Treaty Of Versailles: More Trouble Than Good Essay, Research Paper
In a miserably failed attempt to stop the already ongoing violence during world war one, and prevent further conflict in the region, the Treaty of Versailles was proposed by ex-president Woodrow Wilson. Such treaty – not using the term according to its stipulated meaning – set cruel rules and pointers that would only produce more violence and terror.
The Treaty of Versailles was a document containing fourteen points. In a brief description, the first point stipulated that secret diplomacy was to be extinct, as president Wilson observed that such secrecy caused a minor incident between two countries bring several others that were not supposed to be involved. Points two trough five, essentially asked for freedom of the seas, free trade between countries, limits on armament and an adjustment that would bring all colonial claims to an end. From point six through point 13, new frontiers were established throughout Europe. These new lines were clearly defined by the difference in ethnic groups that each boundary contained. The last point was in favor of the creation of a “general association of nations”, which should be an entity that would maintain the integrity of all countries, not judging on the basis of size or power.
At its closing stages, the treaty also spoke of “reparation fees”. Finally the Allies established that Germany was guilty of provoking the conflicts in the region, therefore Germany should pay “reparation fees” in the amount of the total cost of the war. Germany was also dispossessed Germany of its overseas colonies. Such colonies became territories administered by the League of Nations. Other requisitions of the treaty were that Germany would keep its army under a certain size and turn its fleet over to the allied, besides losing part of its territory so that Poland could be re-created. Under pressure and threat of renewing the war, German officials signed the treaty on June 28, 1919.
Theoretically the Treaty of Versailles settled the conflicts in the region, and in president Wilson’s mind, there was “peace without victory”, but there still were problems. As one might imagine, such hard demands and conditions infuriated the German community as well as German leaders. Even some of the allies were unhappy, such as Italy and Japan, who felt that they were denied privileges that were due to them.
Due to the payments of reparation fees and a week economy shaken by the war, the German government started printing and borrowing more and more money. This caused the inflation to skyrocket. People’s savings became worthless, a loaf of bread would cost 100 million marks. This caused political instability, besides a revolted population who demanded action from its leaders.
Such setting is a perfect one for the birth of new idealistic political ideas. As seen in Russia with Marxism, Germany will also fall in the ideas of a great thinker, Adolph Hitler. Also, as seen in Russia, such ideas will have dangerous effects, and eventually will bring either internal conflicts with uprisings or external clashes, eventually resulting in more war.
In view of the fact that the Treaty of Versailles was not very flexible or might we add, fair, Germany was caught in a situation were more conflicts would be produced, and as we have learned in history, major disaster occurred caused by this document.