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The Treaty of Versailles and The Big Three The League of Nations Germany 1918-39 The Road to War

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The Treaty of Versailles - Their Aims

The Aims of the Treaty of Versailles was:

  • To some, it was to punish Germany.
  • For others it was to criple Germany to make Germany unable to start another war.
  • Many felt it was to reward the winning countries.
  • The rest felt it was to estabilish a just and everlasting peace.
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The Treaty of Versailles - Satisfied and Dissatisf

France, whose leader was Clemenceau, wanted to be extremely punish Germany, America, whose leader was Wilson, wanted to be kind and generous towards Germany and Britain, whose leader was Lloyd George, wanted to punish Germany, but not too much.

France would have been pleased with the demilitarisation of Germany however, Wilson would have been displeased with the idea.

Both England and France would have been happy with the decision of limiting the size of the German's navy. Britain would have been pleased because then they are less of a threat t them and France would  have been happy because they wanted to punish the Germans  severely.

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The Treaty of Versailles -The Terms of the Treaty

The final terms of the treaty were:

1. for the Germans to accept responsibility for the first world war.

2. The Germans had to pay reparations to the allies because of the war damage.

3. To strip Germany's overseas empire from them and disallowing them to rebecome allies with the Australlians again.

4. To limit their army to 100,000 men, ban conscription, disallow armed vehicles,submarines and aircraft, limit the navy to six battle ships and to demilitarise the Rhineland.

5. To not allow Germany to join the League of Nations until it proved itself to be a peace-loving country.

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The League of Nations - Country Disputes Successes

Upper Silesia 1921:

Germany and Poland wanted Upper Silesia because it was an industrial region. They appealed to the League and the League gave Germany the industrial areas and Poland the urban areas. The League then put safe guards between them. This was a success because a future war was prevented by splitting the land equally and putting up safeguards.

Aaland Islands 1921: The islands were between Sweden and Finland who both wanted them. They appealed to the League and, under a lot of consideration, gave the islands to Finland and Sweden did not mind. This prevented a war because Sweden did not retaliate as they saw the League's reasoning.

Bulgaria 1925: Some Greek soldiers were killed at an incident on the boarder of Bulgaria and Greece attacked. The Bulgarians appealed to the League and the Greeks had to remove their troops and pay compensation. The Greeks did not retaliate therefore this was a success as the League prevented a future war.

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The League of Nations - World Changes

Refugees: 400,000 refugees and prisoners of war returned and the League worked quickly to stamp out cholera, small pox and dysentery in Turkish refugee camps which were home for hundreds of thousands.

Working Conditions: No white lead paint because it was poisonous. Limited child working hours. Working hours for all 18 and over, 48 hours a week, 8 hours a day.

Health: Health committee worked hard to defeat leprosy and reduced malaria by killing mosquitoes.  

Transport: Made shipping lanes and international highway codes. 

Social Problems: Black listed companies from the illegal drug trade and brought the freeing of 200,000 slaves.

Disarmament: There was a lot of confusion and in the end Germany were allowed to rearm.

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The League of Nations - Manchurian Crisis

After the America did not get back money from loans to Germany, Japan was cut off from their trade and they entered a depression. Japan leaders wanted to gain power by force.

In 1931 a railway accident in the Manchurian Railway gave Japan a reason to invade because they said the incident was deliberate. They took out all forces in Manchuria and Japanese forces told what the Chinese government what to do. 

The Japanese army then invaded Shanghai and ignored command from their government to withdraw and was clearly in control, not the government. China appealed to the League but had to wait a whole year after the invasion before the League decide Japan was an aggressor.

The League told Japan to withdraw but Japan argued it was in self defence. Th League called a vote on it and it was only Japan who said that it wasn't an aggressor. 

However, without position or power the league was powerless and did nothing. Japan resigned from the League

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The League of Nations - The Abyssinian Crisis

Mussolini wanted revenge for a humiliating defeat where thy lost against Abyssinia so said that 80km inside Abyssinia was his land. Abyssinia obviously objected so Mussolini attacked Abyssinia. Abyssinia then appealed for help. Britain and France's biggest ally against Hitler was Mussolini so they did not want to upset him.

From January to October in 1935 the League played for time and it was only in October when they decided to appease Mussolini with some of Abyssinia however Mussolini rejected it. 

Britain and France wondered whether to introduce sanctions to Mussolini but took from October to May debating on it. It was clear that they must introduce sanctions, Britain and France could easily taken away Mussolini's water but they did not want to upset Mussolini so after much debating, nothing was done.

A British and French Foreign ministers were secretly planning to give Abyssinia to Mussolini behind the Leagues back but word leaked to the French press and they two ministers were fired from the League. America then found out about the League doing nothing and increased their exports to Mussolini. Mussolini then walked out of the League and formed the Rome - Berlin axis with Hitler.

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The League of Nations - Why did The League Fail

The League failed for six reasons:

1. France and Britain were too concerned with their own interests and let injustice pass. This happened in the Manchurian and Abyssinian Crisis.

2. Absent powers (USSR and America) that would have had the position to help in the Manchurian crisis.

3. Ineffective sanctions that were either used weakly or they just weren't used at all where they would have been the key thing like in the Abyssinian crisis.

4. Lack of armed forces that could have been reached if again, the USSR or the Americans had joined the League.

5. Unfair treaties which divided the League up and turned them against each other as not all powers thought they were fair and there was not compromise.

6. Reaching decisions too slowly, they were too slow either because they kept on going against each other or they wanted to avoid the matter for their own interests.

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Germany 1918 - 1939 - Problems

The Treaty of Versailles demanded 6.6 billion and the German protests were ignored.

When Germany paid nothing in 1922 French and Belgium troops marched into the Ruhr and took what was owed to them in the form of material goods.

When workers went on strike the French killed 100 workers and expelled over 100,000 from the region.

Because they had no good to trade they tried to get it through making lots of notes. However, when they did this, more money circulated and prices of this went up massively, therefore the money being handed from Germany was worthless.

The rich became poor as they would find the money that could buy a house in 1921 could not buy a loaf of bread in 1923

In one year the price of bread went from 163 marks to 201,000,000,000 marks.

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Germany 1918 - 1939 - Weimar's Golden Years

The Weimar Republic publicised the taking of loans from U.S.A and when people did this, people opened up businesses that provided entertainment and this got the circulation of money flowing again. 

However, the fun soon ended when the people who took loans from the U.S.A. could not pay them back which led to a massive depression.

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Germany 1918 - 1939 - Hitler's Rise to Power

Hitler became chancellor through three things:

  • Campaigning - Nazi campaigning took form through rallies and marches which grabbed people's attention.
  • Weakness of the Weimar Republic - Hitler used this to criticise them.
  • Great Depression - Hitler became Chancellor because von Papen and Hindenburg needed his popularity to put the angry crowds at rest because of the economic depression.

Hitler became dictator through three things:

  • Reichstag fire - Hitler persuaded everybody that the Reichstag fire was performed by communists which got citizens on his side.
  • The Night of Long Knives - Hitler was worried of the power Rohm, the leader of the SA had as he had control of 4 million soldiers so 29 - 30 of June he arrested and executed Rohm and 400 other leaders for apparently plotting to murder him.
  • The Enabling Act - Hindenburg died, the act made Hitler Supreme Leader. 
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Road to War - Appeasement

Chamberlain wanted to ready the British army to he tried to buy time before war.

He appeased Hitler on three occasions, he let him remiliterise the Rhineland which was the land that was Germany's but separated them from France.

Britain and France also appeased Hitler when they let him unite with Austria. Originally, Austria did not want this but Hitler said that the citizens of Austria should decide. He brought Nazi soldiers in to make sure that it was a fair vote when we could tell this was to get the Austrians to vote for the unification. Austria tried to get France or Britain to help but they did nothing and he vote turned out to be for.

The Sudetenland, was created by the treaty of Versailles and run by Edward Benes, he was assured by Britain and France that they would help if Hitler tried to attack. With tension rising Chamberlain flew over to Hitler to see his demands which he thought were reasonable, parts of the land, and when he and France were about to show this to the Czechs, Hitler increased his demands. With a meeting between Brit, Germ, France and Italy they decided to give Hitler Czechoslovakia.

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Road to War - Triumph or Failure and Nazi Soviet P

Mainly people had been relieved war did not break out but they were starting to question the whole policy. In 1938, people thought that Appeasement would not be able to stop Hitler but postponed him and the outbreak of war.

When Hitler came to power Stalin, leader of Russia was worried about Hitler as he specifically stated that he would take over them. He went to Britain and France for help but the were reluctant to do so.

They then said they would help Poland if Hitler attacked.

Negotiations were made between Britain, France and the USSR but meanwhile, the USSR were also making agreements with the Germans and on August, 1939 Stalin agreed to the Nazi - Soviet pact which said they would not attack one another and would split Poland in half when they attacked it.

On the 1st of September 1939, Hitler attacked Poland from the West and USSR from the East, Britain and France kept to their agreement and war broke out.

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