The Treaty Of Versailles As A Cause Of Wwii

1176 words - 5 pages

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, marks the day that WWI descended into armistice. However, the involved countries reached an agreement as to the events following the war on the 28th of June, 1919. The famous Treaty of Versailles was known for its role in ending war. But it was not known for being a double-edged sword, as the ending of war came with the consequence of causing future war. The Treaty consisted of uncontested biases due to Germany's unconditional surrender. The Allies held a gun to Germany's head, with their trigger finger tense. Each article of the Versailles Treaty only made Germany more restless, until 1933 when Hitler produced his own gun and pointed it at the Allies. The Treaty had a series of unproportional effects upon Germany and its people. It caused a rift between the two sides because of the alliances that it formed, brewing tension. The punishments enforced upon Germany were unrealistically huge and it increased the wish among the Germans for the nullification of the Treaty. Finally, the accumulated hatred amongst the people gave birth to potential for a revolution. The Treaty of Versailles is, therefore, an indirect cause to World War II, because of the alliances it caused, the punishments it enforced, and the hatred it developed.
The coalitions brought by the Versailles Treaty contributed greatly to starting WWII. The Treaty was responsible for the formation of the Allies. However, when made, these alliances were based on promises from the superpowers, particularly France. This ensured that Germany would not have support from the smaller countries in Europe (Document B). Belgium had aligned itself with France previously, and it continued to do so, but Czechoslovakia and Poland joined in the new alliance (Document B). It was highly militaristic, which provided incentive for the smaller countries to join (Document B). Germany was also left on its own, which meant that Hitler could come into power more easily (Document D). When on its own, Germany only had to care about the needs of its own people, not any other country's. Germany needed to gain power again in order to contest, and this proved as motivation. This ultimately caused a rift between the two sides, increasing the tension that led to war.
The radical measures taken to penalize Germany for its role in the war also contributed heavily. This itself also consists of three main parts. The first, and most extreme in terms of magnitude, were the reparations demanded. According to Article 231, Germany solely caused the war, which is why they must compensate for the damages they caused (Document D). Germany had to pay 132 billion marks, but eight years later, this amount was reduced to 112 billion (Document C). Germany could pay very little (less than 2% of what was asked of them) due to the lack of realism that went into the determination of the reparations (Document C). The second part of the punishments were the military restrictions...

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