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Treaty of Versailles

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Introduction

Evaluate the proposition that the "Treaty of Versailles was a harsh peace". To officially end the First World War, a peace treaty named the Treaty of Versailles was signed at Versailles on June 28 1919. This peace treaty was signed after the war had stopped and was the one of the most dominant and imperative peace treaties of the fiver others to conclude the War. It is disputed that the Treaty of Versailles was an insensitive concord; however this termination is seen erroneously by several people. Germany was left in sorrow as a result of the harsh result of the Treaty of Versailles as well as the greediness of the Allies. The big four; Woodrow Wilson of the USA, Georges Clemenceau of France, David Lloyd George of England and Vittorio Emanuele Orlando of Italy were left responsible for negotiating the treaty. It is supposed that the leaders resulted in such a harsh treaty because of the conflicting, greedy ideas and the sense of demilitarising the country. The treaty was known as the "War Guilt Clause," and Germany was not invited to the negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles due to their recently defeated power resulting in a very ruthless peace treaty. ...read more.

Middle

So on October 3 Germany proposed an armistice which led to the Treaty of Versailles. One of the crucial factors stated in the Treaty of Versailles that made the treaty too harsh was the sufficient weakening, or destroying of Germany's powerful army. Prior to the enforcement of the treaty, Germany's infantry was the most powerful and substantial in the world. It contained over two million infantry, the second largest navy and the second largest population to rebuild these armies. Germany was no longer to produce heavy guns, poisonous gas, tanks or any form of air force or navy. This completely demilitarised Germany and they were virtually left defenceless in case of another attack. By demilitarising Germany, it went against point number five of President Woodrow Wilson's fourteen points. Point 5 stated that, "A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined." (Woodrow Wilson: 1918) It is clear that by demilitarising Germany and ignoring one of President Wilson's 14 points, even though America was the key to deciding the war, that the Treaty of Versailles was a harsh peace. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Treaty followed virtually none of President Wilson's Fourteen Points and this was even more frustrating for the Germans. The German people saw the Weimar Government after signing the treaty as weak and traitorous and this caused political distress. It is evident that because the Germans were presented without a consulted peace, that the terms, conditions and presentation of the Treaty of Versailles led to a harsh peace. The Treaty of Versailles was intended to be a 'peaceful' conclusion to the First World War. The countries that created the treaty eventually were subject to greed. The Germans on the other end of the spectrum were subject to a harsh peace. By destroying Germany's army they were left weak and powerless, Article 231of the Treaty left Germany morally scarred and in enormous debt and finally the Germans had absolutely no involvement in the creating of the peace 'agreement' and actually had it forced upon them. It is for these reasons that I believe that the Treaty of Versailles was a harsh peace. Source (Internet) = Author, (year), "Title", Site name, URL, date visited Booklet Unkown, "Rebublic to Reich A history of Germany", chapter two, pages 26-32, 28/5/08 Internet Duffy, M, (2001), "Primary Documents: Treaty of Versailles, First World War.com, http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/versailles231-247.htm, 28/5/08 Internet Wilson, W (1918), "Fourteen Points", Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteen_Points, 28/5/08 Internet Unkown, (2008), "Treaty of Versailles", Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Versailles#Treaty_terms, 28/5/08 ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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