Have you ever wondered what the greatest meetings of all time were? This article is our list of what we consider the top 6 meetings in our history. We hope that you learn from the best…
The Paris Peace Conference (1919)
The Paris Peace Conference was a meeting between the allied victors at the end of the First World War. It took place between January 1919 -January 1920 in Paris, France and involved 29 countries. Spearheading the proceedings were President Woodrow Wilson (USA), Prime Minister David Lloyd-George (Great Britain), Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau (France) and Prime Minister Vittorio Orland (Italy) who came to become known as the ‘Big Four’ as they were considered the greatest powers in the world.
This meeting produced the Paris Peace Treaties including the famous Treaty of Versailles, imposing war guilt and fierce financial penalties on Germany. They are also responsible for reshaping the map of Europe and the creation of countries such as Poland, Finland, Austria, Hungry, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.
Field of the Cloth of Gold (1520)
The meeting at the Field of the Cloth of God (Le Camp du Drap d’Or) was a meeting between Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France from 7th- 24th June 1520. They met to try and secure peace between England and France but really each King wanted to outshine the other. Both courts tried to show each other how magnificent they could be hence this meeting is referred to as the Field of the Cloth of Gold because the tents contained so much gold fabric. Henry is also said to have had two fountains outside his residence out of which flowed Red Wine !
Despite making great impressions throughout Europe the meeting was essentially a disaster, as it accomplished nothing. However it is still one of the greatest meetings of all time purely on extravagance.
Moses and God
This meeting is more commonly known as ‘The Burning Bush’ and is retold in the Old Testament book of Exodus (3:1- 21). According to the narrative the bush was on fire but not consumed by flames. Moses was grazing sheep on Mount Horeb when the angel of Yahweh appeared and subsequently God called out to Moses from the Bush. God tells Moses to take off his shoes as he was walking on ‘holy ground’ (not something we’d encourage in your business meeting). It was at this meeting that Moses was appointed by God to lead the Israelites out of Israel.
The Yalta Conference (1945)
This is often referred to as the Crimea Conference as it was held at the Livadia Palace in the Crimea in February 1945 after World War Two. The central figures of the conference were the wartime leaders President Franklin D. Roosevelt (USA), Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Great Britain) and General Secretary Joseph Stalin (USSR) who were commonly known as the ‘Big Three’. The meeting was to discuss the reorganisation of Europe post the war and the reestablishment of the European countries torn apart during the war. One of the main conclusions of the conference was the division of Germany and Berlin in to four occupied territories. Berlin remained split between the West and Soviet powers until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Magna Carta (1215)
The Magna Carta was a result of a meeting that took place in Runnymede, England on June 15th 1215. The Magna Carta is the English charter that directly challenged the Monarch’s authority. The charter required the King (John of England) to accept that his will was not arbitrary and gave certain liberties to the people. Probably the most famous of these liberties is the right that every man can only be punished through the law of the land, something that is still the case today. In the 19th Century all of the clauses of the Magna Carta were repealed bar 3 but without it perhaps legal constitution would not be the same today. The Magna Carta has been described at the greatest constitutional document of all time, hence why this meeting in 1215 has to be one of the greatest of all time.
Declaration of independence (1776)
The Declaration of Independence was the statement produced as a result of the meeting of congress on July 4th 1776. It announced 13 colonies at war with Great Britain as independent of the British Empire. Driven primarily by Thomas Jefferson it was signed by 56 other delegates including Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and Samuel Adams.
Without this meeting it is possible that American Independence from Great Britain would not have happened until much later. The Declaration was crucial in the abolition of slavery and still maintains the foundation of American civil rights today. The most famous statement in the declaration,
‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’.
This is one of the greatest meetings of all time because it essentially marked the creation of the world’s first super power. American’s still celebrate Independence Day on July 4th every year.
Feel free to let us know if you agree with our choices and let us know if you can think of any more great meetings that you think make the cut. Perhaps you are inspired to hold some great meetings yourself.