Treaty of Versailles

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The end of the Great War saw many things from large numbers of civilian deaths to soldiers death and then finally to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles was one of five treaties that were formulated at the Paris Peace Conference as part of the Armistice, at the end of the First World War. (Australian War Memorial), explains that the “the Treaty of Versailles related to establishing the conditions of peace with Germany.” (Australian War Memorial), states the major sanctions imposed on Germany by the treaty included, disarmament of Germany, reparations of large amounts paid to allies and the demilitarization of the Rhineland. The treaty also included territories that were part of Germany before the war was to be surrendered to the allies. (Australian War Memorial), states territories such as Alsace-Lorraine was surrendered to France as well as others to Poland, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic) and parts of Denmark. Although many of the conditions would heavily impact them, Germany still however reluctantly signed the Treaty of Versailles on June 28 1919 six months after the end of the First World War. The Paris Peace Conference talks began two months after the end of the First World War on January 12 1919. Meetings were held at various locations until the final signing at Versailles. Although there were 32 leaders representing their states, only five states were the main powers in the negotiating process in the conference. (Zapotoczny, 2005), states the main “powers” included, the United States, Britain, France, Italy and Japan. (Zapotoczny, 2005), states that one major outcome of the Paris Peace Conferences was the Treaty of Versailles. (Zapotoczny, 2005), explains that the Germans “thought that the treaty was going to be based on Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points which outlines a framework for a just peace and held the hopes of the prevention of future international tensions.” Although the result of the treaty severely devastated them , (Zapotoczny, 2005), stated that Germany had hoped that the treaty would be based on the Fourteen Points as they thought that it would of “resulted in drastically less devastation to them.” (Zapotoczny, 2005), stated that although that was the intention, the other big four “were determined to punish Germany for starting the war, so from those reactions the treaty ended up being a document that destroyed Germany.” The final result of the Treaty saw Germany held responsible for World War One. According to (Zapotoczny, 2005), “Germany were forced to pay reparations totaling 132, 000, 000, 000 in gold marks, lost 1/8 of its land, all of its colonies and overseas financial assets gained from the colonies.” (Zapotoczny, 2005), also stated that with the loss of territories basically had the map of Europe redrawn and also their military had to be basically non-existent or have little forces. According to (Zapotoczny, 2005), the German people felt they were harshly punished due to the reason they have a responsibility to serve their country therefore they weren’t responsible. (Zapotoczny, 2005), stated that “the treaty devastated Germany politically and economically.” With the ‘Great Depression’ on the horizon, the German population felt that they would of suffered more heavily than the other nations due to the large reparations forced upon them because of the Treaty of Versailles (Zapotoczny, 2005). One of the conditions outlined by the top five powers was the disarmament of the German military. The German as part of the treaty had to reduce their army number to 100,000 as per agreement (Stevenson, 2006). (Stevenson, 2006), stated that of these 100, 000 soldiers will consist of long-service volunteers and will be split into seven infantry divisions as well as three cavalry divisions. According to (Stevenson, 2006) these divisions will only be used for “internal order as well as border control.” Along with the reduction of men and divisions within the army, there were...
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