First of all, the Reparations' clause of the Treaty of Versailles was one of the 440 clauses in the treaty that were not readily forgotten. Article 232 of the treaty stated that the Allied and Associated Governments would require Germany to pay reparations to those countries that suffered damage in World War I ("Treaty of Versailles"). The final amount was not readily agreed upon, for the sums desired varied from each of the Big Four. As Margaret Macmillan states in her book Paris 1919, "The British were asking for £24 billion ($120 billion), the French were asking for £44 billion ($220 billion); while the American experts recommended £4.4 billion ($22 billion)." Even after identifying Germany would be unable to immediately pay these reparation fees, the Big Four felt that they needed to weaken Germany economically in an effort to prevent them from completely recovering from World War I. They believed "that a smaller Germany, and poorer Germany, would be less of a threat to its neighbors" (Macmillan 162). This was one of four main clauses that greatly angered... [continues]
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