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The Failure Of International Law After World War One

592 words - 3 pages

The end of World War 1 saw the European combatant nations tire, millions of people died in the battlefield, and political conditions changed. The German, Austrian and Russian monarchies had been driven from power and replaced with democratic or revolutionary governments, and many European ethnic groups which had been subject to these three states seized the chance to obtain independence. Thus the victors attempted to bring permanent peace to Europe. They were quick to blame Germany for starting the war and resolved to punish her and this is exactly what took place at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
The Treaty of Versailles was harsh, brutal, punitive, and retributive, mostly because France still had underlying anger over the Franco-Prussian war. The Treaty was designed in a way to attempt to prevent Germany's ability to wage war in the future. It ordered that France would control the Saar valley, rich in coal and iron, for 15 years, an. Germany's colonies were divided between France and Britain, and Germany itself lost all together 13.5% of land and 12.5% of her population. The German navy was confiscated and the German army was limited to 100,000 members, and no submarines, planes, or artillery were permitted. Germany was forced to pay brutal war reparations in the amount of 132 billion gold marks. Lastly Germany was ordered to bear full responsibility for the war.
Article 23 of the attached Annex prohibited the use of poisonous weapons. However, a number of participants felt that this prohibition did not extend to gas weapons, given that the issue of gas weapons was dealt with in The Hague Gas Declaration. In 1919, following the end of the First World War, the Allies and the Central Powers signed the Versailles Treaty. Article 171 forbids only Germany from producing, importing and using any...

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