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Was the 'Treaty of Versailles' fair on Germany?

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Introduction

Was the 'Treaty of Versailles' fair on Germany? 'The Treaty of Versailles' was the peace settlement that ended World War One in 1918. The treaty itself was actually signed on the 28th June 1919 at the former palace of Versailles, just outside Paris, by Germany and the Allies. The treaty was a compromise between the countries, trying to satisfy each demand - but was it overall fair to Germany? Germany was affected considerably by the terms of the Treaty, both in material and image. Firstly, she was forced to accept full responsibility for the war; establishing a foreground for a huge reparations bill. As it was decided that the entire war had been the fault of Germany and Germany alone, much to the outrage of the German citizens, she was expected to pay reparations to the countries affected; the Allies - to provide money to account for damaged land, compensation, etc. Two more terms from Versailles that largely affected Germany were the loss of land and army; around 10% of German land was taken away, including all overseas colonies, resulting in the loss ...read more.

Middle

It was also felt that the terms on Germany's military was very unfair; they would have perhaps accepted their forces being lowered by a percentage, but forcing them to cut down to just 100,000 men, etc., was regarded as ridiculous; how would they defend themselves if, for example, the communists attacked? What outraged the Germans further is that, unlike in 'Wilson's Fourteen Points', the Allies and other countries were not put under the same 'disability' (the Allies, etc., did not have to reduce their military). Therefore, it could be argued that Germany's objections were justified; the reparations demanded were far too high, finally being fixed at �6,600 million - �660 billion in modern rates - in 1921. Soon, people in Germany had to pay almost double for necessities such as food. In some places within the country people actually died of starvation, and often the only Germans living well would be the farmers, who provisioned their own food and sold or traded it. A source tells of incidents in which people who carried money in baskets would rather throw out the money than the basket. ...read more.

Conclusion

the Russian population and economy; there was evidence showing that Britain and France would have received equally harsh treaties had the outcome of the war been in Germany's favour. So, what is the closing verdict; was this treaty fair on Germany and her people, or was it demanding too much? The final treaty had attempted to satisfy each prevailing country's demands; France (French Premier, Clemenceau) was at the source of the 'harshness' within the agreement, seeking vengeance for the dire loss of life and land it had suffered during the war, Britain (Prime Minister, David Llyos George) wanted to punish the Germans but not to the same degree as the French, whilst America (President Woodrow Wilson) originally wished for a more peaceful solution, but ultimately isolated herself from the Allies, regarding the entire issue with far less concern. Conclusively, the treaty set upon Germany was very demanding and unfair to the many citizens of the country who had been against the war or not part of it; however, the agreement could have been worse, much worse in comparison if contrasted with German issued treaties. ...read more.

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