The Treaty Of Versailles

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October 03, 2004                               The Treaty Of Versailles                  Julie Nelson

        On June 28th, 1919, Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles in the hall of mirrors, within the palace of Versailles, practically against her will.  The Treaty, having been made up by the Triple Entente leaders Lloyd George and George Clemenceau, and Woodrow Wilson of the USA, was unfair to Germany, but she had no choice.  Germany's options were to sign the treaty within 48 hours or be invaded, but years of war had taken a toll on Germany and it could not afford to defend itself. It was Germany who called for an armistice on the day we know as Rememberance day and yet it was Germany who took all of the blame for the first world war, and would end up starting the second one.  It is my belief that the three major powers behind the Treaty of Versailles, were unjust in the terms of the treaty.

        Many people were concerned about the harshness of the treaty and were worried that the Germans would become bitter and fall into a deep depression, and it was not far from the truth.  One of the most infuriating things about the whole situation, was that Germany was not invited to the conferences and therefore was only able to sit and wait until an agreement was presented to them.  When the first draft of the treaty was given to the Germans, they had three weeks to look over the proposal and come up with their objections.  Even then, very few of their complaints were acknowledged, apart from some very slight territorial readjustments. The treaty left a bitter taste in Germany's mouth that would help ignite the anger and bitterness that was needed to rise up again.

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        First of all, there were the political effects on Germany, as a result of the Treaty.  Germany lost a fair amount of land, not to mention the German citizens who resided in the siezed lands.  Approximately 13% of Germany's land was lost, exceeding 28,000 sqaure miles of land in total.  Along with that land, six million German speaking people were forced to be governed by foreign countries as a result.  Many people living in the lands taken away, such as North Schleswig, actually wanted to be part of Germany.  Even missionaries living in German colonies were not allowed to ...

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