Treaty of Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles was presented by the allied powers, and was clearly devastating for Germany.  Throughout World War I, Germany strove to be an authoritarian power, and France suffered as a result.  Following Germany’s loss, France was in the position of power over Germany, and fully took advantage of this opportunity by limiting their access to land and weakening their military.

Following World War I, France’s aim was primarily to weaken Germany’s power as much as possible.  Because Germany equated land with power, the Treaty prevented Germany from, “construct[ing] any fortifications either on the left bank of the Rhine, or on the right bank to the west of a line drawn 50 kilometres to the East of the Rhine,” and restored much of Germany’s land to France (Treaty of Versailles, Article 42).  Because Germany placed so much emphasis on acquiring land, the Treaty of Versailles certainly aimed to prevent them from having a future as a powerful nation.

The Treaty of Versailles also placed severe limitations on the German military.  The allied powers hoped that this would sever the power that Germany previously held, and force them to completely rebuild their armies.

The Treaty of Versailles was very harsh, and had the potential to take all the power away from Germany.  This was important to the allied powers, especially France.  In that sense, because Germany had taken so much from France during the war, the Treaty served as France’s revenge, and they were eager to take as much power away from Germany as possible.

4 thoughts on “Treaty of Versailles

  1. This is a very accurate description of the devastation and blame placed upon Germany after the war. The only thing is that some topics lack supporting details. I would find myself asking questions had I not read the treaty such as, what were the exact limitations on Germany’s military? Or, which territories were taken away from Germany? Overall, I agree that the basic aim of the treaty was absolutely to rid Germany of any possible restoration of its power after the war. The question remains, however, if it was fair to place all the blame on Germany.

  2. I agree with zimmer that this post provides a very accurate description of the revenge taken upon Germany by the French in the aftermath of the war. Still, I think it would help if we also discussed the strategic reasons for which the Allied powers -and not just France- decided to subject Germany to this treatment. A Germany without colonies, for instance, was advantageous for France and Britain’s expansionist aims in Africa and Asia, even if they did not acquire these territories themselves. Why for instance, one might ask, did the Treaty require that Germany hand its Chinese territories over to Japan? The European competition for land and influence did not end at the continent’s borders, after all, but took place in equal ferocity around the world in the imperial powers’ many colonies.

  3. I also find this lacking in details. You do give a good description of the events, but I feel like the descriptions are a little brief. Perhaps maybe focusing on one particular part of the treaty you find significant or something people miss. Perhaps asking, What was Japans role in the treaty? Did they have any input that influenced the harsh penalties on Germany? Overall I think this is a good post about the treaty.

  4. I agree with the above posts that this blog lacks evidence to support your points. She doesn’t not go into much detail about the points she makes and her post is very brief. She really focuses on France, so one does get a good sense in how France wanted to completely limit the Germans so that France could gain more power. If you use more evidence and talk about other European nations, I think your blog would be much stronger.

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