How did Germany sink down to the depths it was experiencing? It was the effects of the Treaty of Versailles. The reparations clause as well as the confiscation of land that contained heavy industry had severely weakened Germany’s economic stance. Making matters worse, France had invaded Germany when Germany defaulted on its debts. The results of strikes and printing of more money further deteriorated the situation. Germany now suffered hyperinflation. Poverty spread throughout the country and was unable to be solved for several years.
Though the situation was eventually controlled, the suffering had not disappeared from the people. German citizens could still remember the anguish caused by the Treaty of Versailles. Soon, Adolf Hitler promised to regain the land taken away by the Treaty of Versailles. Germans were glad to have the hope to reunite with their ex-countrymen.
The suffering that the Treaty of Versailles caused brought an extremist to become dictator of Germany. Revenge was being taken in the form of restoring Germany to its former glory by reclaiming territory from other countries. To conclude, though Hitler’s actions had been a cause of World War Two, the Treaty of Versailles was the root cause that had brought Hitler to power.
Appeasement and the Treaty of Versailles
Appeasement is arguably one of the main causes of World War Two. Appeasement is the policy taken by the British to prevent tension and a possible war. With appeasement, negotiation and compromise is taken into priority rather than upholding rules that might increase tension.
As Britain continuously appeased Hitler, Hitler had managed to rebuild his army and conquer many lands in Europe. This strengthened the German army was able to wage war against Britain and France with confidence.
However, Germany had taken the actions it did because of the bitterness and loss since World War One. To regain former glory of having a large army, lands and foreign colonies was sought after. Germany began rebuilding its army and reclaiming lands without intervention by Britain or France.
The Treaty of Versailles is related to this policy as it is the terms that had limited its army to 100,000 men without any military vehicles. The treaty had also taken away important lands as well as foreign colonies from Germany. The losses brought by the Treaty of Versailles were to be regained under the rule of Hitler.
Conversely, had the Treaty of Versailles been more lenient, Germany would not be constrained by the bitterness and be able to move on without hatred towards the loss of World War One. There would also be no need to rebuild and army or regain lands. Appeasement would be completely unnecessary had Germany not sought after vengeance.
Though the failure of the appeasement policy did indeed lead to the outbreak of World War Two, had the Treaty of Versailles been more lenient, appeasement would never need to exist and neither did World War Two. The Treaty of Versailles is a larger contributing factor to World War Two than appeasement because a variation to the treaty would make a more significant difference than the alteration of the appeasement policy.