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Historians and Treaty of Versailles

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 334
  • Category: German

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Anthony Wood , Europe 1815-1960 (1986)
The fundamental significance of Versailles was emotional rather than rational. Allied statesmen, urged on by the pressure of public opinion, have made peace in spirit of revenge and not to guarantee national security. Lentin, Guilt At Versailles (1984)

The Treaty of Versailles should have made the victors either to 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. William Carr, A History Of Germany 1815-1945 (1985)

Severe as the Treaty of Versailles seemed to many Germans, it should be remembered that Germany might easily have feared much worse. If Clemencau had had his way instead of being restrained by Britain and America the treaty could have been much worse for Germany. Wolfgang Mommsen

In hindsight, Germans wouldn’t consider the Treaty of Versailles a really unbearable treaty.
“Some of the stipulations, especially with regard to reparations, are very problematic, because the allies themselves couldn’t agree upon how much should be paid and when and how. And that, of course, has to do with the fact that the Americans insisted on the repayment of their credits to the allied powers. “Basically, I think one can say the Treaty was harsh, but understandable. It created in Germany a political climate in which it was exceedingly difficult for a democratic system to develop. Somewhat less harsh treaties certainly would have been good, on the other hand. The allied governments were under the pressure of their own public, which demanded the Germans to pay for it all. Naill Ferguson

* More of a Revisionist historian
* Treaty of Versailles was “relatively lenient”

J.M. Keynes
* Economist wrote widely during and after Treaty of V.
* Saw the reparations as particularly damaging and argued that t affected the entire continent negatively
* He also argued that it was a mistake to take away German’s raw materials which would harm economic recovery

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