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

The Treaty of Versailles

Extracts from this document...


The Treaty of Versailles The Great War of the early 19th century that devastated nations, destroyed empires and ultimately bankrupted Europe was finally brought to an end in 1919 following numerous treaties, peace talks and most importantly an armistice. Following 4 years of industrialised warfare and over 10 million casualties the Great powers of Europe began the long and tiresome journey of rebuilding European politics, as well as ensuring that such a catastrophe would never happen again. However the consequences and limitations placed on Germany following the Armistice Treaty and the Treaty of Versailles shocked and angered many Germans as their government had painted a completely different picture. On the 8th of January 1918, President Woodrow Wilson announced his Fourteen Points to the American Congress, where he outlined the expectations he aimed for following the end of the Great War. This controversial statement was originally frowned upon by the Allied government, however it also received a large amount of praise as the future of self-determination. These points were also utilised as propaganda to lead the Allies to victory, and were globally distributed as not just a vision for the future, but also as encouragement for the Germans to surrender. ...read more.


As a result of this, A.J.P Taylor describes "Virtually all the Germans assumed that with the Armistice the war was over and as good as forgotten;" and that they "had been fighting a war of national defence and had atoned for their faults."4 Contributing to this clouding of judgement was the misinterpretation of the Armistice's Fourteen points by fault of the German government, despite its release dating almost a year ago. An example of this is mentioned by A.J.P Taylor "The Germans...did not grasp that the 13th Point inevitably meant the loss of German territory to Poland..."5 This meant that as early on as the Armistice Treaty, even the German government was unaware of the real meaning of what the points implied. The combination of these two factors contributed to a completely different reaction by the government and its people the following year when the Treaty of Versailles was signed. In January 1919 the Paris Peace Conference was founded by a council of 32 nations with the aim of discussing and analysing the peace settlement that would be imposed on the Central Power of Germany. This conference was useful however was ultimately deemed a failure due to a number of contributing factors. ...read more.


Many historians such as Mark McAndrew view the Treaty of Versailles as "harsh enough to cause German resentment, but not punitive enough to stop Germany from activity seeking to overturn its clauses"11. Others also shared the opinion of the Treaty of Versailles as a harsh and unfair policy, such as 1920's historian W.H Dawson who described the harshness of the treaty, which stole German territory in a way that discriminated blatantly in favour of non-German populations. Dawson clarifies the German post-war status as "Literally bleeding. From them oozes out the life-blood, physical, spiritual and material of large populations.12" Although the Treaty of Versailles was initially formulated as a policy of peace, the end result was far from this due to the influence of previous war treaties as well as the war guilt clause, which put the outbreak of the war on Germany's shoulders. As a result of this instead of a long-term peace movement the Treaty simply blamed everything over the last 4 years on Germany, completely stripped the country of any power it had left to secure and reinforce the countries of the Allies. The Treaty of Versailles was not realistic from the start however acted as a short-term peace policy but ultimately led to hyperinflation in the German economy as well as a more devastating war 20 years later. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Treaty Versailles Essay

    The total misfortune ended to over 7 million. This includes the men who were prisoners or listed as missing.37 It was stated that Germany must disarm and reduce its army to 100 000 men and no tanks were allowed. Germany was only allowed six battleships and no submarines.

  2. The Treaty of Versailles vs. The Treaty of Vienna. Both the Congress of Vienna, ...

    Europe in order to make most stable territorial arrangements and secure Europe. [3] According to their plan, "No country was to receive territory without giving up something in return, and no one country was to receive enough territory to make it a present or future threat to the peace of Europe."

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

    o Volunteer listing only, and if you sign up it's for a minimum of 12 years. And for officers is 25 years. o They are not allowed to be ready for a larger army, and are forbidden to have certain types of weapons.

  2. Peace Treaty Essay

    Hungary's army was reduced to 35,000 men. Countries that gained land from Hungary were; Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia. The Treaty of Trianon ensured that Hungary lost access to the Mediterranean sea and lots of its natural resources. Above all Hungary also had to pay reparations to the allies.

  1. The cold war - the conferences and the start of the cCold War

    Stalin repeatedly, and especially in 1948, reminded the allies of the commitment to an all German government. Stalin clearly believed that it would be possible to achieve a pro- Soviet or Communist all German government. This was the greatest fear of the Americans and the British.

  2. Interwar Years: 1919-39

    * The year before the advent of the Great Depression, the Nazis polled fewer than 3% of the votes in the 1928 Reichstag elections; in 1932 with unemployment peaking at 6 million, the Nazis became the largest party with 37% of seats.

  1. Nazi Germany

    Why did the Nazis succeeded in elections? Nazi campaigning under control of the propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels was very effective - posters everywhere, the people were given someone to blame for Germany's problems (Jews, Weimar politicians, Treaty of Versailles, Communists), disciplined SA and SS, hostels for unemployed, Hitler's speeches and huge rallies, etc.

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    were unskilled and went to appalling UN refugee camps in neighbouring Arab cities. Those in camps had limited access to employment and were heavily reliant on charity, many became extremely ill due to poverty and poor living conditions. There was little sanitation, no sewerage and only basic medical facilities.

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