treaty of versailles summary

Upon receiving this, the new government recommended signing the treaty. By failing to do this and therefore not solving the problem of German power and restoring the equilibrium of Europe, Britain "had failed in her main purpose in taking part in the Great War". Faced with a resumption of the war and an Allied invasion, the Weimar government reluctantly ordered the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and organised its ratification by the Reichstag. [166] Peukert noted that because of the "millenarian hopes" created in Germany during World War I when for a time it appeared that Germany was on the verge of conquering all of Europe, any peace treaty the Allies of World War I imposed on the defeated German Reich were bound to create a nationalist backlash, and there was nothing the Allies could have done to avoid that backlash. After being kept waiting for several days, they were presented with the draft treaty. Germany's eastern frontiers faced Russia and Austria, who had both in the past balanced German power. Article 198 prohibited Germany from having an air force, including naval air forces, and required Germany to hand over all aerial related materials. If Germany reneged on the treaty obligations, the bridgeheads would be reoccupied immediately.[n. [118] France was able to make the claim that the provinces of Alsace-Lorraine were indeed part of France and not part of Germany by disclosing a letter sent from the Prussian King to the Empress Eugénie that Eugénie provided, in which William I wrote that the territories of Alsace-Lorraine were requested by Germany for the sole purpose of national defense and not to expand the German territory. The Treaty of Versailles remained a contentious issue through the life of the republic. [49], Vittorio Emanuele Orlando and his foreign minister Sidney Sonnino, an Anglican of British origins, worked primarily to secure the partition of the Habsburg Empire and their attitude towards Germany was not as hostile.

[105] Prince Eustachy Sapieha, the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, alleged that Soviet Russia "appeared to be intentionally delaying negotiations" to end the Polish-Soviet War "with the object of influencing the Upper Silesian plebiscite". “The German people will advance again to regain their pride. The four Dominions and India all signed the Treaty separately from Britain,[n. 2] a clear recognition by the international community that the Dominions were no longer British colonies. Germany’s delegates signed the treaty on June 28th 1919. The French wanted a frontier on the Rhine, to protect France from a German invasion and compensate for French demographic and economic inferiority. Germany's first democratically elected head of government, Philipp Scheidemann, resigned rather than sign the treaty. He wanted the Germans not be made to sign at the "point of the bayonet". Wilson, a Democrat, refused to include prominent Republicans in the American delegation making his efforts seem partisan, and contributed to a risk of political defeat at home. Right-wing nationalist groups despised it as an unfair and oppressive diktat, designed to crush and humiliate Germany. [108] [143] [129], In 1920, 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. 2008 School Projekt Heinrich-Heine-Gesamtschule, Düsseldorf, 2008 School Projekt Heinrich-Heine-Gesamtschule, Düsseldorf. The transfer of the Hultschin area, of Silesia, to Czechoslovakia was completed on 3 February 1921. 1. When the outcome of the vote became known, 4,100 (including 800 refugees who had previously fled Germany) residents fled over the border into France. The League of Nations mediated between the Germans and Lithuanians on a local level, helping the power-sharing arrangement last until 1939. Publicly, these diplomatic exchanges were largely in regards to trade and future economic cooperation. 'Von 1.058.000 Deutschen, die noch 1921 in Posen und Westpreußen lebten', ist bei Cartier zu lesen, 'waren bis 1926 unter polnischem Druck 758.867 abgewandert.

President Friedrich Ebert was also opposed to the Versailles treaty. President Wilson rejected Italy's claims on the basis of "national self-determination." [171], In regards to the Silesian plebiscite, Blanke observed "given that the electorate was at least 60% Polish-speaking, this means that about one 'Pole' in three voted for Germany" and "most Polish observers and historians" have concluded that the outcome of the plebiscite was due to "unfair German advantages of incumbency and socio-economic position". [138] [109], During the formulation of the treaty, the British wanted Germany to abolish conscription but be allowed to maintain a volunteer Army. The treaty laid down the organisation of the divisions and support units, and the General Staff was to be dissolved.[n. It was ratified by the Weimar National Assembly almost a fortnight later (July 9th), passing 209 votes to 116. Germans viewed the treaty as a humiliation and eagerly listened to Hitler's oratory which blamed the treaty for Germany's ills. Gustav Stresemann described it as a “moral, political and economic death sentence”. As a result, the sum was split into different categories, of which Germany was only required to pay 50 billion gold marks (US$12.5 billion); this being the genuine assessment of the commission on what Germany could pay, and allowed the Allied powers to save face with the public by presenting a higher figure. [82], A discontent bloc of 12–18 "Irreconcilables", mostly Republicans but also representatives of the Irish and German Democrats, fiercely opposed the treaty. This campaign lasted throughout the 1920s and 30s, although peaked in 1920 and 1921. In the interim, the treaty required Germany to pay an equivalent of 20 billion gold marks ($5 billion) in gold, commodities, ships, securities or other forms. Nach weiterer Drangsal wurde das volksdeutsche Bevölkerungselement vom Warschauer Innenministerium am 15. [viii], French economist Étienne Mantoux disputed that analysis.

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528,105 votes were cast, with 477,119 votes (90 per cent of the ballot) in favour of union with Germany; 46,613 votes were cast for the status quo, and 2,124 votes for union with France. Wilson's former friend Edward Mandell House, present at the negotiations, wrote in his diary on 29 June 1919: I am leaving Paris, after eight fateful months, with conflicting emotions. The French garrison withdrew, and in February the Allies agreed to attach Memel as an "autonomous territory" to Lithuania. 38] [41], Britain had suffered heavy financial costs but suffered little physical devastation during the war. We will have our revenge for the shame of 1919!”. The most pressing issue in Paris, however, was what should be done about Germany. British economist and Versailles negotiator John Maynard Keynes summarized this position as attempting to "set the clock back and undo what, since 1870, the progress of Germany had accomplished. [17] [176], The Treaty created much resentment in Germany, which was exploited by Adolf Hitler in his rise to power at the helm of Nazi Germany. Lord Robert Cecil said that many within the Foreign Office were disappointed by the treaty. The other Central Powers on the German side signed separate treaties. Barnett concludes by saying that instead of weakening Germany, the treaty "much enhanced" German power. He lost his position as prime minister just a week before the treaty was scheduled to be signed, effectively ending his active political career.

The troop numbers peaked again at 250,000 during the occupation of the Ruhr, before decreasing to 60,000 men by 1926. Though the treaty may not have caused the crash, it was a convenient scapegoat.

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