It is a common misconception that Germany alone caused the war WWI but
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It is a common misconception that Germany alone caused the war (WWI), but in actuality everyone played a role in sparking the beginning WWI. However Germany still received the harshest punishment out of all the major powers. This was due mainly to the fact that Germany was the only one left to blame and therefore must take full responsibility. The allies used Germany as a scapegoat.
Germany received the most severe punishment because there was no one left to blame except Germany. There was no point in blaming the Austria-Hungary empire because they were going through a civil war. The empire was very weak and falling apart. The chances were that pretty soon there would be no more Austria-Hungary empire. Also, most of the blame was put on Germany because the allies felt that Germany was the main aggressor in the war so Germany should pay economically, politically, psychologically, and geographically wise.
The major goal of the Versailles treaty was to punish Germany and prevent it from ever rising to power again. To ensure that the treaty limited the size of Germany’s military and production of destructive weapons and substances. England and France wanted to regain some pride and get closure for the for by getting Germany to admit full responsibility for the war, this was know as the “war guilt clause”. All Italy wanted was to expand its borders. Italy demanded the port city of Trieste and the northern border of the Austria-Hungary empire. U.S on the other hand wanted to go easy on Germany. President Wilson drew up the 14 points , which was a fair treaty for Germany but the allied nations refuse to recognize the 14 point. But this isn’t all that the allies wanted, they wanted to strip Germany of everything possible.
There were many other provisions of the treaty of Versailles that haven’t been mentioned above. Provisions associated with individual countries rather than Europe as a whole. These provision included Germany paying $33 billion in reparations for war damages, this kind of debt would leave Germany any money for any new advancements or industrialization or anything of that sort. Germany would lose most of its overseas colonies to Japan and France. New nations like Poland were also created out of German territory. It also seemed like France was greedy in this treaty, it took for its self Saer Valley which was rich in gold deposits and France took all German coal for 15 years. Coal was very valuable in those days since it was a main source of energy so it was a big economic lose for Germany.
During WWI Germany did commit some horrible crimes but it didn’t act alone , therefore it doesn’t deserve to be punished for the actions of the other nations involved. I agree that Germany should have been punished but not to the extent that it actually was punished. Germany admitted responsibly for the war just because it was forced not because it was actually fully responsible. Germany was treated very unfairly in this treaty. The allied nations used Germany as an outlet for their anger.
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Military history by country, International relations, Military history, Treaty of Versailles, France, World War I, Germany, World War I reparations, Paris Peace Conference
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