Was the Versailles Treaty fair to Germany?

Essay by This_is_meHigh School, 11th gradeA+, February 2003

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Was the Treaty of Versailles fair in Its Treatment of Germany?

When the peace armistice was signed on 11th November 1918, no plans had been made for a peace settlement so it was decided that one would be drawn up in the New Year. Representatives from Great Britain, France and USA were among those attending. Each had different ideas of how to treat Germany, and to what extent she would pay for the war. After the treaty of Versailles was agreed, the Germans were upset by the terms; they felt it was too harsh. The treaty was fair to Germany; it was harsh but could have been a lot worse.

The main aim of the Treaty of Versailles was to make sure that Germany would be punished for the war. Each of the main countries in attendance had different ideas of how to punish Germany. The USA was the only country that didn't seek revenge from Germany.

They had joined the war late and had not lost nearly as many soldiers in battles as other nations had. President Wilson of the USA called for "peace without victory." He didn't want Germany to be crushed so that her economy would never rebuild. This, Wilson felt, would make Germany seek revenge for the treaty. The only way to make sure that the treaty stayed in place and was followed by all countries to be involved was to make sure it was fair and that all countries accepted its terms without resentment.

Great Britain agreed with the idea of a fair treaty, but also needed to impose certain terms on Germany in order to rebuild after the war. Lloyd-George demanded the whole cost of the war in reparations. He didn't see this as selfish because he felt that Germany had started the war,