This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

How Justified Are Hostile Criticisms Of The Versailles Treaty?

1329 words - 5 pages

How justified are hostile criticisms of the Versailles Treaty?On the 11th of November 1918 the Kaiser's Germany lay down their weapons on the signing of the armistice agreement. After 5 years of fighting the First World War had come to an end. Germany had lost, and as such assumed all responsibility for its belligerent actions and the outbreak of the conflict. So, out of Germany's "war guilt" was born the 'Paris Peace Conference' and from the cattle trading that ensued over its five-month duration sprung the 'Versailles treaty' professing the manifesto for German reparations, which in the years to come were to cripple the newly founded Weimar Republic. Many countries, statesmen and certainly not least the population of Germany criticised the agreement for it's unfair terms. Not only this but it is still widely regarded as a major facet in any discussion of direct causes for the Second World War. But is this hostility in contemporary history unfounded or can the 'Versailles Treaty' decently be called a mistake of what was realised to be biblical proportions?As the historian Sally Marks wrote, "the net effect of World War One and the Peace Treaty was the effective enhancement of Germany's relative strength in Europe." Suggesting that the treaty had backfired on the victorious allies. Adopted by other historians as well, this line of argument is one not without question. It is clear that before the rise of Hitler it certainly did not "enhance" Germany in any sense of the word. Prime examples of quite the opposite are numerous. Explicitly, vast financial debts and loss of land all of which were bought about directly by the terms of the treaty. However, credibility can still be attributed to this somewhat damning thesis of Marks'. In the longer term it could be said, revenge for the treaty was a driving force in creating a Germany positioned to start war in 1939. Indeed Hitler harnessed this powerful resentment to fuel his rise to power. This is a steady argument but perhaps too tenuous to be called concrete.Another major criticism that should be addressed is the outline for disarming the German army lay down by the treaty and the resentment that came from this. Historians finger out this term consistently. For example John Lowe wrote, "this ideal made little headway, while France remained fearful for its security." The army in Germany was certainly influential. Undoubtedly, more so than in other, more stable countries. So the impact of this was far reaching. Not only did it fail to assure France of her safety but it also meant that Germany was unable to defend herself. Again, it is this kind of systematic humiliation that fuelled the re-emergence of a strong Germany.Perhaps the most controversial debate among historians is whether the Versailles treaty was too harsh or too lenient (none said it was just right). Woodrow Wilson and to a lesser extent Lloyd George believed in a more lenient conclusion. But the French Premier was unconvinced. The treaty...

Find Another Essay On How justified are hostile criticisms of the Versailles Treaty?

The Treaty of Versailles Essay

1185 words - 5 pages The treaty of versailles was supposed to end war and instead it turned everything to the worst causing one of the most biggest wars that took place in our history , this war is called world war II. World war II took place around 1939 to 1945. It began over germany invasion over poland and austria , the u.s wasnt yet involved until the pearl harbor was attacked. Adolf Hitler the cruel dictator of germany used his his bad powers to invade many

How was Germany punished by the Treaty of Versailles?

548 words - 2 pages How Was Germany Punished At Versailles?Germany was punished severely by the Treaty of Versailles, and in many cases, some of the terms seemed greatly unfair towards Germany. The treaty was put together by Woodrow Wilson – who wasn’t very keen on punishing Germany too harshly, as he believed that Germany would be intent on seeking revenge in the future, Georges Clemenceau – who wanted to punish Germany for France’s losses, and

The Treaty of Versailles Effect

1944 words - 8 pages for five years. Then as soon as he got out of jail he worked nonstop to repair the set-back that had happened to the party due to their leader’s absence (“Adolf Hitler”). This showed how Hitler was so determined to succeed that he would do anything to gain back all of which he worked so hard for. The Germans, because of the Treaty of Versailles had to give up land, some of their military, and money, all of which hurt their reputation and led

Describe the Treaty of Versailles

266 words - 2 pages Big Four, who were Wilson, Georges Clemenceau, David Lloyd George and Vittorio Orlando, dew up the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty of Versailles brought about the end of World War I. This treaty was designed to humiliate the Germans and the German government was forced to sign this unfair treaty.Germany had to accept the blame for the loss and damage, which the Allied Government and their nationals have been subjected to as a consequence of the

The Effects of the Treaty of Versailles

826 words - 4 pages intentions were at mind while creating the treaty. Germany had been defeated and the treaty of Versailles was the final touch to the devastation for Germany. The treaty of Versailles came along with many territorial changes for Germany. In article 51: “The territories which were ceded to Germany in accordance with the Preliminaries of Peace signed at Versailles on February 26, 1871 and the treaty of Frankfort of May 10, 1871, are restored to French

The Defeat of the Treaty of Versailles

1467 words - 6 pages Versailles was opposed by numerous forces. Vindictive European leaders challenged many of President Wilson's 14 points; allowing only a few to be put in the treaty. France and Great Brittan also presented challenges in the form of their wanting to punish Germany with harsh reparations and land acquisitions. This sparked latter European conflicts; although most of the resistance came from home in the form of public dissention. Document E shows how a

The Failure of the Treaty of Versailles

2050 words - 8 pages powerful tool for peace, to aid Germany in its post-war recovery, to dispel the need for a power such as Hitler, to prevent a second World War. Unfortunately this was not the case. The what-ifs of the situation are many, but one thing is for certain. The United States’ shortsighted approach to the Treaty of Versailles and foreign policy at the time had disastrous consequences for the world. Works Cited "America and Europe's Post-War

The Fairness of the Treaty of Versailles

1081 words - 4 pages The Fairness of the Treaty of Versailles 'The Treaty of Versailles' was the peace settlement that ended World War One in 1918. The treaty itself was actually signed on the 28th June 1919 at the former palace of Versailles, just outside Paris, by Germany and the Allies. The treaty was a compromise between the countries, trying to satisfy each demand - but was it overall fair to Germany? Germany was affected

Germany's Objections to the Treaty of Versailles

1040 words - 4 pages discover what these objections are and how far they are justified. Article 231 of the treaty was the 'War guilt clause'. Although this clause did not technically affect Germany economically or social it was the clause that the Germans resented the most as it stated that Germany was fully reasonable for the War. This was because Germany was a very proud nation and a global super power for numerous years. The public also

Rejection of the Treaty of Versailles

841 words - 3 pages The failure of the United States Senate to ratify the Treaty of Versailles resulted, not from the stubbornness and ineptitude of one man or political faction, but from the collective obstinacy of President Woodrow Wilson and the Internationalists, the Reservationists, and the Irreconcilables, coupled with the sudden loss of Wilson's campaign ability.President Wilson, after months of debating with other important heads of state among the Allies

Destructiveness of The Treaty of Versailles

3277 words - 13 pages 1919 to January 1920 and drafted what would become the Treaty of Versailles. Later in 1920, John Maynard Keynes, a spectator present at the conference, wrote The Economic Consequences of Peace, which predicted the dire economic consequences of the harsh peace imposed by the treaty and proposed revisions that leaned more towards forgiveness than vengeance. Keynes analyzed Europe before and after World War I and illuminated the treaty’s unfeasibility

Similar Essays

How Harsh Was The Treaty Of Versailles?

976 words - 4 pages The Treaty of Versailles (1919) was the peace treaty, which officially ended World War I between the Allies and the German Empire. After six months of negotiations, which took place at the Paris Peace Conference, Germany was "forced" to sign the treaty and accept therefore the full responsibility for causing the war. The German empire was punished militarily, territorially, and had also to finance the reparations of France and Belgium after the

The Treaty Of Versailles Essay

1802 words - 7 pages criteria of power and how to prevent war. . In addition, the balance of power required a policeman to monitor the smaller states and smaller conflicts. The Treaty of Versailles should have made the victors to either conciliate the enemy or destroy them. The Treaty of Versailles did neither. It did not pacify Germany, still less permanently weaken her, appearances notwithstanding, but left here scourged, humiliated and resentful. In that sense, it

The Treaty Of Versailles Essay

3241 words - 13 pages The Treaty of Versailles One of the greatest conflicts in the history of the world, that of World War II, changed the course of events in Western societies for the rest of the 20th Century. Its effects are felt today even today with the final ascent of the United States as a superpower and the decline of Europe. In fact, World War II was the final judgment concerning European domination of the world. However, many have said that World War

The Treaty Of Versailles Essay

1690 words - 7 pages despised treaty. The blame was pinned on the German government and there was an attempted communist overthrow in 1919 and the "friecorps," also tried to take over in 1920. Germany's government was more vulnerable than ever at this time, which lead to Hitler's rise later on. Another good example of how the Treaty of Versailles was unfair, was the "War Guilt Clause," which wrongfully held Germany soley responsible for the