World War I ended with an armistice signed on November 11, 1918, followed shortly by the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. These documents ended four years of bloody battles that left 10 million soldiers dead.Continue Reading
Before the armistice that signaled the end of the war, several forces had already capitulated. Bulgaria, Turkey and Austria-Hungary had each surrendered in the preceding months, leaving the German forces unsupported in the campaign. As the United States had only recently entered the war with fresher forces, Germany had no choice but to admit defeat. They did this at 11 a.m. on November 11, leading to the famous quote that the war ended at the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month."
This armistice served as a temporary cease-fire for the armies, and it was intended as a brief placeholder until the powers could agree upon more permanent terms. The armistice was renewed repeatedly for nearly a year until the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919. This treaty levied extreme sanctions against the Germans, including total dissolution of their military forces and massive financial reparations to be paid to countries they had attacked. As a result of these penalties, Germany plunged into a major economic recession, which Hitler would later use as a rallying cry to unify German forces for World War II.Learn more about World War 2
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 >
World War II had several causes, mainly having to do with the treatment of Germany after World War I when the country was forced to accede to the Treaty of Versailles. Many German nationals and government officials felt that the treaty unfairly placed all financial burden on Germany for war reparations and asked the country to cede lands it had formerly owned.Full Answer >
World War II began mainly as a result of Nazi Germany reoccupying increasing amounts of land over which, according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, it no longer had claim. England and France, allied countries that fought against Germany in World War I, declared war on Germany on Sept. 3, 1939, after it invaded Poland, despite repeated demands to cease military occupation.Full Answer >
World War I was formally ended on June 28, 1919, after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Germany surrendered the previous year on Nov. 11, 1918.Full Answer >