The Causes Of The Treaty Of Versailles

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After Germany lost WWI, the Germans were forced to sign a treaty, which blamed Germany for starting the war. The Treaty of Versailles was signed June 28,1919 in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles (see figure 1). The signing of the treaty was attended by 3 important world leaders: President Wilson from the USA, Lloyd George from Britain, and Clemenceau from France. However, they all signed the treaty for different reasons. Wilson believed in self-determination and thought that people should have their own ethnic boundaries, so he wanted an ethnic boundary for Poland. Lloyd George wanted to stop the rise of Russia with Cordon Sanitaire, and Clemenceau wanted to punish Germany as revenge, and giving Poland back its land…show more content…
The Germans were forced to give up so much because of the treaty. For example, they were forced to pay $30 billion to the Allies (Grenville 59-71). “German shipyards would have to construct 200,000 tons of new shipping per year and hand it over to the Allies, free of charge.” (Hay 100). The problem though, was that Germany lost land, colonies, and coal fields, and by punishing Germany, the Allies also took away Germany's way for paying the reparations. The Germans were also not allowed to have warplanes, tanks, and submarines. Because of the treaty, Germany lost land in Africa, Asia, and also Alsace and Lorraine to France (Grenville 39). Germany lost all her colonies and was split by the Polish Corridor so Poland could have access to the sea. WWII was fought by Germany to gain back what was lost in WWI, so Versailles was to blame for WWII. “Germany fought specifically in the second war to reverse the verdict of the first and to destroy the settlement which followed it” (Taylor 41), so the two wars were linked. Woodrow Wilson, who signed the treaty, said, “No people must be forced under sovereignty under which it does not wish to live” (Spielvogel 745), and he believed in self-determination, but Poland was taken away from Germany so the Polish people would have Poland again, and yet Germany was not allowed an anschluss with Austria, even though Austrians spoke
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