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Treaty of Versailles

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Treaty of Versailles

Disclosure 1

Outline and summarize the treaty, its participants and the effects it had on the post war world.

The Treaty of Versailles was signed after World War I to force Germany into reparations, and guilt for the war. The Treaty was signed at the Palace of Versailles on June 28, 1919 and went into effect on January 10, 1920. The participants of the treaty were the USA, France, Italy, Britain, other Allies and Germany. American president Wilson wanted no reparations forced on Germany, but the implications of his fourteen points. The fourteen points called for moderate punishment for Germany, both economical and territorial, in the hope the approach would help Germany by allowing them to set up a democratic government. Wilson also had the hope that lenient treatment of Germany would prevent them from starting another war out of bitterness. The other Allied leaders were not interested in accepting Wilson's points, however, and the only thing that came out of Wilson's recommendations was the formation of the League of Nations, an organization put in place to outlaw war. French leader Clemenceau wanted to punish Germany by crippling them economically, territorially and militarily. Britain PM Lloyd George privately claimed harsh treatment of Germany would raise problems later, but publicly he proclaimed they would pay. He wanted to leave Germans with enough resources to trade, but not start another war. Italy and Japan were primarily interested in territorial gains, while the newly formed Weimar government, who were not allowed to negotiate the treaty's points, represented Germany. The Treaty's points covered that Germany would lose territory, so East Prussia was separated from the rest of Germany by the Polish Corridor and their new colonial empire would be removed from the new Germany territory. All overseas colonies were removed from German control as well. The Allies seized control of the German merchant ships and railway to prevent Germans from being self-reliant. The Treaty also called for the disbanding of the Air force and the confiscation of the High Seas fleet, but many of the German soldiers scuttled their beloved warships to prevent them from helping the enemy. The German army was limited to only 100,000 soldiers. The lowest blow of the Treaty enforced on the Germans was they had to accept the "war-guilt" clause, which forced Germany to accept guilt for the war and not being allowed to discuss the terms of the Treaty. The newly formed Weimar government of Germany seriously considered not signing the treaty, because of their harsh treatment and barring from negotiations, which would've resulted in the war continuing. The Treaty of Versailles was hastily written out so it didn't satisfy even the victorious Allies for the most part. Because WWI economically damaged many countries, some had trouble re-paying the reparations, and therefore many citizens and soldiers couldn't find work. The Treaty created much resentment against the Allies because of the poor economic conditions that arose from not only the war, but the US Great Depression. Unfortunately, the drear economic conditions spawned two extremist political movements that promised to end the economic conditions. The Communist party, or left party, called for revolt by the workers, while the Fascism, or right, party wanted strong nationalization of government. The two sides clashed throughout Europe, and gained the most support in the countries with the greatest economic situations and resentment of the Treaty. The political unrest and economic disparity allowed dictatorships to rise across Europe, mainly in Italy and Germany. Many Germans felt extreme dissatisfaction with the treatment of their country and ergo eagerly supported the Nazi Party during the 1930's. The Effect of the Treaty, in essence, was the rise of Hitler and WWII.

Disclosure two

Treaty of Versailles was the reason Germany started World War II. Discuss

I agree that the Treaty of Versailles was the reasoning behind Germany starting World War II. The German government was extremely disillusioned with the overly harsh treatment they received since 1919 when they were barred from negotiating any points, or treatments of their own country in the Treaty of Versailles. The German public also was enraged at the treatment, and stripping of their country by the Allies. By 1922, the Germans had fallen behind in their reparation payments

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