• 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)

    They also blamed; pacifists, socialists and other revolutionaries who they said had undermined Germany's war effort. The 'stab in the back theory' was the subject of official enquiries, newspaper speculation and endless discussion and publicity. This created great hostility among Germans.

  2. "Was the treaty of Versailles fair?"

    His rise to power was not inevitable, it must be noted that he greatly used the conditions of the time in his favor. The power that he held was total, but he made no permanent contributions to the human race.

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

    Bismarck realised that however much Germany was economically unified, it would take a lot more than he expected for them to unite politically under Prussia. This would be the final step in the unifying of Germany, as economy was not enough to bring it together.

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

    Another conflicting matter was of Great Britain continuing to blockade Germany through the period leading up to the Treat of Versailles- and of the restriction of German representatives inside the Paris Peace Conference ('Diktat'). This left Germany in dire conditions even after the armistice, leaving Great Britain immorally wrong: and showing that they wished to deconstruct Germany further.

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

    Negative analysis on this issue is quite justifiable; the German politicians failed to hold any foresight, continuing a policy of the 1880s, when Germany was dependent on agriculture and just establishing a capitalist base, and applying it to a nation with an almost fully developed capitalist base and declining agriculture,

  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