THE DARK AGREEMENT: THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES CAUSED WORLD WAR 2 BY sarthakl 9926 THE DARK AGREEMENT: THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES CAUSED WORLD WAR 2 Introduction World War 1 was called ‘The Great War’ because the world had never seen anything like it. However, the consequences of the peace that settled World War I would ultimately steamroll into a conflict that would be an even bigger disaster. More than 20 million people died during the war, which lasted from 28th July 1914 to 1 lth November 1918. (PBS) The war started when a Serbian nationalist assassinated

Archduke Franz Ferdinand, an Austrian-Hungarian prince, and his wife Sophie on July 28, 1914. This assassination lead the feuding, competitive empires of Europe into making treaties, asking for help, and plotting revenge. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, which asked Russia, France and England for help. The Germans and the Ottomans forged ties to help Austria-Hungary. (DBQ background) Millions died in the slow, barely-advancing war. The United States was ultimately pulled in and assisted the English and French.

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Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire declared defeat, but Germany remained in the fght. The Germans reluctantly surrendered on 1 lth November 1918. (PBS) On 28th June 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed. This peace treaty had direct implications for Germany that helped set the stage for World War II. The Treaty of Versailles helped precipitate World War II by making Germanys economy plummet, by reducing Germany’s sphere of influence, and by emasculating the once-proud German people.

Most importantly, Germanys economic collapse, hyperinflation, and poverty caused great hardship for Germans. Economic Impact A primary effect of The Treaty of Versailles was the rapid collapse of the German conomy. The Treaty of Versailles made Germany pay for all damages that were caused by World War I. It was stated in Article 233 of the Treaty of Versailles that “The Commission shall concurrently draw up a schedule of payments prescribing the time and manner for securing and discharging the entire obligation within a period of thirty years from May 1, 1921.

If, however, within the period mentioned, Germany fails to discharge her obligations, any balance remaining unpaid may, within the discretion of the Commission, be postponed for settlement in subsequent years, or ay be handled otherwise in such manner as the Allied and Associated Governments, acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in this Part of the present Treaty, shall determine. ” (Articles 231-247) World War l. This meant $367 billion was to be paid over 30 years. (DBQ C) In order to earn such money, prices skyrocketed and hyperinflation began.

In 1922, a loaf of bread cost 163 Marks by 1923 it cost 1,500,000 Marks and by November 1923 a loaf of bread cost 200,000,000,000 Marks. (About) This shows the degree of inflation that occurred in Germany during the 1920’s. This hyperinflation had a side effect, poverty. Poverty increased in Germany as prices for food went higher and taxes increased. This helped start World War II because as life got harder for the average person, it became easier for nationalist leaders to rise. Politicians promised to fix the economic problems and make people feel more secure about their futures.

This also prompted people to desire revenge on the Allied powers for what they did to the German people. Germany’s Sphere of Influence Another crucial effect of the Treaty of Versailles was that it stripped Germany of its precious land. Germany lost 13% of the land that it had before the Treaty of Versailles. (History) All the land it lost was land that was rich in coal mines which the French and British wanted to use for their advantage. (DBQ A) This caused great damage to German society by causing a deficit of coal.

Keeping warm and cooking food was hard. Coal loss also affected German industries and factories. They were not able to produce as many products as they otherwise could have. The Treaty of Versailles also made Germany split into two regions, divided by the Polish Corridor. (DBQ A) East Prussia (Part of Germany) was isolated from Germany and this caused anger in civilians. This anger eventually lead to Germany going to war with Poland to gain back the Polish Corridor so it could connect with East Prussia.

This lead to World War II because of the war against Poland allowed Russia, British and France to interfere directly in German affairs. The loss of land also affected Germany by directly reducing the German population, which affected the whole country. The lost population could have been used to improve the economy, but instead they were living under a different government. Germany lost 10% of their population due to this loss of land. (History) Emasculation A major damage The Treaty of Versailles did is something even greater than the economy or land areas it damaged the German spirit.

Nationalism was a key to fascism and the Treaty of Versailles destroyed it by making Germany feel week and treated like a colony. The Treaty of Versailles made Germany feel week and reduced its army to 100,000 troops. The treaty also did not allow Germany to have a Navvy, Air Force, or Submarines and forced them to destroy all of the weaponry that they already had. (DBQ B) If weapons are a measure of a countrys power, then the loss of eapons makes a country feel weak and insecure. Germany also had a tradition of considering their country their ‘Fatherland’.

Most people call their home country their ‘Motherland’, a term that sounds nurturing and loving. ‘Fatherland’ is meant to sound strong and aggressive. If a male is made weak, it is the same as taking away his power. This was the effect in Germany. (PBS) A masculine identity had its power allowed more powerful countries, such as France, to show dominance. France had an army of 600,000 bitter veteran soldiers to bully and pick on Germany. They treated it like a colony. DBQ B) The Treaty of Versailles made Germans feel undermined and discriminated against.

That allowed anger to rise up in there hearts and made it easier for leaders such as Hitler to take charge and foster a kind of nationalism that was strong and filled with revenge and anger. Conclusion Could World War II have been avoided had the Treaty Of Versailles been a more of fair response to the end of World War 1? What if President Wilson’s 14 points had been considered more seriously in the peace process? We will never know that version of history. What we do know is that the Treaty of Versailles had an economic mpact on Germany that caused crippling hyperinflation.

Germanys sphere of influence was diminished by stripping the people of their cultural and historical lands. Finally, the identity of Germans was emasculated, as they were shamed and humiliated as a people. This mix of volatile ingredients, when added to a general population craving a better future, proved explosive. The fact that this wave of revolutionary change was helmed by a charismatic leader with a strong vision for a dominant, rebuilt Germany, would lead to the next destructive chapter of European and global war. Annotated Bibliography PSS. PSS, n. d. web. 23 Apr. 013. This websites talks about World War 1 and specific details about battles and wars. I used this website for my background mainly because it goes in detail about how the war started and grew from there. “Peace Treaty of Versailles, Articles 231-247 and Annexes, Reparations. ” Peace Treaty of Versailles, Articles 231-247 and Annexes, Reparations. N. p. , n. d. Web. 23 Apr. 2013 articles. This website is the Treaty of Versailles and has all the articles is a SHE point. This site was very helpful in all my she points specially the hyperinflation. “Treaty of Versailles. World War 2 on History. N. p. , n. d. Web. 23 Apr. 2013. This website talked about the Treaty of Versailles. It talked about why it was made. I mainly used this document for my background. I also used this source to get specific information of the Treaty of Versailles. “World War II Europe: The Road To War. ” About. com Military History. N. p. , n. d. Web. 23 Apr. 2013. This websites talked about the effects of the Treaty of Versailles and about fascism and nationalism. This helped with the hyperinflation that the Treaty of Versailles caused and how nationalism was lost in Germany.

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