• 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 Unfair to Germany?

Extracts from this document...

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Germany 1918-1939 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 Germany 1918-1939 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Treaty Of versailles

    5 star(s)

    This was 10% of Germanys land taken away from them. In addition industrial areas such as the Saar land was given to the French to help France raise money to repair itself as most of the fighting had taken place on French soil.

  2. Germany, 1918-1945 - Treaty of Versailles.

    That is why Hitler was only given 5 years with the chance of parole after just six months. Perhaps the sentence he was given can be seen as a major benefactor in him taking power. Another short-term effect that helped Hitler's rise to power was on the 30th June 1934

  1. Why did most German's hate the treaty of Versailles?

    The Germans felt that this was totally excessive and unnecessary, and that people would lose their homes. Probably the most destructive part of the treaty was the Reparations that Germany was made to pay as damages. A fixed sum of �6600 million would be taken from Germany, and as the

  2. Political Problems - Treaty of Versailles

    � THE MUNICH PUTSCH, ITS FAILURE AND CONSEQUENCES. Why was Hitler unable to gain power as a result of the economic crisis of 1923? (Yet did so in 1933) Initially Hitler's prospects looked good, attempting to seize power because of the widespread alarm resulting from the hyperinflation: Reasons for the Putsch were: 1)

  1. Was the Treaty of Versailles fair on Germany?

    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. Germany had to be punished but not to the extent that it left her destitute.

  2. The Treaty of Versailles

    be embittered with revenge and seek to destroy peace in Europe once again. George was keen to preserve Britain's naval supremacy, which had been put under some pressure by the Germans, hence why he supported the dispersion and limitation of the German naval fleet.

  1. Nazi Germany Revision 1918-45

    Von Schleicher government proved ineffective; in response von Papen struck a deal with Hitler to help form a right-wing government with Hitler as Chancellor and 2 other Nazis in the Cabinet. Von Papen hoped to use Hitler as a puppet through which he could govern.

  2. History controlled assessment - Germany between the wars

    1929 -The first Labour government was elected in Britain. -The Wall Street crash in America. -The Great Depression began. 1930- Effects of US Depression were felt across Europe. This led to significant gains for the Nazis in the 1930 elections (18.3% of the vote and 107 seats in the Reichstag, making it the second largest party in Germany).

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