To what extent was the Treaty of Versailles fair to Germany?

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To what extent was the Treaty of Versailles fair to Germany?

The Treaty of Versailles was created to cripple Germany so that they could not start another war. One side of the argument is that the Treaty was extremely unfair to Germany, as it took away some of her most valuable assets and fuelled nationalism. However, the other side of the argument is that as Germany caused a lot of damage, she deserved to be punished and prevented from stirring up more trouble.

The military clause was the harshest and most damaging clause, and was greatly disapproved of by Germany. The size and power of the German army was one of her greatest assets. By restricting her to an army of only 100,000 volunteers, the Treaty left her defenceless and vulnerable. For such a large country, an army of 100,000 men was just big enough to keep order within Germany, but was not large enough to defend Germany from other invading powers. The army was a symbol of German pride and an important political source of nationalism. Having almost half of it taken away ruined Germany’s Great Power status, and made her an easy target for other countries. In addition, the Rhineland became a demilitarised zone, meaning that Germany was open to attack by France.

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On the other hand, some groups believe that the military clause was fair, as it punished Germany as well as giving the smaller countries of Europe a chance to establish themselves. Furthermore, restricting Germany’s army and weapons meant that there would be no threat to the British Empire, security or international trade, and it prevented the break out of another large, destructive war.

The war guilt and reparation clauses also had a great impact on Germany. Many groups believed that Europe had slid into war and that it was not one country’s fault since most were involved ...

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This is a strong response which offers a balanced and systematic assessment of the fairness of the treaty. Knowledge is accurate and judgements are convincing, particularly in the conclusion. 5 out of 5 stars.