What Was the Primary Goal of the Paris Peace Conference?

The primary goal of the Paris Peace Conference was to draft a peace treaty to end World War I. Delegates at the conference represented the nations that opposed the German Alliance. The main outcome of the conference was the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

British and French delegates at the Conference argued for harsh treaty terms that would force Germany to pay reparations of nearly $32 billion. The US delegate, President Woodrow Wilson, opposed harsh punishment, preferring German participation in the League of Nations instead. Italy and Japan favored punitive reparations, and Russia was excluded from the conference because England and France refused to recognize the Soviet government.

The Treaty of Versailles required Germany to pay large sums of money, give up large sections of land and submit to the League of Nations. German delegates opposed the requirements of the treaty but eventually gave in and signed it.

The United States did not sign the Treaty of Versailles despite President Wilson’s support of the League of Nations. The U.S. Senate refused to ratify the treaty, and signed a separate peace accord with Germany, the Treaty of Berlin. Other treaties drafted and signed at the Paris Peace Conference include the Treaty of Saint-Germain, the Treaty of Trianon, the Treaty of Neuilly and the Treaty of Sevres.