Polychronicon 175: Paris 1919 – a century on

Teaching History feature

David Reynolds, last updated: 24th June 2019

The Paris peace conference resulted in five major treaties, each with one of the defeated Central Powers. Of these the most consequential was the Treaty of Versailles with Germany, signed on 28 June 1919, which was denounced by the young economist John Maynard Keynes in his bestselling polemic The Economic Consequences of the Peace. Keynes dubbed the Treaty a ‘Carthaginian Peace’, akin to that imposed by Rome on Carthage in 146 BC after victory in the Punic Wars – what he called a ‘policy of reducing Germany to servitude for a generation which would cause ‘the decay of the whole civilised life of Europe’...

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