Saturday, October 12, 2019
How the Treaty of Versailles Effected Germany :: World War I History
How the Treaty of Versailles Effected Germany When World War I ended on November 11, 1918, peace talks went on for months due to the Allied leaders wanting to punish the enemy and "dividing the spoils of war." A formal agreement to end the war was made and called the Treaty of Versailles. The issue that took the most time were the territorial issues because the empires of Russia, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman, and Germany had collapsed. These fallen empires had to be divided up and America's President Woodrow Wilson, Georges Clemenceau of France, Vittorio Orlando of Italy, and David Lloyd George of Great Britain, were the main deciders of this deal. During 1918, Russia was knocked out of the war due to military defeats and the Bolshevik Revolution. Even though Russia had not been part of the Central Powers, Germany seized much of western Russia. After many months of arguing, the four men had made western Russia into the nations of Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland. The Treaty of Versailles was either a treaty of peace or a vengeance for the Germans. In April of 1919, Germany was previously captured and made to wait in a small house that was surrounded with barbed wire. The Allied, who captured Germany, wanted to make a peace treaty to end the fighting. The Germans agreed, but they wanted a treaty that was based on the Fourteen Points but obviously they were not going to get it because of the way they were treated; the barbed wire was unnecessary and "should have tipped them off to what lay ahead." When the treaty was first introduced to the Germans, they declined to sign it. It forced the Germans to accept full responsibility for the war and strip themselves of its colonies, coal fields, and the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine. It also made them pay outrageous reparations to the Allies. Nevertheless, on June 28, 1919, the Germans reluctantly signed the treaty because the Allies refused to change one word. Out of the $33 billion dollars the Germans had to pay for damages, the country was only able to pay $4.5 billion of it. The terms of the Treaty of Versailles helped set the stage for another world war less than 20 years later because the Allied wanted to stop Germany from ever becoming imperialistic again and still have them pay the war reparations.