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How the Versailles Treaty Helped Cause World War 2?

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How the Versailles Treaty Helped Cause WWII

How would you feel to have if your very own empire in which you inhabitant becomes broken to beyond repair. This is exactly what happened to Germany at the treaty of Versailles. The treaty of Versailles was an agreement held by the winners of WWI, America, Britain, and France, which re-divided up land across the globe. The treaty not only divided up land it also punished the losers severely, mainly Germany. Germany, nearly two decades later, finds itself under a promising dictator named Adolph Hitler. Adolph Hitler promised to end all of the hardships put on Germany at the treaty of Versailles and make Germany a better empire. The Versailles treaty caused WWII because the treaty forced Germany to reduce their land and military, pay staggering war reparations, and Germany must take full responsibility over WWI.

First, Germany was a fairly new country when WWI broke out. Before the 20th Germany was broken up into hundreds of separate countries. Bismarck a German leader united all of the states and formed a mighty empire. War was declared in 1914 and Germany emerged as a loser and the treaty of Versailles was implemented. As a result of the treaty of Versailles Germany lost some of its land to form new countries such as Czechoslovakia in Europe and all of its over sea colonies (Doc A).This action was too harsh because without the land that was lost Germany became too weak to do anything to help its very own civilians. “The Treaty took Alsace and Lorraine away from Germany, reducing German coal production by 40%.”  (Doc A) Since the people of Germany lost almost half of its coal the people would freeze to death during the cold months, because of a lack of warmth which crippled Germany even more. Adolph Hitler writes “No nation can remove this hand from its throat except by the sword. Mein Kampf, (Doc A) Even in 1924 Hitler knew the only way for Germany to become powerful again was to enter another war.

In addition Bismarck not only helped gain land but he also made Germany a leader in militaristic ability worldwide. With the Germanys new military they were ready for WWI but lost. The treaty of Versailles decide to restrict Germany’s military so that Germany could never rise to become a threat. “The total number of [military troops]…in…Germany must not exceed one hundred thousand men, including officers”, Treaty of Versailles, (Doc B) Restrictions such as this one seem harsh because Germany has not nearly enough soldiers to defend. Seeing how Germany before the war had 10 million soldiers Germany could be invaded by any nearby country easily. Adolph Hitler connected with the people by promising a greater military than any other made before. Hitler followed through with his promise and was able to declare war take control of most of Europe.

Another way the treaty of Versailles contributed to WWII was the reparations section of the treaty. Germany was forced to pay “132 million gold marks or 367 billion in 2010s U.S. dollars.” (Doc C) 367 billion dollars is an insane amount of money to have to pay back. Germany put everything they had into the war effort and had nothing after. Germany couldn’t possibly pay back that large sum of money it had nothing itself. At this point in history Germany was at an all-time low and in a disfigured state.  When people are at that level they look up to someone to save them. The man who they looked up to was Adolph Hitler “Who when came to power ended all reparation payments.” (Doc C) Ending the reparation payments may have been hard on other countries who needed the money but Germany even under Hitler’s rule could not have paid the sum demanded. Ending the reparations was just another straw that broke the camel’s back that led to WWII.



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