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"Was the treaty of Versailles fair?"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Maryam Ahmad "Was the treaty of Versailles fair?" The treaty of Versailles was a treaty, which was signed at the end of World war one. Germany had lost the war, and therefore the allies, who had won the war, decided to hold a conference in a Paris, this conference was called the Paris Peace Conference and it was to decide what they should do now having won the war. The Countries represented in the Conference were France by their Prime minister Georges Clemenceau, England by their prime minister David Lloyd George and America by their president Woodrow Wilson. The prime minister of Italy Vittro Orlando was not present at the place where the treaty discussed, even though Italy was part of the winning side. The reason why Italy was left out was that before the war Italy had been part of the triple alliance, when the war broke out Italy decided to withdraw from the triple alliance and therefore she joined the allies, for this reason Italy was not thought trusty worthy. Germany was not invited to this meeting. This is thought to be because England and France wanted to blame the war on Germany and this would be harder to do if Germany was there to defend themselves. America's president Woodrow Wilson was very reluctant in blaming the war on Germany, he did not think that anyone should be blamed; he wanted peace and no more wars. Woodrow Wilson did not really get much say in the treaty this was because America did not join the war until the very end and the Americans therefore did not suffer as much as France and Britain, this was because nearly all of the fighting took place in Europe, the French and British land was damaged the most and both France and British soldiers suffered more. At this conference the allies decided on a treaty, the treaty was later signed at the palace of Versailles on the 28th of June 1919. ...read more.

Middle

During mid-1918, Europe was hit by Spanish flu and an estimated 25 million people died. This added to the feeling of bitterness that ran through Europe and this anger was primarily directed at Germany. The attitude towards Germany of the "Big Three" The treaty was signed on June 28th 1919 after months of argument and negotiation amongst the so-called "Big Three" as to what the treaty should contain. Who were the "Big Three" and where did they clash over Germany and her treatment after the war ? The "Big Three" were David Lloyd George of Britain, Clemenceau of France and Woodrow Wilson of America. David Lloyd George of Great Britain had two views on how Germany should be treated. His public image was simple. He was a politician and politicians needed the support of the public to succeed in elections. If he had come across as being soft on Germany, he would have been speedily voted out of office. The British public was after revenge and Lloyd George's public image reflected this mood. "Hang the Kaiser" and "Make Germany Pay" were two very common calls in the era immediately after the end of the war and Lloyd George, looking for public support, echoed these views. However, in private Lloyd George was also very concerned with the rise of communism in Russia and he feared that it might spread to western Europe. After the war had finished, Lloyd George believed that the spread of communism posed a far greater threat to the world than a defeated Germany. Privately, he felt that Germany should be treated in such a way that left her as a barrier to resist the expected spread of communism. He did not want the people of Germany to become so disillusioned with their government that they turned to communism. Lloyd George did not want Germany treated with lenience but he knew that Germany would be the only country in central Europe that could stop the spread of communism if it burst over the frontiers of Russia. ...read more.

Conclusion

This did not help Germany financially. There was no taxes from other countries so Germany were worse off. The German would feel particularly humiliated and angry through this point as they felt that they alone were not responsible for all the costs of the war effort. Also they would be under constant humiliation as they would always feel as they owe something. They also would not have a chance for their economy to grow as they couldn�t invest. This would dent their pride as they would not be known as a powerful country. The final area in which Germany were punished did not harm them financially, territorially or militarily. This factor is that Germany had to accept all responsibility for starting the war. This is known as war guilt. Everybody knows that it was not Germany alone who started the war but Germany had to accept. This would again dent Germany�s pride as they would be known as the people who started the war. This essay has given many points on why the Germans were so angry about the treaty of Versailles. You can understand why the Germans were so upset by the treaty of Versailles. This essay has felt that one of the most important aspects were the people�s expectations. If the people did not expect the Germans to win then they wouldn�t be so surprised. Also they shouldn�t have expected the fourteen point plan. This essay feels that the most important point was the fact about a dictated peace. This gave them the feel of being under control. Even Wilson thought this was important as he said ' It must be a peace without victory....only a peace between equals can last. Only a peace the very principle of which is equality and common participation in a common benefit '. ( Speech to senate, 22nd Jan. 1917 ) . Overall Germany lost 13% of its land , 6 million people, 16 % of its coal industry, 15 % of its agricultural industry 48% of its iron production. Reparations were set at � 6.600 million. ...read more.

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