End of Order: Review/Overview

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Great War of 1914. As such, a review of the book End of Order is presented.


In The End of Order: Versailles 1919, Charles L. Mee JR. analyzes the events leading up to, during, and after the Versailles Treaty of 1919. In the author’s own words, “diplomatic gatherings can be understood by examining each of the positions taken by each of the participants, standing back to watch the give and take, and summing up the outcome.”1 Of particular interests are the parallels the author makes between the Treaty of Versailles and the 1815 Treaty of Vienna. The Treaty of Versailles was a “Liberal or Revolutionary” Treaty, while the Congress of Vienna was the “Conservative or Traditionalist” Treaty. As historian and economist Tom Woods acknowledges, “…the Congress of Vienna of 1814-1815…had produced a peace settlement that endured for a full century.”2 By studying the players, motives, proceedings, and results, Mr. Mee concludes that, unlike the Vienna Congress, the Versailles Treaty, “far from restoring order to the world, took the chaos of the Great War, and, through vengefulness and inadvertence, impotence and design, they sealed it as the permanent condition of our century.”3

The players in the great debacle of Versailles were many. As Mr. Mee acknowledges, the sheer numbers lent to the absurdities, “When Lord Castlereagh went to Vienna in 1815, as a representative of the British Government, he took along a staff of fourteen men. In 1919, the British delegation filled five hotels. The Americans, at their high point, measured 1,300 persons.”4 Foremost among these, Mr. Mee holds, is President Woodrow Wilson. Wilson was the epitome of the Progressive citizen. He believed in absolute self-determination (a curiosity, since the country he led had denied this “right” to millions of Southerners in the great clash of 1861). Despite popular opinion in the States being against intervention in European affairs, “many had absorbed the message of Allied Propaganda that Germany was evil incarnate.” Among these was President Wilson, who had announced early in the war that “England…is fighting for the life of the world.”5 On the 2nd of April, 1917, Wilson went before Congress and requested war, saying that he “would not choose the path of submission.” Echoing Lincoln, Wilson stated that “worlds must be made safe for democracy.”6 Upon leaving after his speech, he privately reflected that his “message… was a message of death for our younger men.”7 Two days later war was declared, the war in Europe prolonged, and 116,000 States’ citizens killed. In 1917 Wilson had stated that the war’s blame was not to be upon the German people, but that it was “their government which acted upon entering…this war.”8 “We have no quarrel with the German people,” he assured. But by 1919 Wilson had changed his opinion, saying that the German people “were responsible for the acts of their government.”9

Georges Clemenceau was a liberal revolutionary born to a liberal family- ironically, in the most Traditional area of France- the agrarian Vendee region. He was raised with a respect for the Catastrophic Revolution of 1789, his own family encompassing “rationalists, anti-clericals, supporters of the Revolution, Republicans against the Monarchists, (and those) against Napoleon III.”10 Even while living in the Vendee, a land which, according to many historians, was subjected to a genocide that killed over 150,000 persons, Clemenceau’s family maintained their radical elements.        In 1865 he traveled to the United States and covered the period commonly know as “Reconstruction.” It was during this stay that his statist and typically Republican –whether “American” or French- views became fully revealed. Mee notes that “It has often been said that the problems of Reconstruction after the American Civil War were the closest historical parallel to the problems of healing after World War I.”11 Upon closer analysis, the similarities are indeed quite startling. The Germans of the Great War were subjected to a barbaric blockade which resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, as was true of the Confederated South; outside of a few weak allies (such as the Confederacy’s Treaty with the 5 Civilized Tribes) both countries were isolated. Both were promised a just peace that ultimately proved a lie. Both were subjected to the cruelty of their liberal enemies. But while German culture was preserved, albeit in a smaller form, Dixian culture was nearly and purposefully destroyed. Clemenceau reveled in the actions taken by the victorious Federals. He decried any attempt of “moderation and generosity” and warned against “allow(ing) the Southern States to resume the share of power which they held so long, and that the spirit of compromise, which plunged the United   States step by step into the Civil War, will once again obscure the issues.”12 His policy towards enemies grew out of watching the Yankee oppression, “There is a feeling that the South is now at the mercy of the North, and that for the first time the opportunity is at hand to quell definitely, once for all, the temper of oligarchial pride which worked such disaster to the Republic.”13 “The Tiger’s” mind was set: a government cannot truly be good, or even legitimate, if it is not in so-called “democratic” fashion, as opposed to what Clemenceau saw as “oligarchy.”  So while the mob rule of the Revolution is justified, the separation of a traditional, more aristocratic government is not- even if the government itself is a small, unintrusive, reserved one. Thus Clemenceau explains away the deaths of over 300,000 Dixian and 150,000 Vendeean soldiers and civilians, and eventually the horrific deaths of millions of Germans to gain his peace against the Traditionals.  He rose rapidly in the government upon his return to France. An agnostic at best, he was responsible for repealing the Napoleonic Concordant of 1802 and enacting subsequent anti-Catholic laws. While he was able to bully and defame political opponenets, he was never able to break the Papal opposition to his agenda. St. Pope Pius X wrote the Encyclical Vehementer Nos, directed against Clemeceau and his ilk, which even caused “the Tiger’s” roar to subside for a time, saying, “No one foresaw what resistance the Pope would show to the new law.”14 At the outbreak of the Great War of 1914, Clemenceau used his newspaper to vilify the “defeatists” and those who sought at least a fair peace. By 1919 he was made Premier- in part because of his actions to denigrate any conservatives or moderates and thus deny them office. Mee acknowledges that a “negotiated peace…might have staved off the collapse of some of the old regimes of Europe…But Clemenceau would have none of this…talk.”15 Clemenceau’s radical outlook was best summed up by his statement, “There are twenty million Germans too many.”16

Representing the British government was Welshman Loyd George, a liberal. Described by Churchill as an “offspring of the Welsh village whose whole youth had been rebellion against the aristocracy,” Lloyd George came with a dislike for the old order as well, but not so much as his Versailles constituents.17 He had been raised in the countryside of Wales, educated at an early age by his uncle, a shoemaker. He rose rapidly in his life to become Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1916. “Lloyd George,” noted Mee, “like Wilson-and, for that matter, like Clemenceau- behaved toward the world as he behaved towards women.”18 And that was with an advantageous mentality. He was “opportunistic and hand to mouth” noted an acquaintance. He “disdained the advice of his colleagues,” according to Mr. Mee.19 The “Welsh Witch,” as he was sometimes called, shifted positions often. “He really had no principles at all,” said one who knew him.20 Mee recognizes that these men met producing a combination of “Wilsonianism, English liberalism, and French democratic socialism.”21

The aims of each varied. According to Mr. Mee, Clemenceau wanted to “first and last…ensure security for France.”22 Lloyd George, according to the author, wished to “get some spoils for Britain…eliminate competition from the German colonial empire… (and) to frustrate Clemenceau’s plans to make France dominant on the continent.”23 Pat Buchanan agrees with Mee’s assessment of Llloyd George, stating that he “wanted a peace that would enlarge the empire…have Jingoes cheering him in the House, and eliminate Germany as a commercial rival and world power. He got it all…”24 Mr. Mee concludes that “No one quite knew what Wilson wanted,” but that he was “uninterested in any issue save the league and his Fourteen Points…and had no complete outline of terms for the peace.”25 While he states what others thought of the President, he elaborates little outside their words. However, one historian saw the drive of Wilson as being prevention of all future wars ‘by imposing the American view of government on the rest of the world.”26 One member of the United States delegation had said they felt that “God called us,” giving some insight to the Puritanically progressive mindset of which Wilson was possibly included.27 Clemenceau, Buchanan concludes, wished for “full compensation for the ruination… of the country and terms of peace that would guarantee the Germans would never again attempt what they had done in 1870 and 1914.”28 But while goals may have varied, one thing was certain: Versailles must not be like Vienna. Mee notes that “members of the British delegation…possessed…a slim little volume about the Congress of Vienna which the younger diplomats…disdain(ed).”29 According to one present in 1919, “the misguided, the reactionary, the after all pathetic aristocrats,” were responsible for any injustice committed in the past 100 years, and that Versailles would “found a new order in Europe,” which would prepare “Eternal Peace.” 30

The proceedings of the Treaty were slow to start. Loyde George called for a general election in Britain, Wilson took a holiday tour through Europe, and Clemenceau tried to manipulate and bully other powers, all of which threatened “to sabotage the work of the Conference before it was begun.”31 The French, a sign of the vengeful spirit to come, set the starting date for the meeting on the 18th of January, the anniversary of the Treaty concluding the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. An opening statement by the President of France, Raymond Poincare, elaborated even further on their spiteful aims: “On this day, forty-eight years ago…the German Empire was proclaimed by an army of invasion….. It was consecrated by theft…Born in injustice…you are assembled to repair the evil that it has done and to prevent a recurrence of it.”32 Premier Clemenceau was appointed the head of the Conference. Mee points out many persons’ views of “The Tiger” reflected that the decision to make Clemenceau the head of any peace conference was a poor one. Persons noted that he was “extremely rude to the Small Powers…to the Big Powers also,” that he would dismiss the Conference “regardless of the pleas and protests of the would-be speakers,” and that he ruled with “drastic firmness.”33 “Free debate and actual voting by the delegates had no place in the proceedings with M. Clemenceau in the chair,” concluded United   States’ Secretary of State Robert Lansing.34 It was now clear: France would steer the proceedings, especially those concerning Germany. And foremost on Clemenceau’s list was insuring that Germany would never again possess the strength to wage a successful war against France. This was accomplished by amputating many German areas into non-German lands, artificial states made legitimate at Versailles. To accomplish this, however, the Conference would have to circumvent Wilson’s Fourteen Points, the terms the Germans originally surrendered upon. Of the 14 Points themselves, 6 were compromised either to punish Germany and Austro-Hungary or to accede to British policy.35 In order to match both Clemenceau’s and at least appear to match Wilson’s points, the allied leaders and nationals stooped over great map and carved up Europe. Mr. Mee affirms this, noting that much “was considered along the lines of what would benefit France” or “enfeeble Germany.”36 Charles Seymour, leader of the U.S. delegation to the Austro-Hungarian lands, described one meeting, “We went into the next room where the floor was clear and Wilson spread out a big map (made in our office) on the floor and got down on his hands and knees to show us what had been done; most of us were also on our hands and knees. I was in the front row and felt someone pushing me, and looked around angrily to find that it was Orlando (Italian Premier and leader of the Italian delegation to the conference) on his hands and knees crawling like a bear toward the map…I wish I could have had a picture of the most important men in the world on all fours over this map.”37 The resulting Treaty was, according to the Prime Minister of South Africa, “humiliating.” P.M. Botha continued that the Treaty was so entirely unjust that he “felt sorry that any nation should stoop so low as to accept such terms.”38 Patrick J. Buchanan looked back on that moment in history and saw more ominous signs due to their amputatious activities, “So it was that the men of Paris redrew the maps of Europe, and planted the seeds of a second European War.”39

Mr. Mee notes that the “Peace Conference (of Paris)… was not to be a conference at all in the traditional sense of the term…Germans, who were not represented in Paris, were quite naturally ignored.”40 Buchanan recognized this as well, “Though Napoleon’s foreign minister Talleyrand had been invited to Vienna to negotiate the peace of Europe, no German had bee invited to Paris.”41 Gone were the days of conservative civility, replaced by the vindictive nature of Democratic powers. Even the Italian Prime Minister succeeding Vittorio Orlando, the radical Francesco Nitti, acknowledged the hypocrisy of Versailles, “In the old canon law of the Church it was laid down that everyone must have a hearing, even the devil…But the new democracy…did not even obey the precepts which the dark Middle Ages held sacred on behalf of the accused.”42 The Germans were only brought in to sign the document, “like felons into the room to sign their doom,” noted one observer.43 Clemenceau presented the papers to the Germans and declared, “We are ready to give you peace.”44 Upon reading the Treaty, the foreign Minister of Germany, Ulrich von Brockdorff-Rantzau, spoke before the Confrerence, “It is demanded of us that we admit ourselves to be the only ones guilty in this war. Such a confession…would be a lie…We are far from declining any responsibility…but we deny that Germany and its people were alone guilty. The hundreds of thousands of non-combatants who have perished since the 11th of November by reason of the blockade were killed with cold blood after our adversaries had conquered…Think of that when you think of guilt and punishment.”45 The Conference’s anger overpoured. Even Wilson, the unusually sedate politician, was stung by the German’s declaration of the obvious contradiction in principle, making him declare that he Germans had “abominable manners” and were “really stupid people.”46 The Germans made a counter-proposal, but, said one of the Allies present, the conference “could not permit such a question to be debated,” even when, according to another present, the counter-proposal was “the most brilliant treaty” that he had ever read.47 Lloyd George suggested revising the treaty to give Germany some lee-way, but Clemenceau refused. The Germans were forced to sign the original treaty “or have the war resumed.”48 Mee notices that “Wilson was in complete agreement (with the other Allies)…American troops were fully prepared and waiting to take part in an Allied invasion of Germany if the treaty were not signed.”49 Under such pressure, the German government signed the treaty.

While the Congress of Vienna sought to maintain the traditional governments and restore those removed from power by Napoleon, the Conference that culminated in the Treaty of Versailles and later subsequent treaties actively eliminated and prevented Monarchs from returning to their thrones. Kaiser Wilhelm II was decried as a warmonger and called a “war criminal,” leading him to flee to the protection of the Netherlands. Germany, despite their battlefield prowess, were derided and preyed upon. The Germans were thrown to the ground and then kicked mercilessly. “Versailles,” writes Pat Buchanan, “stripped from Germany one-tenth of her people and one-eighth of her territory. Germany’s overseas empire, the third largest on Earth, was wholly confiscated. All private property of German citizens in German colonies was declared forfeit…. German’s rivers were internationalized and she was forced to open her home market to allied imports, but denied equal access to allied markets…Germany was forbidden ever again to build armored cars, tanks, heavy artillery, submarines, or an air force. The High Seas Fleet was seized as war booty, as was the German merchant fleet…The General Staff was abolished and the army restricted to one hundred thousand men. Germany was to remain forever naked to her enemies.”50

Lloyd George, afterwards, said it best, “You may strip Germany of her colonies, reduce her armaments to a mere police force and her navy to that of a fifth rate power; all the same, in the end, if she feels that she has been unjustly treated in the peace of 1919 she will find means of exacting retribution from her conquerors… Injustice, arrogance displayed in the hour of triumph will never be forgotten or forgiven…”51 The Prime Minister continued that the separations of Germans to non-German rule would later have disastrous consequences, “I cannot conceive any greater cause of future war than that the German people, who have certainly proved themselves one of the most vigorous and powerful races in the world, should be surrounded by a number of small states, many of them consisting of people who have never previously set up a stable government for themselves, but each of them containing large masses of Germans clamouring for reunion with their native land.”52 Churchill, who favoured war with Germany, would later reflect that Versailles, “Under American and modernizing pressure…had driven the Habsburgs out of Austria and the Hohenzollerns out of Germany,” and allowed “the Hitlerite monster to crawl…onto the vacant thrones.”53 But, even after exposing the corruption, bias, foolishness, and injustice that the Allies performed, “a failure that no one has since been able to repair, whose results have lived ever since,” Mr. Mee throws it all away and concludes, “the collapse of the old order was a necessary prelude to the spread of self-rule, the liberation of new nations and classes, the release of new freedom and independence. The old order was…an ally of old privilege, a fossil of the nineteenth century, a relic of a clockwork universe that had gone out of existence forever.”54 One cannot help but feel that the author is somewhat attune to President Wilson and Clemenceau in this regard. “The powers could no longer impose their will on the many new peoples who took their destinies into their own hands,” Mr. Mee states.55 The “oligarchy” must be removed, and was “necessary.” The means to achieve that end are thereby justified. If Mr. Mee had been present at Versailles, it is certain he would have voted to uphold the treaty for the sake of “democracy.” For that reason the book End of Order is, like Mr. Mee describes the Treaty itself, a “mixed bag.”56

“To me the word freedom has not the value of a starting-point, but of an actual goal to be striven for. The word order designates the starting-point. It is only on order that freedom can be based. Without order as a foundation the cry for freedom is nothing more than the endeavour of some party or other for an end it has in view. When actually carried out in practice, that cry for freedom will inevitably express itself in tyranny. At all times and in all situations I was a man of order, yet my endeavour was always for true and not for pretended liberty.”

-Prince Klemens von Metternich57

C.J. Carter

1 Charles L. Mee, Jr., The End of Order: Versailles 1919 (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1980), pg. XV

2 Thomas Woods, The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2004), pg. 124

3 Mee, pg. xviii

4 Ibid., pg 40

5 Woods, pg. 110

6 Alvin M. Josephy, JR., The American Heritage History of World War I (American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc., 1964) pg 205

7 Ibid.

8 Patrick J. Buchanan, Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War (New   York: Three Rivers Press, 2008) pg. 73

9 Ibid.

10 Mee, pg. 18

11 Mee, pg. 19

12 Ibid.

13 Ibid.

14 Br. John Neumann, “Pope St. Pius X.” http://catholicism.org/piusx.html Published 27th of June, 2005

15 Mee, pg. 22

16 Buchanan, pg. 72

17 Mee, pg. 31

18 Mee, pgs. 31-32

19 Mee, pg. 46

20 Mee, pg. 30

21 Mee, pg. 36

22 Mee, pg. 54

23 Mee, pg. 56

24 Buchanan, pg.85

25 Mee, pgs. 57, 76-77

26  Anne W. Carroll, Christ the King, Lord of History (Rockford, Illinois, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1994) pg. 417

27 Buchanan, pg. 75

28 Buchanan, pg. 85

29 Mee, pg. 36

30 Ibid.

31 Mee, pg. 41

32 Mee, pg. 48

33 Mee, pg. 52

34 Mee, pg. 49

35 Mee, pgs. 52-53

36 Mee, pg. 80

37 Buchanan, pg. 109

38 Mee, pg. 52

39 Buchanan, pg. 95

40 Mee, pgs. 78-79

41 Buchanan, pg. 84

42 Ibid.

43 Mee, pg. 83

44 Mee, pg. 81

45 Buchanan, pg. 81

46 Buchanan, pg. 83

47 Mee, pg. 232

48 Carroll, pg. 417

49 Mee, pg. 243

50 Buchanan, pg. 74

51 Buchanan, pg. 96

52 Ibid.

53 Buchanan, pg. 111

54 Mee, pg. 268

55 Ibid.

56 Ibid.

57 “Prince Klemens Lothar Wenzel von Metternich,” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10245a.htm       Published 2009. Quotation taken from “Political Testament.”


Buchanan, Patrick J., , Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2008)

Carroll, Anne W., Christ the King, Lord of History (Rockford, Illinois, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1994)

Josephy, Alvin M. Jr., The American Heritage History of World War I (American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc., 1964)

Mee, Charles L., The End of Order: Versailles 1919 (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1980)

“Metternich on Making Peace, 1814,” http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~habsweb/sourcetexts/vienna.htm

Neumann, Br. John, “Pope St. Pius X.” http://catholicism.org/piusx.html Published 27th of June, 2005

Pius X, Pope St. “Vehementer Nos,” http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_x/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-x_enc_11021906_vehementer-nos_en.html  Originally published the 11th of February, 1906

“Prince Klemens Lothar Wenzel von Metternich.” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10245a.htm       Published 2009.

Samuel, Henry “Masonic Genocide of French Catholics.” http://www.traditioninaction.org/Questions/B251_Vendeehtml.html 26th of December, 2008

Woods, Thomas, The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2004)

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