The Impact of the Treaty of Versailles on Germany
The Treaty of Versailles was received very badly within Germany. The
nation had been blamed entirely for the first world war and had been
forced to pay compensation to the allies under the war guilt clause of
the treaty. The war guilt clauses not only made the Germans accept
responsibility for the war but also cost them dearly. 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 consequences on
Â· Initially they refused to sign the treaty and opted to scuttle the
fleet in protest.
Â· The economy was ruined as much of the produce and profit had to be
sent to the allies as reparations payments. This meant that the German
economy was unable to recover itself.
Â· The disarmament of the armed forces was viewed as an embarrassment
and the Germans felt very insecure about their inability to defend
themselves: it also meant a loss of status as military power means
that a nation has political clout.
Â· The German people felt bitter that they were excluded from the
league of nations and enforced to live by other peoples rules.
These problems resulted in disillusionment and animosity entering
German politics. In 1922 they fell behind with reparations repayments
and had to suffer the humiliation of French troops entering the Ruhr
to secure payments. The Weimar government was unable to reasons, it
hadn't the means to react in any feasible way: a government endorsed
strike led to the deaths of 100 workers, shot by the French.
The treaty led, either directly or indirectly, to a situation in
Germany where the people felt let down, they wanted to blame someone.
It led to economic problems and a lack of food or jobs. These in turn
lead to further economic...