World War I
World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919. Negotiated among the Allied powers with little participation by Germany, it changed German boundaries and made Germany pay money for causing the war.
After strict enforcement for five years, the French agreed to the modification of important provisions, or parts of the treaty. Germany agreed to pay reparations (Money) under the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan, but those plans were cancelled in 1932, and Hitler’s rise to power and his actions did away with the remaining terms of the treaty.
<<< Hitler Rose to Power in Germany in 1933
The treaty was written by the Allies (Great Britain, U.S, France) with almost no participation by the Germans. The negotiations revealed a split between the French, who wanted to dismember Germany to make it impossible for it to renew war with France, and the British and Americans, who wanted the terms to be kind enough to Germany to not encourage anger.
The Following are Parts of The Treaty of Versailles Part I: created the Covenant of the New League of Nations, which Germany was not allowed to join until 1926.
The League of Nations was an idea put forward by United States President Woodrow Wilson. He wanted it to be a place where representatives of all the countries of the world could come together and discuss events and hopefully avoid future fighting. However, the United States congress refused to join the League of Nations. Even though the United States played a huge role in creating it, they did not join it!
President Woodrow Wilson Held office 1913 - 1921
Part II: specified Germany’s new boundaries, giving Eupen-Malm[eacute]dy to Belgium, Alsace-Lorraine back to France, substantial eastern districts to Poland, Memel to Lithuania, and large portions of Schleswig to Denmark.
Part III: Set up a demilitarized (No German Military) allowed zone and separated the Saar from Germany for fifteen years.
Part IV: stripped Germany of all its colonies
Part V:reduced Germany’s armed forces to very low levels and did not allow Germany to have certain types of weapons, while committing the Allies to eventual disarmament as well.
Part VIII: established Germany’s responsibility for paying money for the war. Germany accepted the responsibility of itself and its allies for the losses and damages of the Allies “as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies.”
Part IX: imposed numerous other financial ($$$) obligations upon Germany.
The German government signed the treaty under protest. Right-wing German parties attacked it as a betrayal, and terrorists assassinated several politicians whom they considered responsible. The U.S. Senate refused to ratify the treaty, and the U.S. government took no responsibility for most of its provisions.
German officials sign their surrender within the train car shown to the left. (1918 -- End of WWI) <<<
For five years the French and the Belgians tried to enforce the treaty quite rigorously, leading in 1922 to them marching troops into part of Germany. In 1924, however, British and American financial pressure compelled France to scale down its goals and end the occupation, and the French, agreed to modifying important parts of the treaty in a series of new agreements.
Germany in 1924 and 1929 agreed to pay reparations under the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan, but the depression led to the cancellation of reparations in 1932. The Allies evacuated the Rhineland in 1930. Germany violated many disarmament provisions of Part V during the 1920s, and Hitler denounced the treaty altogether in 1935.
From March 1937 through March 1939, Hitler overturned the territorial agreements of the treaty with respect to Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Memel, with at least the unspoken consent of the western powers. On September 1, 1939, Hitler attacked Poland to alter that frontier, as well.
One can never know whether either rigorous French-British enforcement of the original treaty or a more generous treaty would have avoided a new war. Certainly the British and American governments after 1945 (End of World War II) sought to avoid many of the problems that had been raised by the Treaty of Versailles, especially regarding reparations, and the division of Germany.
1) Define: Reparations 2) Define: Disarmament
3) How did the Treaty of Versailles treat Germany?
4) What influence did the United States have within the Newly formed League of nations?
5) What did Hitler make the French do?
6) What did Hitler do with the Treaty of Versailles?
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