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Justification of the Treaty of Versailles

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In my opinion, the treaties of Versailles couldn’t be justified at the time in a large extent.
The treaties led Germany and her allies a very harsh punishment and suffered a lot at the time. The War Guilt Clause made them had to accept the total responsibility which was unfair because the Allies also caused the war happened. The £6.6 billion reparation from Germany was unacceptable for German at the time and led to the hyperinflation in 1923 and other economic problems. They had to pay reparations at the same time when their valuable land such as the Saar coal fields with major resources that were needed to pay these reparations were being deprived. Germany didn’t have the ability to pay this huge number and accept the territories and colonies loss after the war. The treaty was more like a disguising of rewarding conference for the victorious countries. The disarmament only to Germany and her allies but not the rest of the countries was unjustified and they couldn’t defend themselves militarily which was vulnerable. This caused the Kaiser abdicated and people in Germany felt that Kaiser was responsible for the war but the treaty of Versailles punished the whole nation. German people also thought this was a dictated peace and they had to accept this harsh settlement only with some minor changes they could afford, they were forced to sign the treaty with no choice because Britain blocked their sea-route. This also brought political changes such as the Weimar government with less support because they signed the treaty. Generally, the treaty brought German people suffered which were not match with the primary aim of the treaty which was bringing peace for Europe. This can be seen in the extract from an article written by a British journalist in 1922, “It was a peace of revenge. It was full of injustice. ”And “The wild impossibility of extracting those vast reparations from the defeated enemy ought to have been obvious to the most ignorant schoolboy.” which shows the unjustified of the treaties.

This was also happened to the allies of Germany. Austria-Hungary Empire broke up to many small states. They had to accept the independence of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Poland. Austria and Hungary both became a small landlocked country surrounded by hostile states. The original empire lost 70% of its territory and one third of its population. They became powerless states from a powerful empire. For Bulgaria, it had to recognize this “national catastrophe” that they had to recognize the self-determination of Yugoslavia and the territory loss blow the national pride of people in Bulgaria. Although Turkey successfully led to a renegotiated treaty which was slightly more lenient, but the other allies of Germany still got a harsh punishment.
However, the treaties of Versailles still could be understand because Britain and France really got a huge damage from the World War I. Clemenceau’s concern was reasonable because France was attacked twice in 50 years and got the most casualties from the war. To weaken Germany, to revenge and to set a harsh treaty preventing the next invasion from Germany was excusable for France and Britain at the time. This can be seen in a speech by President Woodrow Wilson, “She earned more than she can ever be able to pay for,” and “It is absolutely necessary in order that no other nation may ever plot such a thing against humanity and civilization.”
In conclusion, the treaties of Versailles was unjustified to Germany and her allies because they couldn’t afford to pay and this led the countries and citizens suffered although this revenge from France and Britain was understandable.

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