Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles

1761 Words Oct 20th, 1999 8 Pages
Firstly, we must proceed to explain the nature of Article 231 in order to be able to analyse its judgement about Germany's responsibility for the war. After the war had ended, Europe's, especially France's economy was devastated. There was also a general desire for such a war never to repeat itself, as the first proof of modern warfare proved to be ruinous. To deal with this two issues the allied powers made Germany sign the "war guilt clause" which made it accept all the guilt for the war and because of this, pay reparations to the affected states. In this way France's economy would theoretically recover faster while Germany was kept economically weak so it could never attempt to cause a war again.
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<br>Even though at the time most
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The most important affair dealing with the colonial policy was that of the Berlin-Baghdad Railway. In 1882 the Turkish government gave its approval for the first stage of the project, form Constantinople to Ankara, which Germany built by 1892. An intense competition between the European powers for the right to build the next section followed. Again Germany was granted the concession and by 1896 the section from Eskis Ehir to Konya was built. Once more there was competition for the right to build the following part. With the help of France and despite Russian opposition Germany won the concession once again for the section between Konya and Baghdad. However the building proved to be less easy as the British and French government refused to cooperate. The control of this railway became an international issue between Germany and Britain and added to the list of conflicts and misunderstandments (such as the naval build up) between these two countries.
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<br>We can see that the colonial policy is an early manifestation of German expansionism and desire for influence that we shall later see in the July Crisis in a much greater manner as proposed by Fischer. This desire for influence added only small amounts of tension in the late 19th century, and considerable quantities of it in the early 20th century, especially after the Moroccan crises, but its true importance is to be noted in the latter stages of conflict leading to war in 1914.
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<br>It is the
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