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Why were the German people so unhappy with the Treaty of Versailles?

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 407
  • Category: German War

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The main purpose of the Treaty of Versailles was to reinforce peace and order through out the countries of the world; especially those directly involved with WWI and also to put an official end to the war. Of all countries, Germany played a major role in starting the outbreak of war, so the fact that they were not invited to join the international peace conferences did create commotions within and outside of the country. Though the Allie countries were present the most influential members of the conference were Britain, France and USA- the “Big Three” and they created the terms of the treaty. Five of which involved the consequences that Germany would face.

One of the most humiliating terms for Germany was the war-guilt; they had to accept the responsibility of starting the war. Their government did play a major role in the conflict; however it would be unfair to place the blame entirely upon them as other nations such as the Triple Entente were involved as well.

The strong, powerful army being reduced to a mere 100 000 soldiers and the restrictions on the use of armoured vehicles and submarines left Germany vulnerable to attack and damaged their pride severely and added to their embarrassment.

Heavy compensations had to be paid to countries that suffered the most damage: France, Belgium and Britain. The final Figure was decided in 1921 as 6 billion MARKS. They could not afford this and the fact that Saar and Upper Silesia, which were valuable industrial areas, were lost did not help the case. Other economically important places such as Alsace- Lorraine and a number of overseas territories were also lost.

The fifth term of the treaty was a League of Nations, designed to be an international police force and keep the peace between the countries. Germany was not invited to join however, mostly because the other countries viewed them as unreliable and a threat to their safety. It was said that Germany could become a member of the League when it showed signs of being a peace seeking country.

The German government believed that none of the five terms of the treaty were justified and did not coincide with Woodrow Wilson’s “14 points”. Feelings of resentment were apparent through out the country and even though money became a problematic issue, Germany had no choice but to follow the new laws determined by the League.

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