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

To what extent can the Treaty of Versailles be described as fair.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent can the Treaty of Versailles be described as fair. The Treaty of Versailles was a disaster. This is because it left Germany demoralised, weakened and ready to be led by some one like Adolf Hitler. Both primary and secondary sources will be considered as to the question of whether the Treaty of Versailles was fair or not. Firstly the arguments that say that the treaty of Versailles was a disaster. The War guilt clause (article 231) was unfair as Germany was not totally to blame for starting the war. Many say that war was inevitable as the major European powers had built up into two hostile alliances the Triple Entente (Britain, France and Russia) and the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy) and as this system involved all of the European powers and not just Germany how can they be solely to blame for starting the war. Another possible cause of the war that did not directly involve Germany was the murder in Sarajevo of the Archduke Franz-Ferdinand by the Black Hand gang from Serbia. The Austrians blamed Serbia although there was no proof that the murderers were acting on orders of the Serbian government. They gave Serbia an ultimatum that the Serbians could not accept so Austria declared war on them; this started the slide to all out war. So although Germany were not blameless for the start of war they should not be the only country to accept blame for the war. ...read more.

Middle

This was an even bigger Diktat than Versailles as when the Russians refused the first treaty, the German army restarted the war. When the Russians again surrendered the Germans forced them to sign an even harsher treaty than before. Another reason that the war guilt clause was fair was that if you lose a war you have to take the consequences. The Germans got involved in the war so they can't whinge when they get punished. Also as they showed with their treatment of Russia the Germans would not be fair to Britain or France if they had won so they cannot expect them to be fair on them. The reparations are not totally unfair because the French Prime Minister George Clemenceau would have made the Germans pay ten times as much, so the Germans may think that they have got off lightly. The Germans were made to pay a lot by the allies but also they did cause a lot of damage. Many French villages were totally destroyed everything flattened with all their men dead. Also it is not just the massive physical damage that the Germans should have to pay for, millions of French, Belgian and British workers were killed in war. This will knock millions off their respective economies without men to work in the factories, offices etc. The redistribution of German land and colonies was good as many countries had a chance to gain their independence such as Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Germans were unhappy as this left them in their opinion defenceless and also as none of the other powers involved in the war had to disarm. Territorial restrictions on Germany were greeted with happiness from the French as they regained the area of Alsace-Lorraine as well as gaining more land in Africa. But they wanted this part of the treaty to go further and break Germany in to a selection of small states. The British liked the territorial restrictions as this increased the size of their empire. The Americans liked that there was self determination but felt that Britain and France should not take land for themselves. Germany is upset that its land has been taken away as some of this land was rich and industrial so would help them to pay reparations. The League of Nations was not liked by any of the four major countries. Firstly the league was the American president Woodrow Wilson's idea but the American public did not want the USA to get into other peoples wars. This affected both Britain and France as they were happy when they signed up for the league to just let the Americans run it. But when the Americans pulled out they were left to run the league. Germany liked the idea of the League of Nations but when they were told that they could not join they were outraged. In conclusion the Treaty of Versailles was a failure and unfair on Germany. The main reason for this was that the treaty was too hard on Germany leaving the German people demoralised impoverished and ready to be led by Hitler; therefore this treaty caused the Second World War. Brendan Thorne ...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. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent was the Treaty of Versailles fair to Germany?

    5 star(s)

    The last clause was about land. Germany lost 10% of her land and her entire overseas empire was taken away. This was a major blow to German pride and economy. She also lost the Saar and Upper Silesia, which were important industrial areas.

  2. "Was the treaty of Versailles fair?"

    oil and iron which could be obtained from the land and they would also have less land therefore less people to pay taxes to the Government making the country even poorer. I also do not think that the treaty was fair because the war, which was being fought, was unfair,

  1. How fair was the treaty of Versailles?

    Germany felt that they had lost more land then they should have. Eupen and Malmedy on the border with Belgium were given to Belgium after a plebiscite. Belgium was a tiny county bordering near France, German soldiers invaded France via Belgium.

  2. To what extent was the Treaty of Versailles justifiable?

    the emphasis on these liberal ideas which could not be accepted by the critics as liberalism was now an old ideology. The other factor that faced criticism was the reparations payments, which many people felt that it was unjustifiable and this meant that many people felt that it emphasised the unfairness of the treaty.

  1. "Dad's Army" - How much can you learn from these sources about the work ...

    We know that they held meetings for the Home Guard volunteers so that they could talk about jobs and new ideas for the group. Source A tells us about these meetings and that shows us that they were quite well organised.

  2. How Far Was The Treaty Of Versailles Fair?

    France lost a quarter of its male population to the war, and undoubtedly the people were infuriated with this - wives had lost husbands, daughters had lost fathers, etc. In compensation, Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France (it had been lost in the Franco - Prussian war of 1870-1871).

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

    Lastly, they wanted an alliance with Poland so at times of need they could combat any German uprisal. France also had motives that they would not openly speak of. They wanted revenge for their country and their people. Secondly, they wanted their empire to gain from the treaty.

  2. Was the Treaty of Versailles Fair In Its Treatment of Germany?

    Many Germans ended up living in other countries, which was bound to cause trouble. All land that was removed from German control was done for a reason. This made the point fairer on the Germans. Clemenceau had put forward an idea to completely split Germany into 2 countries but it was rejected by other countries.

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