How have historians interpreted the Treaty of Versailles

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ABU BAKR AHMED 9C Monday, 19 March 2012
How have historians interpreted the
Treaty of Versailles?
In the 1920's
Historians during this period of time favoured the peacemakers in 1919. People slowly started to realise that
Germany need to recover because a majority of trade came from Germany. So, Germany needed to pay
back its debts to France, however Germany could not pay it back because bill was far too high. This resulted
in France cutting down the bill, they finally agreed at 6.6 billion pounds. Hopes for Germany looked secure
and high, a healthier German economy was on its way, and peace between the countries was still intact, as a
result of the other elements of the treaty already being enforced. German Leaders were again leading a
respectable entrance to the Family of Nations. Many British people favoured the treaty at this period of time,
because a widespread of people wanted something harsh to happen to Germany, as the British loathed the
In the 1930's and 1940's
Historian's views at this point had changed dramatically, Hitler had now become a Chancellor and came into
power, and he had set about destroying the Treaty of Versailles by re-occupying the Rhineland with troops in
1936 and invading Austria in 1938. This resulted in war to break out in 1939, after Britain and France stopped
appeasing Hitler. After many years of fighting and 50 million deaths, the bloody war finally ended in 1945.
French people thought that the amount that Germany had to pay back was still not enough; they believe that
Hitler spent seven times more money on rearming Germany.
More Recent Views
One result of the 1939-45 war was that the cold war created tension between the capitalists and the
communists. Germany had faced many problems at this period of time, it had split into two until
reunification in 1990 (45 Years after the war) The conclusion that historians make from this is that a majority
of their views reflect the era and times they have lived in, at first the treaty seemed fine to us but harsh to
Germany, but now it's opposite it feels harsh to us and now fine to Germany. The Germans had two main
views points, that the treaty was a burden upon a young democracy, and the allies did not act wisely in being
harsh to the German Government, Secondly, the treaty of Versailles actually strengthened Germany rather
that weaken it. Because Russia had been kicked out of Europe, and was absorbed in its internal problems.
Well, if Germany had pursued a steady policy towards south-east Europe, that area might have turned into
an area of German influence. That is what the Germans thought.
Overall, from when the treaty of Versailles started to when it was dissolved, many views have changed over
that time period, at first everyone other that Germany was mostly happy, whereas after the Great War,
everyone's view changed. When Hitler came into power, the Allies started to get very angry at how the Treaty
had turned out to be.


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