How Did The Treaty Of Versailles Affect Germany Socially

Topics: Germany, Treaty of Versailles, World War I Pages: 5 (1642 words) Published: March 15, 2015
Jonee Bennett
February 2, 2015
2nd Period
Mrs. Howe
How Did the Treaty of Versailles Affect Germany Socially, Economically, and Politically?
Soon after World War I, the Treaty of Versailles was written. The diplomats of this treaty only intended to end all wars and redraw Europe, but this treaty marked the beginning of a disaster for Germany. After six months prior to the war, the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. The overall purpose of the treaty was to punish Germany for damages done during WWI so that they could realize the pain they inflicted on other countries. Germany was forced to sign the treaty, because if they had not France and Britain would continue a war Germany could not afford to fight. Germany was running out of food, raw material, men and ammunition, so there was a great chance of them losing the war. The Treaty of Versailles weakened Germany economically, socially, and politically. It left them in financial ruin, humiliated, and caused them greater animosity against allies.

Thanks to Article 231, Germany was made to take full responsibility for everything that was destroyed after World War I. Paying for these reparations left the Germany economy in dept. The Treaty of Versailles dictated what compensations had to be paid to the Allies. Germany’s economy was already failing because of the war and now they were made to pay reparations and build their own economy again. Germany had to pay back 6.6 million dollars to the damaged countries, but they could not afford to pay that amount. As a result of them not being able to pay the reparations France and Belgium troops invaded Ruhr and held the people captive. Germany was hopeless in defending these people because of their restricted army. Their army was reduced massively, which was humiliating because they were once a proud nation. They were allowed 100,000 solider, 15,000 navy soldiers, 6 battleships, and no submarines. They were also not allowed to place any troops in Rhineland. Rhineland had to be de-militarized in order to protect France from future invasion. A “buffer” zone was created between France and Germany, which weakened Germany because they were unable to put down internal riots when they sent the army in to deal with the rebellion in April of 1920. The idea was to reduce their armed forces to a size where they could never endanger the surrounding countries. In addition to a reduced armed force, Germany also lost their territory and land. The terms of the treaty instructed that Alsace-Lorraine was given back to France. Malmedy was given to Belgium. North Schleswig was given to Denmark, Memel was given to Lithuania, and Polish Corridor and Upper Silesia were handed over to Poland. This was intended to weaken Germany. In all, Germany lost approximately thirteen percent of their land, which contained 6 million of its people. The lost these territories caused for the loss of the richest in mineral areas. Germany’s industrial production decreased tremendously including the coal and steel production. Sixteen percent of its coalfield was lost and half of its iron and steel industry. All of Germany’s power and wealth was given to its enemies in order to make them stronger. With their land loss and import/export restrictions, Germany was unable to join with other nations such as Austria. Germany was helpless and had less land, fewer people, and less power and taxes. Germany’s territorial decision affected Germany’s economy. The loss of the Saar reduced Germany’s industrial strength. The loss of West Prussia took away Germany’s richest farming land, but reparations did the greatest economic damage to Germany. The terms of the Treaty of Versailles were horrendous, and it brought Germany to its knees. Germany could not afford to pay France and Belgium after being brought to their limits during the war and still having to build their own economy. Germany had to pay for all the damage of the war – a sum set at 6.6 million dollars,...
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