fuckversallias - Weidner 1 James Weidner History 249-4 Due...

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Weidner 1 James Weidner History 249-4 Due Date- 2/26/08 Essay #1 Versailles and the Failure of Peace For all involved, WWI was simply horrific. It doesn’t take a genius to tell that the losses were staggering. It also doesn’t take a genius to figure out that “the war to end all wars” was a horribly wrong nickname. The intention was good, but the implementation left something to be desired. The treaty of Versailles ended the war and in theory put an effective collar on Germany. Despite the conclusion of WWI that brought about the new “restricted” Germany, the rise of nationalism created a backlash responsible for the rise of Hitler and the Second World War. The treaty of Versailles, quite simply, revived the German spirit of 1914. This was a huge problem because that spirit of nationalism is what contributed to the start of the First World War. The victors of WWI drafted the treaty in an effort to punish Germany. They did just that. Throughout the treaty, article after article takes from Germany, weather it be coal mines 1 , overseas holdings 2 , or responsibility for the war 3 . In retrospect, they took too much. Even the great economist John Maynard Keynes, who was English (one of the winners), blasted the treaty’s inability to economically reestablish Europe 4 . He talks about how the French in particular were more interested in financially ruining their enemies rather that economically preventing war. It turns out that Keynes, the economist, knew what he was talking about in terms of economics. Amazing. 1 “Modern History Sourcebook, ‘Treaty of Versailles,’ Jun 28, 1919” http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/ 1919versailles.html (accessed through E-reserve, History 249, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Spring 2008) here pg 3 2 Ibid 3 3 Ibid 5 4 “John Maynard Keynes, ‘The Economic Consequences of the Peace,’ 1920” http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1920keynes.html (accessed through E-reserve, History 249, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Spring 2008) here pg. 3
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Weidner 2 The German people in fact blamed the French’s vengeful policies as the reason for both the great inflation of 1923 and the economic slump of 1929 5 . This line of thinking only fueled the growing feeling of nationalism because it was truly not the Germans who ruined the economy, it was those damned foreigners. The treaty’s re drawn borders only fueled this fire because of the new “aliens” who were not true Germans. Not only did the treaty cause a severe economic downward spiral, but it also forced Germany to give up many important tracts of land which made it even more impossible to repay the comically
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2008 for the course HIST 249 taught by Professor Chu during the Spring '08 term at Wisconsin Milwaukee.

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fuckversallias - Weidner 1 James Weidner History 249-4 Due...

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