Treaty Of versailles

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Surbjit Singh 11SK

                                                  History- Essays on the Treaty of Versailles


What military restrictions in the Treaty of Versailles were imposed on Germany?

The Allies imposed many military restrictions in the Treaty of Versailles to ensure that Germany would never again pose a military threat. The Treaty of Versailles contained a number of provisions to that end. Among them was the requirement that the Rhineland became demilitarized to ensure Germany couldn’t attack France. In addition, no German troops were allowed to enter the Rhineland. Strict limits were placed on the size of Germany's armed forces. It was restricted to 100,000 men. The manufacture of military aircraft, tanks and submarines was prohibited. Furthermore, the navy could only build 6 battle ships. The German government also had to ban conscription- all soldiers had to be on a voluntary basis. This meant that people had the choice to join the army instead of being forced.


Question: Explain why the ‘Big Three’ disagree over how to treat Germany.

The ‘Big Three’ disagreed on how Germany should be treated on many occasions. As the talks at Versailles went on it became clear that the objectives and outcomes of the Big Three were very different. This was mainly down to the fact that the Big Three had different aims for the treaty. Clemenceau wanted the treaty to be very harsh. Whereas Wilson, wanted the treaty to be fair and wanted world peace. However Lloyd George was often in the middle ground between the two. He wanted Germany to be punished but not harshly. Clemenceau clashed with Wilson over many issues. This was because the USA had not suffered nearly as badly as France in the war because of the fact most of the fighting took place on French soil.  Furthermore, Clemenceau resented Wilson’s more generous attitude to Germany. They disagreed over what to do about Germany’s Rhineland and coalfields in the Saar. In the end, Wilson had to give way on these issues. In return, Clemenceau and Lloyd George did give Wilson what he wanted in Eastern Europe (which was self-determination), despite their opinions about his idea of self-determination. However, this mainly affected the other four treaties, not the Treaty of Versailles. Clemenceau also clashed with Lloyd George, particularly over Lloyd George’s aim- which was not to treat Germany too harshly. Clemenceau felt that the British were quite happy to treat Germany fairly in Europe where France rather than Britain was most under threat. However, they were less happy to allow Germany to keep its navy and colonies, which would be more of a threat to Britain. Wilson and Lloyd George did not always agree either. Lloyd George was particularly unhappy about allowing all nations access to the seas. Similarly, Wilson’s view on self-determination was threatening towards Britain as they had an empire which ruled millions of people across the world.


Question: Germany was treated fairly at Versailles. How far do you agree with this statement?

I do not agree with this statement to a certain extent. I believe that Germany was treated unfairly at Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles was a peace settlement signed after World War one had ended in 1918. Most of it was decided by 'The Big Three' Woodrow Wilson, David Lloyd George and Georges Clemenceau. The Treaty of Versailles was signed Versailles, Paris. The terms of the treaty were announced 7th May horrified the German nation. Various factors contributed to this such as the loss of territory and the reduction of armed forces. There were also other terms of the treaty that angered the German nation. As a result of the harshness of the treaty triggered the rise of the Nazis and in turn lead to World War two.

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The treaty of Versailles was a diktat. This meant the Germans had no say whatsoever in the initial planning and negotiation of the treaty. This was not at all fair on Germany or the German people. The German people believed that the German government had simply agreed to a ceasefire, and that therefore Germany should have been at the Paris Peace Conference to negotiate with the Big Three over the terms of the treaty. However this did not happen. Instead Germany had to sign the treaty of Versailles and had no choice about it. Furthermore, Germany was not treated with respect ...

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A superb answer, with excellent detail and clear understanding throughout. The author does well to consider some unusual aspects of the question. The conclusion is too detailed however; here the author needed to directly answer the question by briefly referring to key evidence, not by repeating everything that had been discussed in the essay itself. 5 out of 5 stars.