what was the most significant event in German history

2250 WordsNov 24, 20139 Pages
In considering the process of change in the development of Germany over the whole period 1890-1991, how far can the treaty of Versailles been seen as a key turning point? Jonathan Sokolov The Treaty of Versailles was a monumental stage in German history, helping to shape German history for arguably the best part of thirty years. It can be argued that the Treaty was the most significant event since the unification of Germany in 1890. The short term consequences were also highly prominent as over 300,000 Germans fled to America in the years 1917-23. Moreover many Germans were aggrieved by the Treaty, this lead to public exploits (Kapp Putsch and Munich Putsch) that lead to casualties accumulating into the 1000’s. With so much death and…show more content…
Although William Carr (A History Of Germany 1815-1945 (1985)) argues that as severe as the Treaty was “it should be remembered that Germany might easily have feared much worse. If Clemenceau had had his way instead of being restrained by Britain and America the treaty could have been much worse for Germany”. However this does not undermine the fact that the Treaty was highly influential in shaping German history. Finally the Treaty can be held responsible for the rise of Hitler in 1933. Moreover Hitler used the Treaty as a major campaigning point because many Germans were still aggrieved by the terns imposed by the Treaty, thus enabling Hitler’s rise to prominence to be swift; however there are many extenuating factors, such as the Reichstag fire in 1933. Due to the fact the Treaty aided Hitler’s rise to power it can be argued it instigated the process of the Second World War, a monumental stage in German history. No one can challenge the fact that the Treaty of Versailles was a key turning point; however it is hard to come to a conclusive statement on whether or not it is the most significant. After the Second World War the Treaty can no longer be influential as it was scrapped following Germany’s defeat in 1945. Following the defeat of Germany in June was the three conferences in 1945 that were highly influential In German history,(Tehran, Yalta, Potsdam) in particular Potsdam. Now it must be
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