Sunday, October 10, 2010

Versailles Verdicts

  • Adolf Hitler hated it. The British diplomat Harold Nicolson called it 'neither just nor wise'.
  • The British economist John Maynard Keynes prophesied it would ruin the world economy.
  • Lenin declared of it: 'This is no peace, but terms dictated to a defenceless victim by armed robbers.'

Where contemporaries led, historians have followed. 'The unwise thing about Versailles was that it annoyed the Germans yet did not render them too weak to retaliate,' declared the British historian Norman Lowe. Pupils in Michigan, USA, are taught that the Treaty was: 'flawed to the extent that instead of preventing future wars it made a future war inevitable'.

Yet is any of this FAIR?

The peacemakers faced a Europe which had fallen apart - there was no question of just calling it a day and going home. THREE empires, comprising most of central and eastern Europe, had collapsed in revolution and bankruptcy. The peacemakers formed nation-states and drew boundaries which, more-or-less, have survived until today. If their attempts to establish peace and disarmaments only lasted 20 years, they DID invent the principle of 'collective security' to which still, in the United Nations, we look to prevent war between the nations. And the diplomats of Versailles constructed this peace, without chance to rehearse, assailed by a maelstrom of lobbyists and pressures, amidst revolutions, famine and Spanish flu, whilst at home, war-weary publics were demanding revenge.
  • Margaret Macmillan, great-granddaughter of the great David Lloyd George, says: 'It is my own view - and a number of historians who have been working in this area for some years - that the treaty was not all that bad.'
  • British politician and historian Neil Stonehouse believes that 'in a devastated and newly complex continent no better attempt could have been made'.
  • Historian and schoolteacher Richard Jones-Nerzic argues that the peacemakers 'did a remarkably good job'.

What is your opinion of the Treaty of Versailles? What do you think -- for example - about these questions

  1. Was it fair or unfair?
  2. Was it successful or a failure?
  3. Was it a crafted peace, or a botched compromise?
  4. Did it help to lay the foundations of the future, or leave behind a legacy of hate?

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and have your say!

69 comments:

blabla said...

The Treaty of Versailles was a very very harsh treaty. I agree with President Wilson though. Germany should have not been made to sign the war guilt clause. This wasn't fair and no wonder Germany started another world war!

history whizz! said...

haha!The Germans bombed our chip shops they had to be punished...

Anonymous said...

I suppose it depends on where you look at it from. Even today, most Germans will tell you it was unfair, but many Britons would think it was justified by the damage Germany did during the war. Considering the pressures on the leaders at the time, and all their different aims, they did remarkably well to keep peace, and it took someone as comitted as Hitler to break it. Or maybe I'm talking nonsense. What would I know? I'm a kid.
Thanks Mr Clare!

Anonymous said...

Well, in the end it failed, so it wasn't all that great, but to be honest, I think most people were agreed that the peacemakers were faced with a practically inmpossible task...

Anonymous said...

For me, the Fischer thesis settled any outstanding matter regarding war guilt, so for that reason alone I think the treaty was fair. Whether they like to admit it or not, the German's invaded the neutral country of Belgium which went against the Treaties of the day. However, even if they had not been guilty of beginning the war, the Allies deserved a winners peace.

Why? Because whereas France's industry had been devastated by war, Germany was largely unscathed. They needed the finance simply to achieve equilibrium and even with reparations Germany were a greater powerhouse than France by the 1930s. Likewise, Britain had a massive widow's pension to pay and never recouped anything like what was spent fighting the war because of the Belgian invasion. Germany could not be trusted or allowed to keep a strong industry without the rest of Europe being compensated in the interests of the balance of power in Europe.

Also, whilst it was disappointing that the victors only pursued self determination for the losers, it seems reasonable that Germany lost territory in order to reestablish nation states in Europe such as Poland and Czechoslovakia.

The reason the peace failed, as Ruth Henig has pointed out, is because the Treaty wasn't enforced. Had there been more vigilance in the 1930s, Hitler could never have grown Germany so much in strength. The Treaty was fair and I think Lowe is wrong to say it was strong enough to annoy but too weak to destroy; had it been enforced it would have been sensible, not harsh, and it would have worked.

Anonymous said...

I think that the ToV was harsh for Germany, but fair for other nations. In 1918, Germany headed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and put pressure on Russia, and that treaty was even harsher than the ToV.
But on the other hand, ToV squeezed Germany and led to another war.

Anonymous said...

thankyou for your help thanks to me using this to revise i passed and got an A

Anonymous said...

and another thing the treaty of Versailles was a cruel but fair punishment germany shouldnt have started something they couldnt finish i have no problems with germans i study it at college they shouldnt have been alloweed any soilders sdo there!!!

Anonymous said...

The Treaty of Versailles was supposed to insure that World War One was "the War that ends all wars." Obviously that wasn't the case. If you look at current US armed occupations, like say Iraq, we must understand why we still have a presence. We are there for stability to make sure the republic survives. The Treaty of Versailles did not support the new republic of Germany. Germans did not have democratic traditions, making it easy at the time turmoil to change directions to fascism or socialism. Europe needed a stable Germany in order to keep peace in Europe. The Treaty of Versailles did not work to insure the success of the Weimer Republic.

Anonymous said...

the treaty of Versailles was treaty that at the beginning had a mixture of feelings and thoughts. many people thought the treaty was not right while the others thought it was fair and deserved. but personally i have to come to the verdict that the Treaty of Versailles was unfair and not deserved. the treaty caused hatred in the German people's mind which led to the fact that a revenge was expected of somehow. the punishment given to them was unfair and fair because there were something hings which were right to be taken away like not uniting with the Austrians (anschluss) but there was also some issue which was unfair for example the amount of reparations needed to be paid by germans. the treaty were recognized by some people as dangerous and unfair also but the big three didnt choose to reconsider the points of the war because each of them wanted to achieve something out of the treaty and once they got it, they seemed not to consider the harshness of the treaty and its reactions.

steven bridgen said...

I think the treaty was more harsh than fair but it wasnt the best they could of done in 6 months. I dissagree woth clemenceau, this was the 'war to end all wars' but clemenceau wanted germany to be like a homeless child, weak, easy to target. the french only wanted money to pay for the damage. they didnt think of what it could lead to. i dissagree with woodrow wilson, i cant belive he thought the 14 points would ALL come true. he wanted a lot from a little. never the less he tried to stay neutral and make the treaty as fair as possiable, the most importent thing that came true of the 14points is the leauge of nations. this was set up and wilson, i imagin was slightley happier that he has got something. lloyd george is thinking the treaty was unfair but the election in engglan made him think if he is 'evil' he can stay in

Rhoda Sackey said...


DO I THIK THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES WAS FAIR?
not one single bit, most may argue that my point is invalid but i beg to differ. the reasons behind my opinion is that as we have discovered, the war started with the death of franz ferdinand leading the alliances to get involved, so to say that one country is solely to blame for the course of the war as said in article 231 is absolutely not fair. AFTER ALL it wasn't just the one country, it was its alliances to. Each of these countries had help from OTHER COUNTRIES during the war -hence the allinces-. i think that clemencaeu is a very selfish man, not thinking of the concequences his dicisions and actions would lead to. To say that woodrow was an idealist would be an understatement, to believe that listing down 14 points which you thought would end all wars and have the whole league of nations see to it...well you must me a dreamer. But on the other hand it could be argued that clemencau had a reason behind his dicisions. vengence a definite one...but the fact that the league of nations was set up to prevent repeat of the last war, peace and to take away all that a country has and to limit its army is more than enough to start another war. so why target a particular a country purely on the basis of losing a war and having what was rightfully yours taken away from you? i call that brainwash to just listen to one person alone and not to discuss. i think the TOV was not fair or just.

Saqlain said...

The Peace treaty of 1919 was unfair and I also find it fair in different ways,
German people thinks it's unfair
at present , at past and will be at future but in other people's view
like me as well will think that it is fair and also unfair. It's unfair because lot's people were close to starvation,for example the death of Walter Zimmerman was because of starvation and he couldn't bear his country facing a very worst situation.d People in Germany faced a very bad time for example bad nightmare,some others like_ losing the empire, only 100,000 man in army , no air force etcetera.
It's fair because
France lost lot's of properties which was destroyed due to war because most of the war took place at French soil so, losing properties and if it's destroyed by someone what should you think fair
so treating Germany harsh was fair and also German's started the because of imperialism.

I also want to add if the treat was not too harsh WW2 would have happened , Hitler wouldn't been able be the leader of Germany and 6 million Jews wouldn't have killed in extermination camp.

Although above all I will say that Treaty of Versailles was more unfair than fair.

alfonso parra said...

the treaty of Versailles was a harsh treaty on Germany. it blamed them for the war when it was not only their fault and it made them pay huge reparation costs that would damage Germany ´s economy and angry them so much that one day they would take revenge (as Adolf Hitler did later).
On the other hand, Germany had made Russia sing a very harsh treaty and started the war so they deserved a punishment.
my opinion is that Germany should have been punished but not so harsh and the reparation costs should not have been so big.

Saqlain said...

apologies for some mistakes in my comment like WW2 wouldn't have happend and others

Billy Allder said...

Do I think the peace treaty is fair ?
As a historian I should think about both sides of the war, our side (Britain) and look at Germany's side. looking at our side we can say that the peace treaty is fair because to us they started the war and the reparations set caused by Germany. The people of Britain were telling David Lloyd George and other MP'S that Germany should be punished for the war and to be blamed. looking at Germany's side you can see as historians that Germany will suffer severely and go bankrupt given by the reparations set and the punishments given . the German economic would be destroyed and cause the German people to be starving. This will affect future generations of German people because this is more like a souly punishment until paid. this peace treaty will cause a future war and as historians we know that there was World War 2. Thanks

Josh mason said...

The treaty of versailles was a dark and harsh turn for germany.Arch duke Franz ferdindand was not germanys fault the blaim was'nt Germanys to take they were just supporting there alliances.
The German people were suffering as a reaction of the strict rule that were stated of the TOV.Woodrow Wilson wanted no more war at this state germany would be stepped over until war will be enevitable.As the treaty rose people lost their jobs.Walter Zimmerman died as a result of job lose from the army this was happening everywhere.

sabrina chetty said...

is the treaty of Versailles fair?

if im being honest im not quite sure what i think about the treaty being fair or not i guess it depends on what way you look at it in some ways it was defiantly fair and the germans deserved every bit but in other ways i think it wasnt as all the countries werent treated as badly as germany the germans would argue that this was not fair and many french would say it wasnt fair enough but it blamed them for the war when it was not just their fault and it made them pay huge reparation costs that would damage germany but im still not sure on what exactly i think about the treaty of Versailles i still have mixed feelings

josh mason said...

For every action theres a reaction and Germanys reaction was big causing WWII.In all fairness Germany were treated terribly a treaty to end all wars was cracking and burning Germany will fight back and thats the problem with the big three they were blinded by the fact they thought it was under control

Paige Grindy said...

I am a year 10 GCSE student

I think the Treaty of Versailles was extremely harsh on Germany because of the reparations that they had to pay, the territory, and armaments. I understand that they should pay for the damage they caused on France for example on their way home from France they were destroying there coal fields and that caused them to give their own coal fields to France for 15 years so they lost a huge amount of their money. They were all deprived from Saar. German lost 13.3 million of their population and 10 per cent of their land to make Poland and to Czechoslovakia. That also lost Alsace-Lorraine to France, north Schleswig to Denmark. They found out that the Rhineland had become independent their army was cut to 100,000 men they were left with 6 battle ships, and no planes, submarines or tanks. I think that this is too harsh on Germany because it is all not their fault because just before The Great War started you have the assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand which was Austro-Hungarian and was killed by Serbian what was close to when the war first started so I don't understand why Germany were punished so harshly just because France was angry with what they did.

megan brayshaw said...

megan brayshaw

i am a year 10 gcse student

i think the treaty or versailles was very harsh on germany because of the reparations and population they lost.i understand why germany had to pay so much for the damamage they caused to france and britain they had to pay 6.6 bollion franks to france. Germany had to give their coal fields to france for fifteen years as on there way home they destroyed frances coal fields causing them to lose alot of money.Ten percent of there land was lost to make poland and czechoslovakia,13.3 million of germanys population was lost some of the population was lost to poland and some of it was lost to czechosolvakia. germany had to return Alsace-Lorraine to france. They found out that the rhineland had become independent there army was reduced to 100,000 men they had no planes, no submarines or tanks and they were left with 6 battelships. The treaty was to harsh on germany because the reason ww1 started was because of the assasination of archduke franz ferdinand who was an Astro-Hungarian and was killed by a serbian and germany was punished because france was angry with wat they did.

georgina hill said...

i am a year 10 gcse student,
i have to say i can't make my mind up for i have heard many good reasons to take each side. in many ways i am dissapointed by the big three for they had six months to work a fair yet harsh punishment, and they couldn't even do that, poeple may jugde me for it because it is a hard thing to deside on but i must say what i think.
germany's views on the peace treaty, for they think its discrasful to blame them for the war, in many ways i can understand there reasoning for it.for they didn't kill archduke franz ferdinand e.c.t. but on the other hand i think of the french and how we thaught on their land and how much of thier land was destroyed.in wihch case it was fair for germany destroyed most of france, in fact the french's views are that germany got let of the hook lightly,wihch i do not agree with. my conclusion is that the peace treaty was what caused WWII and that it was eqully unfair and fair in the same way.

Eimantas Pilibaitis said...

Hello, I am a Year 10 GCSE student, and these are my opinions on the fairness of the Treaty of Versailles.

I think the Treaty of Versailles was harsh, but there reasons for the allies doing such thing. You have got to take into account the elections coming right up after the treaty was signed, which means that Lloyd George had to be meaner than he wanted to and agree with Clemenceau, so that the British people would want to elect him.

I do not think that Germany should have been solely to be blamed for causing the war, as there were things such as: The arms race and the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

I can also see why Clemenceau was so greedy, the Germans had caused so much damage to France, collapsing any coal mines they come across, for example. While Woodrow Wilson was so lenient due to the Germans not causing much damage, unlike France and Britain.

Hannah Staite said...

I am a GCSE student

Do I Think The Peace Treaty Was Fair?

I think the Peace treaty was fair and unfair. On Germany's side the peace Treaty was too harsh on them and made them pay big reparations for the war, but it could make Germany angry and start future wars for example World War 2. From the British perspective it was fair because they started the war and the reparations set caused the war. The British people was saying to David Lloyd George and other Member of Parliaments that Germany should be punished, however Germany will suffer because they would be bankrupt and people would be starving and homeless so this poverty could also lead to future wars.

Anonymous said...

I think that the Treaty of Versailles was completely pointless. It was supposed to be a Peaceful Treaty but it led to the cause of another war. I partially blame the Big Three for this because i think if they had taken this Treaty more seriously and considered their proposed terms more thoroughly then possibly they could have seen the flaws in their own suggestions. For instance, if only Clemencau realized how much more from the impossible he was asking from Germany with its 6,600m reparations then perhaps Germany would not have ended up with hyperinflation in 1923. Then Hitler would not have had to suffer so much and who knows maybe if the Treaty was not as harsh as it had been, then Hitler may never have come to power.

4Z Harry said...

We think that the Treaty was...
Harry: Unfair becuase Germany was punished too much. In the long term Germany was able to field a new army and start a new war

4Z Sam said...

It was sensible because they made the threat of Germany very low and the risk of another attack for nil...but it wasn't fair because it destabilised Germany in the long run

4Z Ed said...

Sensible in the short term but was unfair. The Big Three was only interested in themselves not what was best for the world. Reparations were unfair but in the short term the German threat was removed.

4Z Jade said...

It was sensible but unfair to the Germans. Although it was sensible in stopping another war this wasn't the case in the long run.

Anonymous said...

The Treaty of Versailles was in a sense the best that President Lloyd George could do with President Georges and Wilson fighting over what they would do with Germany. It was harsh in a way that Germany was displeased and eventually started WWII, but was also fair, since Germany was a major threat to France, and that the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was even harsher and unfiar, in a sense. But in my opinion, the ToV failed because of the weakness of the French to act, the unwillingness of the British to help, the hard headedness of the Americans to not join the League, and the ruthless cunning of Hitler. So it was basically all jumbled up together and was not the fault of one nation, but the fault of the combined mistakes of all the nations. That is my view on the Treaty.

Anonymous said...

Although not the best treaty, with so much pressure on all the big three(each faced an up-coming election) and with such different aims, they did really well.

It could easily be argued that the German's call for fairer treatment wasn’t justified because of the harsh way they had treated Russia in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918, Versailles was much less harsh in comparison.

Anonymous said...

I think that considering the extremely complex and dynamic circumstances that the peacemakers were faced with, they did the best that they could to reach an agreement that somewhat satisfied most powers involved (with the obvious exception of Germany). It certainly cannot be called a perfect treaty by any means, but it nonetheless impressive, again keeping the situation in mind.

Anonymous said...

i think the treaty of Versailles was harsh and cruel on Germany, i mean even if Germany invaded Beligium and other countries, they payed reparations for their fault however Treaty of Versailles was so harsh on Germany. Germany shouldnt have signed the war guilt clause. They all didnt want any more wars however, pushing Germany into corner caused another war. German people are also humans. They were suffering so much and they were punished enough. The German people still thinks it is unfair and i also think it was unfair for them to be so harsh on Germany and make them sign the War guilt clause.

Anonymous said...

It's more unfair than it is fair because this Treaty is punishing the wntire Germany. All the civilians guilty or innocent, rather than jest the guilty. A lot of lives were destroyed because of this, for intance hyperinflation, economic downfall, riots, revolution attempts and more. The reparation demands were way too high especially when Germany's economy wasn't excellent to start with. Taking away their military so they can't protect or defend themselves is just barbaric.

RL10i

K said...

in my opinion, at the time, the Treaty of Versailles was justified as Germany , but by blaming everything on Germany, making their civilians suffer and excluding them from the League of Nations would cause them to retaliate in the long term.

Anonymous said...

I think that the Trearty Of Versailles was the only way out of the war back then. The treaty was not exactly fair and it was not unfair either. Germany has always been seen as the aggresive country thus the Big Three thought it would be sutable to appoint her the barer off the blame.

This desicion was unfair because she did not have a say in anything while 3 different countries which France who completly despises her are deciding her future.

However, Germany was allowed to stay intact unlike many other treaties which had thier countrues broken up.

Lastly, it looked as if The Big Three were harsh but they were not as harsh as other treaties because unlike Germany the reperations they set was not as big as Germany was going to make them if they lost.

LSD GIS

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, i think the Treaty of Versailles was harsh on Germany. Even if Germany did things that they shouldn't have, it is still war. Also, Germany shouldnt have signed the war guilt clause. They didnt want any more wars, however, by pushing Germany into corner, it caused another war to happen. The German people still feels unfair and i also think it was unfair. They were so fair to other nations. German people were suffering, and they also had to pay a huge amount of reparations. i think this is unfair.
A.L

KL life photography said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ricki Finch said...

The Treaty was a patch work of ideas, some selfish, some realistic and some hopefully naive. What we must understand is the treaty did what was needed. It restored peace to the greater part of Europe. Its authors recognised its limitations and predicted its demise.

RF

Anonymous said...

I believe that the Treaty of Versailles could have been a lot more harsh, considering what Germany had done. Clause 231 was (I believe) quite unfair, Germany should not have been blamed for all events throughout WW1, the other countries that fought also contributed a fair amount. In conclusion, my verdict is that the Treaty of Versailles was justified, it was not as harsh as most of the other treaties that came afterwards and I belive Germany was left off quite easy, other than the Hyper Inflation. Though still debated, I feel it was justified.

-SCJ 10M

Anonymous said...

Overall I feel, at the time, the treaty was moderately justified. In comparison with other treaties, it was quite just considering the evil everyone felt the Germans had committed, save the fact that the crime they had committed wasn’t completely their crime. The actual terms of the Treaty were not completely outrageous, although the outcome was that Germany suffered a lot. At the time, many must have seen the Treaty as letting the Germans of easily, Clemenceau and France had not been happy with this, as people all thought of Germany as the cause of the war and the reason behind all their suffering. What with Wilson’s input, Germany received quite fair treatment, much fairer than they would have received if he had not been involved. Germany would have produced a treaty just as harsh, if not harsher, than this one, like the Treaty of Brest-litvosk, that Russia was forced to sigh by Germany. Germany had planned on taking much larger reparations,if they had won.
The army was limited to 100,000 men, which is a lot more than Turkey being limited to 50,000 men or Austira to 30,000. To Germany this may have seemed like a huge afrront however as the army was a point of collosal national pride.
It was justified to take some land away from them and Germany would have done the same if they had won. A lot of land was taken away from other countries, like Austria under the Treaty of St Germain. Most of the land taken away from them was land that they had taken in the first place or did not speak German, which is just and in line with national self determination. However we can now see that although, perhaps, the Treaty is not completely unjustified, it caused a lot of damage. It left Germany vengeful. They were blamed and their army was taken away from them and their industry and land and families were taken away from them. Their money, their jobs, their pride. A whole country, and an undemocratic one as that, were considered wholly to blame for something that could not be wholly their fault. Germany was left stripped to bare it’s shame to the world. As many at the time predicted, this resentment built up, and started another war. In conclusion, at the time the Treaty would be considered justifiable but looking back on it now, we can see the problems it caused, most importantly Germany’s suffering leading to World War 2, and I would say that though the terms were not extensive hardship theory, in practise they caused many problems for Germany and then the whole world. In hindsight, ‘the big three’ could have been kinder to Germany and maybe some countries could have helped rebuild Germany’s political and economical state which would have prevented WW2.
CDG

SwagNasty said...

One could say that the Treat of Versailles was doomed to fail before it started. There wouldn't be a sure way to both punish Germany and allow them to rebuild without seeking revenge. The Big Three failed in making a completely beneficial compromise while also treating German citizens unfairly as some innocents were separated from their families and left in poverty.

Anonymous said...

The Treaty of Versailles was a compromised peace whereby it can be argued that it can be either justified or not justified. As for the military clause, yes, to some extent I do agree that it was very harsh because Germany is a big country and with no conscription and only with 100,000 men in the army, no air force or submarines and only 6 battleships, this would make Germany vulnerable and an easy target for its' adversaries, the Allied Powers. But, Germany did managed to outsmart the Allied Powers without exactly breaking the treaty. Submariners were trained overseas and aircrafts were being developed. Cruisers that were small and fast could hold a lot of weapons. There were always soldiers on reserve so there were no more than a 100,000 men in the army at one period of time. So, I am very neutral and do not blame either sides for what had happened.

Chew Zhen Wei said...

I think that the Treaty of Versailles was the best that the Big Three could hope for without bending it in one country's favour. I also think it was justified because, eventhough Germany did not start the war, they did horrible thing to make sure they would end it.

Anonymous said...

I think the Treaty of Versailles is more justified at the time as it was the only way to prevent another immediate war. Also, compared to the Treaty of Brest-Livosk set by Germany, the Treaty of Versailles was much less harsh, even though the allies would have been able to punish Germany further, they had left enough for Germany to eventually rebuild her country. The other treaties set by the allies were similar to the Treaty of Versailles even though they blamed Germany for being the sole cause of the war.
However, the blaming Germany for the war was not fair and unreasonable.
Unfortunately, there are more factors for the treaty to be justified especially at the time.

Mr John D Clare said...

Congratulations, Year 10, on some very sensible and insightful comments.

Alannah Markham-Scott said...

Personally I don't believe the Treaty of Versailles was fair as the war became a world war because of the allies that other countries had formed. Although Germany invaded Belgium there were other aspects that would of essentially started a world war anyway; Germany were not entirely to blame therefore the impact it had on their military (Army reduced to 100,000 men, Navy reduced to 6 battleships and no submarines and the Rhineland to become demilitarised), economy( Had to pay 132 billion in gold marks in reparations in which they could not afford) and territory (Lands in eastern Germany - the farmlands of Posen and the Polish corridor between Germany and East Prussia were given to Poland) were not justified and it seems to me that it's just a treaty for revenge not peace especially from Clemenceau.
On the other hand, Germany protested as much as they could when they were given The Treaty of Versailles however, they also gave Russia the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk which was undeniably harsh so there are features that don’t give Germany any right to complain about T.O.V. Moreover Poland and Czechoslovakia were created from the treaty and these countries today are brilliant, so although there are bad points about the treaty, which I thoroughly don’t agree with, some points are agreeable and have had a good impact.

Iana Gabrielle Belen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iana Gabrielle Belen said...

In my opinion, I think that the Treaty of Versailles was unfair and its because some of the punishment of The Big Three were not that fair. Like Clemenceau, He wanted to treat the Treaty harsher because of what Germany did to their country.

Germany was given a big consequence, and it is that they only can have an army minimum of 100,000 men and a navy with six battleships only. Germany has to pay all the reparations that cause damage. They were threatened to signed the treaty. They didn't have a choice to sign the Treaty because the war will continue.

That is why I think that the Treaty of Versailles was unfair, because of some of the unfair punishment given to Germany.

Anonymous said...

Every country at the time will have a different view on whether the T.o.V. was or not. For example Germany HATED, they thought it wasn't fair because they say their punishment is too harsh and Clemenceau says it's not harsh enough. And he thinks that the treaty is not too harsh because he couldn't demilitarize Germany, instead they were left 100,000 men Army. Germany are at a disadvantage militarily and territorially because they also had to return Alsace-Lorraine and give the Saar for 15 years to France.
Poland and Czechoslovakia think it's fair because they became independent countries.
The Treaty is unfair when it comes to the other countries treaties. When Turkey rebelled, they got a new treaty which allowed them to keep all their land and army.
The T.o.V. was fair at some point, like Clause 231, where Germany had to take the blame because they had a plan, nearly a decade before the war. That also means so is Clause 232.

Ritchie Chetty said...

Do I think the Treaty of Versailles is fair?

In some aspects of the treaty it seems pretty fair but in many the clauses made from Clemenceau were unfair. Germany were to accept soul blame for the cause of war which they had no choice to accept. So in this case their reparations seem fair as this was a punishment for this. But Turkey refused to accept terms of their first treaty, so France and Britain decided to change the terms of which they didn't lose anything, land, money, or territory. If they didn't have to pay reparations then why would Germany have to. Yes, France had a an undying hatred for them since the war for Alsace-Lorraine but this doesn't mean they should pay reparations that others who were defeated do not.

George Mason said...

The Treaty of Versailles was not one clause, it was made up from hundreds, some of these clauses were fair, such as the clause that returned Alsace-Lorraine to France, because previously, Germany had taken this land from them.
Clause 231 can be seen in two ways, because yes Germany's "Schlieffen Plan" was a plan that would ONLY succeed if Germany were to be the first to attack, Germany took this risk under the obligation that the victor holds the truth. However they should not be blamed solely for starting a WORLD War, because if it were not the alliances between each country that slowly joined, the countries involved would most likely not have joined in the first place, Germany started the war, the alliances started the WORLD War.
Due to the fact that Germany had completely dessimated parts of France, which they did out of offense not defence (like I said above), they should have to pay for all damage that they had caused, therefore Clause 232, which handled reparations, is mainly justified.

KM said...

I don't think the Treaty of Versailles was fair. For instance, the only part Germany should have received proper blame for was Clause 231, the War Guilt Clause. It was them who decided to invade France by marching through Belgium, but the rest shouldn't be fully blamed towards Germany. Instead, all that was left was unnecessary Treaties in the future and leaders of their countries coming out disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Mr. Martin.

Jordan Worthington said...

Was the Treaty of Versailles fair? There's two ways to look at this. In a way, yes it was very fair, considering the amount of damage Germany caused to the enemy countries (France, Belgium and Britain for example).They destroyed important farming land and also coal mines which brought in Frances income. In the end farmers and miners were put out work. Its a fair punishment for Germany, this is what France and the British government thought. For all of the lives lost in this great war, the treaty was a just one. On the other hand, it was also unfair. The reparations that Germany had to pay back to France, Belgium and Britain were far too much for them to handle. £50 million a year (in steel, gold< wood etc) was a ridiculous amount for one country to pay. To the Germans, it is an unfair punishment (Woodrow Wilson and David Lloyd George also thought it was unjust) but to France and the rest of Britain, it was the best way to deal with a country that caused such a problem during the years of the first world war!

Precious Iyogun said...

In my opinion,i believe that the treaty of Versailles was unfair on Germany.the treaty weakened Germany so harshly,that they couldn't even defend itself.Germany was not allowed more than 100,000 men with no conscription,they were not allowed any aircraft or tanks.This was too harsh on Germany as it left it defenseless.On top of that,Germany Germany was made to accept full responsibility in starting WW1 even though it was not the only country who was involved in the outbreak of WW1. There for i do not think this treaty would result in peace.

Kyle Smith said...

Kyle Smith said...
Reasons on why the Treaty of Versailles was fair or unfair.
Some believe that the Treaty of Versailles was fair and some believe that the Treaty was unfair. An unfair point of view would come from a German and a fair point of view may come from a Polish. There are some reasons why I think that the Treaty of Versailles was unfair because Germany had to pay huge reparations (£6.6 billion), which was fair as due to the Schlieffen Plan and the effects of it, but Turkey had to pay NO reparations. Germany's Treaty was unfair as Turkey's, Austria’s Treaty etc was less harsh than on Germany. Germany had to pay huge reparations, but the other countries like Turkey and Bulgaria only had to pay little or none at all.
Another reason why the Treaty of Versailles seemed unfair was that Germany had no say in the Treaty what so ever, no say in changes to the Treaty and any refusion would cause invasion. The thing is that The Treaty of serves, dealing with Turkey was changed and so they made a new Treaty, called the Treaty of Lausanne just because Turkey did not like this. So Turkey had a say in their Treaty, but Germany had no say in their Treaty. Some Germans in the 1920's may question on this.
Another reason why the Treaty was unfair was because Germany had to be fully guilty for causing WW1 and no other countries, allied to Germany did not also have a war guilt clause.
On the other hand, there are some reasons why the Treaty of Versailles was fair. I think that the Treaty of Versailles was partly fair because Germany should pay for reparations as due to the effects that Germany did cause by creating the Schlieffen Plan.

Billy Taylor said...

Billy Taylor say:

The Treaty of Versailles could be seen as either very unfair or fair! But what ever country that had to pay the price, there could be debate. But the Treaty of Versailles was unfair to one country in particular, Germany! Germany had her army reduced to 100,000 and had parts of her land made in to new countries, of which this happend to no other countries. Germany was only allowed six battleships,no airforce which couldn`t defend any country leaving Germany defenceless. And Germany had to pay massive reparations (6.6 billion) due to the clause 231 of which was the war guilt clause. And yet no other countries which lost the war had to pay or loose anything. Germany had no say and had to sign it in 48 hours otherwise France would invade them.What made it even more unfair is that Turkey had a whole new Treaty just because Britain was to sceared. And yet the Treaty of Versailles was ment to be the Treaty to end all Treaties, and all it was doing was making the war more likely again. In my opinion all countries who killed should have to pay the price, not just Germany!

Grace Spence said...

I don’t think that t treaty of Versailles was very fair as it had a negative impact on too many countries. Germany for one was damaged in militarism as their army was reduced to 100,000, Navy to 6 battleships and no submarines as well as the Rhineland was demilitarised. They lost eastern European land which was taken in order to make Poland and their economy was horrifically damaged as they had to pay 132 billion gold marks in reparation in which they could not afford. Furthermore, turkey were given a new treaty because they threatened to attack the British army therefore the treaty of Versailles was not fair if other countries were justified to a new treaty. As this treaty was not taken seriously (Or so Germans believed) it was never going to last as a ‘peace’ treaty when eventually Germany would shadow Turkey and create an uprising on their own.

Josie wright said...

I think the treaty of Versailles was fair in some aspects however compared to Germany's allies treaty's it's slightly harsh. This is because Austria hungry when receiving there treaty refused to sign, after the big three Hurd this news they agreed to change this to suit Austria. Where as Germany was given their treaty the big three set up troops on the outside of the borders and explained how if they didn't sign they would be invaded. In my opinion I think Woodrow Wilson's 14 points was the treaty they should have used. This is because it was appropriate for Germany's mistakes. It would also prevent World War Two and stop all revenge from the allies.

Edward Stark said...

In some ways i do think that the treat of versailles was fair in fact in many ways i think it was but i do not think that the punishments should have been so many or so much of each one it left Germany completely defenceless and with no money to rebuild them self and so no that was not fair but they had to pay back for the damage they caused to france they did start the war with france, Belgium and Britain in the first place but they were not solely to blame cause 231 was not right they should not have been solely to blame for the war so the hole treaty was not fair parts of it were completely fair and other parts were completely unfair other countries were not punished in the same way and that is not fair.

Kayleigh Pyner said...

overall i think the treaty of versaille was unfair because they had to pay reparations which caused them into an economic crisis which had also caused hyperinflation which made all the prices higher and the money to become worthless!
another reason why the treaty was unfair was that Turkeys treaty had gotten changed because they didnt like what they were given so they had refused to sign so they changed the treaty for them so there was no war against it! this was unfair because germany didnt get a say if they liked it or not they got what was given!
although i think in some ways it was fair because they had done some economic and physical damage to France and Clemeceau wanted them to pay it back although David Lloyd George and Woodrow didnt really agree.... but overall i think it was unfair!

Chloe Wordsworth said...

I think the Treaty of Versailles is unfair in some aspects,however fair in very few.
Firstly, the War Guilt Clause 231 blamed Germany entirely for WW1, this is unfair because Germany wasn't fully to blame. I believe Serbia should take some responsibility due to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which was the trigger of the war. I also think the German reparation amount was far too much, Germany only finished paying their £6600 billion in 2010, which proves the amount was far too much.
The Treaty of Versailles resulted of weakening Germany (which is what France 100% wanted). For example, Germany's army was reduced to 100,00 men, they were only allowed 6 battleships; and they wasn't allowed any submarines. This is unfair because if Germany were to be attacked,they wouldn't have a great chance of gaining success. They had a limit to offensive and defensive equipment.

However,their were some good sides to the Treaty. Such as, Poland being created (half from German land, and half from Russian land).
This is positive for Poland, but negative for Germany and Russia.

Therefore, I mostly believe that the Treaty was unfair, but fair in some cases.

Georgia Apted said...

I have a mixed opinion on the treaty of Versailles, as its unfair in some aspects, but fair in a small amount. One of the very few fair points was the 'War Guilt Clause', this was a fair point because Germany were the first to invade France and by doing that they marched through Belgium and also invading them. Another fair point of the treaty was that Poland got their independence from half Russian land and half German land. However it was not fair that Germany and Russia were not asked for permission for Poland to be created out of their land. I think Germany's reparation was a ridiculous amount of money of over 6 billion pounds, that they did not finish paying it up until 2010. It was also not fair on Germany as when the war ended the treaty that Germany got told they were going to sign was 'Wilsons 14 points', and it turned out that only one point was on the treaty of Versailles. One of wilsons points were for all countries to disarm, but in the treaty only Germany got their army lowered to 100,000 men which was no where near enough men to protect the whole of its country.
So overall I think the treaty is unfair, as Germany were blamed for the whole of the war which is not fair as we all should of took some blame.

Anonymous said...

The problem was in my point of view that the Big three at Versailles had completely different ideas on how Germany should be treated at the time.
Looking individually at them all were reasonable as the whole of France was bombarded and destroyed therefore Clemenceau was angry and wanted the best for his people. Lloyd-George was playing it smart and never really had been friends with the french so thought he couldn't let France get the best out of it and Wilson may have been the more powerful person in the treaty , i think he had least to say as he only came in the war in 1917, therefore in somehow was a selfish man.
Germany may have suffered from this treaty but it was their own fault as they had started the war and lost it. The needed to pay for their actions, however the amount may have been absurd.

Anonymous said...

If it were not for the treaty of Versailles, maybe WW2 would not have happened. Although Hitler was the primary cause of WW2, due to his greed and self-interest, he would not have come into power if it were not for the treaty. Even before the wall street crash which led to the Germans desperation for a new leader, German civilians took to extremest parties, like Hitler's, because the treaty angered them so much.

After the terms were set in the treaty, the Germans were poor, vulnerable and infuriated. By the end, they had lost 10% of their land, 12% of their population and the majority of their army, leaving them very weak.

This leads me to believe that actually, it was the treaty's fault WW2 even happened, failing in its main aim, to stop future war.

If the 'Big Three' had simply agreed and settled for more rational terms and allowed the negotiation of Germany, then they would not have been so outraged. In addition to this, if the 'Big Three' had actually stuck to their terms, then Germany would have been kept under control, preventing WW2.

Many points could be argued about this question but it is my belief that the lack of consistency and irrational terms of the treaty lead Hitler to be appointed as leader, therefore later leading to WW2

Anonymous said...

If only there had been better communications in 1905- 1914.

When the Kaiser set the Schlieffen Plan into motion, he wanted to stop it. However it was just too complicated to be stopped.

I think Austria- Hungary was just as bad as Germany, if not worse. So I think Germany was treated a bit unfairly but it did need to pay for damage.

The Treaty was harsh, but someone did need to pay, I suppose but Austria - Hungary should be held just as responsible as Germany

Anonymous said...

Hello!
I really love your website! Howver, your excessive use of exclamation marks is really annoying.

i think the Treaty was unfair obviously, and no one got anything that they wanted out of it obviously





Love,
Alyyxia

Gerald said...

Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

Your article is very well done, a good read.