The Versailles Treaty Essay Research Paper The — страница 2

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more intensive. “Nationalism created tensions between France and Germany. The French bitterly resented their defeat in the Franco – Prussian War and were eager to seek revenge. Moreover, they were determined to regain Alsace – Lorraine.”12 This gave the French the motivation of increasing their military strength and ultimately, destroying their life-long enemies. During the war, France’s portion of the war debt amounted to twenty percent. Their loss, in terms of war casualties, was thirty-three percent.13 Most of the battles were fought on French soil. This resulted in the destruction of “ten million farm acres, twenty thousand factories and six thousand public buildings”.14 After the war, France suffered terribly, economically. Inflation and a deflated French Franc

spurned the French to ! take advantage of the armistice. “Clemenceau wanted revenge as well as security against any future German attack.”15 He also wanted a huge amount of reparations, to annex the coal rich Saar Basin, the return of Alsace – Lorraine and an independent Rhineland for a buffer zone between Germany and France.All the leaders had different opinions and motives regarding the Treaty of Versailles. Coming to a consensus was difficult. The Treaty had to be revised several times before the final copy was signed on January 18, 1919. “There was scarcely a section of the treaty which was not attacked, just as there was scarcely a section of the treaty which was not attacked.”16 The German’s were reluctant to agree to such harsh terms. “Even the most humble

German was appalled by the severity of the treaty.”17 France and Britain were both eager to have revenge on Germany but selfishly wanted each other’s benefits. “Clemenceau pointed out that the British were making no effort to placate the Germans at the expense of British interests. They offered no proposals to reduce the number of German ships to be handed over, or to return Germany’s colonies, or to restore the German Navy, or to remove the restrictions on Germany’s overseas trade. Instead, it was always at the expense of F! rench interest that concessions were to be made.”18 Wilson thought both France and Britain were being too vindictive and unreasonable. The allies used Wilson’s Fourteen Points program to convince Germany to sign an armistice. However, once

Germany complied, these points were ignored. “The French, for example, had no intention of abandoning what Wilson castigated as the “old diplomacy,” with its secret understandings and interlocking alliances.”19 Therefore, in the end, the European Allies, including France and Britain, received what they wanted from the treaty.”The actual costs, for Germany, included: the guilt of the entire war and, paying 132 billion gold marks in reparations. Germany also lost one eighth of its land, all of its colonies, all of its overseas financial assets and limiting their once powerful military.”20 Britain and France would receive large sums of the reparations and German colonies in Africa as mandates.21 France also received its wishes with Alsace-Lorraine. “France would

recover Alsace-Lorraine outright.”22 However, the main delight for France and Britain was seeing Germany suffer. The biggest problem Germany had with Versailles was the war guilt, which was stated in article 231 of the Versailles Treaty. The Allies were astonished to find this particular paragraph was the most violently disputed point in the entire treaty. Article 231 stated: “The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies.”23 It seems weird that they would treat Germany that way after they too had been

in the war. Fighting and killing were done by both sides but only the Germans were punished. “If our army and our workmen had known that peace would look like this, the army would not have laid down its arms and all would have held out to the end.”24 All Germany became very upset about the whole treaty. “Th! is aroused intense nationalist bitterness in Germany.”25 The future looked grim and had no cause for optimism in the near future.After Versailles was ‘in stone’, Germany became a very weak country, seeking to avenge the vindictiveness and total lack of empathy shown by the allies. “The German people could not resist, but, in unanimity, they could still hate.”26 Germany suffered from great economic problems after the war. They had already lost many lives and