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Germany's Settlement Terms in the Versailles Treaty of WWI (Research Paper Sample)


Did the Versailles Treaty deal fairly with Germany? Answer the question, then compare and contrast with another nation's settlement in the treaty. Be sure to provide a precise thesis argument within the essay, supported by appropriate historical evidence.


Germany’s Settlement Terms in the Versailles Treaty of the WWI
Germany’s Settlement Terms in the Versailles Treaty of the WWI
The Treaty of Versailles refers to a peace agreement that was signed by Germany and the Allies immediately after the end of World War I (Slavicek, 2010). The treaty was signed on 28 June 1919 after an armistice or a truce to end the war was reached between Germany and the Allied Powers. There was approximately six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference before the agreement was concluded. This treaty was then registered through the Secretariat of the League of Nations on the 21st of October 1919. One of the notable things about the Treaty of Versailles is that it came out too harsh towards Germany and this brought discontent among the Germans (Slavicek, 2010). It was evident that the Treaty of the Versailles was not fair to Germany given the massive reparations that Germany was expected to pay to the Allied Powers that affected the country’s pride, economy, military operations, and their territories while the other countries like France received favorable terms from the treaty.
The World War I (WWI) took place between 1914 and 1918 and was fought across Europe and stretching to the Middle East, the African Continent, and also in Asia (Hochschild, 2011). The Central Powers consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). The Central Powers suffered defeat from the Allied Powers comprising of French, British Empire, Russian Empire, Italy, Japan and later the United States declared it was at war with Germany in April of 1917 making it an “associated power” to the Allied Powers (Hochschild, 2011). The United States had entered the war on the 6th of April 1917 because of the German submarine combat against the U.S. merchant ships that were trading with Britain and France. The U.S. had aimed to detach itself from the war because it was avoiding national disputes and also because of the Bolshevik exposure of the secret treaties that occurred between the Allies. The U.S. President Woodrow Wilson gave a statement in January 8 1918 that is referred to as the “Fourteen Points.” The speech focused on free trade, promoting the essence of open agreements, democracy, and pushed for self-determination. These “Fourteen Points” were proposed so that they could be included in the negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles (Hochschild, 2011).
On November 4 1918, Austria-Hungary, after suffering losses because of inner nationalist movements within its diverse groups, called for armistice or a truce (Thompson, 2007, p. 32). Germany realizing that it is facing diminishing resources at the battle and the surrender of all its allies was also forced to seek the armistice on November 11 of 1918 and this led to the end of World War 1. The demands of the armistice required German troops to evacuate immediately the regions they occupied including France, Luxembourg, and also Belgium. Further, the terms required that Allied forces could occupy the Rhineland. In May of 1919, negotiations for a treaty began in Paris Peace Conference but the defeated countries which were Germany, Austria, and Hungary were excluded from taking part in the negotiations. The principal negotiators of the treaty included France, Britain, and the United States (Thompson, 2007, p. 32).
The Treaty of Versailles
According to Thorpe and Thorpe (2011, p. 102), in June 1919, the Allied Powers affirmed that war with Germany would resume if the German government refused to the terms of the treaty, which they had settled among themselves. It is apparent that the Treaty of Versailles was unfair to Germany because Germany did not get to participate in the negotiations. Thorpe and Thorpe (2011) note ...
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