Now what is The Treaty of Versailles? And, why is it historically significant?
The Treaty of Versailles was a treaty signed on June 28, 1919. The treaty officially ended the war exactly 5 years after it started. The treaty stated that Germany (and all its allies) were required to take responsibility for ALL the loss and damage that occurred during the war. Even loss and damage that was not Germany’s fault, they were required to pay for and “fix up.” Another clause that was mentioned in the treaty, stated that Germany must recess and give up some of their land. The hope with this clause was to make Germany smaller so even if they wanted to start another war they wouldn’t have the military and headcount advantage. The Treaty of Versailles basically put every single ounce of blame onto Germany. As you can probably tell this was not received well…
At the time of its occurrence, there were mixed emotions about The Treaty of Versailles. The allies were ecstatic because the war was over and all the blame was placed. Now their job was done they thought. As we know now, it wasn’t. Not even close to being finished. The Germans were obviously not happy with the Treaty. They recognized that it was putting all the blame on them and that they had to repair all the damage lost but not to this extent. This is where the tables turn,
Hitler. Hitler is a politician with a military background. From the years 1925-1930, Hitler campaigns and starts to get more traction. As we know his major selling point is that Germany is being treated unfairly and “power to the people!” The storyline unfolds, and boom now we are in the present. With 2 world wars under our belt as mankind as well as an insane amount of dying, and not to mention nuclear power…
The Treaty of Versailles, although not as big when it was first introduced, directly caused WW2 and everything within it to unfold. Because if there was no treaty, or if Germany wasn’t supposed to pay the equivalent to $442 Billion usd, Hitler may not have ran or got the traction he did. And obviously, if Hitler did not become the dictator then there would have been no World War.
The ending of one war, caused another one.
All the events that happened in WW2, The Manhattan Projects, D-Day, The Cold War, all happened because of one single cause. A treaty that decimated a country and would have kept it that way for many many years. The Treaty and its repercussions are still felt today, not directly but repercussions of the war are still being felt and the treaty caused the war. This treaty without anybody knowing, changed the course of everybody’s lives forever. It caused people to make certain decisions and take certain actions that they would not have done otherwise.
This treaty did not only change peoples lives, it changed the course of history. Forever.
“Treaty of Versailles.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 30 Oct. 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Versailles.
Wilde, Robert. “Hitler’s Rise to Power: A Timeline.” ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, 29 Jan. 2020, https://www.thoughtco.com/hitlers-rise-to-power-timeline-1221353.