How far do you agree with the statement “The Treaty of Versailles Was Unfair for Germany” Essay
How far do you agree with the statement “The Treaty of Versailles Was Unfair for Germany”
The treaty of Versailles was a treaty made upon the surrender of Germany in the WW1. This treaty was made to stop another war happening again. The treaty was made by the France, Britain and USA. In my opinion, I agree that the treaty of Versailles was unfair for Germany. I have made a few points considering the both sides whether the treaty is unfair or unfair for Germany Fair
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk When Russia lost the war against Germany, Germany forced Russia to sign the treaty of Bvest-Litovsk. In the treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Germany did not think about how Russian civilians would think and treated Russia harshly. Now, that Germany lost the war, and they have to signed the treaty of Versailles they complained that the treaty was too harsh for them.
The armistice signed by Germany
When Germany surrendered , they signed the armistice. When they signed the armistice, they had been told about the probability of the reparation, loss of territory and reduced army forces and they signed it. They knew about it and they signed it even though those were just probabilities, they knew that those might happen, so if they thought that the treaty of Versailles unfair they should not have signed the armistice and carry on fighting.
Alsasce and Lorraine Alsasace and Lorraine were lands taken from France when France lost the war in 1871. Germany thought it was unfair to take Alsasce and Lorraine because they had taken it from France before but, the people in Alsasce and Lorraine mainly show them as French not Germans and speak French not German. It was not wrong to take Alsasce and Lorraine because it was originally part of France.
The impact of reparation on Germany economy
Germany said that the reparation hurt them but actually Germany economy recovered quickly and by 1925, Germany produced more steel than Britain which means that the reparation does not hurt the Germany economy like they thought it would. It was just Germany people mumbling about the taken land that were not actually theirs and how they supposed to pay the reparation if the allies took their lands that most of the lands were actually taken from other countries.
Three leaders different aims
The big three had a different perspective on how to treat Germany. Like, Clemenceau wanted Germany to be punished harshly to the point that Germany could not attack France again, Lloyd George did not want to punish Germany harshly not to the point where Britain could not trade with Germany and France would get too much power in Europe, Meanwhile Wilson did not want Germany to be punished harshly that they could feel bitter and resentment because it could lead to another war. But, they somehow could agree on all the terms covered in the treaty which means during that time that was the fairest terms that they could give to Germany. And all the leaders also listened to the public opinion about the treaty and many people that time (the winning civilians side) thought that the treaty was fair.
Clause 231 about War Guilt
The war guilt was on Germany. Its mean that Germany was blamed for starting the war. It was wrong to put the blame on Germany because it was not only Germany who started the war but also other countries that were hungry of power. One of the main causes was imperialism; many countries in Europe were actually hungry of power and money and too busy creating empires around the world.
Germany was forced to disarm. The army was limited to 100,000 and no conscription. Tanks were banned and only had 6 battleships. Germany is a big country if the army was reduced how would they protect their countries if there were countries attacking them. And also the other countries did not disarm, the only country who was disarming was Germany so how would they expect that no other country would attack them if other countries still have weapons and war stuff and they only have a small amount of army that were not enough to protect the country and six battleships.
Anchluss was forbidden
Germany was prohibited to unite or in other word make a contact with Austria. It was unfair because Austria was their only ally, and if something happens in Germany, Austria would be the only country who most likely to help Germany, People in Austria and Germany that time speak the same language, share the same tradition and ethnics and also other countries still have their allies it was unfair for them to be prohibited to unite while others can.
The idea of reparation was not totally wrong but the reparation actually hurt ordinary German civilians who had nothing to do with the war. Germany was also in the war, some of the parts of Germany was also destroyed and Germany economy also not in a good state, they also need to build up after the war. France should know about this since some parts in France e.g Verdun was also destroyed after the war. And instead of punishing the leaders who decided to go to the war they punished Germany civilians who had nothing to do with the war. Lost of territories
Germany was forced to pay reparation but the allies took Saarland from Germnay. It was unfair to take Saarland because unlike the other territories that were taken, the Saarland was originally Germany’s territories not what they took from other countries. Saarland were full of natural resources, so how Germany was supposed to pay for the repairs if the location of natural resources was taken from them.
Germany was forbidden to enter the League of Nations The league of nation was set after the war, it was set to stop another war happening again but one of the main keys of the war was not allowed to join the league. It made many Germans felt bitter and resentment to be isolated and treated like a naughty child.
Many Germans thought that the treaty was unfair but the winning civilians side thought that the treaty was fair. I have never experienced live in the war and I hoped never would be. I have no idea what France people think after the First World War but I think that the treaty of Versailles was partially unfair for Germany. If the treaty of Versailles was made to establish long term of peace, The treaty of Versailles was partially unfair for Germany. It was wrong to punish Germany to the extent where many Germans felt bitter and wanting revenge, it could start another war.
Not all of the terms were unfair some of the terms were actually fair. The idea of reparation was not totally wrong. The allies win, and they need money to build up after the war, to pay their debt to the USA and they had Germany who lost the war. Germany also did that to other countries when they were winning but the amount of money and who were punished were wrong. Instead of punishing the ‘criminal’ behind the war, the reparation hurts Germans civilians who were not guilty. The idea of war guilt was completely wrong. It was wrong for them to make the losing side was the one who blamed for the war. The war would never happen if countries in Europe never acted aggressively for imperialism.
If Austria never colonized Serbia, the Archduke would never be murdered by an assassin and the countries who were ‘allies’ with both countries would never declare war against each other. The setting up of League of Nation was a good idea but if they did not allow the main player who were in the war, the League is completely pointless. How could they make sure that League of Nation would succeed if Germany was not allowed to join at all and actually the League of Nation was controlled by Britain and France so therefore the ex-colonized Germany countries did not get self determination but were colonized by Britain and France. So therefore, the Treaty of Versailles was partially unfair for the Germany.
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University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 8 May 2016
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