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.Continue Reading
The treaty included parts of great importance to Europe's future. The first part established the League of Nations and forbade Germany from joining until 1926. The second part re-established Germany's boundaries, while the third part created a demilitarized zone separating Germany from the Saar. The fourth part of the treaty took all of Germany's colonies away from the country. The fifth part forced Germany to reduce its military, while also committing the Allies to military disarmament over time.
The German reaction to the treaty included assassinations of German politicians who signed and supported it. France occupied regions of Germany for parts of the 1920s to enforce the treaty, but political pressure forced it to withdraw. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany denounced the treaty and openly violated parts of it by increasing the military and reacquiring sections of Austria and Czechoslovakia.Learn more about World War 1