Versailles #75: Destructive Divisions
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Between 5 to 10 June 1919, one could be forgiven for imagining that the allies would be far too buys discussing the German counterproposals and their intended reply to do anything else. In fact, what we see on the morning of 5th June is a significant exchange between Paderewski and the big three, as Poland was placed on trial for its recent actions. It was almost as though the big three had nothing else to do, as their attentions were well and truly occupied with this largely unrelated issue.
Or...was it so unrelated? After all, unless the border with Germany and Poland was finalised, and the question of Upper Silesia affirmed, there could be no clarity on the German Treaty as a whole. Furthermore, it was entirely possible that if the Poles were unclear about where they would have to stop in thier claims to nationhood, a conflict could erupt as soon as the peace was signed. As it happened, this conflict did erupt, but between Poles and Soviets rather than Poles and Germans. Solving the borders between the two states was just another divisive mission which the big three would have to accomplish, and it was plain that each individual had a different stake in the debate.
Was it possible that while en route to the resolution of the peace treaty, the big three could get so tied up in other questions equally in need of resolution that they might never make it to the end? Possibly; at the very least, these destructive divisions which always remained under the surface, and which moved the French, Americans and British to grow their own positions on the different aspects of the peace refused to go away. Until compromise could be reached, a final settlement would thus be out of reach altogether.
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