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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Was the Treaty of Versailles fair in Its Treatment of Germany? When the peace armistice was signed on 11th November 1918, no plans had been made for a peace settlement so it was decided that one would be drawn up in the New Year. Representatives from Great Britain, France and USA were among those attending. Each had different ideas of how to treat Germany, and to what extent she would pay for the war. After the treaty of Versailles was agreed, the Germans were upset by the terms; they felt it was too harsh. The treaty was fair to Germany; it was harsh but could have been a lot worse. The main aim of the Treaty of Versailles was to make sure that Germany would be punished for the war. Each of the main countries in attendance had different ideas of how to punish Germany. The USA was the only country who didn't seek revenge from Germany. They had joined the war late and had not lost nearly as many soldiers in battles as other nations had. ...read more.

Middle

Perhaps another reason for the French wish for revenge was memories of the Franco-Prussian war of 1871. The first point in the Treaty that the Germans felt angry with was the forced signing of the War Guilt Clause. This took all blame for the war and placed it on the Germans. They saw it as not their fault. A crisis in the Balkans had led to the strong links between Austria-Hungary and Germans called upon and Germany brought in to the picture. This point wasn't fair to the Germans. The clause actually blamed Germany and her allies but it was still Germany who took most of the blame. The treaty aimed to take away power from the Germans. This happened in many ways, but the most obvious way to remove power was to cut the size of the country down. The amount of land taken away from Germany seriously damaged her economy. The Saar coal field was one of Germany's main industrial areas. The handing of this to France for a fixed period meant that Germany couldn't use it to generate revenue to pay the rest of the reparations. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Germans were angry that the peace treaty didn't directly follow Woodow Wilson's 14 points, as had been offered earlier. The allies saw it that the Germans hadn't accepted the points when they had originally been offered and so they should pay the price with a heavier settlement, Also, the Germans weren't invited to join the much talked about "League of Nations". The newly set up league didn't feel that Germany deserved to be a part because of the fact that they had been the main aggressor in the war. The Germans strongly resented this as they had no say in international affairs. This wasn't fair on Germany, and many historians speculate that if Germany had been allowed to join, World War 2 may never have happened. The treaty of Versailles was fair on Germany to an extent but there were parts that weren't. The treaty wasn't harsh enough to cripple Germany but was too harsh for them to accept the terms. Many factors of the treaty were resented by the Germans. The still reasonably strong economy coupled with the peoples resent anddesire for revenge on the Western Allies were major contributing parts for World War 2. ...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)

    On the other hand, some people believe that Germany's entire overseas empire was taken away as it had been one of the causes of bad relations between Britain and Germany before the war, and that taking it away would solve many problems.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Why did the treaty of versailles provoke widespread hostility among Germans?

    4 star(s)

    This area became known as the Polish Corridor. As J.W. Hiden stated in "The Weimar Republic" the Germans were: "incensed in particular by the shock of being forced to treat the long-dominated and partitioned Poland as a great power." Further to the east, the German city of Memel was ceded to Lithuania.

  1. "Was the treaty of Versailles fair?"

    Of course there would be death and destruction that is what happens in war. Another point is that the Germans lost the most soldiers, this again shows that the soldiers were very determined to win the war, as more of them risked their lives.

  2. Analyse the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Versailles Settlement.

    The 'patchwork of minorities' meant governments, to which they had a measure of self control over ruled Europeans allegiance and it was paid more than voluntarily. For almost twenty years, there was in existence an independent Poland, with free and secure access to the sea.

  1. To what extent was The Treaty of Versailles fair, and what were the consequences ...

    Every one of the three leaders got some of the things that they wanted, so they could all feel that they had achieved something. Clemenceau (France) got Reparations from Germany to pay for the cost of the damage caused during the war.

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

    the outbreak of war, especially with the traditionalist school of thought which believed that Germany was solely responsible for the war and therefore making the treaty justifiable and should have been more constricting than the terms that were drawn up.

  1. Versailles and Hyperinflation, Germany 1919-28.

    The money in circulation now was growing greatly and the cost of living was increasing. The economic crisis was a vicious circle, by solving one problem they were creating another. It seemed as though it was never going to end.

  2. How fair was the treaty of Versailles?

    be re-drawn so that each nationality should live within its own borders which meant, independent of foreign powers and with its own form of its government. However they had to think that the country had sensible, borders for purposes of defense, trade, and economic stability.

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