Reasons for resentment and bitterness towards Germ
When the Germans saw the Treaty of Versailles they were horrified. The German Chancellor resigned in protest. Reluctantly two members of the German government signed the treaty in June 1919.
- They were annoyed that they hadn't been represented at the peace talks. The treaty was a dictat.
- Most Germans were upset with the War Guilt Clauses. they didn't believe that they had started the war so they shouldn't be blamed for it.
- Germany had assumed that he Treay would be based on Wilsons 14 points, but instead there were many Germans living in other countries.
- Germans were horrified at the territorial losses which included, 10% of German land, all of its overseas colonies, 12.5% of its population, 16% of its coalfields and half of its iron and steel industry.
- The Germans were a proud military nation with a tradition of a large army. The treaty greaty reduced the size of it armed forces, especially the army.
- Because the Germans didn't accept the 'War Guilt Clause' they didn't see why they should have to pay reparations. This was made worse by the fact the German economy was still recovering from 4 years of war and had been further weakened by the loss of coalfields, iron and steel.
Effect on the Weimar Republic
- Germany's new government, the Weimar Republic, was mmcuh weakened by being blamed for agreeing to the treaty. The army was especially annoyed at the restrictions on the size of the Germans armed forces.
- In 1923 Adolf Hitler attempted to seize power in Balvaria and march on Berlin. This was defeated by the Bavarian police.
A repartion commission was set up in1919 to fix the amount of repartions that Germany had to pay. This took two years because of the mixed views on the Allied sides.
- Some people believed that Germany couldn't afford to pay.
- Others, especially the French, insisted that Germany had not been as badly damaged. They must pay or else Germany would get too strong.
The Commission fixed the amount, in 1921, to £6,600 million to be paid over 42 years. the Germans insisted that they could not afford this and it lead to the Ruhr Crisis.
Reparations had caused financial crisis in germany. However, Germany did recover with the new German government.
An international commitee under and American, General Dawes, produced the Dawes Plan. It bought the scaling down of the payments to 59 years.