Treaty of Versailles(1919)

Treaty of Versailles(1919)


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The Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in Paris, France after the 1918 end of fighting in World War One. The negotiations revealed a split between the French; who wanted to dismember Germany to make it impossible for it to renew war with France,  British and Americans.

The treaty included fifteen parts and 440 articles. Part one created the Covenant of the New League of Nations, which Germany was not allowed to join. Also, they created new boundaries for Germany, all the territory they had was distributed back to the countries or nationalities that claimed them before the war. Part V of the treaty was to reduce Germany’s military weapons.  A fee known as reparations was imposed on Germany.   The fee was 132 billion marks that Germany had to pay because of  the damage that they did to the countries  they waged war with.



The Weaknesses of The League of Nations are many:   

 Germany, Russia and America weren’t members. The League of Nations had no army so could not enforce its will other than by using trade sanctions. During the interwar years the world experienced economic depression and therefore no members wanted to stop trading with other countries. Any decision made by the league had to be unanimous so if any country disagreed the decision was invalid. The league didn’t meet often enough to solve problems and Britain an France allowed Italy to do what it wanted because they needed Italy as an ally in a possible future war against Germany (WW2), therefore when Italy invaded Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia) they did nothing. This showed the league to be weak and other countries including Germany did not obey its wishes. Also, it didn’t have military which was the most important point in that time.


 imageQ9GThe Treaty of Versailles was unpopular, not only with the Germans, but also with the people who had drawn it up. Even at the time, the peace-makers left the conference feeling that they had failed to make a treaty that would keep the peace, and historians have ever since blamed the Treaty of Versailles for helping to cause the World War two. Also America and Russia weren’t part of this treaty.  It is interesting to compare the circumstances ending World War I in 1919 and those ending World War II in 1945.  In the first situation the triggers for another world war remained and in the second situation the reality of atomic weapons brought every industrial nation to the table of international diplomacy.