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The Treaty of Versailles

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The Treaty of Versailles, also known as the peace treaty, was made harsh because of aims made by three different countries, mainly France, Britain and U.S.A. This treaty was mainly to promote peace and it was signed in June 1919. It was the most complicated, and had the harshest conditions made for Germany. However, the reasons why the Allies imposed such a tough peace settlement on Germany was because of three points: One, Prime Minister Clemenceau's main reason was to seek revenge on Germany; secondly, the allies did not want Germany to be a 'threat' to their economic interests; and lastly, the Allies wanted to prevent the strong military hold Germany had. In my opinion, the strongest reason why a tough peace settlement was imposed was because of France's intention to seek revenge.

Firstly, the reason why France wanted to make the treaty tough for Germany was because the French were outraged at the Germans starting World War I and causing the deaths of many French citizens. Moreover, the war left France crippled with a lot of infrastructure damaged terribly and economy going down. Clemenceau wanted France to be safe from attack Germany in the future. Germany had attacked France in 1870 and 1914. He did not want it to happen again. Whatever the treaty did, it had to cripple Germany as a military power. What he really wanted was to create a 'buffer zone' between Germany and France. France had suffered the most in World War I and blamed solely on Germany. So much of the fighting had been in France that the country was physically suffered from being a battle zone. Many people also pressed Clemenceau for revenge against Germany, thus prompting Clemenceau's move on making the treaty harsh for Germany. One example was that he made the treaty such that Germany had to pay an impossible amount of money to pay in a matter of years. The reparations totaled up to 6,650 million pounds and were eventually reduced but it took almost a century to pay off the reparations. For these reasons, France wanted to impose such a tough peace settlement mainly to get back what they thought lost due to the war.

Secondly, the allies did not want Germany to be a 'threat' to their economic interests. During 1919 and 1923, the economic situation in Germany got worse and worse. Prices rose, wages, fell, and there was high unemployment and discontent. As Germany was once a country with strong economy, Europe depended on Germany's trading with them. However, as Germany's economy fell due to the inflation of money and thus made Germany a poorer country. This eventually would affect the countries that depended on Germany for trading and thus weaken Europe's country. Thus, to ensure that Europe's economy did not suffer, Germany was made to suffer double so as to pay reparations that would make up for Europe's economy but in the end made Germany even weaker in terms of economy. Thus,



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