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Was the Treaty of Versailles Unfair to Germany?

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Introduction

Was the Treaty of Versailles Unfair to Germany? The Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28th, 1919. It took David Lloyd-George, Prime Minister of Britain, Georges Clemenceau, Prime Minister of France, and Thomas Woodrow Wilson, president of the United States of America, six months to negotiate this peace treaty. I believe that the Treaty of Versailles was reasonable, mostly fair but sometimes unfair as well, as Germany had annexed parts of other countries and it was only fair to give those parts back to their original country, also Germany invaded Belgium, a neutral country, destroying it. However, it was unfair that Germans who lived in parts of Germany, such as Posen and near Danzig, were not allowed to be German or a part of Germany, while for example Poles who had been living in Germany before the Treaty of Versailles, now had their own country, Poland. According to the Treaty of Versailles, Germany had to lose 10 percent of its land and all of its colonies1. Germans did not like this; however, Germany had annexed Alsace- Lorraine, two rich industrial parts of France after the Franco- Prussian wars in 1870 and 1871, and in 1918 after Russia had signed the Treaty of Brest- Litovsk, Germany took 35 percent of Russia's land together with most of its industry. ...read more.

Middle

On August 4th, 1914 Germany invaded Belgium, which up till then had been a neutral country just like the Netherlands. With this act Germany broke article seven of the 1839 Treaty of London, which stated that: "Belgium, within the limits specified in Articles I, II, and IV, shall form an independent and perpetually neutral State. It shall be bound to observe such neutrality towards all other States."6 However, the German army went through Belgium plundering and terrorizing- they shot civilians, burned down towns, raped women and children7, while trying to full fill the Schlieffen Plan. The German army did not only do this to Belgium, but to all other countries they invaded, but Belgium is simply one of the most known as it marked the begin of World War One. As a result it is quite fair that Germany had to pay 132 billion German marks8 for the reparations of World War One, after they went through a country destroying it and its people, invaded other countries such as Russia and France, doing the same there. However, you can also look from the other side, Germany didn't only have to pay for the damage it made, but also for the damage the British, the French, the Russians, the Americans and everyone else who fought in the war made. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore I believe that the Treaty of Versailles was mostly fair but also a bit unfair, due to the fact that Germany had annexed parts of, for example France and Russia and it was nothing but fair, that Germany had to return this land. Also Germany started World War One or at least the actual fighting, by invading the neutral state of Belgium, demolishing it. And lastly, and the reason why I believe that the Treaty of Versailles was a bit unfair, because Germans living in parts of Germany that were given to another country, were not allowed to rule themselves, or to live in their own country going against the point of self- determination in the Treaty of Versailles. All in all I believe that the Treaty of Versailles was reasonable. 1 Walsh, Ben. Modern World History. 2001. London: Hodder Murray of Hodder Headline Group, 1996. Print. 2 http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/treaty_of_versailles.htm. 3 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/partiii.asp 4 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/partiii.asp 5 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/partiii.asp 6 http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/london1839.htm 7 http://www.nepa.com/rape_of_belgium.htm 8 http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2010/1004/Germany-finishes-paying-WWI-reparations-ending-century-of-guilt. 9 http://www.yourdictionary.com/self-determination 10 http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWczech.htm 11 Walsh, Ben. Modern World History. 2001. London: Hodder Murray of Hodder Headline Group, 1996. Print. 12 Walsh, Ben. Modern World History. 2001. London: Hodder Murray of Hodder Headline Group, 1996. Print. Rebecca Neumann 9B ...read more.

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