Fascism in Germany and the Treaty of Versailles
During the early 1900’s tensions began to arise in Europe over the assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary by the Serbian Black Hand, leading to political changes around the globe. World War One began shortly after the tragic event, leading to a variety of other countries joining the war, taking sides because of outside conflicts, or countries joined the war to fight beside their allies. In 1919 the Treaty of Versailles put the war to end based on an agreement between the allied forces, including France, United States, Britain, Russia and Italy which fought against the central powers.
Woodrow Wilson had a variety of robust ideas to create peace, including the United Nations, but he was ignored at the Peace Conference in Paris and senate rejected many of his ideas. This treaty put harsch restriction on Germany, which eventually lead to the rise of Fascism in Germany and the Nazi party, starting World War Two. The Treaty of Versailles was a huge mistake made by the Allied Forces which prolonged war and tensions. This treaty originally ended war which was a great triumph by the allied forces, but the outcome of fascism in Germany and Woodrow Wilson’s ideas being dismissed was tragic both for the United States and all around Europe.
World War One was a devastating point in the world for numerous countries. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand by a Serbian, led Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia. From then on, countries kept on joining the fight, officially making it a world war. The main fight was between the Central Powers and Allied Forces. The Central Powers consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria. World War One was a long, devastating war that left approximately 40 million casualties, including the deaths of civilians and military members. The United States total casualties were 117,465 (World War I Casualties). New military technology and trench warfare created mass destruction during the horrific events of World War One. On July twenty-eight peace between all European nations was no longer after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, starting one of the biggest conflicts in world history. Several countries picked sides during the war, making it larger and more catastrophic, which made the war so bloody. President Woodrow Wilson and the United States of America were neutral throughout the War, until an event occured with Germany. Germany declared the British Isles water a war zone and sunk several American ships. In February 2017, congress passed a bill, so 250 million dollars would be used to prepare for war. Woodrow Wilson then declared war on Germany and joined the fight (World War 1). Current President Woodrow Wilson had to join the war in order to help stop the what seemed, ever growing Germany. The war was so deadly because of the influence of tanks, chemical warfare and airplanes. The use of chemical warfare was first present, when Germany attacked Flanders, Belgium by surprise in 1915 (WW1:Technology and the Weapons of War). World War One’s duration ranged from July, 28 1914 to November 11, 1918. Germany ended up signing the unfair treaty due to major threats of invasions on their country after they were already in very poor state (Causes of World War II). This extremely deadly conflict ended, so the Allied Forces created and discussed the Treaty of Versailles.
At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 more than 25 nations attended the conference, but it was mainly dominated by the Big Four. The convention may have accounted that the world was an interconnected place for the first time, but the Big Four didn’t seem to agree well on the treaty. While America wanted more of a peace treaty to prevent something like this to ever occur again, countries like France wanted Germany to pay for what they did with an extremely harsh treaty. French prime minister Georges Clemenceau most notably wanted Germany to pay for what they did during the war, including their invasions on France. People like president Woodrow Wilson wanted more of a peace treaty, and Wilson had the idea of the League of Nations which was included in the treaty but refuted by the United States Senate. Although the Germans still had a united army, the treaty was much harsher than it should have been.
The Treaty of Versailles was extremely important to the end of the war, but created many more conflicts. The treaty placed very harsch restriction on germany, since the Allied Forces didn’t listen to Woodrow Wilson. Woodrow Wilson wanted more of a peace treaty with the Central Powers, but Congress didn’t ratify the treaty and other foreign nations disagreed. He specifically had 14 points that he wanted included in the treaty including the idea of the League of Nations (League of Nations). Woodrow Wilson said, I can predict with absolute certainty that within another generation there will be another world war if the nations of the world do not concert the method by which to prevent it. The League of Nations was included in the treaty, but the treaty was not ratified by the United States Senate, which didn’t allow the United States to join the League of Nations. The League of Nations is one part of the extremely harsh treaty that was peaceful. Germany believed that after they signed the armistice in on November 11, 1918, a peace treaty would be formed without many restrictions. Instead, the Big Four rejected Wilson’s ideas and wanted Germany to suffer major losses. Germany actually lost 13% of their territory and 10% of their population. Furthermore, Germany was held accountable for starting World War One, and they were held liable for all material damage according to the War Guilt Clause (Treaty of Versailles).
The Treaty of Versailles placed a variety of military and political restrictions in Germany. The treaty states, After that date, the total number of effectives in the Army of the States constituting Germany must not exceed 100,000 men, including officers and establishments of depots (Article 160, Treaty of Versailles). Many other restrictions were placed on the once strong German military, weakening their strength and power. Article 181 restricted the amount of battleships and war crafts for Germany. Germany wasn’t allowed to have submarines, and they could only use 12 Destroyers (Article 181, Treaty of Versailles). These restrictions led to a collapse in the German economy, poverty throughout and their military was now weak. The germans would soon want revenge on these nations who humiliated their entire nation. Overall, the Treaty of Versailles may have ended a deadly conflict, but it would soon start a new one with the rise of the Nazi party.
A main reason Fascism began in Germany by the Nzai party and hitler was because of resentment toward the Treaty of Versailles. When Germany signed the treaty in June of 1919, the economy wouldn’t recover because of the 32 billion US dollars Germany was supposed to pay back, and the German military lost lots of power. The signing of the document was extremely unpopular by German citizens whos once powerful nation was now almost powerless. This all changed when the Nazi Party took some seats in government, leading to major Fascism in Germany. The prior German Weimar Government became very unpopular after Germans started to believe that it was their fault for the back stabbing treaty (Why the Nazi Achieved Power).
The Nazi Party was responsible for millions of deaths and fascism in Germany. Adolf Hitler, the Nazi leader, once said, the day must come when a German government shall summon up the courage to declare to the Foreign Powers: ‘The Treaty of Versailles is founded on a monstrous lie. We refuse to carry out its terms any longer. Do what you will! If you wish for war, go and get it! Then we shall see whether you can turn seventy million Germans into serfs and slaves!’ (Adolf Hitler Munich Speech August 1, 1923). This quote resembles how Hitler got Germany fed up with what was occuring in their nation, so he could rise up and create a powerful socialist nation. Hitler achieved power as president after being the chancellor on August 19, 1934 giving him power over Germany (Adolf Hitler becomes president of Germany). The country that once had a corrupt economy, weak military and people who were ashamed of their nation after the Treaty of Versailles now became fed up with their government and turned to Nazism. The Nazi Party began because of the triumphant treaty of Versailles which ended World War One, but the Nazi Party began World War Two. Overall, the treaty put an end to one horrific tragedy, but the treaty also helped start another tragedy through German restriction. This all could have been different if the Big Four listened to Woodrow Wilson’s important advice. The fourteen points by Woodrow Wilson were essential for peace between European countries and the United States.
Once the Nazi Party took over Germany, the German citizens began to have hope for a better life and country. During the years of the Weimar government, there was poverty, humiliation and chaos throughout Germany. A civil war almost broke out within the country, until the idea of a new type of government arises. Desperate fort the countries ways to change, the germans elected people like Adolf Hitler to run their once powerful nation (The rise of the Nazi party in the Weimar Republic). Adolf Hitler used the Harsch restrictions from the Treaty of Versailles to his advantage by using phrases like a stab in the back when referring back to the treaty. This fired up the nation, helping the Nazis take over Germany and start World War Two. The Nazis were responsible for brutally slaughtering millions of people during the 1940’s including 6 million Jews.
World War Two began in 1939 when the German Nazis attacked Poland in September, starting the bloodiest conflict in world history. The war scanned over six continents and many countries engaged in the conflict (World War II (1939-1945)). This war was between the Allied and Axis Powers. The Axis Powers consisted of Germany, Japan, Italy and few other nations. On the other hand, the Allied Powers consisted of the United States, Great Britain, China, the Soviet Union and at least 50 other nations (World War II Fast Facts). Over 400,000 American soldiers died, and millions of other civilian and veterans from other countries were killed (The Fallen of World War II). The war spanned six years and Germany ended up taking over many countries in Europe. The Nazis seemed to be successful with what they were doing by taking power from their government, then taking over. Hitler and the Nazis killed many soldiers, but they are infamous for holding concentration camps, where they forced jews and others with impurity to the Nazis to work until they died or were killed. There a many personal accounts of the tragic events that occured in the Holocaust including Barbara Stimler. Barbara once said, Oy oy! I cannot explain to you the cries and the screams, and tearing their hair off. Can you imagine” (Barbara Stimler, 1943). The Nazi party put regular human beings through intense and hard punishment, while the world was blind to it for years. Thankfully the united States stepped in after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and helped free many prisoners, saving Europe from defeat.
The Treaty of Versailles stopped World War 1, but directly led to Fascism in Germany and World War 2. If Woodrow Wilson’s 14 points for peace was listened to at the paris Peace Conference, then maybe some of these events could’ve been stopped or less tragic. The league of nations didn’t work out for the United States, but it was still included in the treaty. This one peaceful part of the treaty would not prevent Germany for becoming angry and humiliated towards the world. The fascism was due to the harsch German restriction in the treaty, where Germany could only have a certain amount of troops and ships. They also had to pay reparation for the war, which was finally paid off in 2010, since it took a long time to pay back that quantity of money. Overall, the Treaty of Versailles stopped a bloody World War 1, but led to tragic fascism in Germany.
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