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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent was the Treaty of Versailles fair to Germany? The Treaty of Versailles was created to cripple Germany so that they could not start another war. One side of the argument is that the Treaty was extremely unfair to Germany, as it took away some of her most valuable assets and fuelled nationalism. However, the other side of the argument is that as Germany caused a lot of damage, she deserved to be punished and prevented from stirring up more trouble. The military clause was the harshest and most damaging clause, and was greatly disapproved of by Germany. The size and power of the German army was one of her greatest assets. By restricting her to an army of only 100,000 volunteers, the Treaty left her defenceless and vulnerable. For such a large country, an army of 100,000 men was just big enough to keep order within Germany, but was not large enough to defend Germany from other invading powers. ...read more.

Middle

Germany was also forced to sign a 'blank cheque' because if they did not, Britain would not lift the naval blockade. This seemed harsh when linked to the other economic problems that Germany was experiencing. The payments were the equivalent of around 5% of the national income. As Germany could not afford to pay this, they had to borrow a lot of money from America. In addition, they had to import raw materials, which lead to a balance of payments deficit. This caused currency decline and inflation. Despite this, others believed that Germany deserved to take the full blame for the war and therefore should pay for all the damage caused. Furthermore, as Germany originally created the principle of paying reparations and had previously imposed reparations on France after the 1870 war, many groups thought that it was only fair for them to also have to pay. In addition, many people believed that the reparations were fair as the amount was changed to a more reasonable figure in 1929. ...read more.

Conclusion

In addition, they think that forbidding Germany to join with Austria was a good idea, because Austria would have added 12 million people to Germany, which would have enabled it to dominate the continent. Considering the amount of land that Germany lost, how was she supposed to pay such a huge reparations bill, especially since she had lost 16% of its coalfields and almost half of its iron and steel industry? The terms of the Treaty that are unfair seem to outweigh the supposedly fair terms. Germany's greatest asset was its large and extremely powerful army. By having most of it taken away from them, left them with little confidence and pride. It also meant that they had no way of seizing land or boosting their economy, and left them with little protection from other powers. Leaving Germany this weak and vulnerable cannot be seen as a fair punishment. In addition, Germany was deprived of the ability to negotiate any of the terms of the treaty, and had to take full responsibility for all the damage caused by the 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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

5 star(s)

This is a strong response which offers a balanced and systematic assessment of the fairness of the treaty. Knowledge is accurate and judgements are convincing, particularly in the conclusion. 5 out of 5 stars.

Marked by teacher Natalya Luck 01/12/2012

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

    Why Did The First World War Break Out in 1914?

    5 star(s)

    power like Britain in 1870, which led to the competition for colonies and the naval race. To win back two rich industrial areas, Alsace and Lorraine, which the Germans had recently won from France in a war, Germany were troubled that France might attack them therefore they wanted an alliance

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Was The Treaty Of Versailles Justified?

    5 star(s)

    allowed to hold a plebiscite to select, > Maintenance of the regime established by the present Treaty, > Union with France, > Union with Germany. Germany's borders had been diminished and the country was now split in half by the Treaty of Versailles.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Was the treaty of Versailles too harsh on Germany?

    4 star(s)

    and its navy could only have six battle ships. It wasn't allowed to have armored vehicles, aircraft's and submarines. This was extremely embarrassing for a country of the size of Germany.

  2. How justified was the Treaty of Versailles?

    Germany were not to have a say in the League of Nations who want to keep peace. This meant Germany had to do what the League of Nations said. As the Germans described the treaty was a diktat meaning a dictated piece.

  1. Germany was to blame for causing World War One.

    Russia also began mobilization before war had begun. This made the other countries nervous that Russia had a big army and were ready to fight. They also had many unsolved problems with the Russian government they may have thought going to war would solve, so they had no reason not to go to war and they did not try to stop it.

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

    Brockdorff mentions that German people could emigrate, but that would be impossible due to the fact that no country will accept any German emigration whatsoever. Put the conditions of the Peace into action will lead to non-ceasing catastrophe that will lead the death of millions of Germans by starvation, not

  1. Long term Causes of World War 1

    All this helped fuel the fire that was WWI. Imperialism, nationalism & alliances like the Triple Entente I think the causes of world war one were the long term causes like imperialism and nationalism. I think the main causes were the alliances like the Triple Entente.

  2. Was the Treaty of Versaillesa fair settlement?

    Furthermore, there was an uneven use of plebiscite as in Upper Silesia. This faculty was given to the daims of Schleswig and to the poles of Silesia, but it was not given to the Germans for example, of the Polish Corridor.

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