Why did the German hate the Treaty of Versailles
What were the German people expecting?
All Germans knew that they were in some kind of debt for the war,. They did have reasons for wanting a fair treaty that wouldn't be a cruel one.
The Allies had agreed that they would make peace with Germany if they removed the Kaiser and brought in a new democratic government. As discussed, by 1919 the German soctiety had satisfied this agreement.
After chaos and war that had occurred in Germany, the government expected it to be hard to settle Germany. The newly established government expected the Allies to support them. A harsh treaty would make the Weimar government unstable.
The main force in the treaty negotiations was the 28th President Wilson of the United States of America. He believed in a fair treaty that shouldn't be designed to crush Germany because in the future, Germany may want revenge. Wilson formed the Fourteen Points which he believed were the basis of a fair treaty.
German people felt that they had been forced into war by the way it was treated by the other countries. M that all countries have equal blame for the war.
Click on the Awkward Revision link to see a page on the rise and fall of the Weimar Republic.
Germany held a general election just four days after the Spartacist Uprising (an attempted revolution in 1919). The majority was in favour of the Social Democrats party with their leader, Freidrich Ebert, as the first president of the new Weimar Republic (named after the place where the government had met due to Berlin being too unstable for meetings). After the war, one of the many problems for the new democratic government was negotiating a peace treaty to end the First World War.
What type of treaty did the Germans receive?
In 1919 the Allies had assembled the Treaty of Versailles. Germany were not invited to the meetings that were held to discuss the terms of the treaty. The treaty was presented to Germany and they had no other choice but to sign it as they Allies threatened them with war. It was clear to the Germans that they are not going to get what they hoped for. Despite Wilson's belief in a fair treaty, the Treaty of Versailles was a peace that was designed to weaken Germany. The French particularly wanted this to decrease the chances of Germany attacking them in the future. The German people named it 'the shameful diktat of Versailles'.
Terms of the treaty
- 13% of Germany's land was lost. This was the home of 6 million Germans.
- The land that was lost included raw materials for example, coal which would have brought income to Germany
- Troops were inhibited from entering the Rhineland. This was to ensure that the French felt safe from a possible German attack.
- Germany's oversea colonies were confiscated.
- The German army was subtracted to only 100,00 soldiers
- The German navy was reduced to six battleships and 15,000 sailors.
- The Germans were not allowed to have tanks, submarines or an air force
- In the 'war guilt' clause, Germany had to agree that the war was their fault
- This enabled Allies to get compensation from all the damage that had been caused
-Article 231 of the Treaty stated that Germany caused the war. Many Germans resented this the most.
- Germany was forced to pay reparations. The highest amount of money would be seperated between Belgium and France.
- In the signing of the treaty, no sum was concluded. However, in 1921 the Allies had fixed the amount of £6600 million.