Q:

What did the Treaty of Versailles do?

A:

Quick Answer

The Treaty of Versailles brought an end to World War I, making peace between Germany and the Allies. However, its treatment of Germany laid the foundation for many of the problems that led to World War II.

Continue Reading
What did the Treaty of Versailles do?
Credit: De Agostini Picture Library De Agostini Picture Library Getty Images

Full Answer

The negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles had much to do with the views that Woodrow Wilson, David Lloyd George and Georges Clemenceau, the leaders of the United States, Great Britain and France, respectively, had about the treatment of Germany. While Lloyd George publicly advocated strict sanctions against Germany, privately he felt that Germany should be left strong enough to stand as a wall against Communism, which many thought would spread like a flame across Europe after its success against the tsars in Russia. However, suggesting any mercy for the Germans would have been politically suicidal.

Clemenceau represented the French view that Germany should be so handcuffed that it could never instigate another war. The utter destruction of northeastern France was a testament to the cruelty of German warfare, and his belief was that Germany should never have the tools of war at its disposal again.

Wilson had been shocked at the outright savagery of the Great War, and while he wanted Germany to be punished, he also wanted ultimate European reconciliation.

As a result, the treaty limited Germany's army to 100,000 and forbade tanks or an air force. Some of the territory that Germany lost took away vital natural resources for its economy. Most importantly, Germany was ultimately ordered to pay 6.6 billion pounds in reparations. The Germans had no part in the negotiations, but since their military was in a shambles, it had to sign. The resulting anger in Germany led to the rise of the Nazi Party and Germany's attempt, in World War II, to gain revenge on the victors in World War I.

Learn more about Politics

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are three weaknesses of the Treaty of Versailles?

    A:

    Three weaknesses of the Treaty of Versailles include: the lack of an army within the League of Nations, making it impossible for the League to have authority to follow through on decisions made; Italy and Japan's resentfulness of the treaty, as they wanted a larger reward for fighting with the Allied Powers during World War I and President Wilson's failure to get congressional support, preventing the United States from ratifying the treaty. The Treaty of Versailles had strengths, however, as it gave independence to Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some details and results regarding the 1919 Treaty of Versailles?

    A:

    Signed on June 28, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles ended World War I. The document contained 15 parts and 440 articles, which established boundaries for the defeated nation Germany and outlined its reparations to the Allies. The treaty plunged Germany into an economic recession and humiliated its people, setting the stage for the rise of nationalism and the Nazi party.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Was the Treaty of Versailles unfair to Germany?

    A:

    Germany felt that the Treaty of Versailles was unfair because it forced them to pay reparations to various countries, make territorial concessions and disarm. It also contained a War Guilt clause that required Germany to accept the blame for causing the damages and losses suffered during the war. The costs of reparation was 132 billion German marks, or roughly $31.4 billion.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What was the importance of the Treaty of Versailles?

    A:

    The Treaty of Versailles ended the state of war between the Allied Powers and Germany. The Treaty was signed, on June 28, 1919, at the Versailles Palace near Paris, hence its name. Other central powers on the German side were dealt with in separate treaties.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore