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The Treaty of Versailles did more harm than good to what extent do you agree?

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Introduction

The Treaty of Versailles did more harm than good to what extent do you agree? On June 28th 1919, the German delegates Herman Muller and Johannes Bell signed the treaty of Versailles in the "hall of mirrors" at the palace of Versailles on the outskirts of Paris. Many historians believe that from that day onwards Germany was destined to fall into depression, and also that the signing of the treaty was the main cause that resulted in the rise of Hitler and eventually, the second world war. However, the treaty did signal the end of the first world war, and also forced Germany to make vital reparations payments to European countries, particularly France. So was the Treaty of Versailles good for Europe and the rest of the World, or did it result in even more pain and suffering? As a condition of the treaty, Germany was forced to pay 61.8 Billion Dollars in reparations to various countries. This excessive amount of money was just too much for the German Economy to handle and the result was Hyperinflation. ...read more.

Middle

With the Germans not having the means to pay back the excessive amount of money they owed, the allies had given them no real chance of making up for their war crimes. This dampened the German people's spirit as there didn't seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel, and this indirectly led Adolf Hitler to rise to power. Hitler used the German people's desperation and need for a way out to sweet talk his way into a position of power and gain their affections and trust. Also, the banning of relations between Germany and Austria affected the German people's morale as many of them were related and this stopped them seeing their family. I feel that this was a harsh and maybe unnecessary condition of the treaty, and one which contributed greatly to the later events in Europe and Germany. However not all of the conditions of the Treaty were bad. It is arguable that the Treaty of Versailles was just what was required to keep the Germans in check. ...read more.

Conclusion

After all, Germany may well have only signed the treaty in order to gain time to build up their armed forces and resume the war. In conclusion, I believe that whilst there are two sides to the story, the Treaty of Versailles did do more harm than good. It was the main factor as to why Adolf Hitler rose to power, and as we now know, Hitler did cause a lot of problems, namely the second world war. The main factor in my opinion was the overly harsh reparation payments Germany were forced to pay. The allies knew Germany could never afford to pay these and in doing so Germany would fall into a depression. In my opinion this condition was more about revenge than anything else, and it contributed greatly to the depression the German people endured that allowed Hitler to gain their control. This caused greater problems than a less harsh Treaty ever could have. Germany needed to be punished, but not to the extent where it would lead to even greater atrocities than those witnessed in the first world war. Sean Halsey 12TST5 ...read more.

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