• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the short-term significance of the Treaty of Versailles.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess the short-term significance of the Treaty of Versailles. Signed in 1919, the Treaty of Versailles remains a focal point in modern European history. When regarding Germany however, the Treaty retains even more significance. The Treaty affected Germany in more than one way. It had an effect politically, economically, socially and diplomatically and much of the transformation of Germany between 1919 and 1939 can be attributed to consequences of the Treaty of Versailles. This is highlighted through the Occupation of the Ruhr by France and Belgium in 1922 in which, as a result of Germany not being able to pay another instalment in their reparation payments, France and Belgium invaded the Ruhr, Germany’s economic hub In accordance with article 231 of the treaty of Versailles, the Guilt clause, Germany acknowledged that they started World War one. Thus resulting in a payment of compensation to the Entente Powers. The payment of £6.600mill in reparations is what is argued to have financially weakened Germany’s economy. As the payments had to be made in hard currency, they could not be made by using the already devaluated papiermark. Therefore the Weimar government mass printed bank notes, buying foreign currency to pay the reparations. As the mark value dropped in international markets, the amount of marks needed to buy foreign currency increased. Despite international reparation conferences being held, no solution was reached, leading Germany into hyperinflation and ultimately rendering the mark useless as the exchange rate stood at 8000 marks to 1$. ...read more.

Middle

It was probably intended to inform Germans that the Weimar government was traitorous and to persuade them to support an alternative, although the creator of this piece of propaganda is unknown. The text, which translates to ?Germany Remembers!?, indicates the resentment felt by Germany and perhaps the idea that they will seek to right the perceived wrongs of Versailles. Given that this ?correction? would come in the form of Hitler and the Nazi party, the Treaty of Versailles can be seen as very significant, especially politically. The effects of the Treaty of Versailles can be seen to have another political impact. Although it did cause resentment and anger towards the Weimar government, due to its economic effects, it also caused the shift in political support. The unemployed, who had become disenchanted by the mainstream political parties began to back the extremist parties like that of the Nazis and Communists. Peter Stachura mentions that ?Laid-off blue-collar workers strongly favoured the KPD, while unemployed white-collar workers clearly preferred the NSDAP over the KPD?[7]. People believed that Hitler and Nazis or the Communist party (KDP) held the solution to their problems. They would see the Nazis as a party for the people; a party that could get Germany back to the power that it was prior to the Treaty of Versailles. This would be key to Hitler?s election in 1933 and thus, the Treaty of Versailles; its economic effects in particular, were a direct cause of Hitler?s rise to power and legitimate election. ...read more.

Conclusion

Reconstruction of Western Europe 1945-51 / Alan S. Milward. 4. Great Depression in Europe, 1929-1939 / Patricia Clavin. 5. Mainsprings of the German revival / by Henry C. Wallich. 6. German economy in the twentieth century : the German Reich and the Federal Republic / by H.J. Braun. 7. Unemployment and the Great Depression in Weimar Germany / edited by Peter D. Stachura. 8. Treaty of Versailles and after / George Allardice Riddell. 9. German recovery and the Marshall Plan, 1948-1952, by Herbert C. Mayer. 10. Marshall Plan and Germany : West German development within the framework of the European Recovery Programme /edited by Charles S. Maier with the assistance of GuÌnter Bischof. 11. Germany between East and West / by Wolfgang F. Stolper. 12. German reunification : a reference guide and commentary. Harlow : Longman, 1992. 13. Germany 1866-1945’ Gordon Craig – Oxford University Press, New York 1978 14. Germany 1845-1991, Derrick Murphy, Terry Morris, Mary Fulbrook, Collins 15. The Politics of Economic Decline in East Germany, Jeffrey Kopstein (1997), University North Carolina Press 16. Revealed: Tragic victims of the Berlin Wall, Tony Paterson, The Independent, 2006 17. http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/Treaty_of_versailles.htm 18. http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERunemployment.htm 19. http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/weimar_depression_1929.htm ________________ [1] ‘Germany 1866-1945’ Gordon Craig – Oxford University Press, New York 1978 [2] Count Brockdorff-Rantzau, (15 May 1919) [3] http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERunemployment.htm [4] See Appendix 2 [5] The Mighty Continent, John Terrain, 1976 [6] See Appendix 3 [7] ‘Unemployment and the Great Depression in Weimar Germany’, Edited by Peter Stachura, Macmillan Press (1986). [8] From Deutsche Zeitung, a German newspaper, 28 June 1919 [9] Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler, 1924 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Hitlers Germany

    Evidently the Soviets were still thinking in terms of better relations with the Nazis, deliveries to whom were maintained with scrupulous fidelity throughout the period of the pact, as well as with Hitler's Japanese allies. In the spring Foreign Minister Matsuoka came to Europe, and in April a Soviet-Japanese neutrality

  2. Versailles Treaty- evaluation of sources

    He presents the view that the territorial changes and the principle of self determination were flawed. Ferguson's judgement that self determination was unwise is correct and this is supported by the fact presented in the passage which shows that over thirteen million Germans were spread out over Eastern Europe.

  1. How and why did the Weimar Governments collapse between October 1929 and January 1933?

    the decline of Weimar, and so he made the decision to employ Joseph Goebbels as the party's propaganda chief. Goebbels, unlike Strasser who had his own political agenda, was utterly devoted to Hitler and worked only to improve and polish Hitler's image.

  2. What was the short term significance of the Treaty of Versailles on the emergence ...

    This can be seen in the communist publication by an unknown author, showing the working class of Germany left destitute by the treaty mourning over a figure that represents the people's freedom under communism. The source calls the people of Germany "the Living Dead", a reference to the brutality of

  1. The Impact of Stalins Leadership in the USSR, 1924 1941. Extensive notes

    Thought that the generals were tortured into confessions as in 1957, a Soviet military court found no evidence of treason. 1. Since 1922, Red Army officers had been working with German officers on tactics and ideology, giving Stalin a reason to be suspicious.

  2. Evaluate the significance of the use of tanks had in the outcome of WW1

    the mud due to ?...the harsh lunar landscape of the churned up ground...?[8] The use of heavy artillery before the implementation of the tank on

  1. What was the short term significance of Russias entry into World War One up ...

    Rasputin was able to gain greater political control because when the Tsar took personal command of the army in 1915, the Tsarina relied upon him more greatly, with some people even believing that they were having an affair (Source B), which could be seen as reflecting De Jonge?s opinion of Rasputin?s drive for sex.

  2. 1798 Irish Rebellion notes

    By late 1797 most of its leaders had either been arrested or had fled abroad. Among their followers the long months of delay had seriously damaged morale just at the time when military counter-measures, now more overtly Orange than ever, were heightening religious tensions as the yeomanry briskly burned

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work