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To what extent was Germany responsible for the failure of the Versailles Treaty under the Weimar government until Hitler seized power in 1933, and was it a result of inefficient implementation from the League of Nations?

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Introduction

IB History A1 Standard Level Internal Assessment To what extent was Germany responsible for the failure of the Versailles Treaty under the Weimar government until Hitler seized power in 1933, and was it a result of inefficient implementation from the League of Nations? Peter Frederiksen Svane St. Mary's International School IB Candidate number: 000134-039 Word Count: 1889 March 10th, 2008 PLAN OF INVESTIGATION The investigation seeks to analyze the extent to which Germany was responsible for the failure of the Versailles Treaty under the Weimar governments until Hitler took control of the nation's decisions around 1933. Information about the Versailles treaty, history of the League of Nations' decisions and the implementations of them, as well as possible German defiance of the restrictions will be ascertained and gathered into a summary of evidence. A large range of sources from different authorities (secondary sources) will be used to optimize the objectivity and minimize possible biases by looking at the given subject from several perspectives. Two different school text books, an online history data base, and an interview of a Danish historian specialized in post 1900 international affairs, will be used. These sources will be evaluated based on their origin, purpose, value, and reliability. In a final step the information gathered from the evaluated sources will be the basis of a conclusion that will reflect the answer to the main question. SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE The Great War, WW1, was officially ended with the signing of the Versailles Treaty. ...read more.

Middle

Hitler had not, however, been able to do so at such a great extent if the potential for expansion hadn't existed. The Weimar government ensured an economically and militaristically solid foundation, and made Hitler's extreme views legitimate, when they allowed him to speak in court after the Beer Hall Putsch in 1924. In the meantime, the League of Nations was unable to combine efforts and interests, with Britain and France going in opposite directions concerning the treatment of Germany. (Montgomery; Page 23). EVALUATION OF SOURCES The publisher of Norman Lowe's Mastering Modern World History (published in 1997), Palgrave MacMillan is an English based institution, which has provided high quality textbooks for high schools all across the world for the last 150 years. Its philosophy is based on an aim to provide high quality, creative, and yet an efficient tool for learning. In the author's opening remarks it is stated that the purpose of this book is to establish a solid background for in depth studies into the world war- and post eras. Hence the value of the book lies with the fact that it gives the reader an excellent entrance to a topic that will be assessed in detail using other sources. In the foreword to the book, Keith Foreman4 Points out that the book could potentially be limited by the narrow goal to prepare candidates for their examinations. However, it does meet the syllabus requirements of all post-Dearing MVHC5 and includes topics that go beyond what similar books covers. ...read more.

Conclusion

They were established with a purpose of enforcing the treaty but were not able to do so effectively. In a historical context, it is important to place the blame of the failure of the Versailles Treaty, so that we can learn from our mistakes, and avoid similar severe consequences in the future. In retrospect, WWII might have been avoided if Weimar's foundation for Hitler had seen some inhibitive measures. But that is just speculation. CONCLUSION Ultimately, it is indisputable that Hitler smashed the Versailles Treaty, by rearming, refusing the responsibility of WW1 and canceling any reparation payments, among other things. He would not, however, have been able to do so if the premises for the actions had not existed. It is in this context that the Weimar government's and the League of Nations' partial responsibility for the ineffective Versailles Treaty are to be found. It is clear that the precursor to the UN, the League of Nations never had much power to enforce its decisions, leaving the individual countries to direct its given policies against Germany. That left a Weimar Germany that was able to evade parts of the Versailles Treaty, and lay the groundwork for a destructive leader. The option of a readable expansionary military existed and economically Weimar, so to say, pinioned the bird in the form of the Dawes and Young Plan, making it a subject for a kill by Hitler. Combined with the public refusal of "war guilt" and the acceptance of Hitler's views when he was permitted to speak in court after the Beer Hall Putsch, Weimar was to some extent responsible. ...read more.

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