Reasons for Optimism
-Abdication of Kaiser
-New democratic government
-Expectations the Allies would help the new Weimar Government
-President Wilson's (American President) desire for fairness
-Other countries were not blameless
-Germany lost 13% of its land, which contained about six million of its people.
-Alsace Lorraine returned to France.
-Article 231 of the Treaty said that Germany was to blame for causing the war. This was the term that the Germans most resented. To them the war had been one of self defence.
-The Allies could claim compensation for damage caused by the war.
-In 1921 a special commission fixed a sum of £6,600 million to be paid in annual instalments.
-The treaty also took away 10% of Germany's industry and 15% of its argicultural land.
-The air force had to be disbanded
-The army was limited to 100,000 soldiers
-The navy was limited to 15,000 sailors, only six battleships, and no submarines.
-Rhineland occupied by the Allies for 15 years, no German troops were allowed in this area
-Germany's colonies were handed to the Allies on behalf of the League of Nations
-Germany also lost its overseas trade.
'Stabbed in the back'
Why did the Germans feel betrayed by the Treaty of Versailles 'stabbed in the back'?
-The Treaty of Versailles greatly weakened the new government of Germany.
-Ludendorff said the army would have fought on to preserve Germany's honour, if only weak politicians and communist revolutionaries had not demanded peace. Stabbed in the back by weak politicians.
-Right wing politicians blamed the new democratic government for making peace.
-The Treaty became a symbol of embarrassment and defeat.
-Traditionalists felt this would not have happened under the Kaiser