By Charles L. Mee Jr.

World warfare I and the Versailles Treaty that produced the main severe upheaval in a protracted and stormy process glossy international background. 4 nice empires - Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Russia - have been a part of the war's rubble. faraway from restoring the area to reserve, the diplomats who met in 1919 at Paris and Versailles plunged the realm back, this time irretrievably, into the chaos of the 20 th century. It used to be the tip of order.

At 3 o'clock at the afternoon of could 7, 1919, the top of the German delegation to the Paris Peace convention entered a room within the Palace of Versailles and was once "dazzled and disoriented through the unexpected explosion of solar mirrored within the tremendous mirrors, the chandeliers and white walls." Brockdorf-Rantzau was once additional bewildered by means of the treaty that was once awarded to him - "a mass of go references and adjusted paragraphs" overlaying 2 hundred published pages and a hundred and forty articles. but nobody had studied the record - now not the barrel-chested, shrewd...

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Perhaps his closest and most enduring friendship was with Claude Monet, whose impressionist paintings of water lilies Clemenceau especially loved. Clemenceau enjoyed visiting Monet, sitting with Monet in the painter’s garden, urging him on when the painter began to go blind toward the end of his life. “Monet was a supreme lyricist,” Clemenceau said in a book he wrote about his friend’s paintings of water lilies, “and this lyricist was a man of action. ” Monet was born, said Clemenceau, “palette in hand, and conceived living merely as standing before a canvas upon which to inscribe the flux of luminous energy through which the protean universe settles itself by means of its own reflection into a semblance of fixity.

But the war had discredited much of the rhetoric of national pride, honor, and sacrifice, as well as faith in the notions of reason, progress, humanism. Nor did the notions of God, representational art, or Newtonian physics appear to be in such good repair. The “modern” western civilization that had grown up since the Renaissance was under siege from outside, and from within, and offered scant support to the disintegrating political order. By January of 1919, as the delegates gathered in Paris for the Peace Conference, the shallow graves of Verdun were being washed out by the rains; feet stuck out of the ground, and helmets with skulls in them rose up through the mud.

He was a Southerner not merely in the superficial sense,” the historian Gerald Johnson wrote, “ — in the soft inflections in his speech, his normal courtesy toward friends and associates… but in more essential ways. ” His first wife, Ellen Axson, was the daughter of a Presbyterian minister. Her mother had died, and she had taken over as mistress of the parsonage, looking after her father, her two younger brothers, and her baby sister, and had vowed never to marry. ” She accepted. ” Their marriage, which lasted until Ellen’s death twenty-nine years later, in August of 1914, was entirely successful.

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