What was more important to the national delegations: self-interest, or the achievement of a satisfactory European peace settlement?This is regarding the Treaty of Versailles.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, the national delegations were, for the most part, more concerned with national self-interest than with trying to create a peace settlement that would be just and would be satisfactory to all sides.

I think that the place where we can see that most clearly is in the dismemberment of Germany and the imposition of reparations on that country.  If the French and British had been concerned with justice and a lasting peace, they would not have taken away parts of Germany and would especially not have imposed the heavy reparations (which also included making Germany admit the war was all their fault when it really wasn't).

By doing these things, the French and British, especially, showed they were more concerned with what they thought was their national self-interest.