Versailles, Treaty of
Versailles, Treaty of, 28 June 1919, the peace settlement imposed on Germany after WORLD WAR I
, drawn up at the Paris Peace Conference and signed near the French capital at Versailles. The treaty broke up and redistributed the German Empire and required substantial reparation payments from it. Canada had little impact on the final shape of the treaty, but PM Sir Robert BORDEN
led a successful fight for separate Dominion representation at the conference and separate signatures on the treaty. He believed passionately that Canada, with 60 000 war dead, had paid the price of such recognition. In addition to representation in its own right, and along with the other Dominions and India, Canada was represented on the British Empire delegation, a fact that increased Canada's prestige and the opportunities for making its views known. However, when it came to signing the treaty, the British PM did so for the entire empire, the Dominions included, thus reducing the importance of their hard-won individual signatures. Canada's involvement reflected the ambiguity of its position in the world. Canada remained subordinate to Britain, in fact and in the perception of other nations, but her emerging international personality had been recognized. The treaty also made provision for a LEAGUE OF NATIONS
, providing another vehicle for the advancement of Canada's national status.
Links to Other Sites
Sir Robert Laird Borden
This biography of Sir Robert Laird Borden includes interesting details about Canada's role in the First World War and related issues. From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
Canada and the peace
View a digitized copy of "Canada and the peace," a speech on the Treaty of peace, delivered by Prime Minister Robert Borden in the House of Commons on Tuesday, September 2, 1919. From the "Internet Archive" website.
1914 - 1921: The Crucible of War
A brief history of Canada's role on the world stage during peace and wartime from the website for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. Scroll down the page for historical notes and photographs of major events.
Watch film clips from Paul Cowan's "Paris 1919," a feature-length documentary with archival footage and dramatic re-enactments that take viewers inside post-First World War peace talks. Based on the book of the same title by author Margaret Macmillan and narrated by R.H. Thomson. From the National Film Board of Canada website.