What do you already know… about Germany after World War I? Treaty of Versailles What is the Treaty of Versailles? Answer: The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties signed after World War One between Germany and the Allies. It was signed at Versailles Palace in France. The three main powers on the Allied side were Britain, France and the United States. The Allied Powers Britain: David Lloyd George France: Georges Clemenceau The USA: Woodrow Wilson Treaty of Versailles Why do some historians argue that the seeds of World War Two were sown into the Treaty of Versailles? Answer: There were many clauses in the Treaty of Versailles that were intended to punish Germany for their role in W.W. I and to ensure that they would remain weak for years to come. Territorial Terms Alsace-Lorraine (given to France) Eupen and Malmedy (given to Belgium) Northern Schleswig (given to Denmark) Hultschin (given to Czechoslovakia) West Prussia, Posen and Upper Silesia (given to Poland) The Saar, Danzig and Memel were put under the control of the League of Nations and the people of these regions would be allowed to vote to stay in Germany or not in a future referendum. The League of Nations took control of Germany's overseas colonies. Germany had to return land that had been taken from Russia in the Treaty of Brest Levosk. Some of this land was made into new states : Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. An enlarged Poland also received some of this land. Military Terms Germany’s army was reduced to 100,000 men; the army was not allowed tanks Was not allowed an airforce. Was allowed only 6 naval ships and no submarines. The west of the Rhineland and 50 kms east of the River Rhine was made into a demilitarised zone (DMZ). No German soldier or weapon was allowed into this zone. The Allies were to keep an army of occupation on the west bank of the Rhine for 15 years. Economic Terms The loss of vital industrial territory. Loss of coal from the Saar and Upper Silesia. Reparations: payments made by Germany to the countries that were hurt in the war. Germany was also forbidden to unite with Austria General Terms There are three vital clauses here: 1. Germany had to admit full responsibility for starting the war. This was Clause 231 - the infamous "War Guilt Clause". 2. Germany, as she was responsible for starting the war as stated in clause 231, was, therefore responsible for all the war damage caused by the First World War (Reparations to France and Belgium). – The figure was eventually put at £6,600 million - a huge sum of money well beyond Germany’s ability to pay. 3. The League of Nations was set up to keep world peace. German Reaction to the Treaty How do you think German people would react to this treaty? Answer Obviously, Germany was unhappy with the terms of the Treaty. When they agreed to an armistice in 1918, they thought that they would be consulted about the terms. They were in no place to argue: they had no army left, they were bankrupt, and there was really nothing they could do: “Diktat” The Weimar Republic: 1918 to 1933 The government created in Germany in November of 1918 Several political parties agreed to a coalition government in order to form a government. The German Democratic Party (SPD) and the Centre Party held 76% of the vote. Other small parties had small percentages of support. The Structure of the Government In 1919 a constitution was created establishing a Federal Republic. 19 states A President (elected) A Chancellor (appointed by the President) A Cabinet (appointed by the President) which had to reflect the party composition in the Reichstag. However…. What seemed a truly parliamentary system (where politicians are responsible to the people who elected them) was not truly so. The president had the right to dismiss the cabinet, dissolve the Reichstag, and veto legislation. Article 48, the so-called emergency clause, accorded the president the right to allow the cabinet to govern without the consent of parliament whenever it was deemed essential to maintaining public order. Plagued with problems Serious political opposition Weak economy Inflation Unemployment Therefore unstable coalition governments ruled throughout the 1920s. Specific examples of problems faced by the Weimar Republic Inflation: In January French and Belgian troops occupied the highly industrialized Ruhr area because of German defaults on reparations payments. The Weimar government responded by calling upon the Ruhr population to stop all industrial activity. The government also began printing money at such a rate that it soon became virtually worthless. by the fall of 1923, wheelbarrows were needed to carry enough currency for simple purchases as inflation reached rates beyond comprehension. Inflation In 1914 US $1 had equalled 4 marks By mid-1920, $1 was worth 40 marks by early 1922 about 200 marks a year later 18,000 marks by November 1923 -- 4.2 trillion marks. Civil Unrest In addition, the country was racked by strikes, paramilitary street violence, and rumours of planned uprisings by both the left and the right Enter Adolf Hitler…. What do you already know about Adolf Hitler`s rise to power? Complete the computer assignment on Adolf Hitler to learn more and make your own notes.
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