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Assess the impact of the Treaty of Versailles on Germany, 1919-1930.

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Introduction

Question #2: Assess the impact of the Treaty of Versailles on Germany, 1919-1930. Thesis: The Treaty of Versailles doesn't qualify as a peace settlement, since the French and the British wanted to destroy the German military and economy so she would be unable to ever again rise up to become a threat. Germany was given no other choice but to accept the terms to the Treaty of Versailles given to her by the "Big Three". However, not only did they fail to do such a thing but they also placed the roots of revenge in the population of Germany since the Germans believed that they would have won the First World War. These roots of revenge were mainly due to four factors that impacted Germany the most: land losses, military losses, the fall in the value of the German mark, and the political unrest. Analysis/Evidence: POV#1 - Overall, the geography of Europe was greatly changed because of the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty consisted of many clauses that required many rich industrial territories being taken away from Germany; such as the Upper Silesia. Barnes, Harry E. The Genesis of the World War: an Introduction to the Problem of War Guilt. 2nd ed. New York: Knopf, 1927. * Large amount of territorial losses were forced upon Germany by the Treaty of Versailles. ...read more.

Middle

* John Maynard Keynes opposes this. o He is instrumental to reduce the amount to 34 Billion American dollars. This man saved Germany 20 billion American dollars. * By now Germany has paid 2.5 billion dollars. * When this is announced Fehrenbach resigns. The people who signed the treaty are blamed. o Ertzberger the person who signed the treaty got assassinated by a member of the Free Core. * It is important to know that anyone responsible for the signing of the armistice and the treaty are subjected to potential assassination. * Second individual assassinated is Walter Rathenau. * The impact of the reparation is political and economical. * The value of Germany currency is in the free fall. * Before this the currencies were fixed. In the case of Germany the currency was floating. * The value of German mark was 4 to 1 after the war. * 1922, by the time we get to this assassination the German mark was 500 to 1 American. * In the mean time, France states that they will no longer accept German reparation in German currency. They must be sent in goods or gold. * Prompt another crisis in 1923, when France accused German of defaulting a shipment of timber. ...read more.

Conclusion

* The Treaty placed Germany in a period of isolation in Western Europe, as she became an outcast in international affairs and was still deeply feared by the Allies. Overall, the isolation limited the German role in post war atmosphere. o However, some historians argue that the Treaty of Rapallo illustrates that there existed series of cases for Germany to create relations in the east. Such as the Soviet Union and the newly formed nations (which needed a stronger economic partner). Conclusion: Overall, the geography of Europe was greatly changed because of the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty consisted of many clauses that required many rich industrial territories being taken away from Germany. Furthermore, the Treaty limited the German army to a very minimal size while making countries surrounding Germany stronger, but eventually Germany successfully evades these military clauses. However, since she was held responsible for paying the reparations to the "Victors" while her economy was stretched to its very limits during the war and this resulted in the staggering fall in the value of the German mark, as the economy suffered even greater, the general theory of the back-stab grew among former soldiers, and there was a general belief that the war was lost not because of the army but because of the politicians. This theory eventually resulted into the fall of the Weimar republic and the beginning of the Nazi government. ...read more.

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