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GCSE: International relations 1900-1939
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The Allies punished Germany in the Treaty of Versailles because of the pressure exerted on Lloyd George, Clemenceau and Wilson by the civilians of the allied countries to deal severely with Germany
Germany also lost the Saar, and land to Belgium. This meant that it lost 12.5% of its population, 16% of its coalfields, and almost 50% of its iron and steel industry. According to the treaty, Germany was also forbidden to join together with its former ally Austria. This weakened Germany, both militarily and economically. Germany's army was limited to 100,000 men. Conscription was banned - soldiers had to be volunteers. Germany was not allowed armoured vehicles, submarines or aircraft. The navy could build only 6 battleships. Also, the Rhineland became a demilitarised zone.
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After the war Germany's economy was in freefall, and the League of Nations had taken away their colonies, and 15% of their industry, causing Germany's economy to spiral out of control making Germany's money practically worthless. After the war, over 1million Germans starved to death, Germany suffered massive unemployment and poverty. Another condition of Britain, France and the USA set out was to take away some of Germanys land and their colonies. It is clear that Germany suffered huge territorial losses.
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Looking at the track record of the League of Nations, there are very few success stories. Most of the problems that they tried to solve backfired and resulted in a failure. Their next failure was disarmament
After the failure that was the Manchurian crisis, the league finally realised the urgency of the problem in hand; disarmament. In February 1932 the long awaited disarmament conference took place. By July of 1932 the league had come up with new rules for disarmament: * Bombing of civilian populations prohibited * Size of artillery limited * Tonnage of tanks limited * Chemical warfare prohibited The thing about these new rules though was the fact that there was no way to show how these limits would be achieved.
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On the balance, the Treaty of Versailles was unfair and Germany didn't deserve to be treated so harshly. And as Germany was outraged with this treaty, it had let to the Second World
Wilson on the other hand was an idealist, and he felt that the aim of the conference should be to establish peace. He thought by punishing Germany would only make them seek revenge. Wilson drew up Fourteen Point to avoid future wars but some of them were impractical. Lloyd George was in the middle. He could see that punishing Germany harshly was not a wise thing to do, and besides, he still wanted to trade with Germany. But the British people were very angry as a great number of men had died; Lloyd George had to make Germany pay a considerable amount to stay in power.
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How harsh was the Treaty of Versailles? 1.Germans were very annoyed about the Treaty of Versailles because they simply thought it was not fair
Germans would also be very bitter because they had nothing good going for them. They had lost millions of pounds, lost lots of territory, didn't have a army, and they were also not allowed in the Peace Conference so they were unsure what was happening and they could never put their opinion forward. The only reason Germans would be pleased would be because the war had ended and their soldiers were not being pleased. 2. The one sentence which shows their might be another war is 'There will be vengeance for the shame of 1919'.
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The First World War was the result of a badly mis-managed Balkan crisis in the summer of 1914 rather than the product of long standing rivalries between the great powers. Assess the truth of this opinion in the causes of the outbreak of World War One.
There was a short war between Serbia and Bulgaria in 1886. Austria wanted a big Bulgaria an Russia wanted a small one. In 1887 the Russians went to war with Turkey which was a struggling nation at this time, Russia wanted to take back Constantinople for Christianity. Russia went to war with Austrian approval, however the Austrians were under the impression that no large Slav state would be created. Russia defeated Turkey in 1878 and in the Treaty of San Stefano created a large Bulgaria.
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The Germans basically wanted to take control of France and then turn German military attention to Russia. The defending French forces, along with the British were on the retreat and on the brink of exhaustion as they had been fleeing German forces for 10 to 12 days. Under the command of Joseph Joffre, the French Commander-in-Chief, the French and British troops reached the south of the River Marne. The Germans, sensing a near victory, encircled Paris from the East, so the French government, fled from Paris and traveled to Bordeaux. However, a French counter attack on the German forces invading France was called for by Joseph Joffre, under the recommendation of the military governor of Paris,
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most importantly it circled around their very poor infrastructure, including their heavy defeat to Japan in 1905 which damaged both their industry and economy. This meant it was vitally important to force France to surrender before Russia was ready to use all its forces. Kaiser Wilhelm II was quoted once having said, "Paris for lunch, dinner at St. Petersburg" (World History p.92), a rather quick assumption bearing in mind their situation. To begin with Schlieffen decided to pass Paris by the right wing to the west of the city.
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1872 Germany, Austria, and Russia form "League of Three Emperors" against France. 1875 Bosnia-Herzegovina rebels against Ottoman Empire. 1877 January -Russo-Turkish War begins; Russia supports Balkan Slav Christians in Ottoman Empire (Eastern Question), seeking land, influence, and prestige. 1878 March- Russo-Turkish War ends with Treaty of San Stefano. June-July -Congress of Berlin with German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck as " honest broker"; Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro freed from Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria divided and partly independent; Austro-Hungarian Empire gains administrative rights over Bosnia-Herzegovina; tensions in Balkans grow. 1879- Dual Alliance of Germany and Austro-Hungarian Empire.
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The First World War was the result of a badly mismanaged Balkan Crisis in the summer of 1914 rather than the product of long-standing rivalries between the Great Powers.
After losing her Central ally Russia was facing even more problems of her own. Since the decline of the Ottoman Empire Russia; Austria-Hungary and other smaller, local powers had been attempting to expand their empires. This meant that they were obviously coming into conflict with each other during the competition for territories. The tension caused was increased even more by Russian encouragement of Slav-nationalism since the growth of it was a threat to Austria-Hungary's unstable empire. These problems established some of the long-term rivalries that existed amongst the Powers in 1914.
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Causes of World War I World war one took place between 1914 and 1918; it was the result of a country's aggression towards another. There were many causes to the First World War; some long term and others short term
The triple Entente was formed partly due to the consisting countries sharing hatred towards Germany. Germany had always been a threat to Britain's navy, but that threat became bigger as Germany started building up its Navy to compete with Britain's. France's hatred for Germany came from a war in which they had been defeated and humiliated by Germany years before, and they wanted revenge. And Russia hated Germany as they had been betrayed from their treaty with Germany in the 1880s, and therefore Russia turned to the Triple Entente for Allies.
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"A study of British foreign policy in the 1920's suggests that British governments increasingly accepted the need for the treaty of Versailles to be amended in Germany's favour"How far do you agree?
Germans claimed that the treaty was punitive and unfair, and had been a major departure from President Wilson's 14 points. In 1919 an economist, J.M Keynes wrote a devastating critique of the treaty. He argued that a na�ve Wilson had been forced by a vindictive Clemenceau (French Premi�re) and Llyod George (British PM) to agree on an over harsh peace. He condemned the undesirability and unworkability of the reparations clauses. Although even Lloyd George had doubts about the treaty and suspected that Germany had been treated unfairly.
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All the points the treaty was based on, made it difficult to satisfy even one German. The Treaty of Versailles was long and tedious for the Germans; however some terms stuck out that little bit further. The War Guilt Clause was maybe the term that overall the German's disliked the most. All German people made it clear, that they didn't even want war in the first place. They felt they were being blamed for something that was not their doing. They felt other countries caused the war and that they shouldn't have to take full responsibility for other countries actions.
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The stalemate developed on the Western Front because the Schlieffen Plan failed. The success of the Germans hinged upon them swiftly taking control of France and this did not occur.
over a "scrap of paper" and so the Belgians were expected to put up no resistance as they were not involved in the alliance system. This would allow the German army to move quickly through France and approach Paris from the opposite direction to the one in which the French were expecting them to attack from. Paris could then be taken whilst it was still undefended and once Paris was under German control France would be out of the war.
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But because there was a financial crisis in Germany at the time (due to the demand of the decrees in the Treaty of Versailles and turmoil within the country - also partly related to the knock-on effects of the Treaty) the German currency of "Marks" became almost worthless (in fact, in October 1923, when Stressmann was the new chancellor, the old money was scrapped and a temporary currency was introduced - the Rentenmark - before a permanent currency was brought forward, the Reichsmark).
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Tensions between Serbia and Austria-Hungary The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; heir to the Habsburg Empire, led to war between Serbia
The Ausgleich, instead of bringing a sense of stability to the Empire, seemed to agitate the Slavic population further. The Hungarians did not deal with the needs of the Slavic people, but instead tried to instill their own beliefs and language upon them. In the Austrian sector of the empire things remained much the same as before, 'stagnant', Slavic subjects very much unsettled and ignored. In 1877, a very significant move in favour of the Slavic nations was unfolding. Russia declared war on Turkey. "By tradition Russia was the protector of the Slav peoples of the Balkans". (Russia & Pan Slavism, Michael Lynch, Recetion and Revolutions - Russia 1881-1924 (1992)).
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This was the general formula of Bismarck's foreign policies meaning "When there are five great powers be one of three." The five great powers at that time were France
France had to pay a compensation of five billion francs and lost the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine. So between France and Germany were still open wounds. In addition France had an republican system of government while Germany remained a Monarchy. * England wanted to keep itself out to keep the upper hand on things without having narrow relations with Europe. Also would the alliance of Germany and England oppose Russia, because Russia feared that England could advance through the dardennels into the Mediterranean and especially the Suez-Canal. * Russia was very important in order to avoid that it would ally itself with France, which would lead Germany into a position of a two-front war.
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Firstly, after the setting up of the Alliance System, there wasn't a country that could manoeuvre / mediate, because the European Powers had either joined the Triple Alliance or the Triple Entente. Secondly, most of the details of the alliances were kept secret. For example, the Dual Alliance was formed secretly as German was not willing to antagonize Russia. As a result, mutual suspicions and fears among the powers were deepened and the powers watched others more suspiciously. Tension between the two military camps was further increased.
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There was also the Council which met four or five times a year. There were five permanent countries which were Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Germany. The Assembly came next which was the League of Nations main meeting which was held only once a year. The decisions were made at the Assembly only by an agreed vote. The Committees were in charge of the Court of international justice, health, labour organisation, refugees, mandates and slavery. At the start of the League, 42 countries joined but this had rose to 60 by the 1930's.
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Austro-Hungary blamed Serbia for the murder and prepared its forces for attack. The next month they declared war on Serbia. July 5th 1914 Germany's position The Austrian government wanted to know whether Germany would support a war against Serbia if the Russians joined in. They needed this help because they knew that Russia had strong alliances with Serbia and the Russian army was still very strong. Kaiser Wilhelm of the German government replied by issuing a "blank cheque". They said they would support whatever Austria-Hungary decided to do.
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Why were the fighting and living conditions so bad for British soldiers on the Western Front in World War One?
The soldiers on the Front line needed ammunition, food, barbed wire, shells, timber, and sandbags, which were supplied to deposits behind the trenches by train. Getting the supplies to the trenches was difficult, but they eventually found that railway with Lorries with special wheels worked best. The first complaint was 'trench foot'. This was when the feet turn red or blue, go numb, severe chilblains and get gangrene. It's caused by exposing the feet to cold water for too long.
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Germany was united in 1871 as a result of the Franco-Prussian War, and she rapidly became the strongest economic and military power in Europe. From 1871 to 1890, Germany wanted to preserve her hegemony in Europe by forming a series of peaceful alliances with other powers, one of these powers was Austria-Hungary. Austria-Hungary was established as the Dual Monarchy in 1867. The Dual Monarchy ruled over a large empire consisting of many nationalities, but only the Austrians (racially they were German)
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I will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these five powers leading up to this war taking into consideration the different factors such as economy, military and political.
This was also a strength for Great Britain, she too had a strong industry, with the second largest annual steel production and the largest coal production. By 1914 Russia had industrialised and the production of coal, oil, textiles and steel grew rapidly. However Russia was devoted to textiles and food processing rather than chemicals and engineering. This, in the long term, would be a weakness because the army would have nice uniforms and nice rations but not efficient and useful armament.
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In 1935 Germany enforced conscription and started to construct warships. The construction of the Luftwaffe then begun but this was all banned by the Treaty of Versailles. In March 1936 Hitler sent German forces to the Rhineland. Then also in 1936 Hitler sent German forces to fight on the side of General Franco in the Spanish Civil War. Hitler used the Spanish Civil war as an opportunity to practice Blitzkrieg tactics which he then used during World War I I.
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An example of this would be Serbian nationalism. Serbia led a movement to unite the regions of Slavs. This weakened the Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman empires as Slavs made up most of Austria-Hungary and there was a fear that Slavic nationalism would result in the countries breaking up. The Radical Party brought the idea of nationalism to Serbia. They mixed nationalist and socialist rhetoric in a way that was new to Serbia and had wide appeal even though it had been discredited by Western Europe in 1848. Yet nationalism was a product of other forces combined with the Radical Party.
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