potomac. They faced a wooded ridge that was rapidly filling with Southerners. The Confederates launched an attack that afternoon, and Baker’s command was soon in trouble. Baker was killed, and many of his men jumped from the bluff to their deaths or scrambled down a narrow trail only to find their boats swamped in the river. Less than half made it back to the other side of the Potomac.



The Union suffered 49 killed, 158 wounded, and 714 missing and captured, while the Confederates suffered 33 killed, 115 wounded, and one missing. Lincoln was stunned by the loss of his friend Baker, who became a Northern martyr despite his ineptitude in conducting the battle. The political fallout was swift. Angry Republicans were highly suspicious of McClellan, a Democrat, and other generals. The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War was formed in December of that year. This group was stacked with Radical Republicans who favored tougher treatment of the South and slaveholders. The committee’s first investigation was the disaster at Ball’s Bluff, and General Stone became the scapegoat. He was arrested for treason soon after and jailed for six months.


NYGiant
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This day in World History! Continued
10/21/2022 8:14:00 AM
Phil, Let's look at the facts.

The Polish–Soviet War (late autumn 1918 / 14 February 1919 – 18 March 1921) was fought primarily between the Second Polish Republic and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic I

The Polish-Soviet War (February 1919 – March 1921) was an armed conflict of Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine against the Second Polish Republic and the short-lived Ukrainian People's Republic, four states in post-World War I Europe.

The Polish-Soviet War (February 1919 – March 1921) was an armed conflict between Soviet Russia and the Second Polish Republic,


Sites call it the Soviet Russia.

I called it the Soviet Union to establish a name and not go back and forth calling it Russia, Soviet Russia and the Soviet Union. Recall there was quite a bit of turmoil going on there after the Russian revolution.


Regards, NYGiant.
George
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This day in World History! Continued
10/21/2022 8:18:23 AM
quote]If the Germans had been present, they would have not agreed to he guilt clause. And there was always the chance that they could leave the negotiations and resume fighting. I don't believe the Allies actually had crossed the borders and were fighting in Germany. This too added to the myth that Germany was stabbed in the back by the homefront.

Germany didn't have much of an economy after the war either, to add to your comments.

Decisions were made regarding the Soviet Union. The Russians had to give territory to Germany and both had land taken from them to form the state of Poland. And we both know that it was the invasion of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union that started World War II.

I agree that Germany and Europe were not prepared for the Great Depression and that is a separate issue.



I don't understand NYG. The Germans had no input and the allies felt that they were in no position to refuse but Germany did have the opportunity to reply to the terms. And they made a formal reply in writing.

The negotiations between France, UK, USA and Italy were difficult as each country had different goals. Talks began on Jan. 18 with great fanfare. Germany received the proposal in May and sent a counter proposal in June which was rejected by the allies.

All communications were written. Germany wanted face to face discussions but this was denied.

The German counter proposal:

1. On the economy, Germany said that it was no longer an economy based upon agriculture. Because the treaty demanded a surrender of its merchant ships, it would not be able to import sufficient food for the people. By surrender, the allies meant that new ships built in German shipyards post war would be turned over to the allies for the first 5 years. I presume that this is to replace vessels lost to u-boats.

2. They objected to the surrender of all colonies and protectorates suggesting that this would force them into liquidation of assets.

3. Germany said that the lands ceded to other countries in Europe were part of their prime farm land thus reducing their ability to feed the people. They tied this to #1 and said that they would not have the ability to import agricultural chemicals like phosphates to improve the yield from their farm land.

4. Want of a merchant fleet would mean that German could not import sufficient quantities of raw materials to feed its industries. As well, Germany objected to the massive quantity of coal and other minerals that it would be required to supply to the allies as part of reparations. The German argument was that its industries would be destroyed in short order.

5. Citing the effects of the blockade of its ports, Germany pointed to its already starving population and claimed that the terms of the treaty would result in thousands of deaths due to inadequate nutrition and other diseases. I do not know whether this actually happened. Anyone?


On May 22, the Council of the Conference replied and accused Germany of exaggeration:

1. The Council noted that Germany had claimed that pre-war its industries could feed a population of 67,000,000. The council noted that with the transfer of German territory to other countries that its population would be reduced by 6,000,000 and thus demands for food would be reduced.

2. With respect to the tonnage of shipping that Germany would be required to surrender the council said that they were being disingenuous as most of the smaller ships would be left to them unimpaired. The larger ships would be forfeit because of the losses inflicted on the allies throughout the war. The Council told Germany that it had sunk 12.75 million tons of allied shipping and yet would only be required to surrender 4 million tons.

3. The loss of prime farm land did not sway the council. It argued that fortunately the lands to be ceded had been untouched by the war and that Germany could still buy agricultural products from those areas.

4. The Council was not concerned about the importation of phosphates arguing that Germany had always had to import phosphates as did many European countries and was not restricted from continuing that practice.
They rejected Germany's argument about coal and while acknowledging that some of Germany's prime coal production areas were in the territories to be ceded, that Germany still produced 80 million tons of lignite per year in other parts of Germany and would continue to do so. As well, the Council reminded Germany of the purposeful destruction of the coal producing industry in areas of northern France which meant that forcing Germany to replace that coal was fair.

Additionally, the Council rejected Germany's claim that its industries would perish noting that Germany still had great production potential and asked why Germany should suffer less in recovery that all of the other countries that it destroyed. The Council noted that since Germany would no longer have to spend a fortune on the military and arms that its production capabilities could be put to better use.

Complaints about the loss of population due to ceding territory were rejected. The argument was that the people in these territories were not ethnic German and were deserving of living in land occupied by their own people. If some German people had to migrate out of those territories, it was self determination of the non-German people that was more important.

Germany had some legitimate arguments I think about the unfairness of the transfer of land like the Saar Basin to France but the Council simply noted the damage to France caused by Germany and declared the transfer necessary.

Germany rejected the terms initially but a new government in Germany determined that it had no choice but to accept the terms to avoid an invasion by the allies from the west. The German military apparently advised the government that it was in no position to defend Germany in the event of an invasion.

The allies were determined that Germany would never again present a threat to the peace of Europe. The German people could not understand why they were being blamed for the war, a fact that seemed obvious to the allies considering the extent of loss in blood and infrastructure caused by the invasion of the low countries and France.

I found an interesting article on jstor that describes the counter proposals made by Germany when confronted by the terms of the treaty.

[Read More]

You may have to register with jstor to gain access.

Cheers,

George

NYGiant
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10/21/2022 8:44:11 AM
I couldn't find the link you suggested.

Nice comment!

I am beginning more and more to believe that the Versailles Treaty is the cause for much of the problems we are still facing in the world.

We know that the establishment of Poland was an irritant to both the Soviets and the Germans. The Soviets went war with the new Polish state to regain that territory which was taken away from them immediately after the establishment of the Polish State. And we know that Stalin hated Poland for he walked back to Russia with the defeated Army after the Miracle of the Vistula. Those at the Peace Table should have insured the protection of Poland, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia..

Germany had no love for the Poles either. The attack on Poland, to start World War II, created by the Versailles treaty, was to regain the territory taken from Imperial Germany by the terms of said Versailles Treaty.

We are still dealing with the after-effects of the breakup of Austria-Hungary in the Balkans.

The breakup of the Middle East Ottoman Empire is still a major concern.
George
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This day in World History! Continued
10/21/2022 9:49:24 AM
Quote:
1864 Confederate Forces based in Canada attack St Albans, VT. So would you say Canada was harboring Rebels, letting them use Canada as a base!? It sure seems that way? & not the 1st time!? ( the attack on Johnsons Island Ohio) What say you??


There was a considerably large group of Confederate agents and soldiers present in Canada. And there were US agents living in Canada trying to keep an eye on the Confederates. And the Canadian police and the British were trying to keep tabs on both.

The Confederates built a large and well funded secret service in Canada. In 1864 a man named Jacob Thompson arrived in Toronto. He would lead the Confederate efforts to disrupt the Union by arranging forays into the US from Canada. Thompson had been a cabinet member in Pres. Buchanan's government before the war. The US placed a bounty on his head.

There was considerable sympathy for the Confederate cause in parts of Canada. Some Canadians were selling goods to the Confederates. This sympathy had nothing to do with slavery which was largely opposed by Canadians.

But Canadians were also fearful of the threats, continuing threats, made by people in the US that it was time to annex the British colonies. US newspapers were full of these threats especially with the knowledge that Confederates were operating out of Canada. Sec. of State William Seward had made it part of his life's work and not just during the civil war to arrange for the annexation of Canadian territory. And so the Confederates were viewed as the little guy standing up to a bully.

The British and Canadian governments took a neutral stance and monitored the movements of Confederate and Union spies in Toronto and Montréal.

Somewhere between 40-60K Canadians fought in the civil war and most of those fought for the Union with several winning the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Jacob Thompson organized escaped Confederate prisoners and allied with disaffected groups in the north to plan raids into the US.

While the raid on St. Albans, Vermont receives a lot of attention, that didn't mean that the Confederates weren't active beyond that bold foray into the US. The fact that the Canadian government did not extradite them and claimed that they were just soldiers doing their job angered the US. A posse out of St. Albans had crossed into Canada to look for the Confederate raiders and had captured them. But the Canadian police apprehended the bunch and sent the Americans back home and detained the Confederate raiders. With the failure to convict and extradite, there were American troops prepared to cross and seize Canada. Lincoln put a stop to that.

This is the Queen's Hotel in Toronto and it was spy central for the Confederate Secret Service. The US Northern Secret Service was aware of this location and so were the Toronto police and British agents.



At peak there were about 100 southerners living in the Queen's Hotel. Among them were agents and escaped prisoners, all waiting for instructions from Jacob Thompson

Quote:
There was no mistaking the escaped Rebel prisoners. They hung around the lobby and bar of the Queen’s, trying to appear respectable in torn gray coats and cracked jackboots or in castoff clothes they had robbed from some clothesline after climbing the board fences of Camps Chase, Morton, or Johnson’s Island. They were gaunt, hollow-eyed men, with faces lined and tanned the color of old leather by the relentless sun which had scorched the treeless prison yards that rainless summer.
. source: Horan, J., Confederate Agents, 1954)

These men had support from Toronto's wealthy and elite and they were free to roam so long as they did not break Canadian laws. Many of these Canadians had friends from the south. Prior to the war, southerners had vacationed in Upper Canada primarily in the Niagara Falls area and were found to be kind and gentle. This was often contrasted with the northerners who were not well liked primarily because they kept talking about annexation.

While raids like St. Albans were not repeated, the Confederate spies were involved in a lot of other activities. They could easily slip into the US to take note of troop movements, and gun emplacements. They would note where disaffected Americans could perhaps be compromised. When they had information, they would cross Lake Ontario to the US side and disappear, often with communications written on silk and sewn into their clothing.

In response, the US Northern Secret Service despatched agents to set up posts to monitor the movement of the Confederates. Both were under observation by the British and a new agency called the Canadian Frontier Police. Largely both sides moved without impediments as the British and Canadians maintained a neutral stance.

There were also free lancers in the north who made a living by crossing back and forth to run information for one side or the other.

Similar activities were taking place in Montréal and Windsor (just south of Detroit on the Canadian side) but spy central was in Toronto.

Jacob Thompson liked to live high on the hog in the Queen's Hotel and he had received a healthy sum from the Confederates to fund his lavish lifestyle. The Queen's Hotel also had its own telegraph office and messages could be sent easily. The hotel also carried most of the US newspapers.

The Confederate spy network was quite sophisticated and Thompson would send messages to the south embedded in classified ads in the American newspapers.

I wouldn't say that schemes directed by Thompson were all that successful but they did keep the northerners on their toes and forced them to commit assets when events did transpire like:

1. An attempt to free Confederate soldiers from northern prison camps.

2. An attempt to organize insurrectionists in Ohio and Illinois in a revolt against the Union and the War.

3. Nov. 25, 1864, Confederates from Toronto firebombed targets in NYC. There wasn't much damage because the Confederates had been infiltrated by a double agent who informed the NY authorities.

4. Another failed attempt was made on the USS Michigan which was the only US gun ship on Lake Ontario.

5. A planned kidnapping of V.P. elect Andrew Johnson was foiled.

6. And of course, the infamous St. Albans raid in which the Confederates killed a man in the town. This one actually upset many Canadians. It was one thing to have a bunch of foreigners playing spy games in Canada but robbing banks and killing people while operating out of Canada was not acceptable.

By the end of 1864, there were Union agents sitting at the bar in the Queen's or sitting reading a paper at the nearby rail station, just keeping an eye on the Confederates.

Jacob Thompson complained that the Union agents were cramping his operations. He wrote:

Quote:
“The bane and curse of carrying out anything in this country is the surveillance under which we act. Detectives or those ready to give information stand at every corner. Two or three cannot interchange ideas without a reporter.”


It became harder and harder for the Confederate agents to accomplish much.

There was a wealthy man in Toronto named Denison who was an active supporter of the Confederates and Jacob Thompson. Denison later became an important Toronto politician but during the civil war he aided and abetted the Confederates. By the end of 1864 the northern agents were aware of how the Confederate spies were hiding messages in clothing and would catch a spy and tear open the seams of coats to find the bulky messages. Apparently it was Denison who suggested writing on silk and sewing the silk into the lining of a coat. The messages were not discovered with an easy pat down. Denison's wife sewed the messages into the coats of spies.

Denison also helped Thompson buy a steamer called the Georgian. The purchase was made through straw buyers so it could not by traced to Denison or to Thompson. This was to be used for armed raids out of Toronto to the other side of the lake and beyond. This was too much for the Canadian authorities and they chased the Georgian with their own boats. They boarded it and performed customs inspections at every port. Finally, the Canadians impounded the Georgian in Collingwood, Ontario.

Denison was charged with violating Canadian neutrality but he was acquitted.

In 1867, Jefferson Davis was in Toronto. He was on his way to Niagara Falls. Denison organized a crowd of 7,000 and he led them in a cheer for the former President of the Confederacy.

Interesting days in my old hometown, Toronto, during the civil war.

[Read More]

I would add that while the US Civil War raged Canadian politicians in the British provinces were negotiating with one another and with the British to amalgamate into a single administrative unit. They wanted to confederate and in 1867, the United Province of Canada joined with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to become the Dominion of Canada.

The British had been encouraging this confederation as a means to co-ordinate defence and inter-colonial co-operation. The US Civil War highlighted the need to expedite the process as the US press had been making threats to annex for quite some time.

The civil war wasn't the cause of confederation. That had been in the works for a while. But the war certainly made Canadians anxious to protect their sovereignty.

Cheers,

George



George
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This day in World History! Continued
10/21/2022 9:59:55 AM
Quote:
I couldn't find the link you suggested.

Nice comment!

I am beginning more and more to believe that the Versailles Treaty is the cause for much of the problems we are still facing in the world.

We know that the establishment of Poland was an irritant to both the Soviets and the Germans. The Soviets went war with the new Polish state to regain that territory which was taken away from them immediately after the establishment of the Polish State. And we know that Stalin hated Poland for he walked back to Russia with the defeated Army after the Miracle of the Vistula. Those at the Peace Table should have insured the protection of Poland, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia..

Germany had no love for the Poles either. The attack on Poland, to start World War II, created by the Versailles treaty, was to regain the territory taken from Imperial Germany by the terms of said Versailles Treaty.

We are still dealing with the after-effects of the breakup of Austria-Hungary in the Balkans.

The breakup of the Middle East Ottoman Empire is still a major concern.



NYG, this is the title of the article that I attempted to provide.

Quote:
GERMAN PROPOSALS AND COUNTER-PROPOSALS
Source: The Advocate of Peace (1894-1920) , JUNE, 1919, Vol. 81, No. 6 (JUNE, 1919), pp.
189-192
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/20668298


I found it on the jstor web site. But if you haven't register with jstor, you will have to do that. There is no cost to that and jstor will allow you to read 100 free articles in a year. I have found it to be a valuable resource and it was recommended to me by someone else on the forum.
NYGiant
home  USA
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This day in World History! Continued
10/21/2022 10:34:57 AM
I'll have to join later today.

As I understand it, the Allies gave Germany five days to decide on Peace or have the war resume. Germany accepted the “diktat”. All in all, Germany accepted the “diktat”.
It cannot be denied that the conditions were somewhat draconian, and left Germany seething for revenge.

So the seeds of World War II were planted, before the ink on the Peace document had dried.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
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This day in World History! Continued
10/21/2022 12:15:36 PM
Quote:
I'll have to join later today.

As I understand it, the Allies gave Germany five days to decide on Peace or have the war resume. Germany accepted the “diktat”. All in all, Germany accepted the “diktat”.
It cannot be denied that the conditions were somewhat draconian, and left Germany seething for revenge.

So the seeds of World War II were planted, before the ink on the Peace document had dried.


Of course they called it a "diktat". That wouldn't bother the French who remembered the diktat imposed upon them at the end of the Franco-Prussian war in 1871. There were two treaties, one that ended the armistice and allowed the Prussians to lift the siege of Paris. The second one established the terms which include the loss of French territory to the new Germany, crushing reparations payments and the forced migration of French citizens who did not wish to remain in territory that now belonged to Germany.

We can see the pattern here. Tit for tat when the opportunity arose in 1918. Note that the Prussians were looking for a little payback in 1871 having a long memory of the Napoleonic wars and their defeat at that time.

I would concur that the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 created a hostile atmosphere in Germany. Certainly they were resentful. Though defeated on the battlefield, they did not consider the armistice to be anything more than a peace making instrument.

But I do not agree that war in 1939 was inevitable just because of this treaty. As I mentioned before there were other developments in Germany, Italy and the USSR that cannot be directly attributed to the Treaty of Versailles. So it is a part of the puzzle but war was not inevitable just because of the treaty.

BTW this is where the allies finishes on Nov. 11. The Canadians entered Mons on that day, where it had all begun.



The map is from New Zealand and the route that they took to Cologne and then to the British zone of occupation.

The war was lost for Germany. That's why they implored the US and Wilson to grant terms based on his 14 points. Wilson seemed to be the man that Germany had targeted as he often talked about, "peace without victory". That was appealing to a country that was being pushed back to the homeland.

The distance from Mons in Belgium to Aachen in Germany is only 180 km. It was only 60 km from the nearest point of advance in France to the Rhineland.

The request made by Germany to the US occurred as early as Oct. 3 when a note was sent to Wilson through a Swiss intermediary. The Hindenburg Line was being breached at the time as the allied relentless push during the 100 days continued.

By this time the US had experienced some of what its allies had experienced since 1914 and the US and even Wilson was in a less forgiving mood.

But it was Supreme Commander Foch who did the talking for the allies, not the government representatives.

And Foch wanted security which meant control of the Rhineland on the left bank and bridgeheads on the right side would be established. Within 5 weeks of the armistice the bridgeheads were under control. France had 250,000 troops in the Rhineland at peak numbers.

The writing was on the wall for Germany I think. Surely they must have realized that they were in a predicament. It was sign or see the homeland invaded. And it wasn't that far away from the farthest advance of the allies on Nov. 11.

The allies and especially France were in a foul mood. France actually proposed that the Rhineland be established as a separate state but the British and the US and Italy wouldn't go for that.

Thousands of allied troops were already in the Rhineland beginning in Dec. of 1918. Negotiations for the treaty did not begin until January of 1919. With a large army already in German territory, Germany had little choice but to sign especially when the allies announced that they would attack if they didn't sign.

George
Phil Andrade
London  UK
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This day in World History! Continued
10/21/2022 3:14:22 PM
“ This is not peace. This is an Armistice for twenty years. “

Who said that, and when, and why ?

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
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This day in World History! Continued
10/21/2022 4:52:51 PM
Quote:
“ This is not peace. This is an Armistice for twenty years. “

Who said that, and when, and why ?

Regards, Phil


Foch wasn't it? But not for the reason that we may think. Foch felt that the treaty didn't sufficiently neuter the German military or its potential to recover.

There were others who made similar statements. Gen. Currie, Gen. Pershing both thought that Germany should have been pursued and defeated utterly.

Cheers,

George
OpanaPointer
St. Louis MO USA
Posts: 1968
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This day in World History! Continued
10/21/2022 8:17:53 PM
I wonder who in the Kremlin got shit for allowing the nascent Luftwaffe to train in the steppes.
NYGiant
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This day in World History! Continued
10/21/2022 8:41:46 PM
Poland, created but the Versailles Treaty, from territory that's once Germany and Soviet Russia, made another war inevitable.
NYGiant
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This day in World History! Continued
10/21/2022 8:43:44 PM
Germany rebuilt its shattered military at four secret bases hidden in Russia. In exchange, the Reichswehr sent men to teach and train the young Soviet officer corps. However, the most important aspect of Soviet-German cooperation was its technological component. Together, the two states built a network of laboratories, workshops, and testing grounds in which they developed what became the major weapons systems of World War II.

This all stopped once Hitler came to power.
NYGiant
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This day in World History! Continued
10/21/2022 8:44:45 PM
Germany rebuilt its shattered military at four secret bases hidden in Russia. In exchange, the Reichswehr sent men to teach and train the young Soviet officer corps. However, the most important aspect of Soviet-German cooperation was its technological component. Together, the two states built a network of laboratories, workshops, and testing grounds in which they developed what became the major weapons systems of World War II.

This all stopped once Hitler came to power.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
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This day in World History! Continued
10/21/2022 9:47:19 PM
Quote:
Poland, created but the Versailles Treaty, from territory that's once Germany and Soviet Russia, made another war inevitable.


Disagree. The Treaty of Versailles should have neutered the German military machine but a failure of political will to enforce it meant that Germany would eventually ignore it.

The League of Nations did some good things in the field of health care but it was a paper tiger and failed to get involved when a country like Italy decided to invade Abyssinia. By 1937, three militaristic countries were no longer members of the League and League was not powerful enough to do anything about it.

And the US wanted nothing to do with the League. So we had a situation where two of the great powers, France and Britain were too war weary to continue to enforce the treaty and the other partner, the US, was disinterested. And so fascism and aggressive militarism could flourish.

The rise of fascism and militarism set the stage for war and when one of those developed an ideology like Naziism and a charismatic leader who blamed Jews and other untermenschen for all of the problems in Germany, the stage was set. When Hitler spoke of lebenstraum he was declaring that he intended to take territory to allow for German expansion. And he wasn't talking just about territories surrendered in 1919.

The global depression created an environment in some countries whereby the appeal of ethnic and aggressive nationalism could be popular with the people. Hitler's rise can be partly attributed to the poor economy in Germany created by the Great Depression.

WWII was not inevitable because of the imposition of the Treaty of Versailles.

Could it have been stopped?

I think so. The policy of appeasement turned out to be the incorrect one. But even before that, suppose France had attacked when Germany and Austria united, in 1938. British appeasement bought time for Britain to prepare for a war but I think that there was a time when a show of force would have deterred Hitler.

Military action or even the threat of it in 1935 could have prevented this war but the future allies lacked the political will. And they failed to enforce the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. How was Hitler allowed to re-establish a German military?

Hitler militarized the Rhineland in 1936 and entered it with very few troops. The very large French army was very close but did not intervene. Could the French have invaded the Rhineland at that point and was Germany strong enough to stop them?

There were so many political and economic and military developments in the interwar years that I do not think can be attributed to any influence of the Treaty of Versailles.


Michigan Dave
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This day in World History! Continued
10/21/2022 9:55:55 PM
Quote:
Quote:
1864 Confederate Forces based in Canada attack St Albans, VT. So would you say Canada was harboring Rebels, letting them use Canada as a base!? It sure seems that way? & not the 1st time!? ( the attack on Johnsons Island Ohio) What say you??


There was a considerably large group of Confederate agents and soldiers present in Canada. And there were US agents living in Canada trying to keep an eye on the Confederates. And the Canadian police and the British were trying to keep tabs on both.

The Confederates built a large and well funded secret service in Canada. In 1864 a man named Jacob Thompson arrived in Toronto. He would lead the Confederate efforts to disrupt the Union by arranging forays into the US from Canada. Thompson had been a cabinet member in Pres. Buchanan's government before the war. The US placed a bounty on his head.

There was considerable sympathy for the Confederate cause in parts of Canada. Some Canadians were selling goods to the Confederates. This sympathy had nothing to do with slavery which was largely opposed by Canadians.

But Canadians were also fearful of the threats, continuing threats, made by people in the US that it was time to annex the British colonies. US newspapers were full of these threats especially with the knowledge that Confederates were operating out of Canada. Sec. of State William Seward had made it part of his life's work and not just during the civil war to arrange for the annexation of Canadian territory. And so the Confederates were viewed as the little guy standing up to a bully.

The British and Canadian governments took a neutral stance and monitored the movements of Confederate and Union spies in Toronto and Montréal.

Somewhere between 40-60K Canadians fought in the civil war and most of those fought for the Union with several winning the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Jacob Thompson organized escaped Confederate prisoners and allied with disaffected groups in the north to plan raids into the US.

While the raid on St. Albans, Vermont receives a lot of attention, that didn't mean that the Confederates weren't active beyond that bold foray into the US. The fact that the Canadian government did not extradite them and claimed that they were just soldiers doing their job angered the US. A posse out of St. Albans had crossed into Canada to look for the Confederate raiders and had captured them. But the Canadian police apprehended the bunch and sent the Americans back home and detained the Confederate raiders. With the failure to convict and extradite, there were American troops prepared to cross and seize Canada. Lincoln put a stop to that.

This is the Queen's Hotel in Toronto and it was spy central for the Confederate Secret Service. The US Northern Secret Service was aware of this location and so were the Toronto police and British agents.



At peak there were about 100 southerners living in the Queen's Hotel. Among them were agents and escaped prisoners, all waiting for instructions from Jacob Thompson

Quote:
There was no mistaking the escaped Rebel prisoners. They hung around the lobby and bar of the Queen’s, trying to appear respectable in torn gray coats and cracked jackboots or in castoff clothes they had robbed from some clothesline after climbing the board fences of Camps Chase, Morton, or Johnson’s Island. They were gaunt, hollow-eyed men, with faces lined and tanned the color of old leather by the relentless sun which had scorched the treeless prison yards that rainless summer.
. source: Horan, J., Confederate Agents, 1954)

These men had support from Toronto's wealthy and elite and they were free to roam so long as they did not break Canadian laws. Many of these Canadians had friends from the south. Prior to the war, southerners had vacationed in Upper Canada primarily in the Niagara Falls area and were found to be kind and gentle. This was often contrasted with the northerners who were not well liked primarily because they kept talking about annexation.

While raids like St. Albans were not repeated, the Confederate spies were involved in a lot of other activities. They could easily slip into the US to take note of troop movements, and gun emplacements. They would note where disaffected Americans could perhaps be compromised. When they had information, they would cross Lake Ontario to the US side and disappear, often with communications written on silk and sewn into their clothing.

In response, the US Northern Secret Service despatched agents to set up posts to monitor the movement of the Confederates. Both were under observation by the British and a new agency called the Canadian Frontier Police. Largely both sides moved without impediments as the British and Canadians maintained a neutral stance.

There were also free lancers in the north who made a living by crossing back and forth to run information for one side or the other.

Similar activities were taking place in Montréal and Windsor (just south of Detroit on the Canadian side) but spy central was in Toronto.

Jacob Thompson liked to live high on the hog in the Queen's Hotel and he had received a healthy sum from the Confederates to fund his lavish lifestyle. The Queen's Hotel also had its own telegraph office and messages could be sent easily. The hotel also carried most of the US newspapers.

The Confederate spy network was quite sophisticated and Thompson would send messages to the south embedded in classified ads in the American newspapers.

I wouldn't say that schemes directed by Thompson were all that successful but they did keep the northerners on their toes and forced them to commit assets when events did transpire like:

1. An attempt to free Confederate soldiers from northern prison camps.

2. An attempt to organize insurrectionists in Ohio and Illinois in a revolt against the Union and the War.

3. Nov. 25, 1864, Confederates from Toronto firebombed targets in NYC. There wasn't much damage because the Confederates had been infiltrated by a double agent who informed the NY authorities.

4. Another failed attempt was made on the USS Michigan which was the only US gun ship on Lake Ontario.

5. A planned kidnapping of V.P. elect Andrew Johnson was foiled.

6. And of course, the infamous St. Albans raid in which the Confederates killed a man in the town. This one actually upset many Canadians. It was one thing to have a bunch of foreigners playing spy games in Canada but robbing banks and killing people while operating out of Canada was not acceptable.

By the end of 1864, there were Union agents sitting at the bar in the Queen's or sitting reading a paper at the nearby rail station, just keeping an eye on the Confederates.

Jacob Thompson complained that the Union agents were cramping his operations. He wrote:

Quote:
“The bane and curse of carrying out anything in this country is the surveillance under which we act. Detectives or those ready to give information stand at every corner. Two or three cannot interchange ideas without a reporter.”


It became harder and harder for the Confederate agents to accomplish much.

There was a wealthy man in Toronto named Denison who was an active supporter of the Confederates and Jacob Thompson. Denison later became an important Toronto politician but during the civil war he aided and abetted the Confederates. By the end of 1864 the northern agents were aware of how the Confederate spies were hiding messages in clothing and would catch a spy and tear open the seams of coats to find the bulky messages. Apparently it was Denison who suggested writing on silk and sewing the silk into the lining of a coat. The messages were not discovered with an easy pat down. Denison's wife sewed the messages into the coats of spies.

Denison also helped Thompson buy a steamer called the Georgian. The purchase was made through straw buyers so it could not by traced to Denison or to Thompson. This was to be used for armed raids out of Toronto to the other side of the lake and beyond. This was too much for the Canadian authorities and they chased the Georgian with their own boats. They boarded it and performed customs inspections at every port. Finally, the Canadians impounded the Georgian in Collingwood, Ontario.

Denison was charged with violating Canadian neutrality but he was acquitted.

In 1867, Jefferson Davis was in Toronto. He was on his way to Niagara Falls. Denison organized a crowd of 7,000 and he led them in a cheer for the former President of the Confederacy.

Interesting days in my old hometown, Toronto, during the civil war.

[Read More]

I would add that while the US Civil War raged Canadian politicians in the British provinces were negotiating with one another and with the British to amalgamate into a single administrative unit. They wanted to confederate and in 1867, the United Province of Canada joined with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to become the Dominion of Canada.

The British had been encouraging this confederation as a means to co-ordinate defence and inter-colonial co-operation. The US Civil War highlighted the need to expedite the process as the US press had been making threats to annex for quite some time.

The civil war wasn't the cause of confederation. That had been in the works for a while. But the war certainly made Canadians anxious to protect their sovereignty.

Cheers,

George




Wow George,

I never fathomed that Canada (British at the time) was so pro Confederate!? I thought like Great Britain itself it would disapprove of Slavery so much, they wouldn't think of aidding the Rebs!? But from your post above, I would surmise that they were damn near allies!? Did they ever consider recognizing the Confederate States of America!?

Rather surprised that they felt ill well towards the North!?
The neighboring states are much more like Canadians??

Regards, & Peace!
MD
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