Consequences of the First World War

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Consequences of the First World War
A war unlike any to those that had preceded it, the First World War was fought on such a global scale that the sphere of influence of its consequences encompassed virtually the entire world. As a result of the war there were many political, cultural, and social changes across the world. New countries were born while old ones were abolished, new international organizations were established, and many new ideologies came to the fore.

The signing of the Treaty of Versailles was perhaps the most important outcome of the First World War. Based on American President Woodrow Wilson’s ‘fourteen points’ the treaty was signed on June 28, 1919 after six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference. By the terms of the treaty, Germany was forced to pay war reparations of 6.6 billion dollars to the Allies to compensate for the losses that they had suffered during the war. The treaty also imposed a number of military restrictions on Germany by which their army was limited to a force of 1,00,00 soldiers, their navy restricted to 15,000 men and 24 ships while their air force and submarines were banned. However the terms of the treaty that hurt Germany the most were those by which Germany was forced to cede some of its territories. Germany lost Alsace Lorrain to France, Eupen – et – Malmedy to Belgium and Schleswig to Denmark, while Danzig became a free port in Polish territory. Germany also lost all of her colonies in China and the Pacific, the control of which was given to Japan. To further compound Germany’s misery they were forced to cede the coalmines of Saar to France as well as demilitarize the area of the Rhineland which was to be occupied by the Allied troops, both for fifteen year periods.

Another major peace treaty that was signed after the First World War was the Treaty of Sevres. The treaty was signed between Turkey and the Allies. The treaty solidified the

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