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Using all four passages and your own knowledge, assess the view that the peacemakers of Versailles deserve to be criticized for creating problems that brought on a further conflict.

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Introduction

´╗┐Using all four passages and your own knowledge, assess the view that the peacemakers of Versailles deserve to be criticized for creating problems that brought on a further conflict. (40 marks) There is much disagreement among historians as to whether the peacemaker of Versailles ultimately do more harm than good and deserve to be criticized for creating problems that brought on a further conflict and subsequently resulted in the beginnings of the first world war. While on the one hand many historians blame Britain, France and the USA for igniting anger amongst the German people, a strong sense of injustice in Germany which many would later identify as being a contributing reason for the start of the Second World War. Other historians would argue that the treaty was weak; it was too harsh where leniency was needed and this resulted in further issues, including making Germany feel humiliated by the loss of its empire. However on the other hand some historians have argued that the peacemakers of Versailles cannot be blamed for the problems that resulted later as even if the treaty had been more lenient towards Germany, there was no way of estimating or predicting the irrational and radical actions of major leaders, mainly Hitler. Many historians have argued that the peacemakers of Versailles did more harm than good, the main aims of the treaty were not to crush Germany or defeat its new empire but to contain her military power. ...read more.

Middle

Source A goes some way to support Sharp?s view that both the leniency and severity of Versailles caused problems however source A, whilst being mostly factual, is very closely focused upon Germany and the impact the treaty had upon her, whereas source B presents a much wider view of the treaty itself and offers a more general judgement upon the treaty and its effectiveness, therefore making source B appear to be a more useful response. ? However whilst both sources A and B present a critical view of the peacemakers, to extent both sources show some disparity as source A seems to focus more upon the ?devastating? results of the treaty and the ?powerful sense of injustice? it dispelled upon Germany whereas source B shows a closer centre upon actually identifying the flaws and ?deficiencies in the settlement? hence providing greater evidence which actually backs up Sharp?s criticisms of the peacemakers? attempt ?in vain to draw their maps around people rather than move the people to fit the maps.? On the other hand however other historians would argue that it would be unfair to blame the peacemakers of Versailles for creating problems that brought on further conflicts, there was no way of possibly predicting the events that were to come and obviously had Britain, France and the USA known the power Germany was to become, the terms of the treaty would have been obviously different. ...read more.

Conclusion

Ferguson points out a main flaw stating that ?none of the peacemakers saw it as applying to their own empires ?only to the empires that they had defeated.? Making it evident that while the peacemakers cannot be criticized for the ignorance they showed to future conflicts that would have been impossible to have predicted as they ?had to deal with reality, not what might have been? (source C) their ignorance of the potential power of Germany and hence the total failure of the collective powers of France, USA and Britain after 1919 to contain German power contributed to the outbreak of the war and therefore makes the peacemakers accountable. To conclude, whilst it is clear as source C argues that the peacemakers ?grappled with huge difficult questions? and could not have possibly foreseen the events that were to come in subsequent years, there were undeniable flaws in the treaty and one could argue had they not chosen as source B states ?too severe where it should have been too lenient and vice versa? then Germany would not have been in such a dominant position with the capability and ?necessary resources? to eventually become such a forceful power and ultimately begin the second world war, hence it cannot be denied that the peacemakers deserved to be criticized to a certain extent for creating problems that brought on a further conflict. ...read more.

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