Assessing the Terms of the Treay

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  • Assessing the terms of the treaty
    • it was wrong to put the sole blame for the war on Germany. Other countries had been aggressive in the years leading up to 1914. one of the causes of the war was imperialism; many countries, including Britain and France, had tried to build up world empires.
    • the settlement removed only limited amounts of land from Germany. in places like Alsace-Lorraine and the Polish Corridor most people were not German-speakers and saw themselves as French or Polish.
    • the treaty was unfair because it punished the people of Germany instead of the rulers of Germany. Reparations hurt ordinary Germans who were not guilty.
    • German statements about the Fourteen points were hypocritical. when Wilson described them in a speech in January 1918 the Germans made no reply. they only took the fourteen points seriously much later in the year when they had been beaten and were looking for the best possible terms. When Wilson was talking about the need for a just peace the Germans were busy defeating the Russians and imposing a brutal peace treaty on them. when there were winning, the Germans ignored fairness; when they were losing they demanded it.
    • Germany was tricked because her government had been offered justice and fairness by Wilson when he made his speech about the Fourteen points. When the Germans stopped fighting they expected to be dealt with under Wilson's terms. there was nothing about war guilt and reparations in the Fourteen points.
    • the treaty aimed to destroy the economy of Germany. this was a mistake that would do no-one any good. people throughout Europe would lose out if there were no successful German factories or businesses.
    • the basic strength of the German economy was not destroyed by the Treaty. Germany soon recovered its position as the most successful economy in Europe. in 1925 Germany was producing twice as much steel as Britain
    • the German army was reduced in size nut the leaders of the German army were not removed. the army remained a powerful force in German society . the generals were ready and able to re-build German armed forces when the time was right

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