The ceasefire was in fact a German capitulation, because its conditions put an end to any possibility of Germany continuing the war. Similar agreements have already been signed by Bulgaria, Turkey and Austria. However, the peace treaties that officially ended the First World War were not signed until 1919. On January 8, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson edited the post-war goals, the Fourteen Points. He outlined a policy of free trade, open agreements and democracy. While the term was not used, self-determination was adopted. He called for an end to the negotiations of war, international disarmament, the withdrawal of the central powers from the occupied territories, the creation of a Polish state, the revival of European borders along ethnic lines and the establishment of a society of nations to guarantee the political independence and territorial integrity of all States. [9] [n. 3] He called for a just and democratic peace, uncompromisingd by territorial annexation. The fourteen points were based on the study of the survey, a team of about 150 advisers, led by foreign policy adviser Edward M. House, on the topics that will likely appear in the expected peace conference.

[10] The Paris Peace Conference opened on 18 January 1919, an important date marking the anniversary of the coronation of German Emperor William I, which took place at the Palace of Versailles at the end of the Franco-German War in 1871. Prussia`s victory in this conflict led to German unification and the conquest of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine by France. In 1919, France and its Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau had not forgotten the humiliating loss and wanted to avenge it in the new peace agreement. France had lost 1.3 million soldiers, 25% of whom were French men aged 18 to 30 and 400,000 civilians. France had been more physically damaged than any other nation (the red zone), the most industrialized region and the source of most of the north-eastern coal and iron ore had been devastated and, in the final days of the war, mines had been flooded and railways, bridges and factories had been destroyed.) [33] Clemenceau intended to ensure France`s security by weakening Germany economically, militarily, territorially and by ousting Germany as the leading steel producer in Europe. [33] [34] [35] [35] [short incomplete quotation] The British economist and Versailler negotiator, John Maynard Keynes, summed up this position by trying to « set aside and undo what had been achieved since 1870 by Germany`s progress. » [36] I leave Paris after eight fateful months with conflicting feelings. If you look at the conference after the fact, there is a lot to take, but there is a lot to regret. It is easy to say what should have been done, but more difficult to have found a way to do it.