The Treaty Of Versailles and why it was justified - "The Treaty Of Versailles: Justified Penalty"

Essay by folkrockprincessHigh School, 11th gradeA-, October 2006

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At the end of World War One, the Allies sat in the victor seat, with Germany shamed on the world stage. The Paris Peace Conference was held the very next year, with all of the industrialized countries on the Allies side in attendance. Of the five treaties written up, the Treaty of Versailles would be of the most importance to Germany. It was a harshly restricting treaty, which required the disarmament of Germany to a great extent, and also the payment of twenty three billion marks, which in North American terms is the equivalent to twenty three trillion. The Treaty of Versailles, while harsh and in some ways too much in its expectations, was justified as punishment to the Germans, who had horrified much of Western Europe with destruction and casualties.

The Treaty of Versailles in many ways was a treaty relying on past precedent, all of which was set by Germany.

Previous to World War One, directly after the Franco-Prussian war: in which Germany came out as the victor, Germany set in place high reparations payments on France, and therefore set a standard in which future treaties could be justified. Again, this was done when Russia pulled out of World War One. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was another precedent setting treaty by Germany, which cited high reparations payments, and Russia losing a lot of its territory to the Germans. When it came about to write up Versailles, all the Allies had to look to was how Germans had treated its' losers. Another point that came out of the woodwork was a draft of peace terms, written by German Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg on Sept.9th 1915, in the event Germany quickly won the war. It stated that France would be subject to high reparations payments; that Belgium was to become a vassal...