Welcome everyone to our Revision zone. As the day of our exams finally come closer, the need to share and revise cooperatively has, at least for me, become a need.
For this reason, part of our graded tasks this year are based on the active participation in this blog.
I honestly hope we can all profit from this exciting experience.
Were the Peace Treaties of 1919-23 fair?

Focus Points

  • What were the motives and aims of the Big Three at Versailles?
  • Why did all the victors not get everything they wanted?
  • What was the impact of the peace treaty on Germany up to 1923?
  • Could the treaties be justified at the time?

    TASK.
    Try answering the essay question in any way you want, as a full essay, a paragraph or bullet points. You are also welcome to provide links that you believe may throw light on these questions.
    It is very important to consider that you get a positive grade by contributing to the blog in a significant way. This also includes questions and even incomplete or inaccurate analysis.
    Lenny.
Lenny
04/05/2010 8:12pm

I found a pdf document I thought might throw some light on the issue.
Have a look and tell me what you think of it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/audio/history/pdf/the_treaty_of_versailles.pdf

Reply
Sophie
04/17/2010 8:21am

what was the impact of the peace treaties in Germany up to 1923?

The peace treaty brought an immeadiate chaos to Germany. In 1919 the new government, Weimar republic, was attacked on all sides. Between 1919 and 1923 there were repeated attempts by both left and right wings oponents in order to overthrow the new political system. These rebellions were smashed by violent fights followed by strikes which only led economic problems, such as hyperinflation. What's more, there were problems with France in the Ruhr(1923)because Germany had fallen behind with the reparation payments.

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Sophie
04/17/2010 8:45am

AIMS IN VERSAILLES
WILSON,USA:
He was an idealist who wanted to build a better, safer world out of the war. He proposed the 14 points which the most important was the one of creating the League of Nations in order to prevent another war form ever taking place.

CLEMENCEAU, FRANCE:
He was an old man who had seen his country been invaded by Germany several times, so now he was determined on REVENGE. The main aim, was to weaken Germany so much so that she could never attack France again.

LLOYD GEORGE, BRITAIN:
He wanted to punish Germany but not so hard because he was afraid that Germany would want revenge in the future.


The countries obviosly couldn't have whatever they wanted because they all had very different points of view and aims. Also, they were just conserend about their own country and in such a selfish position it would be imposible to satisfy every want.
In my opinion, the treaties could be justified because the peacemakers didn't have much time to consider the points due to the chaos going on in Europe and had to act quickly and effectively.

Reply
Sol Carregal
04/19/2010 12:37pm

Why did all victors not get what they wanted?
During the talks to get an agreement between the Big Three, it became clear that the very objectives of the ddifferent leaders could not all be met. This could be noticed in the most "obvious" disagreements Clemenceau and Wilson had. Clemenceau especially resented Wilson's more "generous" attitude towards Germany. Lloyd George also clashed with Clemenceau in this issues as he didn't want to treat "Germany too harsly". They also disagreed over what to do about the Rhineland and the Saar. Self-determination was given to Eastern European countries, despite Clemenceau's ad Lloyd's doubts in that point. Wilson, as Lloyd George and Clemenceau, had to give way on certain issues, or give up on some proposals. They certainly could not get in agreement in some terms, but finally they decided on the Treaty of Versailles' terms (war guilt, reparations, german territories and colonies, Germany's armed forces, the creation of the League of Nations)

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Sol Carregal
04/19/2010 12:53pm

I also wanted to add that I agree with Sofi in the points she made above. I wanted to include, also, in the aims of the Big Three, that Woodrow Wilson considered very important "self-determination", meaning that nations should rule themselves rather than be ruled by others. He also reckoned that nations should co-operate to achieve peace and avoid future wars.
I also found a web page which has an essay based on the point if whether the treaty was fair/ could be justified:
http://www.helium.com/items/1164462-was-the-treaty-of-versailles-fair
Below that essay, there are several opinions, "No" and "Yes" answers to the question, and further essays on the topic.
In the case of Lloyd George, he especially wanted Germany to lose its navy and its colonies because Britain was in some way threatened by it. He also did not want to lose Germany as a trading partner.

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Ele Piñon
04/19/2010 6:32pm

Could the treaties be justified at the time?
With hindsight, we can realize that the treaty was very harsh on Germany, and in my opinion, very unfair. It created a resentful Germany, and it is one of the causes of the WWII.
But at that time, people around the world really thought this was what Germany deserved, and some even thought is wasn’t harsh enough.
So in my opinion, it could be justified why the Big Three took all those decisions. They had just finished a hideous war which resulted in thousands of looses all over the world, they where really scare of what could come next, so they wanted to weaken Germany as much as possible, and also the place where they held the meetings was totally devastated and it horrified them even more. I agree on the reason why they took all those decisions, but I certainly don’t agree on the decisions they took. Germany didn’t deserve such treatment.

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Lenny
04/20/2010 8:20am

As regards the impact of the treaties on Germany I believe Sofi only mentioned the political consequences and others as consequences of the political chaos. The truth is that the peace treaties brought disorder in the political, social, economic and foreign relations aspects. It may hel to bear these aspects in mind when framing your answers.

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Sol Carregal
04/21/2010 6:59pm

Lenny, when yoy refer to the economic chaos, you mean, for example,that in Germany, where economy as already in tatters, reparations, as well as the loss of territories to France, Britain and the League, started new issues? Like hyperinflation? Furthermore, when you say "foreign relationships"...what does that concept grasp? I mean...are you talking about Germany's relationship with other countries?
Thanks!

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04/23/2010 6:48pm

What was the impact of the peace treaty on Germany up to 1923?

We all know the Treaty of Versailles destabilised Germany politically, but Germans also blamed it for another problem, ECONOMIC CHAOS.
The terms of the treaty were announced on 7 may of 1919. One of them was called "Reparations" and consisted of Germany paying reparations to the allies caused by the war. In 1921 50 million were paid but in 1922 nothing was paid. Ebert did his best to play for time and to negociate concession from the Allies, but the French ran out of patience. So in January 1923 French and Belgian troops entered the Ruhr and began to take what was owed to them in the form of raw materials and good. That is why the goverment ordered the workers to go on strike. Because there was no production Germany had no goods to trade so the goverment simply decided to print money. THIS DECITION LED GERMANY FALL INTO HYPERINFLATION.

I FOUND THIS VIDEO WHICH EXPLAINS VERY CLEARLY THE HYPERINFLATION PROBLEM IN 1923 AND HOW DID AFFECT THE GERMAN PEOPLE.

http://www.youtube.com/user/lulidarnet#p/f/0/YvN3wBPBDW0

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Ele Piñon
04/27/2010 9:33am

lenny here I found a link of a page full of info and sources about different topics we has studied
byebye!
http://www.johndclare.net/

Reply
Lenny,
04/28/2010 7:34am

Lenny, when yoy refer to the economic chaos, you mean, for example,that in Germany, where economy was already in tatters, reparations, as well as the loss of territories to France, Britain and the League, started new issues? YES, I DEFINITELY MEAN THAT. GERMANY HAD TO RECOVER FROM WAR WHICH ALREADY IMPLIED ECONOMIC HARDSHIP WHEN REPARATIONS AND THE LOSS OF TERRITORIES MADE EVERYTHING WORSE. I WOULD LIKE TO MENTION, TOO, THAT SOME HISTORIANS HAVE TAKEN THE RAPID RECOVERY OF GERMANY AS A SIGN THAT THEIR ECONOMY WAS NOT SO DAMAGED AFTER ALL. WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK?? Like hyperinflation? Furthermore, when you say "foreign relationships"...what does that concept grasp? FOREIGN RELATIONS IS RELATED TO THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GERMANY AND THE REST OF THE EUROPEAN COUNTRIES. IMMEDIATELY AFTER WW1 ENDED GERMANY WAS NOT INVITED TO JOIN THE LEAGUE, THIS WAS ONLY POSSIBLE AFTER THE LOCARNO AGREEMENTS AND THE DAWES AND YOUNG PLANS. I mean...are you talking about Germany's relationship with other countries?
THANX FOR THE QUESTIONS, SOL! :)

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Lenny.
04/28/2010 7:36am

http://www.youtube.com/user/lulidarnet#p/f/0/YvN3wBPBDW0

THIS LINK PROVIDED BY LULI DARNET GIVES A CLEAR EXPLANATION OF WHAT HYPERINFLATION MEANS IN VERY PRACTICAL TERMS. IT'S A VIDEO DONE BY STUDENTS, THE CONTENT AND SOURCES AND REALLY GOODM DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED BY ANY SPELLING MISTAKES.

GOOD WORK!!

Reply
Lenny.
04/28/2010 7:39am

The johndeclare website Elena provided is simply amazing. We teachers often use it for questions, sources or articles.

I invite you to read this critical essay on the Versailles Treaty from the johndeclare website.
http://www.colby.edu/personal/r/rmscheck/GermanyD1.html

Feel free to explore the website and make your own suggestions too!!! :)

Reply
Lenny.
04/28/2010 7:43am

FOR THOSE WHO STILL WANT A CHANCE AT ANSWERING QUESTIONS!!!! THREE NEW QUESTIONS FROM PAST MOCK EXAMS.

1. Why did the Treaty of Versailles cause problems for Germany in the years up to 1923?
2. What were Germany’s main territorial losses under the Treaty of Versailles?
3. Why was Germany dissatisfied with the peace treaty?

WITH LOVE,
Lenny.

Reply
delfi
04/28/2010 4:24pm


WHY DID THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES CAUSE PROBLEMS FOR GERMANY IN THE YEARS UP TO 1923?
The treaty of Versailles establishes that Germany had to pay reparations; the bill for reparations was extremely high. This bill covered 2% was Germanys annual income and the fact that they were “loosing” this money put Germany on an economical chaos. In addition in 1922 Germany fall behind with the payment of reparations, so in 1923 French and Belgians troops entered the Ruhr and took what was owed in raw material and this was permitted by the treaty. So the truth is that the treaty of Versailles did nothing good for Germany rather than sinking her into an huge economic chaos.
I found a very good page tha explains everything of the treaty, especially how Germany reacted towards it. I hope it helps…..
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/treaty_of_versailles.htm

Reply
04/29/2010 5:04pm

watch this video is like an answer to the question. What were the motives and aims of the Big Three at Versailles?

Reply
Beluu =]
05/01/2010 12:09pm

Why was Germany dissatisfied with the peace treaty?

There were 5 terms of the Treaty of Versailles, which the germans was dissatified with it:
- War guilt: This term was harsh for the germans. They had to accept the blame for starting the war, which the germans didnt feel that they had started the war, and they did not feel they had lost the war. They were angry with the fact that they were being forced to accept a harsh treaty without any choice or even a comment.
-Reperations: The big three agreed that Germany had to pay a huge ammount of money for ALL the damage caused by the war. The german economy was in tatters, people had little food.
-German territories and colonies: Germany lost a lot of territores. Germany's overseas empire was taken away and former german colonies became mandates controlled by the League of Nations.(Britain and France controlled them)
-Germany's armed forces: german's army was a symbol of german pride. The disarmament term upset the germans. The treaty restricted the army to a level well below what they had been before the war, an army of 100.000 was very small for a big country. Conscription was banned,germany was not allowed to have armoured vehicles, submarines, aircraft, only a small navy. However, the rhineland became a demilirarised zone and it was very important because it was the border area between Germany and France.
- The league of Nations: it was set up as an international "police force."germany was not invited to the League until it had shown as a peace-loving country.

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Heleen
05/02/2010 6:17pm

2. What were Germany’s main territorial losses under the Treaty of Versailles?

With the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany lost 10% of its land and all of his overseas empire was taken away, which became mandates controlled by the League of Nations. She also lost 12.5% of her population & 16% of coalfields industry. What’s more, Germany lost almost all her iron and steel industry.
To finish, Germany was forbidden to join in any way with her always ally Austria.

Reply
Agus Villella
05/03/2010 10:12am

2. What were Germany’s main territorial losses under the Treaty of Versailles?

* Germany overseas empire was taken away.
* Germany colonied became mandates controlled by the League of Nations.
*The Treaty forbade Germany to ally with Austria.

---------------------------------------

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZHM4EksW14 ---> Video " Women in Nazi Germany"

Reply
05/03/2010 1:23pm

What were Germany’s main territorial losses under the Treaty of Versailles?

To start with, Germany had to give up (return, actually) the Alsace-Lorraine farmland, located in West Prussia, to France, which had been taken from them (the French) in 1871 after the Franco-Prussian war.
Another important industrial area to bare in mind taken from Germany by the big three in the treaty of Versailles was the Saar area. It was given to France for 15 Years. During that lapse of time, the Saar citizens would have time to make up their mind whether if they liked the new Government (France) or they preferred the traditional German way of government. 15 years later, a plebiscite would be done by them to decide which government they would like to be part of.
There is also the issue about the Rhineland. This was more complex, as it kept being part of Germany, but it became a demilitarized zone. NO GERMAN TROOPS WERE ALLOWED IN THAT AREA, just British, French, American and Belgian troops.
In eastern Germany, they gave western Prussia, Upper Silesia and Posen to Poland.
The free city of Danzig (result from the post war treaty of Versailles) was predominantly occupied by German citizens. This also happened with other polish territories.
Other territorial losses that the Germans suffered were:
- Eupen and Malmedy (given to Belgium)
- Northern Schleswig (given to Denmark)
- Hultschin (given to Czechoslovakia).

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Tomas Lucas - Lucas Guglielmone
05/10/2010 3:47pm

Woodrow Wilson: He didn't want to punish Germany too harsh, he wanted every country to be self-determination, he wanted to end the empires which european countries had built up.

David Lloyd George: he didn´t want to treat Germany too harsh, he thought it would only cause problems in the future. He wanted Germany to be allowed to recover. And he wanted the Rhineland to be demilitarised.

Georges Clemenceau: He wanted Alsace-Lorraine back. He also wanted to cripple Germany as much as possible. He wanted to take the Rhineland and make Germany pay reparations.

No one could get everything they wanted because every single leader had different ideas, so no one could have what they wanted.

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Helen Piñon
06/07/2010 2:20pm

How successful was the League in the 1930s?
In my opinion, the league was not at all successful in dealing with the 1930s issues it had.
First of all, we have the Manchurian crisis, in 1931, when Japan which was deeply affected by the 1929 economic crash in USA invaded Manchuria with the excused that she owned the Manchurian railway. This crisis shows clearly how the league was powerless, as the league told Japan, after days of booming China to withdraw, but she decided not to but to keep on invading China and leaving the league. He didn’t even consider doing what the League told her.
Another example would be the Abyssinian crisis, in middle 1930s. Mussolini invaded Abyssinia as Italy was too affected by the economic crash and besides, he wanted to expand. This was difficult for the League to decide what to do, because Italy was a leading member of the League, like Japan, and Britain & France wanted to be in good terms with her, to have Mussolini as an ally. After playing for time, they decided to give him a part of Abyssinia, and time later, France decided to give him all Abyssinia if necessary so as to not loose him as an ally. Mussolini accepted this, but he became Hitler’s ally. This proves how France & Britain acted not on the others good, but on their own good, so the League was not successful because of the different objectives it members had.
To finish with, we have the huge failure of Disarmament. Disarmament was an aim of the League, but by the 1930s, only Germany had disarmed and only because she was forced to. Hitler protested so the Disarmament Conference started, and it had some achievements, but the big question was, should all countries disarm of should Germany rearm? After discussions, and a series of decisions, the DC ended in 1934, when Germany had left the League and made her secret rearmament public. The others countries didn’t want to stay back, so the started rearming more and more.
This event demonstrate how the League was a total failure during the 1930s, as she was powerless and it members, self-interested.

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