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

The Treaty of Versailles created more problems than it solved. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Treaty of Versailles created more problems than it solved. Discuss. The peace treaty of Versailles which the allies forced upon the Germans in 1919 has been one of the most controversial political acts of the twentieth century. Many historians and politicians believed that the dictated peace was far too harsh in it's measures which created a strong hatred for the treaty in Germany which in turn sowed the seeds for future generations of Germans to overturn the treaty. On almost every aspect the Treaty of Versailles can be seen as a failure, yet it could be said that the treaty did provide Europe with twenty years of peace from 1919 to 1939. The two main issues which the Treaty of Versailles focused upon were the territorial changes in Europe and the fact that Germany would have to pay for the war. Both of these are vitally important factors in why the Treaty can be seen as a failure. The Treaty put forward to Germany the loss of the following territories in Europe; Danzig and the Polish Corridor (Poland), Alsace-Lorraine (France), Schleswig-Holstein (Denmark), and Eupen and Malmady (Belgium). The Germans also lost the Saarland, which was put under the control of the League of Nations for a period of 15 years. The loss of these territories goes against the notion of national self determination which Versailles brought about, as the populations of these areas lost by Germany were overwhelmingly Germanic, so the handing over of these territories caused resentment of Germans living in these areas against Versailles and the allies. ...read more.

Middle

The inability of the German government being able to pay for the reparations is tied in with the loss of territories which Versailles took from them. Versailles took away all of the Germans overseas colonies and any assets which they had there. Also the territories that they lost in Europe were also key to the German economy. Keynes states that the Saarland accounted for 60,800,000 tonnes of German coal production in 1913, this was approximately half of all German coal produced in that year.4 With half of the German coal industry in the hands of the French, German industry in general would suffer; hence Germany would be unable to pay off the reparations. It seems simple but people, especially the French, wanted the Germans to suffer for starting the war. The leads on to the infamous article 231, the guilt clause. Whilst the guilt clause didn't create any specific problems, the fact that in the eyes of the world the Germans were perceived as the chief perpetrators of the war rankled the Germans. It also provided for the continuance popularity of anti-French and anti-British feeling, as well as nationalist sentiment in Germany. This is important as it provides a sound springboard for the growth of Hitler and the Nazis throughout the 1920s. The evidence that the concept of reparations under Versailles was more of a problem than a solution is in the fact that reparations were originally put back with the Dawes plan (1924) ...read more.

Conclusion

In principle the idea of the League of Nations, as set out by Woodrow Wilson, was seen as an untried but potentially viable method of conducting diplomatic relations. In practice it was far from it. From it's inception it was doomed to failure through the non-acceptance of the United States to be a part of the League. Without the Americans the organisation was little more than a front for British and French actions. The League was nothing but a diplomatic organisation with no real power; members came and went with alarming regularity. The League's ineffectiveness can be shown over the inactivities over the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, and the Italian attack on Abyssinia. The League offered no assistance to the invaded countries, just issuing strongly worded statements (Manchuria) or imposing ineffective economic sanctions (Italy). The League of Nations was just a dithering organisation, whilst it didn't create any problems specifically, it couldn't tackle them whatsoever. In conclusion it is a fair analysis to state that the Versailles peace treaty did create more problems than it solved. It was undoubtedly a flawed treaty, the task the peace makers did have was incredibly enormous. However that does not excuse the fact that they produced a treaty that was full of the biases, prejudices and vagueries of the nations involved. The Treaty was too harsh upon the Germans, it caused too much resentment amongst them, which Hitler skilfully brought to the surface. Indeed the greatest problem the Treaty of Versailles can said to have created is the Second World War. ...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?"

    of Germany, his racial policies, preservation of the Volk, and the thousand year Reich. The book was published in 1925, two years after he failed revolution. The book was not a success, selling a few thousand copies in the next few years.

  2. Summary of John Maynard Keynes' "The Economic Consequences of the Peace".

    But after the loss of allies and emerging of its isolation, Germany will not be able to provide the means of living and of the food needed by the population, therefore unavoidably condemned to destruction. As the need for food will increase as the possibility of importing the livelihood deteriorates.

  1. "The Vienna Congress created more problems than it solved" - How far is the ...

    Firstly, during Napoleonic Era, he had disturbed a lot of countries by creating a lot of new states, changing the boundaries and appointing new rulers for some states. The representatives agreed to redraw the map in order to have a world with better order and please the unrest people who were disappointed by Napoleon's arrangements.

  2. How fair was the treaty of Versailles?

    Germany was to have no submarines as they were sinking ships that were going in and out of Britain. This was costly for Britain as submarines sunk many ships that were American sending aid to Britain. The allies now felt more secure that if war broke out, the allies would not be forced to starve to defeat.

  1. The Treaty of Versailles.

    On the other hand Britain and America did not believe that Germany deserved to be that severely punished. They also did not agree with moving the German frontier backwards to the Rhineland's for France's security, so that Germany could not invade France again.

  2. Trench Diary Assignment.

    In each bay of the trench we built fire-steps about two feet off the bottom. This allowed us to put our heads over the parapet. There was a dugout where we would be sleeping, better than nothing I suppose. There's sandbags to protect us from enemy fire, there's also barbed wire; also for protection.

  1. Treaty of Versailles, was it fair?

    They had joined the war late and had not lost nearly as many soldiers in battles as other nations had. President Wilson of the USA called for "peace without victory." He didn't want Germany to be crushed so that her economy would never rebuild.

  2. Treaty of Versailles

    Germany was not actually as helpless as they seemed, it was the French who were truly impoverished. The allies were not aiming to crush Germany or to break up their empire, but rather to contain its military power. The treaty was vindictive because of exploitation, harshness and the crippling impact.

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