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❶The homes of , French people were destroyed and the infrastructure of this region had also been severely damaged.

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Treaty of Versailles

He lost his position as prime minister just a week before the treaty was scheduled to be signed, effectively ending his active political career. Anger and dismay over the treaty's provisions helped pave the way for the establishment of Benito Mussolini's dictatorship three years later.

Portugal entered the war on the Allied side in primarily to ensure the security of its African colonies , which were threatened with seizure by both Britain and Germany. To this extent, she succeeded in her war aims. The treaty recognized Portuguese sovereignty over these areas and awarded her small portions of Germany's bordering overseas colonies.

Otherwise, however, Portugal obtained little at the peace conference. Her promised share of German reparations never materialized, and a seat she coveted on the executive council of the new League of Nations went instead to Spain—which had remained neutral in the war. In the end, Portugal ratified the treaty, but got little out of the war, which cost more than 8, Portuguese troops and as many as , of her African colonial subjects their lives.

After the Versailles conference, Democratic President Woodrow Wilson claimed that "at last the world knows America as the savior of the world! It proved possible to build a majority coalition, but impossible to build a two-thirds coalition that was needed to pass a treaty.

A discontent bloc of 12—18 " Irreconcilables ", mostly Republicans but also representatives of the Irish and German Democrats, fiercely opposed the treaty. One block of Democrats strongly supported the Versailles Treaty, even with reservations added by Lodge. A second group of Democrats supported the treaty but followed Wilson in opposing any amendments or reservations.

The largest bloc, led by Senator Lodge, [] comprised a majority of the Republicans. They wanted a treaty with reservations, especially on Article 10, which involved the power of the League of Nations to make war without a vote by the US Congress.

However, Wilson collapsed midway with a serious stroke that effectively ruined his leadership skills. The closest the treaty came to passage was on 19 November , as Lodge and his Republicans formed a coalition with the pro-Treaty Democrats, and were close to a two-thirds majority for a Treaty with reservations, but Wilson rejected this compromise and enough Democrats followed his lead to permanently end the chances for ratification.

Among the American public as a whole, the Irish Catholics and the German Americans were intensely opposed to the treaty, saying it favored the British. Harding continued American opposition to the formation of the League of Nations. Congress subsequently passed the Knox—Porter Resolution bringing a formal end to hostilities between the United States and the Central Powers. It was signed into law by President Harding on 2 July Wilson's former friend Edward Mandell House , present at the negotiations, wrote in his diary on 29 June I am leaving Paris, after eight fateful months, with conflicting emotions.

Looking at the conference in retrospect, there is much to approve and yet much to regret. It is easy to say what should have been done, but more difficult to have found a way of doing it. To those who are saying that the treaty is bad and should never have been made and that it will involve Europe in infinite difficulties in its enforcement, I feel like admitting it. But I would also say in reply that empires cannot be shattered, and new states raised upon their ruins without disturbance.

To create new boundaries is to create new troubles. The one follows the other. While I should have preferred a different peace, I doubt very much whether it could have been made, for the ingredients required for such a peace as I would have were lacking at Paris. Many in China felt betrayed as the German territory in China was handed to Japan. Wellington Koo refused to sign the treaty and the Chinese delegation at the Paris Peace Conference was the only nation that did not sign the Treaty of Versailles at the signing ceremony.

The sense of betrayal led to great demonstrations in China like the May 4th movement and the fall of the nascent Chinese Republic's government [ when? You demand from us to confess we were the only guilty party of war; such a confession in my mouth would be a lie. Germans of all political shades denounced the treaty—particularly the provision that blamed Germany for starting the war—as an insult to the nation's honor.

They referred to the treaty as "the Diktat " since its terms were presented to Germany on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. In a passionate speech before the National Assembly on 21 March , he called the treaty a "murderous plan" and exclaimed,.

Which hand, trying to put us in chains like these, would not wither? The treaty is unacceptable. President Friedrich Ebert knew that Germany was in an impossible situation. Although he shared his countrymen's disgust with the treaty, he was sober enough to consider the possibility that the government would not be in a position to reject it.

He believed that if Germany refused to sign the treaty, the Allies would invade Germany from the west—and there was no guarantee that the army would be able to make a stand in the event of an invasion. With this in mind, he asked Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg if the army was capable of any meaningful resistance in the event the Allies resumed the war.

If there was even the slightest chance that the army could hold out, Ebert intended to recommend against ratifying the treaty. Hindenburg—after prodding from his chief of staff, Wilhelm Groener —concluded the army could not resume the war even on a limited scale. However, rather than inform Ebert himself, he had Groener inform the government that the army would be in an untenable position in the event of renewed hostilities.

Upon receiving this, the new government recommended signing the treaty. The National Assembly voted in favour of signing the treaty by to , with five abstentions there were delegates in total. This result was wired to Clemenceau just hours before the deadline. The treaty was signed on 28 June and ratified by the National Assembly on 9 July by a vote of to Conservatives, nationalists and ex-military leaders condemned the treaty.

Politicians of the Weimar Republic who supported the treaty, socialists, communists , and Jews were viewed with suspicion as persons of questionable loyalty.

Those who seemed to benefit from a weakened Germany and the newly formed Weimar Republic were regarded as having "stabbed Germany in the back". Those who instigated unrest and strikes in the critical military industries on the home front or who opposed German nationalism were seen to have contributed to Germany's defeat.

In the West, Germany had seemed to have come close to winning the war with the Spring Offensive earlier in The strikes were regarded by nationalists as having been instigated by traitors, with the Jews taking most of the blame. On 5 May , the reparation Commission established the London Schedule of Payments and a final reparation sum of billion gold marks to be demanded of all the Central Powers.

This was the public assessment of what the Central Powers combined could pay, and was also a compromise between Belgian, British, and French demands and assessments. Furthermore, the Commission recognized that the Central Powers could pay little and that the burden would fall upon Germany.

Furthermore, payments made between and were taken into account reducing the sum to 41 billion gold marks. In order to meet this sum, Germany could pay in case or kind: Germany's assistance with the restoration of the university library of Louvain , which was destroyed by the Germans on 25 August , was also credited towards the sum.

Territorial changes imposed by the treaty were also factored in. The German Government was to issue bonds at five per cent interest and set up a sinking fund of one per cent to support the payment of reparations. In February and March , the Schleswig Plebiscites were held.

The people of Schleswig were presented with only two choices: Danish or German sovereignty. The northern Danish-speaking area voted for Denmark while the southern German-speaking area voted for Germany, resulting in the province being partitioned. Further plebiscites were held in Eupen, Malmedy, and Prussian Moresnet. On 20 September , the League of Nations allotted these territories to Belgium.

These latter plebiscites were followed by a boundary commission in , followed by the new Belgian-German border being recognized by the German Government on on 15 December Following the implementation of the treaty, Upper Silesia was initially governed by Britain, France, and Italy. The plebiscite resulted in c. Oppeln , in the north-west, remained with Germany while Silesia Province , in the south-east, was transferred to Poland. Memel remained under the authority of the League of Nations, with a French military garrison, until January The League of Nations mediated between the Germans and Lithuanians on a local level, helping the power-sharing arrangement last until On 13 January , 15 years after the Saar Basin had been placed under the protection of the League of Nations, a plebiscite was held to determine the future of the area.

The region returned to German sovereignty on 1 March When the result was announced 4, people, including refugees from Germany fled to France. In late , America, Belgian, British, and French troops entered the Rhineland to enforce the armistice. Belgium maintained an occupation force of roughly 10, troops throughout the initial years. The British Second Army , with some , veteran soldiers, entered Germany in late The total number of troops committed to the occupation rapidly dwindled as veteran soldiers were demobilized, and were replaced by inexperienced men who had finished basic training following the cessation of hostilities.

The size of the BAOR fluctuated over the following years, but never rose above 9, men. The French Army of the Rhine was initially , men strong, including at a peak 40, African colonial troops Troupes coloniales. By , the French occupation force had decreased to roughly , men, including 27, African troops. This campaign lasted throughout the s and 30s, although peaked in and For example, a German Government memo detailed acts of violence from colonial troops, which included 65 murders and sexual offenses.

Historical consensus is that the charges were exaggerated for political and propaganda purposes, and that the colonial troops behaved far better than their white counterparts. In June , the Third Army demobilized and by the US occupation force had been reduced to 15, men.

The German economy was so weak that only a small percentage of reparations was paid in hard currency. In March , French and Belgian troops occupied Duisburg, which formed part of the demilitarized Rhineland, according to the Treaty of Versailles. The German government answered with "passive resistance", which meant that coal miners and railway workers refused to obey any instructions by the occupation forces.

Consequently, passive resistance was called off in late In , the head of the Reichswehr Hans von Seeckt clandestinely re-established the General Staff, by expanding the Truppenamt Troop Office ; purportedly a human resources section of the army.

In response, French troops advanced further into Germany until the German troops withdrew. German officials conspired systematically to evade the clauses of the treaty, by failing to meet disarmament deadlines, refusing Allied officials access to military facilities, and maintaining and hiding weapon production. Bofors was bought by Krupp , and in German troops were sent to Sweden to test weapons.

Publicly, these diplomatic exchanges were largely in regards to trade and future economic cooperation. However, secret military clauses were included that allowed for Germany to develop weapons inside the Soviet Union.

Furthermore, it allowed for Germany to establish three training areas for aviation, chemical and tank warfare. During the year, over half of Chinese arms imports were German and worth 13 million Reichsmarks. In January , following the withdrawal of the Allied disarmament committee , Krupps ramped up production of armor plate and artillery. Non-commissioned officers NCOs were not limited by the treaty, thus this loophole was exploited and as such the number of NCOs were vastly in excess to the number needed by the Reichswehr.

In December , the Reichswehr finalized a second rearmament plan that called for million Reichsmarks to be spent over the following five years: This coincided with a 1 billion Reichsmark programme that planned for additional industrial infrastructure that would be able to permanently maintain this force. As these programs did not require an expansion of the military, they were nominally legal.

The British later proposed and agreed to an increase in the Reichswehr to , men, and for Germany to have an air force half the size of the French. It was also negotiated for the French Army to be reduced. On 7 March , German troops entered and remilitarized the Rhineland. According to David Stevenson , since the opening of French archives, most commentators have remarked on French restraint and reasonableness at the conference, though Stevenson notes that "[t]he jury is still out", and that "there have been signs that the pendulum of judgement is swinging back the other way.

In his book The Economic Consequences of the Peace , John Maynard Keynes referred to the Treaty of Versailles as a " Carthaginian peace ", a misguided attempt to destroy Germany on behalf of French revanchism , rather than to follow the fairer principles for a lasting peace set out in President Woodrow Wilson 's Fourteen Points , which Germany had accepted at the armistice.

Keynes in an attempt to rebut Keynes' claims. More recently economists have argued that the restriction of Germany to a small army saved it so much money it could afford the reparations payments.

It has been argued for instance by historian Gerhard Weinberg in his book A World At Arms [] that the treaty was in fact quite advantageous to Germany. The Bismarckian Reich was maintained as a political unit instead of being broken up, and Germany largely escaped post-war military occupation in contrast to the situation following World War II.

In a essay, Weinberg noted that with the disappearance of Austria-Hungary and with Russia withdrawn from Europe, that Germany was now the dominant power in Eastern Europe.

The British military historian Correlli Barnett claimed that the Treaty of Versailles was "extremely lenient in comparison with the peace terms that Germany herself, when she was expecting to win the war, had had in mind to impose on the Allies". Furthermore, he claimed, it was "hardly a slap on the wrist" when contrasted with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk that Germany had imposed on a defeated Russia in March , which had taken away a third of Russia's population albeit of non-Russian ethnicity , one-half of Russia's industrial undertakings and nine-tenths of Russia's coal mines, coupled with an indemnity of six billion marks.

Barnett also claims that, in strategic terms, Germany was in fact in a superior position following the Treaty than she had been in Barnett asserts that its post-war eastern borders were safer, because the former Austrian Empire fractured after the war into smaller, weaker states, Russia was wracked by revolution and civil war , and the newly restored Poland was no match for even a defeated Germany.

In the West, Germany was balanced only by France and Belgium , both of which were smaller in population and less economically vibrant than Germany. Barnett concludes by saying that instead of weakening Germany, the treaty "much enhanced" German power.

The British historian of modern Germany, Richard J. Evans , wrote that during the war the German right was committed to an annexationist program which aimed at Germany annexing most of Europe and Africa.

Consequently, any peace treaty that did not leave Germany as the conqueror would be unacceptable to them. He also argued that Versailles was not the "main cause" of National Socialism and the German economy was "only marginally influenced by the impact of reparations". Ewa Thompson points out that the treaty allowed numerous nations in Central and Eastern Europe to liberate themselves from oppressive German rule, a fact that is often neglected by Western historiography, more interested in understanding the German point of view.

In nations that found themselves free as the result of the treaty—such as Poles or Czechs —it is seen as a symbol of recognition of wrongs committed against small nations by their much larger aggressive neighbours.

Regardless of modern strategic or economic analysis, resentment caused by the treaty sowed fertile psychological ground for the eventual rise of the Nazi Party. French historian Raymond Cartier states that millions of Germans in the Sudetenland and in Posen-West Prussia were placed under foreign rule in a hostile environment, where harassment and violation of rights by authorities are documented. The plebiscites initiated due to the treaty have drawn much comment. Historian Robert Peckham wrote that the issue of Schleswig "was premised on a gross simplification of the region's history.

Versailles ignored any possibility of there being a third way: Poland appeared so close to collapse that even Polish voters had cast their ballots for Germany". Blanke alleged "coercion of various kinds even in the face of an allied occupation regime" occurred, and that Germany granted votes to those "who had been born in Upper Silesia but no longer resided there". Blanke concluded that despite these protests "there is plenty of other evidence, including Reichstag election results both before and after and the large-scale emigration of Polish-speaking Upper Silesians to Germany after , that their identification with Germany in was neither exceptional nor temporary" and "here was a large population of Germans and Poles — not coincidentally, of the same Catholic religion — that not only shared the same living space but also came in many cases to see themselves as members of the same national community".

Despite the oppression and migration, Opole Silesia "remained ethnically mixed. Frank Russell wrote that, in regards to the Saar plebiscite, the inhabitants "were not terrorized at the polls" and the "totalitarian [Nazi] German regime was not distasteful to most of the Saar inhabitants and that they preferred it even to an efficient, economical, and benevolent international rule.

During the formulation of the treaty, the British wanted Germany to abolish conscription and be allowed to maintain volunteer Army. The French wanted Germany to maintain a conscript army of up to , men in order to justify their own maintenance of a similar force.

Thus the treaty's allowance of , volunteers was a compromise between the British and French positions. Germany, on the other hand, saw the terms as leaving them defenseless against any potential enemy. Max Hantke and Mark Spoerer wrote "military and economic historians [have] found that the German military only insignificantly exceeded the limits" of the treaty prior to Bell argued that the British Government was aware of latter Weimar rearming, and lent public respectability to the German efforts by not opposing them.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Treaty of Versailles disambiguation. Armistice of 11 November Occupation of the Rhineland. Greater Poland Uprising — Full text of the treaty. Administered by the League of Nations. Annexed or transferred to neighbouring countries by the treaty, or later via plebiscite and League of Nation action. League of Nations mandate.

World War I reparations. Aftermath of World War I. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. The Conference became a huge goody-bag, in which everybody was trying to dip their hand. The small German delegation in Paris, who had been watching proceedings but not allowed to take part, were at last given the text of the Treaty on 7 May They issued an outraged statement and returned home.

For a while, it seemed that Germany might reject the Treaty. However, Germany had no choice but to accept whatever was decided, and eventually two Germans were found who were prepared to sign the Treaty. On 28 June , the victors met at the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles , near Paris, and the two Germans were called into the room and instructed to sign. The first 26 Articles of the Treaty set out the Covenant of the League of Nations ; the rest of the Articles detailed Germany's punishment: Germany had to accept the B lame for starting the war Clause This was vital because it provided the justification for Germany was forbidden to have submarines or an air force.

She could have a navy of only six battleships, and an A rmy of just , men. In addition, Germany was not allowed to place any troops in the Rhineland, the strip of land, 50 miles wide, next to France. Germany lost T erritory land in Europe see map, below. Also, Germany was forbidden to join the League of Nations, or unite with Austria. Terms of the treaty - fuller outline.

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Treaty of Versailles, peace document signed at the end of World War I by the Allied and associated powers and by Germany in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, .

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Mar 29,  · Treaty of Versailles. German resentment over harsh peace terms leads to a rise in nationalist sentiment and the eventual rise to power of Adolf Hitler.

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The Treaty of Versailles was the peace settlement signed after World War One had ended in and in the shadow of the Russian Revolutionand other events in Russia. The treaty was signed at the vast Versailles Palace near Paris – hence its title – between Germany and the Allies. Terms of the treaty - fuller outline Key terms of the treaty - full text. Podcast: Giles Hill on the Treaty of Versailles - simple description. A map Describe how the Treaty of Versailles weakened Germany: a. Through the loss of .

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This process can be linked back to one single document: The Treaty of Versailles. Signed on June 28 th, , the Treaty of Versailles was a peace treaty that had a multitude of goals and plans for handling Germany. The Versailles Treaty, signed on June 28, in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles in Paris, was the peace settlement between Germany and the Allied Powers that officially ended World War I.