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Treaty Of Versailles Research Paper

The Treaty of Versailles was written shortly after World War I ended, on June 28th, 1919. The Treaty of Versailles ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. Basically written to get revenge on Germany for their role in World War I, the Treaty was an extremely controversial document (Roberts). Countries against Germany, which included Britain, France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, the Soviet Union, China and the United States of America believed that Germany was responsible for the entirety of the war (Biesinger).

Even though Germany caused a lot of damage to many countries, the Germans believed that they should not be completely blamed for World War I. The Germans were treated exceedingly harsh by all of the Allied Powers. The terms of the Treaty, damaged many aspects of Germany including their military, economy, and territory. Germany was furious and did not agree with the terms set out by the Treaty. After a frustrated and debilitated twenty years, Germany retaliated by declaring World War II.

The Treaty of Versailles was the primary impetus of WWII because the treaty’s provisions including the paying of reparations, losing territory, the military restrictions and the forced acceptance of the war guilt was extremely harsh and draining on Germany and unfortunately pushed them into a corner making them want to retaliate. The Treaty of Versailles held Germany responsible for the cost of the entire war and monthly reparations leaving them hopeless, homeless and unemployed which further led to be vulnerability to leadership that would address these issues.

The Allied Powers wanted to make Germany responsible for the damage that they engendered in the international community (Biesinger). When Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles under protest, they agreed to pay numerous reparations to pay for the destruction that they made (Axelrod). The first reparation demanded 266 mounts of golds, which equaled around 63 billion dollars. The 63 billion dollar reparation was later reduced to about 33 billion dollars (Axelrod). As the reparations continued, Germany was simply at a loss of money.

It became extremely difficult to pay all of these reparations (Boden). Hyperinflation arose which caused German civilians to go broke, leaving them homeless, hungry, and extremely desperate. Michael Boden, a writer for World History in Context describes the difficulty for the Germans to pay these fines as, “The Versailles treaty also drove Germany into the arms of Hitler and the Nazi Party through the stringent application of monetary reparation payments, as well as the arbitrary and high-handed way the Allies forced them upon Germany”(Boden).

The economic problems rattled the Germans, making the Germans question their government and leadership. The German’s were finished listening to the Allied Powers, so they gravitated towards a leader that would fight for the end of these unfair reparations. The people of Germany decided to put their country’s fate in the hands of Adolf Hitler. These civilians had no other choice because their lives became miserable pretty quickly. Adolf Hitler was extremely devoted to fight for his country, Germany.

Germany would not have had to elect Hitler has its leader if the Treaty of Versailles did not place such harsh reparations on the Germans in the first place. The Treaty of Versailles was the foremost cause of World War II because of all the grating financial reparations it put on Germany. The Treaty of Versailles recaptured German lands which gave the Germans a desire to expand and recover the land they had to concede. Germany was forced to give up their lands to numerous countries within the allied states.

The land Germany ended up losing was 27,000 square miles which obtained up to 6. 5 million people (Kaiser). In the end, Germany surrendered an estimate 13% of its territory and 10% of its population (Kaiser). This angered the Germans tremendously. Thier industries, population and practically the entire nation became separated. The decentralization angered German nationalism as Germany kept on losing power and stature. An event that especially angered the German nationalism was when Alsace Lorraine was taken back by their biggest enemy, France.

All of the territory that was being taken away from Germany made the Germans worried about their personal fate. Michael Boden from World History in Context explains the German’s thought process during this time: “ The German population began to feel that they now stood alone against an antagonistic world in the face of grave, and possibly fatal, threats to their national existence” (Boden). The Germans felt isolated and insufficient in many aspects of their culture, to the point where they thought their lives were at risk.

They needed someone that willing to put his life and reputation on the line for the goodness of their country. This lead to the rise of Adolf Hitler, an intense man who was willing to do anything for his country of Germany. His intense personality created a lot of chaos in Europe, also known as World War II. If the Treaty of Versailles was to not be so extremely barbaric to Germany, WWII would not have been declared. Therefore, the part of the Treaty of Versailles that included the recapturing of German lands contributed to the outbreak of World War II.

The Treaty of Versailles put restrictions on Germany which made them want to fight back and regain their military and forces. The Treaty of Versailles made huge gaps in the German’s military. The German Army was circumscribed to 100,000 all-volunteer force, they were denied any military aircraft, hefty artillery and tanks (Tucker 1224). Also, the German navy was restricted to six battleships, six light cruisers, twelve destroyers and no submarines (Tucker 1224). The Treaty of “…

Versailles experience suggests that it is futile to expect disarmament–either imposed or negotiated–to result in lasting security, unless it rests on a firm political foundation of equity and adaptability” (“Part” ). Since the Treaty of Versailles was forced on only the Germans and since the goal was to make them weaker, it is logical that lasting security would not be possible. Clearly, the German people and government felt that their lives might be in jeopardy would gravitate towards a leader that would promise security. A change was needed in the country of Germany.

They needed someone who was going to fight for their military assets back This person turned out to be Adolf Hitler. The Germans did not know how he would turn out as a leader, but what they did know was that he was willing to do anything for their country. That’s what Adolf Hitler did, he commenced World War II. If the Treaty of Versailles was not so unfair and cruel to the German’s, World War II would not have broken out. Therefore, the military restrictions set out by the Treaty of Versailles contributed to the uprising of World War II.

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