Improvements to the Treaty of Versailles - why weren't they possible at the time?
For the establishing a lasting peace section, I wrote down the points:
1 - Improvements to the Treaty of Versailles - why weren't they possible at the time? introduction. Wilson’s 14 point plan
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2. Allowing Germany to be involved in the negotiations of the treaty
3. Spread the war guilt to all the countries fighting on Germany’s side
4. Insist on disarmament
5. Admit Germany in to the league of Nations
6. Tie USA to Europe, don’t allow them to isolate itself
I believe that these improvements were impossible at the time Wilson’s 14 point plan did not agree much with the French President, Georges Clemenceau and the British Prime Minister, Lloyd George. They believed it to be to fair and unharsh towards Germany. My second point was to allow Germany in to the negotiations of the treaty. I thought that this was going to be impossible as Clemenceau would not allow this to happen and that if Germany were allowed, they would disagree to everything that was said, and that they would not sign the treaty.
As Clemenceau wanted to blame Germany for everything about the war, spreading the war guilt to countries in Germany’s side, such as, Austria and Hungary, and admitting Germany in to the League of Nations, would have been impossible it the circumstances. The fourth point, insist on disarmament would have been impossible to add because when the German president read the treaty, he would probably not sign the treaty as he would still want weapons in case of an invasion. The final point, tie USA to Europe, would have been quite hard because Wilson wanted to concentrate on America rather than Europe as he was mainly focusing on that in the past. He just wanted to put forward a plan for long lasting peace and then leave it at that.
For the Punish Germany section, I wrote down the points:
1. Take more reparations
2. Take all overseas colonies away from Germany
3. Loss of territories, e.g. deny access to the sea
4. War guilt
For Punish Germany, it is very similar to the actual treaty. Even though Germany thought this was very harsh, it is nothing compared to the next section. Germany would not accept war guilt as they did not think that they caused the war. Increasing the Reparations would have been impossible as the powers that were involved in the negotiations of the treaty, took 2/3 years to decide the actual fee that Germany had to pay to the Allies. The next point actually happened. Lloyd George saw that Germany’s Navy was a threat; therefore he wanted Germany to lose all of its overseas colonies and its navy, so that it was not a threat to the British Empire. The next point also occurred. Germany had to accept the blame for starting the war and they could not complain about it.
For the cripple Germany section I wrote:
1. Allow Clemenceau to have his own way
2. Occupy the Ruhr in Germany
3. Divide Germany in to states, undo Germany’s unification
4. Invade Germany
5. Rhineland to France or independent state
It was impossible to allow Clemenceau to have his own way as he would go on a rampage and send Europe in to chaos. If Clemenceau was to have his own way, he would make Germany pay more than 24 billion marks, divide Germany in to states, limit the army to 0, hand the navy and air force to Britain, take the overseas colonies away from Germany, occupy them and include them in the French Empire, take away industries that Germany collect income from, and then he would probably invade Germany and bomb it to pieces. The next point did occur. For some time, France occupied the Ruhr As Germany stopped paying them, so France invaded Germany and took over the Ruhr, and began taking goods from them as money that they owed them.
But this improvement was impossible as the Ruhr was Germany’s goods area, where they would mine and where their industries were located. If the Ruhr was occupied by France, France would not be getting money as Germany needs to trade, to receive money to pay to France. It was impossible to make an improvement to break Germany up in to states because there was only really one region of Germany that had resources to trade, and if it was broken up, then only that region could trade and the people working could be paid. The people in the other regions would have no money as there were no jobs; therefore they weren’t receiving any money. It was impossible to make the improvement of making the Rhineland an independent state or give it to France because Germany could invade France again very easily if France occupied the Rhineland.
In the final section, Reward the winners, I wrote:
1. Divide Germany up and give each state to an Ally
2. Navy fleet to Britain
3. All colonies to Britain and France
As already explained in the last section, if Germany was to be broken up, Jobs would be very low. Not all the population of Germany would have jobs; therefore they would have no money of food. The second point actually happened. Germany travelled their fleet over to the shores of Britain, but instead of handing it over, they blew the fleet up in front of them. It would be impossible to make the last improvement happen at the time because if Britain and France had Germany’s colonies, thing that Germany traded to other countries around the world may not be valuable to them, therefore they would not trade it.
Overall, I believe that all of these improvements listed were impossible at the time because all of the major powers were unable to agree to the same things. Some would say yes to thing, some was say no to things. This was due to how harsh the powers wanted to treat Germany. I believe that it came to a point in the negotiations of the treaty that the powers were tired of disagreeing on the terms, so they just wrote down figures and terms that the majority voted on.