preview

The Versailles Settlement

Satisfactory Essays
The Versailles Settlement The Versailles Settlement dealt with those countries that were defeated by the allies in the First World War. The country most affected was Germany, but Austria Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey were also included in the settlement. A question regarding Germany is whether or not the treaty was too harsh - unfair and only based on revenge. Three powers were involved in deciding the settlement- Britain, France and the USA. Lloyd George had the aim of disarming the defeated powers-especially weakening Germany and their navy, but he did feel that Britain should gain something for their war effort. Clemenceau had three things in mind at the settlement; Revenge for the loss of life, Compensation for the money spent during the war, and disarmament. Wilson had wanted the general disarmament of countries and felt the punishment for Germany should not be too harsh. The Treaty of Versailles - regarding only Germany resulted in territory being taken from Germany, most importantly the Polish Corridor, as there was a great German speaking mass of land, which was sorely missed. Alsace-Lorraine, Malmedy, Eupen, German South West Africa and other territories were also taken from Germany. Military terms of the treaty were that the German army be limited to no more than 100,000 men. The navy was also greatly weakened, whilst u-boat and air force were banned. Economic terms were that £6.6billion be given from Germany, as a reparation to France. Politically, Germany was humiliated and greatly weakened in their say. To decide whether the treaty was unfair and simply based on revenge, one must consider whether or not Germany was souly to blame for the war. If the answer is 'Yes', then it is made far easier to justify a harsh treaty. Germany had been responsible for a great loss of allied life, and also a huge loss in resources. Germany had settled two harsh treaties against France, including one after the Franco-Prussian war; this may make a harsh treaty more justifiable. Also, Germany had rejected Wilson's fourteen points, which justifies that the treaty be harsher