Limitations Of The Treaty Of Versailles

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Examine the strengths and limitations of this interpretation, making references to other interpretations you have studied. (20)

Sharp 's argument puts forward the notion that the Treaty of Versailles did not have a significant effect on Germany in terms of their economy, stating that it 'neither crippled Germany '. While many historians would agree with this claim, there are also several who would dispute that this was not the case and would - as Sharp says the Germans felt – state that the Treaty was in fact completely unjust.

Sharp 's mention of the injustice the Germans felt towards the Treaty of Versailles is a strong argument, given the long-lasting effects it had on the government and the German people. Psychologically, the signing
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This notion once again reinforces Sharp 's claim that the German people found the treaty to be terribly unjust. Having no say in their treatment after the war made them feel silenced and ignored as a group, which would have been especially devastating given the fact that they had been led to believe by German propaganda that their role in the war was right and just. Carr also states that opposition to the Treaty was significantly due to the severity of its contents. This historian 's view therefore acts as a counter-argument to Sharp 's claim that the Treaty of Versailles did not cripple Germany. The provisions of the Treaty are anything but accommodating or sympathetic, given the impact they would have on Germany 's economy as well as its armed forces. Not only were reparations placed at a sky-high rate of £6600 million, but many profitable areas of land such as the Saar Coal region and the Alsace-Lorraine territory where taken away from Germany. Historian John Maynard Keynes found the Treaty of Versailles to be particularly harsh for this reason – he felt it would be almost impossible for Germany to recover especially since they were already in an economic crisis as a result of the war. Further hindering the country were the provisions placed on the armed forces: the army was restricted to 100,000 men (and the navy 15,000), aircraft was banned and the Rhineland, an area of Germany which borders France, had to be demilitarised. Having taken such pride in their military before the war, these conditions were debasing to Germany and left them feeling humiliated. Plus, this reduction in armed forces left Germany incredibly vulnerable to attack, particularly from France, who were Germany 's most aggressive

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