History - Treaty of Versailles

History - Treaty of Versailles

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Why did Germany lose WW1?

  • Tanks
  • German starvation of food
  • Failure of new weapons
  • General Hudendorff's mental Breakdown
  • USA enters war - Germany outnumbered
  • British Navy
  • Weak Allies (Austro-Hungary)
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Wilsons 14 points for making a peace treaty...

Accepted by all...

  • Fair trade between countries
  • Russian territory to be given back
  • Germans should leave Belgium
  • Invading armies leave Balkan State.

Brought anger to the British/French...

  • Levels of armament reduced
  • Colonies should be reviewed and to consider the people of the Colonies.

Acceptable but sometimes angered British/French...

  • No secret deals (treatys between states)
  • Free to ship anywhere in the world
  • League of nations to be set up

Satisfied the British/French...

  • Alsace and Lorraine should be retured to France
  • An independant Poland should have access to the sea
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Terms of the Treaty Of Versailles

  • Germany looses Colonies in Africa and the Pacific
  • Alsace-Lorraine returned to France
  • France had access to the Saar coalfields of Germany
  • Polish Corridor was opened cutting through Germany
  • The port of Danzig came under control of the league of nations
  • Eupen-Malmedy given to Belgium after plebiscite (vote)
  • North Schleswig went to Denmark after plebiscite
  • City of Memel given to Lithuania
  • The Rhineland was demilitarized (allied troops stationed here)
  • German Army restricted to 100,000 men
  • Germany had to hand over its navy to the British
  • Germany was to have no submarines or military aircrafts
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The other peace treaties

Austria: Due to pay however the economy collapsed before a rate could be fixed

Bulgaria: Paid 90million pounds

Hungary: Ordered to pay but a sum was never fixed.

Turkey: Ordered to pay under Sevres but was removed under Laursaunne.

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Treaty of Versailles: Fair?


  • Germany didn't get split up.
  • They only lost land from the edges
  • Germany treated Russia more unfairly
  • All countries limited on military depending on their size.
  • To compensate the French
  • Economy not destroyed
  • A lot of German places taken away weren't theirs in the first place.


  • Too big of a fine
  • Many german speakers trapped in other countries.
  • Limited military
  • East prussia split from germany
  • Civillians suffering for their Government.
  • Loss of industry (Saarland)
  • Wont help repair europe and treaty based more on pressure and Public opinion.
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Reations to the treaties...


  • New government (Weimar Rep.)
  • New government attacked on all sides
  • Economic problems (paying reparations)
  • France took the Ruhr stopping some industry (economic problems bigger)
  • Bank notes almost worthless (hyper-inflation)


  • Instable Hungary
  • Left/Right wing militants trying to take control
  • Right wing government comes to power
  • Hungarians horrified at treaty
  • Hungarians wanted old land back
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  • New state, Free speech and democracy
  • Tension between Czechs, Slovaks and the many Germans
  • Slovaks and Germans claimed to be treated like second class citizens


  • Largest state set up by the treaties
  • involved in brief wars with neighbors
  • Not content with border set up
  • 1920 - took control of Lithuanian city Vilna
  • 1921 - Conquered a huge area of Belarus, Ukraine and the Soviet Union
  • Polish politics were chaos in 1920s - no stable government
  • Chaos ended May 1926 when Marshal Pilshuolski seized power and ended democracy in Poland.
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War Guilt and Reparation: Clause 231

Clause 231 (the war guilt clause) held germany responsible in starting the war

it demanded the payment of REPARATION for 24 billion pounds but was later reduced to 6.6 million pounds in money, goods and raw materials.

When Germany were unable to pay, the french took over the RUHR in 1923.

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The German Revolution of 1918

The abdication of Kaisar Wilhiam

  • allowed Germany to form a new government
  • Germany's government must be made more democratic before starting to talk about peace.
  • people talked of overthrowing him
  • People blamed him for the war
  • The army high command told Wilhelm that the army could no longer support him.
  • Everyone was against him gradually
  • He was loosing control of the country
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The Sparticists (communists)

9th Nov 1918 - New government declared - Freidrich Ebert becomes president

10th Nov 1918 - General Wilhelm Groener Provides guarantee of the Armys support on condition of anti-communism and no changes to the army

11th Nov 1918 - Stinnes-Legien Agreement ...

      • No nationalism (no running by government)
      • Free market (free trade)
      • Trade Union Recognised
      • 8 hour day
  • The Sparticists wanted to create a communist Germany and planned to seize power from the German president.
  • They failed because of the Free Corps (the anti-communists) killed many Sparticist and therefore prevented their rise.
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The British System vs. The weimar system

  • Each political party puts forward a cadiate fro you area
  • You choose one and vote for them
  • The person with the largest amount of votes wins your area and becomes your MP\
  • Each party puts forward a list of candidates for the country
  • You vote for the PARTY you will like to see in power
  • Each PARTY has a proportion of MP's that match the percentage of votes. e.g. 30% of the votes = 30% of MPs
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Strengths and Weaknesses of the Weimar System (PR)


  • All germans were equal - women could vote
  • PR was a fair system
  • Two elected houses of government and an element president = good democracy
  • A strong president could keep control of the government and protect the country in a crisis. (article 48)
  • Each state kept some control over it's affairs


  • The republic gave rights to it's enemies, e.g. Freedom to groups hostile to democracy to hold meetings
  • PR prevented government by a single party, resulting in weak coalition governments
  • The president had the potential to become a dictator under article 48 (laws in emergencies.
  • Two elected government under disagreement could be chaotic. 
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weimar government in germany

The president has article 48 stating if necessary in emrgencies he can introduce a law without consulting the Reichstag

The Reichstag are voted in by the people.

People can now vote for the president

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7th May 1919

  • Allies announce treaty terms
  • Widespread German Opposition: armistice signatories labelled November Criminals.
  • Allies threatened invasion unless they sign

20th June 1919

  • Chancellor Scheidenmann and ministers resigned

21st June 1919

  • Naval Office scuttle fleet at scapa flow
  • German army prepared for invasion. Hindenburg called honorable flight to death
  • Ebert appointed a new government - willing to sign
  • Telegraph sent to Paris within 90 mins of deadline

28 June 1919 - peace treaty signed.

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The Ruhr Crisis

Germany wasn't paying reparation due to not being to affort it

The french reacted by invading the Ruhr (industrial area)

the Germans used passive resistance and stopped working however were still being paid by the german government.

due to this:

  • 150,000 people were expelled
  • 132 were shot dead (germans)
  • invasion began on the 9th of january 1923

Passive resistance is not collaborating in any way and refusing demands and not complying with orders.

The french then brought their own workers as a result of Passive Resistance.

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HyperInflation - 1923

  • Inflation is the general rise of prices
  • HyperInflation is very rapid inflation
  • This rapid increase makes money almost worthless
  • The occupation of the Ruhr led to severe problems. The paying of workers that are using passive resistance made germany pay them with money they didn't even have thus they were just printing money.
  • The least affected were the farmers who were very self sufficient.
  • The upperclass wouldn't have been affected as much as the land the farmers used was owned by them and they had a lot of valuable possessions.
  • The most affected were the middle/working class people as they would have saving which were now worthless.

Note:  Stesemann new chancellor, they resumed paying the reparations to get the french out, a new currency was formed, Germany became part of the League of Nations, Hitler in prison for trying to sieze power (treated well), Germany's stability relied on loans from the USA.

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Hitlers Henchmen

Josef Goebbel

  • had crippled foot so didn't fight in WW1
  • Very intelligent but small and weak
  • Spoke well
  • joined in 1922
  • At first he opposed hitler then changed his mind and became a strong supporter.

Rudolf Hess

  • Was a soldier and piolet in WW1
  • Joined the Nazis in 1920
  • He's soft, sensitive, and humourless man
  • not ambitious nor power hungry
  • Worshipped Hitler
  • In the early days he was Hitlers assistant
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Hitlers Henchmen

Ernst Rohm

  • Always wanted to be a soldier and was the captain of a german army in WW1.
  • Was tough, brutal, voilent but an efficient leader.
  • After the war he joined the Freekorps and helped crush the spartacists rising.
  • Founded the Nazis in 1919
  • supported Hitler when he took over power in 1920 and set up and ran the SA for Hitler in 1921.

Heinrich Himeler

  • fought briefly in WW1, had been an agricultural student
  • when he was younger he was frail and timid
  • Hardworking
  • Joined in 1923
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Hitlers Henchmen

Herman Georing

  • middle class family
  • fought in the airforce in ww1
  • loud, witty and charming
  • awarded a medal fro bravery as he shot down 22 enemy aircrafts
  • vein and greedy
  • joined the nazis in 1922
  • 1923 became in charge of the SA (storm troopers)
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I can't belive nobody has rated this yet! It mast have taken you ages, and you have gone through so much more than just the ToV. Thanks:D

furuba fan


Thia ia really detailed stuff! You've done more than write about the treaty of versailles! Perhaps you should have titled it something else like germany 1919-23. :) 5*



You went above and beyond the Treaty of Versailles and it was all AMAZING! even if i don't have to learn all of it, it gave me a really good understanding. Thank you so much and I am REALLY surprised that there aren't hundreds of comments on this... :)

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