The Role Of Germany As The Chief Intigator Of World War I

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World War I was one of the bloodiest wars in the modern age, with millions of dead soldiers and civilians and enormous losses on all sides (Chapman). After the war, the Allied nations looked for vengeance from the Central Powers and imposed a series of harsh treaties upon them, stripped them of substantial amounts of land and requiring significant repatriation payments (Mendum). The many of the Allied nations saw Germany as the chief instigator of the war and wanted to protect Europe from another war with Germany by crushing the country with retribution payments and severe obligations (Baker). Their solution was the Treaty of Versailles, negotiated at the Palace of Versailles during the Paris Peace Conference and included 440 clauses that hoped …show more content…
As a result, most of the work was done by the delegates of France, Britain, and the United States, with the Italian delegate, Vittorio Orlando, sometimes being included (Chapman). All three of the nations had diverging interests and goals for the treaty. Georges Clemenceau, who was the prime minister and representative of France, urged harsh treatment of Germany because France had suffered extreme damage during the German occupation, while Woodrow Wilson, the president and representative of the US, urged leniency towards Germany so that the Germans would not seek revenge towards the Allies (Mendum). Wilson was also interested in enacting his Fourteen Points, which were a list of proposed war aims dealing with territorial and political settlements and preventing war in the future partly through the League of Nations (Kushner). In the middle of Clemenceau and Wilson was David Lloyd George, prime minister of Britain, who believed that Germany should be punished but too harshly (Mendum). Because of each countries’ specific interests, the treaty that emerged was a compromise that didn’t completely satisfy any of the three men, barely acknowledged the concerns of the other countries at the conference, and ignored German interests completely …show more content…
Germany had to concede other territories to Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, and Poland, which was reestablished as in independent republic, and the treaty also dictated that Germany was not allowed to unite with Austria (Baker). Additionally, Germany was disarmed, with the army being reduced to 100,000 men, tanks, submarines, and aircrafts were forbidden (Mendum). The Rhineland, which was the German region connecting Germany and France, was demilitarized to the discontent of the French, who wished to create an independent state to act as a buffer between the two countries (Chapman). The most insulting part of the treaty to the Germans was the “War Guilt” clause, which required Germany to accept the war as their fault and to pay for all the damages that the war had caused (“Was the Treaty of Versailles Fair?"). The total amount of money that Germany was required to pay was about $33 billion; although, Germany only had to pay $12.5 billion as the rest of the money was put into the treaty so that the Anglo-French public would believe Germany was being more heavily fined and punished than they actually were (Lentin). Aside from German punishment, the Treaty of Versailles also dealt with the creation of the League of Nations, which was outlined in

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