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Topics in Chronicling America - Treaty of Versailles

Newspaper headlines around the world proclaim, “World War Ends as Pact is Signed” on June 28, 1919, ending one of the deadliest conflicts in history that resulted in over 35 million casualties. Exactly five years after the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the Treaty of Versailles was signed as crowds cheered and wept, while Germany bitterly protested. Many historians claim the peace treaty's harsh terms set the stage for the Second World War. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.


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Important Dates:

  • January 18, 1919. The Peace Conference opens in Paris with President Woodrow Wilson, and leaders from France, Great Britain and Italy; the League of Nations is created and approved.
  • June 23, 1919. Germany officially indicates that it will sign the treaty, expressing reservations about its content.
  • June 28, 1919. Germany signs the treaty, effectively ending the war.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Peace Treaty, Paris Peace Conference, Versailles, League of Nations, Big Four, Armistice.
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results, i.e. between 1918-1919.
  • The treaty was referred to at the time as the “Peace Treaty” more often than as the Treaty of Versailles. “Great War” is also used rather than “World War I.”

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  May 3, 2013
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