The Treaty of Versailles - Fair or Unfair?

Essay by fiona_jonesHigh School, 10th grade January 2007

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When the peace armistice was signed in November 1918, a peace settlement still had not been decided. So during the New Year, representatives from France, Great Britain, and USA (Clemenceau, Lloyd George and Wilson), got together and their main aim was to produce a treaty (called the Treaty of Versailles), that punished Germany for starting the war. But each power wanted something different out of the treaty and in the end the treaty satisfied no one. On May 7th, the terms of the Treaty were announced to Germany, who was left in total uproar and provoked anger which eventually became a motive for World War two. Germany was to be unarmed while other nations remained fully armed, it was to give German territory away to other countries and they were made to pay very high amounts of reparation. Germany had no say in their own future and had no choice but to sign to the above conditions as well as others.

The Treaty of Versailles was unfair.

Punishing Germany harshly is what the French dreamed of. From their perspective, the treaty was not fair enough and that it should have been harsher. France wanted full revenge on Germany for the destruction they caused to France during the war. Clemenceau's ideal outcome would have been to see Germany destroyed by the treaty. The French felt unsafe being so close to the Germans as they did not have a barrier to separate them from Germany, unlike Great Britain and USA who had the seas. Only a crippled Germany would be no threat to France in the future.

Great Britain wanted a fair treaty. Lloyd George wanted Germany to be punished but not harshly. Of course, he wanted certain terms imposed on Germany in order to rebuild the United Kingdom, such...