The Remains of the Day Historical Context

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The 1919 Treaty of Versailles

World War I ended in 1918, and the victorious nations met at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 to determine the fate of Germany, the loser. Representatives at the Conference included British Prime Minister Lloyd George, Italian Foreign Minister Giorgio Sonnino, French Premier Georges Clemenceau, and American President Woodrow Wilson. Because Germany was blamed for the war, it was forced to pay reparations and to dismantle its military. In addition, Germany was forced to give up its colonies and most of its means of trade (trains, merchant ships, etc.).

The Treaty of Versailles was not sustainable; its punitive terms undermined hopes of lasting peace by discouraging Germany's recovery and return to the European community. Although the leaders of the victorious governments generally supported the treaty, there were individuals and groups who felt that Germany was being treated too harshly. As fascism rose in Europe in the...

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