U.S.–German Peace Treaty (1921)
|Signed||25 August 1921|
|Effective||11 November 1921|
|Condition||Ratification by Germany and the United States.|
The U.S.—German Peace Treaty is a peace treaty between the U.S. and German governments, signed in Berlin on August 25, 1921, in the aftermath of World War I. The main reason for the conclusion of that treaty was the fact that the U.S. Senate did not ratify the multilateral peace treaty signed in Versailles, thus leading to a separate peace treaty. Ratifications were exchanged in Berlin on November 11, 1921, and the treaty became effective on the same day. The treaty was registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on August 12, 1922.
During World War I, the German Empire was defeated by the Allied Powers, one of which was the United States. The U.S. government declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917. At the end of the war in November 1918, the German monarchy was overthrown and Germany was established as a republic.
In 1919, the victorious Allied Powers held a peace conference in Paris to formulate peace treaties with the defeated Central Powers. At the conference, a peace treaty with the German government was concluded. The U.S. government was among the signatories of that treaty, but the U.S. Senate refused to ratify the treaty, due in large measure to its objections to U.S. participation in the League of Nations.
As a result, the two governments started negotiations for a bilateral peace treaty not connected to the League of Nations. On July 2, 1921, U.S. President Warren G. Harding signed the Knox–Porter Resolution, which had been passed by the U.S. Congress and ended the state of war between the U.S. and Germany, Austria and Hungary, further setting the stage for bilateral peace treaties. Such a treaty was concluded between the U.S. and Germany on August 25, 1921.
Terms of the treaty
Article 1 obliged the German government to grant to the U.S. government all rights and privileges enjoyed by the other allied powers who had ratified the peace treaty signed in Paris. Article 2 specified which articles of the Versailles treaty shall apply to the U.S. Article 3 provided for the exchange of ratifications in Berlin.
The treaty laid the foundations for a U.S.-German cooperation not under the strict supervision of the League of Nations. As a result, the U.S. government embarked on a path of partially assisting the government of the Weimar Republic to ease the burden of War reparations imposed in the Treaty of Versailles. Following the conclusion of the peace treaty, diplomatic relations between the two governments were reestablished, and on December 10, 1921, the new U.S. ambassador—Ellis Loring Dresel—presented his credentials in Berlin.
The treaty was supplemented by a treaty signed in Berlin on August 10, 1922, which provided for the establishment of a mixed U.S.-German commission to decide amount of reparations to be paid by the German government to the U.S.
- Treaty of Versailles
- US-Austrian Peace Treaty (1921)
- US-Hungarian Peace Treaty (1921)
- Agreement Regarding the Restoration of the State of Peace between Germany and China (1921)
- Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Consular Relations between Germany and the United States of America
- League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. 12, pp. 192-200.
- Web page on US-German relations
- Text in League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. 26, pp. 358-363.