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Was the Versailles Settlement Unfair and simply based on Revenge?

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Introduction

Was the Versailles Settlement Unfair and simply based on Revenge? The Versailles Settlement dealt with those countries that were defeated by the allies in the First World War. The country most affected was Germany, but Austria Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey were also included in the settlement. A question regarding Germany is whether or not the treaty was too harsh - unfair and only based on revenge. Three powers were involved in deciding the settlement- Britain, France and the USA. Lloyd George had the aim of disarming the defeated powers-especially weakening Germany and their navy, but he did feel that Britain should gain something for their war effort. Clemenceau had three things in mind at the settlement; Revenge for the loss of life, Compensation for the money spent during the war, and disarmament. ...read more.

Middle

If the answer is 'Yes', then it is made far easier to justify a harsh treaty. Germany had been responsible for a great loss of allied life, and also a huge loss in resources. Germany had settled two harsh treaties against France, including one after the Franco-Prussian war; this may make a harsh treaty more justifiable. Also, Germany had rejected Wilson's fourteen points, which justifies that the treaty be harsher than Wilson's points pushed for before the war. One could also say that Germany would have been harsh in their treaty if they had one the war. On the other side, if one decides that Germany was not souly to blame for the war, the treaty could be more justified as too harsh. Firstly, the treaty was a dictat, meaning that Germany was there, but had no say. ...read more.

Conclusion

Austria's army was reduced to 30,000, whilst Thrace and other territories were taken from it. Hungary, and Bulgaria both faced loss of territory and a limit on their military. Compared to the other countries, Turkey was relatively lucky in its loss, as it lost little land. Clemenceau was generally very happy with the settlement - he was compensated, he gained territory, and he found revenge in the greatly weakened Germany. Lloyd George was generally happy, as Germany had been weakened- especially the navy. Wilson was not very happy at the result, as he felt the treaty to be too harsh, but he did agree that Germany should lose Alsace-Lorraine. I feel that the other countries punished in the settlement were not treated too harshly, and that Germany was weakened beyond a necessary point, so I feel that the overall settlement was fair and decided under good intentions. Alexander Phillips 18/01/01 ...read more.

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