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

'German Foreign Policy was mainly motivated by the need to regain territory lost by the Treaty of Versailles.' How valid is this assessment of German foreign policy in the 1930s?

Extracts from this document...


'German Foreign Policy was mainly motivated by the need to regain territory lost by the Treaty of Versailles.' How valid is this assessment of German foreign policy in the 1930s? The argument that Hitler's intention was to expand the Reich is one that cannot be argued against, however, was this factor motivated Hitler's Foreign Policy. At the end of the First World War, Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles from the victorious powers, which made up the Triple Entente. The signing of the Treaty of Versailles meant that Germany were to be taking full responsible for the outbreak of WWI (Article 231). In addition, Germany were to be pay reparations for damages and so forth, and it also meant that Germany lost some of her historic territory, for example Alsace-Lorraine, which was of particular importance to Germany because it contained raw materials, and as a result their economy suffered. Not surprisingly, this led to problems back in Germany, such as the anger felt at the government because they had signed the treaty, and so forth. Then, during the 1920s, the failure of the Weimar Republic and the Great Depression which had hit Germany badly, meant that people in Germany were worse of than they were before, thereby, turning to radical parties such as the Nazis. ...read more.


Military security was very important as Hitler realised that he could not pursue his foreign policy aims, which contradicted those of other countries without an army to enforce them. Therefore, Hitler needed to increase his army, which had been cut due to the Versailles settlement. Also, rearmament was so enthusiastically pursued that foreign observers contemplated that Germany possessed large scale and well equipped resources sooner than was actually the case, leading to fears of Germany when in fact there was no need to. The fact that rearmament was 'pursued vigorously' leads me to think that maybe German foreign policy was mainly motivated by the need to rearm, because the other factors in Hitler's foreign policy may not have been able to happen if it wasn't for an increased army and weapons which were decreased as part of the Treaty after WWI. Another factor that could have motivated German foreign policy is economic developed. In 1933 Germany was a depressed economy due to the effect of the Wall Street Crash and subsequent Depression in America at the end of the 1920s. Therefore, the Nazi Party had to promise to recover the German economy in their foreign policy to gain votes to be able to come to power. The reason for this is because unemployment was becoming increasingly high and therefore the German people needed a party to believe in that would turn Germany back to a major power. ...read more.


To conclude, I believe that 'German foreign policy was mainly motivated by the need to regain territory lost by the Treaty of Versailles' because by gaining more living space especially by force proved that Germany at this time was a Great Power again in Europe and a power not to contend with. Also, I believe that some of the other factors I have mentioned in this essay, for instance, military security and economic developments were used to eventually be able to gain lebensraum. The military would have to be involved with gaining more 'living space' because other powers would have fought against the aggressor to protect the country from being invaded, therefore, Germany would had to have a strong and large army to be able to conquer their chosen territory. However, it is possible that another of Hitler's aims would have motivated the German foreign policy. For example, Hitler eventually wanted Germany to become self-sufficient and therefore, one of her main aims would have to been to improving the economy in Germany. Also, it is possible that all of these aims from Hitler's Foreign Policy are as important as one another. One of Hitler's aims was to defy and not revise the Treaty of Versailles. All of the things I have mentioned in this essay are connected with the Treaty of Versailles. Therefore, it could be argued that the German foreign policy during the 1930s was mainly motivated by the defiance of the Treaty of Versailles. Rhiann Johns ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Germany 1918-1939 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 GCSE Germany 1918-1939 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Treaty Of versailles

    5 star(s)

    The loss of territory also angered the German nation. Germany's overseas empire was taken away. It had been one of the causes of bad relations between Britain and Germany before the war. Former German colonies became mandates which were controlled by the League of Nations, which meant that effectively France and Britain controlled them.

  2. Germany 1920's and 1930's - Look at the weaknesses of the government and the ...

    The Depression derived from the Wall Street Crash, when people rushed to sell their shares because they realised the companies were doing badly. Thousands of businesses and people were ruined. This affected Germany because America withdrew its loans and the German economy collapsed.

  1. Was german foreign policy responsible for the outbreak of wwII?

    Surprisingly with the Nazi troops there, 99.75% of Austrians voted for the Anschluss and the two states belonged together as one German nation. This was a key part of German foreign policy as it dealt a severe strategic blow to Czechoslovakia which could now be attacked from the south as well as from the west and north.

  2. To What Extent were military weaknesses responsible for Britain's adoption of the policy of ...

    that this was a fairly important part, more so than the failure of the League of Nations. With no powerful allies, Britain was in no position to challenge Nazi Germany, and with the collective military strength of the League of Nations hovering at nil, the only remaining practical option seemed to be to appease her.

  1. "Hitler's Foreign Policy and the Outbreak of the Second World War, 1933-39"

    The allies could give no commitment on this due to the obstinacy of the Poles. It was becoming clear to the Soviets that the Western Powers had little to offer them and that their own security might be better served by a deal with Germany.

  2. During the 1920's and early 1930's Germany was trying to recover from World War. ...

    Hitler was appointed giving the Nazis control. The weaknesses of the Republic and the strength of the Nazis led to Hitler to becoming Chancellor. He was a ruthless leader and the party became far more organized learning that it could only gain control through democratic means.

  1. Was the Treaty of Versailles fair on Germany?

    So if Russia went in so would Germany. Germany declared war on Russia, who supported the Serbs, on the 1st of August, and two days later declared war on Russia's ally, France. Germany then instigated the Schleiffen plan to invade France through Belgium, effectively declaring war on Belgium in the process.

  2. Versailles Effect On GermanyThe Treaty of Versailles: Prelude to WWII The Treaty of Versailles ...

    This emotional loss created resentment towards the allies and was the first clause for Hitler to undo. The reparation clause was an unjust clause, for the amount was excessively much, as said by many people at the time. Germany had to pay severe reparations, imposed to help the damaged countries

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