Was the Treaty fair?
Summary of views
Some historians thought the Treaty of Versailles was too harsh:
It took too much land away from Germany
It blamed Germany for starting the war
It made them pay too much in reparations
It was a diktat, the Germans were not allowed to negotiate
No Germans thought it was fair
Therefore instead of making peace, the Treaty would lead to another war started by Germany.
Some historians thought it was too soft:
It left Germany as a strong and powerful country compared to her neighbours
Germany didn’t really lose much land or wealth
Germany could easily pay the reparations demanded
The French didn’t get a safe and strong border with Germany.
Therefore Germany would be able to fight again in the future.
Some historians thought it was the best that could be done at the time:
Each country wanted different things from the Treaty so it had to be a compromise
Everybody wanted to rebuild Europe quickly after the war
People in France, Belgium and England were so angry with Germany it was impossible to be too soft on her
The League of Nations would keep the peace in the future anyway so there would be no more wars.
Some historians think the real problem with the Treaty of Versailles is that it was not enforced.
Nobody was prepared to make Germany do what the Treaty said she should do.
America refused to ratify the Treaty, and America was supposed to guarantee the peace.
Because people at the time were divided over the Treaty, that made it hard to enforce
If it had been enforced then there probably would not have been another war.
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