DBQ: How did the Treaty of Versailles help cause World War II? Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” This was Germany’s philosophy after losing the war. WWI began on July 28, 1914, with the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a secret group of people who originated from Serbia. Austria’s anger sparked World War I by declaring war on Serbia. This led to a chain reaction in which countries from all over Europe declared war on each, and resulted in the creation of two alliances. Even though WWI was supposed to end by an armistice signed between France and Germany, the war raged on due to poor communication. The war formally ended when a group known as the League of Nations created a document called the Treaty of Versailles in which Germany was not represented. This document was harsh to the Germans as it blamed the entire war on them and gave them a colossal, unmanageable debt under the war guilt clause. From a current standpoint, this was a very foolish thing to do, but the question is what parts of that Treaty led to the Germans to fight back? The Treaty of Versailles helped cause WWII because the Germans were unwilling to pay the debt, they felt very insecure, they wanted to regain lost territory, and most importantly wanted the restore glory for Germany.
The countries involved in the war were all still rebuilding their economies and recovering from war debt. A country at this time did not need to have over $360 billion US dollars’ worth of debt but this was a clearly stated fact that the Germans had to follow. The Treaty of Versailles stated that Germany had to compensate “for all damage done to the civilian population of Allied and Associated Powers,” (Doc C). This totaled together was $367 billion US dollars or 132 billion gold marks in which Germany had to pay within “a period of thirty years from May 1, 1921,” based on a plan which was “prescribing the time and...
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