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

The Allies punished Germany in the Treaty of Versailles because of the pressure exerted on Lloyd George, Clemenceau and Wilson by the civilians of the allied countries to deal severely with Germany

Extracts from this document...


A) After World War 1, the people of the victorious countries, particularly France and Britain, felt strongly that Germany should be punished. Germany had to accept the blame for starting the war. This clause was simple, but was seen by the Germans as extremely harsh. This crippled Germany economically, and also angered the German people because they didn't feel that they were to blame for the war. The major powers agreed, without consulting Germany, that Germany had to pay 'reparations' to the Allies for damage caused by the war. It was decided in 1921 that Germany would have to pay �6600 million for this damage. If the terms of payment had not been changed under the 'Young Plan' in 1929, Germany would not have finished paying this bill until 1984. Germany's oversees empire was taken away. It lost 10% of its land, Alsace-Lorraine, to France, and the Polish Corridor was formed meaning even more lost territory for Germany. Germany also lost the Saar, and land to Belgium. ...read more.


Their economies and their industries were in a bad state. Millions of young men had been killed or injured on both sides. Total British and French casualties probably amounted to over 9 million. Ordinary civilians had faced shortages of food and medicine. Villages and towns had been devastated in large areas of Belgium and France. Although no fighting took place on British soil, the huge casualties left their mark on public opinion in Britain. Almost every family had lost a member in the fighting. In the British General Election campaigns of 1918 politicians knew they could rely on the support of the British people if they demanded a harsh peace settlement with Germany. The case for treating Germany harshly was strengthened when it became public how harshly Germany had treated Russia in the Treaty of Brest-litovsk in 1918. The Treaty stripped Russia of huge amounts of land and 25% of its population. From the point of view of the Allies this was even more reason to punish Germany in the Treaty of Versailles. ...read more.


They called the Treaty a 'Diktat', a dictated or imposed peace. They were outraged that they had not been invited to the Paris Peace Conference. When they were not invited to join the newly formed League of Nations this was further evidence of unfair treatment. The fact that Germany lost so much territory because of the Treaty angered them. In 1919 many Germans did not really understand how bad Germany's military situation had been at the end of the war. They believed that the German Government had simply agreed to a ceasefire, and that therefore Germany should have been at the Paris peace conference to negotiate peace. It should not have been treated as a defeated state. They thought that they were being forced to accept a harsh treaty without any choice or even a comment. The fact that Germany had to accept the blame for starting the war, and all the implications that the treaty applied on Germany added to the sense of anger and defeat that most German's felt. The German's naturally blamed the crashing of their economy on the Treaty which had left them feeling humiliated and outraged and left Germany militarily weakened and economically crippled. ...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 International relations 1900-1939 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 International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. "Was the treaty of Versailles fair?"

    It seemed like a triumph for peace, but in fact, the Czechs were let down by their allies. By March 1939 Hitler had broken the Munich Agreement when the whole of Czechoslovakia was invaded. Unlike Chamberlin's quote, there would be no more things as "peace for our time." (Stewart p.

  2. Explain the different aims of the three leaders, Clemenceau, Lloyd-George, and Wilson at the ...

    This meant that Germany would pay for the damage done to France, so it could also pay back war debts. Clemenceau was also happy when the Saar (a coal mining region) was placed under the League's control. Alsace-Lorraine (which the French believed to be rightly theirs)

  1. Was the Treaty of Versailles unfair to Germany?

    This went against their idea of Self Determination. Apart from this I think all the decisions made to do with land were justified and I think they were done fairly. Even in the parts where they were not sure what to do they did not just give it to the nearest country they let the people who lived


    army 50 kilometres from the border of the controversial Rhineland as well as allowing French and British armies to occupy around the river Rhine. This antagonised the Germans as the last thing the wanted was to effectively 'give' an important land to their victorious to sit and watch their every move- they wanted them out!

  1. Who was most pleased with the Treaty of Versailles. Woodrow Wilson or George Clemenceau?

    Also, Woodrow Wilson. believed strongly in self determination; where a country is allowed to make the decision itself as to whether it should have it's own government. Their land was not damaged as battles were fought in Europe therefore war effort also did not cost them much financially.

  2. Versailles and Hyperinflation, Germany 1919-28.

    The Ruhr is the most industrialised part of Germany. Poincarre, the French leader, sent in five divisions of French soldiers to acquire the reparations they were owed. A division of Belgian soldiers joined them. They intended to take control of the German factories and mines in this area.

  1. Explain why Germany and her allies were defeated in WWI and assess their treatment ...

    This allowed the Allied forces to surround and defeat the stranded German troops. The Ludendorrf Offensive was a gamble by Germany. It required an input of high levels of resources, and as it was not successful, these resources were ultimately wasted.

  2. "The treaty of Versailles represented neither a Wilson peace nor a Clemenceau peace, but ...

    The German peoples were, if not satisfied, then certainly resigned to accept these points, and it is sure that if they had been put in place the Germans would never had had the bitterness they did that pushed them to World War II.

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