Treaty of Versailles is the name given to the peace treaty signed between European countries and which symbolized the end of the First World War , which took place between 1914 and 1918. Treaty of Versailles summary
The Treaty of Versailles began to be developed in November 1918, being consolidated only on June 28, 1919 , when the German minister, Hermann Müller, signed the document. With the creation of the League of Nations, the Treaty of Versailles was amended in 1920.
From this treaty, it was established that Germany was solely responsible for the conflict and it would be up to her to repair the damages of the war. The conditions of the treaty were extremely harsh and considered humiliating by Germany.
Summary of the Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was negotiated over months by the leaders of Germany’s rival countries during World War I and was signed at the Palace of Versailles during the Paris Conference .
These countries were the United Kingdom, France, the United States and Italy. Italy soon withdrew from the negotiations for not accepting the conditions imposed by the other countries.
In addition to these countries, delegations from 25 other countries participated in the Paris Conference.
Germany was not given the opportunity to participate in the negotiations, even after requests. Philip Scheideman, German chancellor at the time, resigned from his post in order not to sign the treaty.
The treaty consisted of 15 parts and 440 articles. The main article, 231, placed full blame on Germany for the conflict: Treaty of Versailles summary
Germany and its Allies are responsible, as they have caused them, for all loss and damage suffered by the Allied governments and their associates, as well as by the citizens of these countries, as a result of the war.
Main points of the Treaty of Versailles
As it was considered responsible for the conflict, Germany was forced to cede parts of its territory to enemy countries. In addition to paying heavy indemnities and being forced to reduce its army and war power.
The Treaty of Versailles reduced German territory by 13%, which also represented a loss of 10% of its total population. Furthermore, Treaty of Versailles summary
- Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France;
- Malmedy, Moresnet and Eupen were delivered to Belgium;
- The Saar coal zone was dominated by France;
- A strip of land that crossed German territory was ceded to Poland;
- Memel was handed over to Lithuania;
- Germany lost all the colonies it had in Africa.
In order to weaken Germany and avoid further conflicts, the negotiating countries of the Treaty of Versailles took measures to stifle German war capacity:
- Prohibition of military recruitment;
- Limitation of the army to just 100,000 soldiers;
- Prohibition of the navy and aeronautics in the country;
- They were forced to destroy machine guns, rifles and planes.
Germany was forced to pay huge damages, leaving the German economy, which was already fragile, in a major economic crisis. France and England demanded compensation from the country in excess of 200 billion German marks . Treaty of Versailles summary
Consequences of the Treaty of Versailles
The harsh impositions of the Treaty of Versailles on Germany plunged the country into a major crisis, with high rates of hyperinflation. Dissatisfaction was growing among the German population, who found the treaty measures demeaning .
The feeling of revanchism shared by the German nation and the dissatisfaction with the economic crisis that settled in the country after the loss of the war meant that, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler , Germany returned to attack some of the main powers in Europe.
This general dissatisfaction also allowed the emergence of radical political ideologies, which culminated in Nazism and 20 years later, the outbreak of World War II. Treaty of Versailles summary