Effects Of The Treaty Of Versailles Treaty On Germany

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World War I ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which was a document meant to finalize the end of the war between the Allied and Central powers. However, its promise of peace and harmony did not last long; the world was divided once again hardly twenty years later. Still, to this day, historians debate about the issue of who or what started the second world war. Many historians point the blame to Germans, who were aggressive in finding a new leader named Adolf Hitler. Others defend the Germans for their actions, stating that the Treaty of Versailles caused a huge amount of damage for the German people and land. Because Germany was not invited to the forming of the treaty, it was not prepared for the destruction and suffering …show more content…
The National Socialist German Workers’ Party, which was the leading political party after World War I, “rejected the legitimacy of the Weimar Republic, [arguing] that Weimar leaders had betrayed the German people by accepting the Versailles Treaty” [5]. Around the early 1930s, Germany was going through crises in all aspects of life, motivating Germans to find prospective leader of Germany. Hitler, a gifted public speaker and leader of the NSDAP movement, was able to entice the people with his ideas based on “extreme nationalism, anti-Semitism, and condemnation of the Versailles Treaty” [5]. The German people felt that they should not be responsible for such payment; they believed in “extreme nationalism,” which was completely against the Versailles Treaty. Germany, nonetheless, was expected to meet extreme demands according to the treaty. In article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany had to accept the responsibility of mainly Germany and its allies in the Central Powers “for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals [had] been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies” [1]. Even though the treaty blames all …show more content…
In comprehensive article 242, the initial payment was expected to be “20,000,000,000 Marks gold bearer bonds, payable not later than May 1, 1921,” “further 40,000,000,000 Marks gold bearer bonds...between 1921 and 1926,” and “a further installment of 40,000,000,000 Marks gold 5 per cent” [1]. Overall; Germany was required to pay 132 billion gold marks for reparations; the 2010 value that amount has in U.S. dollars is 367 billion. [12]. This amount is nearly impossible to be payed for over the course of 30 years, much less when this condition was set nearly a century ago. Unable to meet the needs of the treaty, Germany ended up printing out more marks to make it seem like the Germans were meeting the requirements of paying their debt. Unfortunately, the value of the German mark decreased to as low as 4.2 German trillion marks for every U.S. dollar by 1923, creating hyperinflation [8]. The treaty also took future earnings away from Germany, having French and Belgian troops “occupy the Ruhr, Germany’s industrial homeland” and seize “control of German mines, railroads, and factories” [3]. Without these areas that gave Germany its booming economy, Germans were forced to face a growing budget problem. The confiscation of the Rhineland prompted Hitler reclaim and demilitarize it on March 7th, 1936

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