To what extent were the effects of the Treaty of Versailles the most serious problem for the Weimar republic between 1919-1923?
The Weimar republic encountered many serious problems in the years 1919-1923; and whilst historians argue that the effects of the treaty of Versailles were the most severe, it is necessary to compare the significance of a range of other political, social and economic factors to determine the prime and most significant problem faced by the newly formed government in a time of confusion and chaos after Germany lost the first world war.
The Treaty of Versailles was a complex document that had many consequences for the people and Government of Germany. A range of factors combined to undermine the ability of the infant democratic republic to govern successfully, including: The 'War Guilt' Clause; The requirement to pay Reparations and the rebellion of both left and right wing extremists. All these factors can conceivably be the result of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles but it is only with examining all aspects can we conclude this.
The war guilt clause can be perceived as the first real serious problem the Weimar Republic faced. 10% of German lands were lost as a result; all of Germany's overseas colonies were taken away and shared between the allies and a massive 12.5% of the German population found itself living outside of the new German borders. These terms had several very dramatic social, political and economic consequences on Germany. Socially, the German people were outraged upon having to accept full responsibility for the war as well as the disarmament of the armed forces being viewed as an embarrassment and the Germans felt very insecure about their inability to defend themselves, this creating a national distrust for the new government as they were seen as traitors, thus linking to the “Stab in the back theory” and other political consequences like uprisings and violence by left and right wing opposition such as...
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