Treaty of Versailles: Failed Peace
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Treaty of Versailles: Failed Peace

December 6, 2019


Hi, my name is Vivian and I’m going to be
talking about the Treaty of Versailles today. The Treaty of Versailles was a peace treaty
that ended the war between Germany and the Allied Powers in World War I. World War I lasted from 1914 to 1918 and was
between the Allied Powers and the Central Powers. There were many countries that took part in
the war. Under the Allied Powers, the main participants
were the British empire, the French empire, Russia, Serbia, Japan, Italy and America. Under the Central Powers, the main participants
were Germany, the Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary, and Bulgaria. The Ottoman Empire dissolved after the end
of the war and it turned into what is now known as Turkey and some other Middle Eastern
countries. Austria-Hungary split into two after the war;
it split into Austria and Hungary. After the end of the war, the representatives
for the Allied Powers came together at the Paris Peace Conference in Versailles, France
to discuss and make the treaties that would end the war. The main four representatives were called
the Big Four; it represented England, France, America, and Italy. England’s Prime Minister, David Lloyd George,
publicly announced that he wanted to see Germany punished severely. However, in private, he believed that Germany
should remain strong to protect the rest of Europe from Russia and its looming communism. France’s Prime Minister, Georges Clemenceau,
believed otherwise. He believed Germany should be punished harshly
so that Germany would never be able to invade France again. Clemenceau also wanted the French territory,
Alsace-Lorraine, back from Germany. America’s president Woodrow Wilson believed
in peace. He believed that Germany should be ‘punished’
in a way that would teach them a lesson rather than to actually punish them. Italy’s Prime Minister, Vittorio Orlando,
simply wanted some land for his country. However, he was ignored for most of the Paris
Peace Conference and Italy never got the land that he wanted. At the end of the Paris Peace Conference in
1919, the Allied Powers had made all the treaties that would end the war. The treaty for Germany was called the Treaty
of Versailles. Here are some of its terms. One of them was to accept responsibility for
the war. The Allied Powers believed that since Germany
was one of the first participants in the war, that Germany should be given responsibility
for starting the war. Another one of its terms was that Germany
had to reduce its army to 100,000 soldiers. The Allied Powers wanted Germany to have a
small army so that it would never have to invade another country again. Germany also had to give up some of its territories,
such as West Prussia to Poland, Alsace-Lorraine to France, and its overseas colonies to Japan. Germany also had to pay reparations. The Allied Powers wanted Germany to pay reparations
so that they would be able to pay for all of the expenses and the damages caused by the
war. Germany had to pay an amount that would be
equivalent to 33 billion US dollars. Germany was also not allowed to join with
Austria. This joining would be called an anschluss. Germany was not allowed to join with Austria
because the Allied Powers did not want Germany to become a bigger nation and, therefore,
be able to invade Europe again. The German people were not happy with the
Treaty of Versailles. They believed that the treaty was too harsh
on Germany. The German people did not like that they
had to pay reparations; they believed that they did not cause the war and they should
not have to pay reparations for the Allied Powers. Germany, along with the rest of Europe, had
already been suffering economically. Germany did not feel that it was fair for
them to pay for the Allied Powers’ damages. The German people were also upset that they
only had an army of 100,000 soldiers; they believed that if another country had attacked
Germany, that Germany would not be able to defend itself. There was one man in particular that did not like the treaty. This man believed that the treaty had degraded
Germany, and he wanted to come to power, telling the people that he would disobey the terms
of the treaty to make Germany a better nation again. This man was Adolf Hitler. When Hitler came to power, he started to break
the terms of the treaty. He stopped paying reparations, he got back
some of the territory that Germany lost in the treaty, and he even joined with Austria. However, the Allied Powers did nothing. The Allied Powers wanted to appease Germany,
so that – they did not want another war to start again. However, when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia
and Poland, the Allied Powers knew that Hitler had stepped over the line. Therefore, England and France declared war
on Germany. That was the start of World War II. The Treaty of Versailles, in essence, was
a failure. It was a treaty that failed to bring peace. It was an armistice for twenty years, as the
Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919 and World War II started in 1939. However, the Treaty of Versailles can be seen
as a paradox. It was both too harsh on Germany, and too
lenient. The Allied Powers inflicted these terms onto
Germany, because they did not want another war to start again. However, when Germany started to break the
terms of the treaty, the Allied Powers did nothing to stop it. In short, the Treaty of Versailles ended World
War I, but it led to the rise of Hitler and the start of World War II. This is my Works Cited. This is all the articles and books that I
read to get all the information for this video.

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