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Was the Treaty of Versailles a Fair Document ? [Copy link] 中文

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I have two now not published ?

Maybe this can start it.............................  

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The Treaty of Versailles

German Reaction to the Treaty

Key Facts

To the Germans the treaty was a dictated peace or Diktat which they had signed under threat and therefore it was invalid. Also it broke the first 14 Point which was that all treaties would be openly arrived at. The Germans believed that in agreeing to the armistice in November 1918 they had agreed to the 14 Points being in the final treaty.

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The Germans believed that other countries such as Austria and Russia were to blame for the war spreading and that they alone could not be regarded as guilty of starting the war.

Since the Germans were not guilty of starting the war then they did not need to pay compensation or reparations to the allies.

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The reparations bill was an unbearable economic burden which would impoverish the German people for years to come.

The loss of the Polish and Saar coalfields also made the German people poorer.

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Only Germany was to disarm - Britain kept the largest navy and the French kept the largest army in Western Europe.

Germans resented the fact that the Polish Corridor meant that there were Germans living under Polish rule. The Germans had a very low opinion of the Poles.

The ban on Germany and Austria uniting was contrary to the idea of self determination which was being applied to other peoples such as the Czechs and the Slavs.

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Were These Criticisms Justified?

War Guilt? - It was true that Russian involvement had spread the war beyond the Balkans but the Germans had encouraged the Austrians to be aggressive to the Serbs and the Austrians had only acted once they knew they had German support.

Also the determination of the Germans to implement the Schlieffen Plan spread the war to Western Europe and involved the invasion of neutral Belgium.

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Reparations? -

These were an economic burden but it was common after most wars to insist on payment from a defeated opponent. The Germans had insisted on this in 1871 from the French. Also Germany's economic problems had causes other than reparations including the policy of the German government in printing more and more money.

Disarmament? -

Germany was the first to disarm but insecurity prevented both Britain and France from doing the same, continued German complaints made it more difficult for the French and British to feel secure.

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