The Treaty of Versailles - Questions and ansewers.
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The Treaty of Versailles 1) List the main features of the treaty of Versailles The Paris Peace Conference opened on 12th January 1919, meetings were held at various locations in and around Paris until 20th January, 1920. Leaders of 32 states representing about 75% of the world's population, attended. However, negotiations were dominated by the five major powers responsible for defeating the Central Powers: the United States, Britain, France, Italy and Japan. Important figures in these negotiations included Georges Clemenceau(France) David Lloyd George (Britain), Vittorio Orlando(Italy), and Woodrow Wilson(United States). The main terms of the Versailles Treaty were: (1) The surrender of all German colonies as League of Nations mandates. (2) The return of Alsace-Lorraine to France. (3) Cession of Eupen-Malmedy to Belgium, Memel to Lithuania, the Hultschin district to Czechoslovakia. (4) Poznania, parts of East Prussia and Upper Silesia to Poland. (5) Danzig to become a free city under league of nation control. (6) Plebiscites had to be held in northern Schleswig to settle the Danish-German frontier; (7) Occupation and special status for the Saar under French control; (8)
First of all Germany lost 13% of its territory, Eupen and Malmedy were transferred to Belgium, Saar was now controlled by the league of nations and remained such until 1935, northern Schleswig joined Denmark, Danzig became a free city, Memel was seized by Lithuania and the most important territorial losses were Alsace and Lorraine that passed under French control and the Polish corridor that basically divided Germany in two in order to give Poland access to sea. These territorial losses lead to other problems, Germany lost 12% of the population that in digits sums up to be 6.5million people; half of whom were ethnic Germans. Furthermore Germany lost 48% of its iron ore production as well as 16% of its coal and agricultural production. Another important aspect that clearly damaged the nation was the fact that Germany was made liable to pay for physical damage caused in the war,(most of which would go to France and Belgium) but also for war pensions in order to re-pay Britain for further reparations.
Therefore the Treaty of Versailles reinforced the myth re-enforced he hostility of many Germans to the new Weimar system. There were also other problems as the Hyperinflation due to due to reparation depts. 5) What arguments are there that in practice Germany was not greatly burdened by the Treaty of Versailles. Disagreeing with what I wrote before some recent studies have come up that actually argue the fact the Germany was not actually harshly treated with the Treaty of Versailles. In this View Germany was still in strong position after Versailles for three main reasons; * the break up of the Tsarist, Austro-Hungarian and Turkish empires created opportunities for Germany, since it was now surrounded by small, weak states, especially in east. * France failed to achieve its aims of permanently weakened Germany and secured border. * Reparations were not so burdensome that they destroyed the German economy. Furthermore, the hope that as time progressed the allies might modify at least the reparation terms proved justified. By mid-1920's the issues of Versailles by itself was probably not a major obstacle to the consolidation of the Weimar Republic. Marco Gastel 12C History Mrs Stead
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