The Treaty Of Versailles

Submitted By ARuddell1999
Words: 398
Pages: 2

The Treaty of Versailles is to be established as the event that ‘set off the dominos’, and underlying cause of the Second World War. Marking the formal end to the First World War, the Treaty of Versailles was developed at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The provisions of the treaty were designed to enforce international peace and cooperation in Europe whilst limiting Germany’s political power. After the reluctant agreement by the German government, the most significant of the treaty’s terms imposed on the nation include; loss and separation of traditional German territory, payment of 132 billion gold marks in reparations, substantive armament restrictions and forced acceptance of the ‘war guilt clause’. It is in these terms that the roots of World War 2 lie, as their consequences would serve as the perfect breeding ground for an expansionistic dictatorship and failure of further allied policy. The first consequence of the treaty was the vindictive terms outraged Germans, whom referred to it as “diktat” (slave treaty). The war guilt clause also intensified the social discontent, as many Germans were left feeling humiliated and embarrassed. South African statesman Jan Christian Smuts was particularly observant of the threat posed by the angered Germans when he appealed to British PM David Lloyd; “this treaty breathes a poisonous spirit of revenge, which may yet scorch the fair face – not of a corner of France, but of Europe”. When kmkam corroborated Smuts opinion by stating, ‘the peace to end peace ‘, he too envisioned the consequences of such an