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In what way, and for what reasons, did the Treaty of Versailles cause political problems in the 1920's in Germany, under the Weimar Republic?

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Introduction

In what way, and for what reasons, did the Treaty of Versailles cause political problems in the 1920's in Germany, under the Weimar Republic? A continent that has most definitely gone through much turmoil throughout its existence is Europe. World War I, for example, had numerous devastating effects on many European nations. To try and put an end to the fighting and bring about peace in Europe, the Treaty of Versailles was instituted. This treaty was very successful in coming up with the necessary reparations posed to countries, such as Germany, deemed as punishable for the war in its attempt to prevent further fighting. The reparations imposed on Germany under the Weimar Republic caused many political problems within the nation. First of all, the signing of the Versailles Treaty was reflected badly on the Weimar government. Secondly, the extreme reparation costs ended up in an economic collapse, which led to enormous discontent with the Weimar government. Lastly, the loss of territory that Germany had to endure exacerbated the discontent with the government among the Germans. As a result of these three points, the Treaty of Versailles caused political problems in Germany in the 1920's, along with economic and social problems that led to further political problems. The sheer fact that Germany, under the Weimar Republic, had signed the Treaty of Versailles greatly exacerbated the political instability that the country was facing during the early 1920's, marked by revolts and political tension. ...read more.

Middle

Revolts, political discontent, and immense tension were no doubt definite examples of how the actual signing of the Treaty of Versailles by the Weimar government brought about political problems such as instability. The extraordinary amount of money that Germany had to pay as reparation payments due to the Treaty of Versailles ultimately contributed to the political discontent within the country. The figure for the reparations was eventually fixed by the Allies at 132 billion marks. The government no longer had sufficient resources to support the German economy, but continued to print paper money. This caused rapid inflation, which Germany used as an excuse for not being able to pay its second instalment towards the reparations. Inflation was a cause of further discontent with the Weimar Republic, since it negatively affected many German citizens. The French government, however, decided to force Germany to pay. It did this by sending French and Belgian troops to the industrial heartland of Germany, the Ruhr, to collect reparations that Germany still owed them. However, the German Chancellor called for "passive resistance" by the workers of the Ruhr, which was simply a refusal to cooperate with the troops. This, in turn, led to the collapse of the German economy, which worsened the political situation, as the government was forced to print more paper money in order to pay the striking workers in the Ruhr. ...read more.

Conclusion

As well, the Rhineland was to become a demilitarized zone. This division of territory to certain powers completely contradicted one of Woodrow Wilson's 14 points in that self-determination could not be exercised here. German people were still living in the above-mentioned territories, however, they were being ruled by different nations and did not have the power to use self-determination to create their own nation. As well, the territory divisions caused East Prussia to be split up from the rest of Germany, keeping this area isolated from the rest of Germany. The contradiction with self-determination along with the isolation of East Prussia, both caused by the Treaty of Versailles, brought about great discontent among Germans. This discontent was all thrown at the Weimar government, increasing political tension and greatly increasing political instability within the nation. The signing of the Treaty of Versailles by the Weimar government, the enormous reparations costs that Germany faced, and the loss of German territory to the Allied nations all resulted in political problems in Germany. Some of these political problems were results of economic and social problems, which in turn, were caused by the Treaty of Versailles, and some of these political problems were caused directly by the Treaty itself. All in all, the Weimar Republic faced many serious crises and was almost overthrown many times, however, it did manage to hold its position for over a decade. Eventually, however, it failed to prevent the discontent among the German people, and was forced to dissolve. ...read more.

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