THE DARK AGREEMENT: THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES CAUSED WORLD WAR 2
World War 1 was called ‘The Great War’ because the world had never seen anything like it. However, the consequences of the peace that settled World War I would ultimately steamroll into a conflict that would be an even bigger disaster. More than 20 million people died during the war, which lasted from 28th July 1914 to 11th November 1918. (PBS) The war started when a Serbian nationalist assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, an Austrian-Hungarian prince, and his wife Sophie on July 28, 1914. This assassination lead the feuding, competitive empires of Europe into making treaties, asking for help, and plotting revenge. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, which asked Russia, France and England for help. The Germans and the Ottomans forged ties to help Austria-Hungary. (DBQ background) Millions died in the slow, barely-advancing war. The United States was ultimately pulled in and assisted the English and French. Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire declared defeat, but Germany remained in the fight. The Germans reluctantly surrendered on 11th November 1918. (PBS) On 28th June 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed. This peace treaty had direct implications for Germany that helped set the stage for World War II. The Treaty of Versailles helped precipitate World War II by making Germany’s economy plummet, by reducing Germany's sphere of influence, and by emasculating the once-proud German people. Most importantly, Germany’s economic collapse, hyperinflation, and poverty caused great hardship for Germans.
A primary effect of The Treaty of Versailles was the rapid collapse of the German economy. The Treaty of Versailles made Germany pay for all damages that were caused by World War I. It was stated in Article 233 of the Treaty of Versailles that
“The Commission shall concurrently draw up a schedule of payments prescribing the time and manner for securing and discharging the entire obligation within a period of thirty years from May 1, 1921. If, however, within the period mentioned, Germany fails to discharge her obligations, any balance remaining unpaid may, within the discretion of the Commission, be postponed for settlement in subsequent years, or may be handled otherwise in such manner as the Allied and Associated Governments, acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in this Part of the present Treaty, shall determine.” (Articles 231-247)
This article stated that Germany had to pay for all costs and damages created by World War I. This meant $367 billion was to be paid over 30 years. (DBQ C) In order to earn such money, prices skyrocketed and hyperinflation began. In 1922, a loaf of bread cost 163 Marks by 1923 it cost 1,500,000 Marks and by November 1923 a loaf of bread cost 200,000,000,000 Marks. (About) This shows the degree of inflation that occurred in Germany during the 1920’s. This hyperinflation had a side effect, poverty. Poverty increased in Germany as prices for food went higher and taxes increased. This helped start World War II because as life got harder for the average person, it became easier for nationalist leaders to rise. Politicians promised to fix the economic problems and make people feel more secure about their futures. This also prompted people to desire revenge on the Allied powers for what they did to the German people. Germany's Sphere of Influence
Another crucial effect of the Treaty of Versailles was that it stripped Germany of its precious land. Germany lost 13% of the land that it had before the Treaty of Versailles. (History) All the land it lost was land that was rich in coal mines which the French and British wanted to use for their advantage. (DBQ A) This caused great damage to German society by causing a deficit of coal. Keeping warm and cooking food was hard. Coal loss also affected German industries and factories. They were not able to produce as...
Bibliography: PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.
This websites talks about World War 1 and specific details about battles and wars. I used this website for my background mainly because it goes in detail about how the war started and grew from there.
"Peace Treaty of Versailles, Articles 231-247 and Annexes, Reparations." Peace Treaty of Versailles, Articles 231-247 and Annexes, Reparations. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2013
I used this website to get specific texts from the Treaty of Versailles and specific articles.
This website is the Treaty of Versailles and has all the articles is a SHE point. This site was very helpful in all my she points specially the hyperinflation.
"Treaty of Versailles." - World War 2 on History. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.
This website talked about the Treaty of Versailles. It talked about why it was made. I mainly used this document for my background. I also used this source to get specific information of the Treaty of Versailles.
"World War II Europe: The Road To War." About.com Military History. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.
This websites talked about the effects of the Treaty of Versailles and about fascism and nationalism. This helped with the hyperinflation that the Treaty of Versailles caused and how nationalism was lost in Germany.
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