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Why did the Germans hate the treaty of Versailles?

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Germans hated the Treaty of Versailles because they did not understand they were responsible for starting the war neither they felt as they had lost. Another reason that the German hated the treaty was the terms of the treaty, which created political and economic problems. This includes territorial restriction on Germany, military Restrictions on Germany, territorial losses, reparations, League of Nations etc. As a result, a piece of land was split in centre of Germany for Poland to have a coastline, which weaken Germany from East Prussia (East Prussia had been a source of great revenue and the political elite for Germany).

Another territorial restriction on Germany that the Germans did not expect was that the Saar coal fields were to be given to France for fifteen years. This was a great source of coal for the Germans and losing it meant that the Germans didn’t have a supply of coal and raw materials for its industries. There are many more reasons that the Germans hated the treaty of Versailles.

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When the treaty was announced on the 7th May 1919, Germans were horrified. One of the reasons why they were horrified was Germany had been blamed unfairly for starting the war. However, the allies could blame Bosnia for killing Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo. Germany was not allowed to join the League in 1919. As Germany had started the war, according to the Treaty of Versailles, one of her punishments was that she was not considered to be a member of the international community and, therefore, she was not invited to join. This was a great blow to Germany but it also meant that the League could not use whatever strength Germany had to support its campaign against aggressor nations. The treaty was a diktat. German delegates to the Paris Peace Conference had been allowed no part in negotiations. In addition, the Germans were given three weeks to prepare their formal complaint. The Germans complained about nearly every clause. Nevertheless, the allies ignored all but a few complaints. The Germans felt cheated by this treaty, because virtually none of Wilson’s ‘Fourteen Points’ have been included in the treaty. The Germans called the treaty a ‘diktat’ because it was a demand to them, without real negotiation. Other countries did not expressed disquiet about the treatment of Germany. At the start of the World War I, despite Italy was one of Germany’s allies, Italy did not do anything to help Germany.

The effect of the treaty on German politics was extremely grave because the elected government in Germany faced revolt from both left and right wing extremists. His right-wing opponents were largely people who had grown up in the successful days of the Kaiser’s Germany. In March 1920, there was strike which brought the capital to a halt with no transport, power or water. Moreover, Political assassinations were frequent. In the summer of 1922 Ebert’s foreign minister Walther Rathenau was murdered by extremists. Germany was unable to defend herself because of restrictions on her military. Disarmament was not popular in Germany because the army was a symbol of German pride. Criticism of Ebert for accepting the treaty led to years of political instability because the Germans believed not that Germany had been beaten on the battle field, but that it had been betrayed by its civilian politicians who didn’t dare continue the war.

The German people suffered great economic hardship because of the treaty. There are many reasons why that happened and one of the reasons is the treaty gave the French and Belgians the right to take reparations by force. When Ebert agreed to the treaty, Germany was forced to pay reparations, which it tipped Germany into chaos because the German economy was already in tatters, people had very little food. They feared that the reparations payments would cripple them. Territory lost included much of Germany’s industrial base was a major blow to German pride. Germany lost 12.5 per cent of its population and 10 per cent of its land (which Includes 16 per cent of its coal and 48 per cent of its iron industry. The economic chaos of 1923 was a result of the treaty’s terms. In 1923 nothing was paid to the French and Belgian, therefore the French and Belgian troops entered the Rubr and began to take what was owed to them in form of raw materials and goods. In 1923, there was another problem – Hyperinflation. Because it had no goods to trade, the government simply printed money. With so much money in circulation, prices and wages rocketed, but people soon realised that this money was worthless.

To sum up, the strongest reason for hating the Treaty was the war guilt, Germany was blamed for starting the war and being forced to accept a harsh treaty without any choice or even a comment because it created other problems to Germany. For example, reparations, Germany was expected to pay for all the damage caused by it as they have started the war. War guilt also gave the allies reasons to take away its army, territories, resources etc. which created economic and political problems. If the blame for starting the war was shared between countries, Wilson’s Fourteen Points were taken in and Germany was allowed to join the League of National, Germany wouldn’t have as many problems as they had and the Germans wouldn’t be as violent as they were.

Cite this Why did the Germans hate the treaty of Versailles?

Why did the Germans hate the treaty of Versailles?. (2017, Jun 29). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/germans-hate-treaty-versailles-essay/

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