"The unreasonably punitive terms of the Treaty of Versailles ensured that the peace of Europe would be short-lived." To what extent do you agree with this statement? Give evidence for you answer.

Essay by tamina_ttHigh School, 11th gradeF, March 2004

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To a great extent did the Treaty of Versailles guarantee that the peace in Europe after the First World War would be short-term. It's unfair and vengeful articles only sparked further feelings of revenge in the German and Italian people. It gave the Germans punishments that were impossible to fulfil. By taking away all of Germany's colonies it reduced her from the great empire she once was to a small economically trouble country struggling with starvation, disease and unemployment. Thus, demoralising her people and taking away all national self-determination. The reparations Germany was asked to pay were impossibly large and ultimately lead to the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party. With the matter of the Versailles settlement was not a good way to start the new Weimar Republic. The words of the French Commander who served in the first World WarMarshal Foch summed it up well; "This is not a peace.

It is an armistice for twenty years" .

Because of Article 41 "the war guilt clause", the huge reparations that had to be paid and the large territory loss due to the Treaty of Versailles, the newly formed Weimar Republic was continually linked to military defeat and massive humiliation. Politicians like Hitler, and other extreme left and right parties cleverly took advantage of these feelings. These parties would continue to be critical of the settlement of Versailles and therefore always be against the republic. The settlement had lessened the power of the middle parties and the middleclass Germans who tried to make the democracy work . This meant, that when the depression struck and things were at extreme levels, when the Nazi party came in to power, it's policy was to overthrow the Weimar Republic and ultimately destroy the Treaty of Versailles. Effectively, leading Germany into a...