• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why did the Versailles Treaty arouse such opposition in Germany?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why did the Versailles Treaty arouse such opposition in Germany? Many people believe that the Versailles Treaty was to blame for the long term undermining of the Weimar Republic. There would have been no way that the German people would have accepted the treaty unless the Allies hadn't threatened to continue the war and dismember Germany. This was because German propaganda had shielded the people from what was really happening on the fronts. One of the main reasons the German people rejected the treaty so much was because they would have had no idea what was happening at the front apart from what they would read in biased German newspapers. So when defeat came the people were completely unprepared for it. For several months before the war ended the German people had been suffering from hunger and starvation due to the blockade of German ports and a food shortage in 1918, so when the war ended they expected this to end but it didn't. Many Germans also expected favourable terms in the peace treaty like they had received when the treaty of Brest Litovsk was signed with Russia in march 1918, which ended fighting on the Eastern front. ...read more.

Middle

From the 13% of its territory that Germany lost and 6 million people, it lost a total of 15% Arable land, 75% iron ore production, 68% zinc ore production and 26% of its coal production. The impact on the German economy because of this was massive; this again caused resentment towards the Versailles treaty. The reduction of the German army was also a shock especially to right wing generals in the German high command. Two of these were Hindenburg and Ludendorf who were effectively controlling Germany like a military dictatorship during most of the last few months of the war. The army was reduced to 100,000 men and no tanks or aircraft were allowed. The navy was reduced to 6 battleships, 6 cruisers, 12 destroyers, 12 torpedo boats and 0 submarines. Arms and munitions were also banned from being imported to Germany. All sports using firearms or that encouraged the uses of firearms were banned. The reduction of the army also put thousands of soldiers out of work when the war ended, this later lead to the creation of the Freikorps units during the years of the Weimar republic. ...read more.

Conclusion

This promoted the view that the treaty of Versailles wasn't so much a treaty but a dictation of allied demands. This was not why the Germans had agreed to stop fighting and so they thought they had been betrayed. The first reason there was German opposition to the treaty was the trauma of defeat. This was the biggest shock because most Germans felt that the war was going well. It was generally felt through out the front line troops that Germany could have kept on fighting for another few months and that the army had been betrayed. The terms of the treaty itself were also a huge shock to the Germans who expected to be treated much more leniently after installing their own parliamentary democracy and ending the rule of the monarchy and the Kaiser. They also expected Wilson's fourteen points to be a major part of the treaty, but they were only used selectively. All these reasons were to blame for widespread German resentment throughout the Weimar period, mainly by right wing extremists who believed that Erbert's new government had sold out to the Allies, but also left wing extremists who believed Germany should follow the example of the Russian Bolsheviks. Both sides blamed the new government for the repercussions of the treaty although they had no choice but to sign it. Sam Roberts 1 ...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 International relations 1900-1939 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 International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Why did the treaty of versailles provoke widespread hostility among Germans?

    4 star(s)

    The Weimar government almost considered re-starting the war rather than sign the treaty but after all "it was better to keep the German people together under humiliating conditions than risk their complete disintegration." An important point, as J.W. Hiden argues, this 'Diktat' argument led to the concentration of nationalist resentment

  2. "Was the treaty of Versailles fair?"

    Hitler's Reich. Lucent Books: San Diego, 1994. ? The Guinness Encuclopedia. Guinness Publishing (pgs. 341, 439, 441, 444, 445, 678). Middle Sex, Great Britain: 1990. ? Kirk, John. The Rise and Fall of A. Hitler. Johnson House. New York, 1979.#] Who can say for sure whether the Treaty of Versailles was fair or not?

  1. WHY WAS GERMANY SO DISCONTENTED WITH THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES

    part of the 14 Points, the rest of the world (including Great Britain, America and France) were to disarm as well. This never happened leaving it unfairly vulnerable to other nations. Furthermore, Germany found the loss of their land grossly unjust.

  2. Has to much emphasis been placed on the negative aspects of pre-1914 Germany?

    thus forming a disparity between the two pillars of the single policy. Yet, Sammlungspolitik also had social benefits. By encouraging the increase in pressure groups, particularly the Agrarian League, workers and landowners were brought closer together. In fact, the dissolution of this most positive factor came with the forward-looking increase in socialist left-wing politics.

  1. It was 'coal and iron' not 'blood and iron' that unified Germany

    This did not occur however without the help of the railways. Lines were extended throughout the states of the Zollverein. Because of this, delegates were able to travel quickly and efficiently to other states to agree trade treaties. Communication between the states increased greatly and now not only were economic barriers broken down but also physical ones.

  2. Was Field Marshall Douglas Haig more important that the allied blockade of German naval ...

    They only attacked weak spots and swiftly moved on. Infantry units followed on behind. By 12:00 one third of British troops facing the attack have been last and it took until April 5th for the allies to hold up the advance.

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