Impact of the Great War on Germany Essay

Submitted By edwardbilbo
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Impact of the Great War on Germany
The Great War itself had detrimental effects on Germany and her people ranging from obtaining little control over hyperinflation being invaded by the French. In addition it was all down to the leaders at the time as well for the outcome, and altogether what really made Germany such a country, stripped of its back-bone after the war.
One of the most significant problems of the war for Germany was the financial implications and reasons to its unfortunate history during the war. This was mainly because of a severe case of Hyperinflation (where the price increases where so dramatically out of control, that the value of inflation was meaningless). The government at the time predicted and constituted a solution to the problem and it was to simply increase the quantity of production in money printing making. However this then meant that for the people of Germany at the time, the price of money itself had gone down and it wasn’t done on a single basis, as it was maintained and continued until the value became literally worthless. This is why people at the time used money for all kinds of things such as decorating wallpaper or even used as heat in fireplaces purely because money was worth much less than firewood. This even resulted to people carrying briefcases full of money just to spend for something as small as a loaf of bread. Later on, after discovering that it really wasn’t a good idea at all, the German government and her people relied on Gustav Stresemann who had a solution for the problem. His new, but rather elementary approach to the problem was to change the currency from the Reich Mark to the Retenmark. This finally gave everything a new and unobjectionable value.
Although the fighting of the war had ended in November 1918, the war hadn’t ended officially as Germany had to sign a treaty to officially end the war, but the treaty itself appeared to have a long list of problems faced by Germany. Because all the countries involved had different opinions and points of views on what the Treaty of Versailles had to include, the treaty included parts of what every country wanted in it. The treaty is named after the French palace where leaders met and discussed ways of leadership and general discussion. This shows that the defeated countries were indeed in this position of Germany, the “leaders” and they gained power over Germany as she had to do what they said. In 1919 the peace treaty was drawn up by David Lloyd George (The British Prime Minister), Woodrow Wilson (The US president) and also Georges Clemenceau (The French Prime Minister).
From the decisions made, Germany had lost everything… She was asked to pay £6600 million for the damage caused to both France and Belgium (of which has only recently fully been paid out), she had lost land to Poland, all of Germany’s colonies where made into Entente colonies, The Austrian Empire was broken up and Austria was forbidden to Ally with Germany. In addition, a system called the League of Nations was set up and the idea behind it was that countries would meet to discuss problems and find peaceful solutions together in a civilized manner. The league had no army and not all countries were members as USA never joined because of its power. Furthermore Germany had to limit her army to 100,000 men, the navy to 6 battleships and was banned from building planed or tanks. Overall, it’s clear that Germany were really stripped out of its remaining insides that deduced its international reputation and power to a brittle sense of failure.
On the other hand though, it’s fair to say that Germany were not happy about the Treaty of Versailles. For a start, the huge reparations meant that Germany was almost bankrupt at a time of when she was already suffering from a vast amount of costs of the war itself. Furthermore, the limitations to the size of her navy meant that Germany had less protection and this made Germany even more prone and vulnerable to foreign attack