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Why did the Versailles Treaty arouse such opposition in Germany?

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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.


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.


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.

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