Why Did the 1919 Paris Peace Settlement Not Provide a Durable Peace in Europe

1570 WordsMay 15, 20057 Pages
Why did the 1919 Paris settlement not provide a durable peace in Europe? The First World War, was without a doubt one of the most tragic events in the history of people. It was fought on a scale, and at a cost in human suffering, unparalleled in the history of man kind. Countries from every continent, including most of those in Europe, had taken part. Whole populations had been marshalled to serve their countries war efforts1. All these came to an end when on 11 November 1918, Germany finally agreed to sign an armistice. What is very important to know, is that this armistice was actually based on United States' President Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteen Points". However, the Treaty of Versailles, sharply differed from Wilson's points, and…show more content…
What's more, the treaty offered no hint as to how long the disarmament should last. Therefore, this was one of the parts of the treaty that Germany continually abused and disobeyed out of bitterness. Another issue of significant note is how the Allies dealt with the war reparations that Germany owed. One of the major question regarding the reparations was the following: should Germany be held accountable for what she owed to the Allies or should she be held accountable for what she could afford to pay? But even answering this question became difficult. For instance, for how much was Germany accountable? Was Germany to pay for all of the damage assessed? France felt that Germany should cover the costs of restoration of invaded territories and repayment of war debts, and that a long period of stiff repayments would have the added advantage of keeping Germany financially and economically weak. Britain, on the other hand, was concerned with the revival of international trade and knew that if Germany was heavily in debt with the Allied Powers, she would not be able to purchase British goods in sufficient quantities. Because of all of the ambiguities involving the war reparations, an exact monetary figure owed by the Germans to the Allies was never included in the Treaty of Versailles. For Germany, the terms of reparations eventually arrived at by the Reparations Committee were unacceptable. The German delegates viewed

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