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The Causes and Effects of the Treaty of Versailles

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The Causes and Effects of the Treaty of Versailles

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  • October 2008
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The Treaty of Versailles was a peace treaty, signed on June 28, 1919, to officially end World War I. This treaty required Germany to accept full responsibility for the war. It also forced Germany to pay reparations to various countries that were damaged by the war. Germany was also divided to be controlled by certain ally forces. Germany’s army was limited to 100,000 active troops and no aircraft, tanks, gas, or heavy artillery. Many historians view the Treaty of Versailles as a flawed peace and even as one of the causes of World War II. “We arrived determined that a Peace of justice and wisdom should be negotiated; we left the conference conscious that the treaties imposed upon our enemies were neither just nor wise.” admits Harold Nicolson, a member of the British delegation. The Treaty of Versailles greatly angered the Germans. It deeply hurt Germany economically and socially, after it was already suffering from immense casualties. A former German military police shows the view from Germany’s perspective, “It is inflicting the deepest wounds on us Germans as our world lies in wreckage about us.” This treaty built up a fierce anger in Germany that was soon to be released by Adolf Hitler. The treaty only worsened Germany’s state of destruction. A country, already depleted of its money because of the cost of war, was forced to pay for the rebuilding of other nations that suffered from the war. The sum required added up to an un-payable amount of money. This gave Germany no time to rebuild its own economy. One of the few positive things that can be said about the Treaty of Versailles is the formation of the League of Nations. This league consisted of many of the world nations, who met to solve world issues nonviolently. The purpose of this league was to prevent any further wars between nations. This was a precursor to the United Nations that we have today. “From our point of vantage we can be generous and thank them for giving us the League, and the...

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