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The Treaty of Versailles to the rise of Nazism in Germany - Research Paper Example

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The Treaty of Versailles Led to the Rise of Nazi Germany Name Class Instructor name Date The catastrophic effects of WWI crippled Europe. Its people, infrastructure and economy suffered extensively. The war ended in 1918 but the aftereffects continued the misery…
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The Treaty of Versailles to the rise of Nazism in Germany
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Download file to see previous pages The allies crafting the treaty at the Paris Peace Conference were more interested in punishing Germany than securing long lasting peace. Ironically, the Treaty of Versailles was intended to make sure Germany was rendered too weak to wage war but due to its restrictive nature served to enrage and embolden factions within the beaten nation which fanned the flames of an emerging fanaticism. Germany not only lost massive amounts of land, economic sanctions caused severe hardships to a people trying to recover from the devastation of war. The worldwide depression in the 1930’s worsened the already desperate situation. In addition, German’s greatly resented foreign troops occupying parts of their country. The German government was weakened as a consequence of the ill conceived Treaty of Versailles which allowed for a fanatical form of fascism led by Adolph Hitler to flourish in Germany following World War I. (Henig, 2010). These issues, which were instigated by the Treaty of Versailles, caused Germany to again become aggressive against its neighboring countries which started WWII. The Treaty of Versailles was designed specifically to weaken Germany in many vital areas. Large sections of German territory were taken away and given to surrounding countries. France and Poland especially received lands that had been important to the Germany economy. Germany also lost all of its worldwide outposts to various allied nations. The new country of Austria was carved from previously held German lands as was the former Czechoslovakia, now called the Czech Republic. The allies were given all of Germany’s mercantile marine ships, another severe blow to the German economy. On top of that, the Treaty required Germany to construct civilian and war ships for selected Allied countries. The Treaty also placed stringent restrictions on the Germany’s capacity to defend itself or to wage war. Germany was not permitted to possess heavy guns, tanks, armored cars, u-boats, Zepplins or airplanes, no air force of any type was allowed. The defeated nation could keep no more than one hundred thousand troops in its army and fifteen thousand sailors in its navy. Germany was forbidden by the Treaty to import materials used for war and was made to pay steep reparations to the Allied nations as well as to the territories it ceded. All types of valuables were seized to make these payments such as precious metals, building materials, vehicles and ships. On top of that cash payments were mandated on an annual basis for years to come. The Treaty also greatly diluted Germany’s transportation system. It gave control of Germany’s railroads to Poland and placed Germany’s river system, an important transportation artery at that time, under foreign management. Poland also gained free use of Germany’s northern ports. (Bell, 1986) Though the Treaty of Versailles accomplished its intended purpose by crippling Germany’s military and economy ensuring it too weak to wage war, this tactic caused the next great world war just 20 years later. The Allied delegation in Paris assumed they had been successful in both ending the “war to end all wars” and preventing Germany from ever again waging war against its neighbors in Europe. They were tragically mistaken. The Treaty contained strong language but weak enforcement characteristics. Many military and political leaders understood this from its inception and predicted the horrific consequences. The Treaty was “the peace to end peace” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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