Why did Germany need a full peace settlement?
They were on the brink of defeat and didn’t want to surrender and risk being punished heavily.
When were Germany allowed to see the terms of the treaty?
7th May, when the treaty had been discussed since January
How long did Germany have to accept the treaty?
When was the treaty signed?
How did Germany feel about the treaty?
Resentment towards those who signed it, which ended up causing political divisions.
What did Diktat mean?
What were the features of the Territorial Losses?
- 70,000km^2 of land removed (13%)
- Alsace Lorraine back to France
- Eupen and Malmedy to Belgium
- West Prussia and Polish corridor to Poland
- 75% iron ore, 26% coal and 68% zinc lost
- Danzig a free state
- Memel to Lithuania
- Northen Schleswig-Holstein to Denmark
What happened to the Rhineland?
- left bank demilitarised
- 50km strip on right bank demilitarised
- Allied army base to watch Germany
What happened to the Saarland in the ToV?
- under control of the league for 15 years
- Germany would supply France, Belgium and Italy with free coal from it
What were the terms of disarmament?
- surrender all heavy weapons and forts in Rhineland and island of Heligoland
- 100,000 men in army
- no air force
- no tanks or gas
- 15,000 men in navy
- 6 battleships and no submarines, small amount of coastal defence vessels
What was the war guilt clause?
- £6.6 billion in reparations
- Article 231 accept full blame
- hand over merchant shipping fleet, railway locomotives and overseas investments
What were the other terms of the treaty?
- no Anchluss
- no LoN
- Kaiser and other German officials on trial
How had Germans felt betrayed?
- they didn’t know the state of the war
- they had been supporting the war effort
- peace treaty had humiliated them
How did propaganda and abdication help create a strong sense of shock?
- still creating “winning” propaganda even in 1918
- they felt they were doing well in war
- were not aware of the state of war
What were Germany’s main complaints regarding the treaty?
- 14 points stressed self determination
- Reparations were too high
- Germans in non German states
- German pride banned in Alsace Lorraine
- banned from league
- war guilt clause, a just war?
Which parts of Wilson’s 14 points should have implied that the treaty would be severe?
- an independent Poland
- Alsace Lorraine
What points make Germany’s complaints unjustified?
- not as harsh France wanted
- Wilson’s 14 points
- Germany had planned on treating allies the same if they’d succeeded
- reparations were lower than demanded
- Germany wasn’t punished as badly as Russia in Brest-Litovsk
What happened in May 1919 with the treaty?
- terms of ToV revealed to Germany
- 7 days to sign
- Chancellor Schidemann agreed they couldn’t sign
What was the political fracture of 1919?
Schidemann wanted to reject the treaty but the majority of the cabinet disagreed with this.
Why did Schidemann resign and who replaced him?
Due to the political fracture and he was replaced by Gustav Bauer.
What seemed possible early on with the treaty?
Amendments to be made
How did some high ranking officers feel about the treaty?
That they could start the war back up to avoid accepting the treaty.
How did Ebert feel about the high ranking officer’s plan?
If it was realistic he would support it.
Why was the war not restarted?
General Groener agreed it wouldn’t work.
When looking at source questions, what should you remember?
What was the policy of fulfilment?
To openly comply with the terms of the treaty with the aims of modification.
Who was alienated by the treaty?
People who had accepted the “new Germany” and supported the constitution had felt betrayed.
How did Germans feel about the signing?
It made the gains of the revolution feel unimpressive and they made the politicians who signed defend themselves.
Why was the treaty so difficult for those on the right to accept?
Germany’s military defeat and the new republic.
What revolutionary ideas did the right have?
- politicians lacked legitimacy
- betrayed the ‘fatherland’
- de-throned the Kaiser
What was the stab in the back?
The betrayal of the signing of the treaty while Germans were fighting on the front.
Why did army officials push the stab in the back?
To push the blame off themselves and onto the politicians.
Which of president Wilson’s 14 points did Germany feel implied that they would be well treated?
Point 4 - all countries to reduce armaments
Point 3 - an end to custom duties
Why was the treaty justified?
- Point 8 clearly stated Alsace Lorraine would return to France
- Clemenceau wanted the treaty to be harsher
- Treaty of Brest-Litovsk treated Russia much worse
- Germany’s war aims showed that they wanted to treat the allies the same way, if they had won
- Reparations bill was lower than France demanded and was in their capacity to pay
When Schidemann saw the treaty in May 1919, what happened?
- He agreed they couldn’t sign
- He rejected the treaty but most of the cabinet disagreed which was a political fracture
- He resigns as chancellor and Bauer takes over
What was the plan of some high ranking army officials after seeing the treaty?
- To resist the treaty and start the war back up again
- Ebert said he would consider if it would be effective
- General Groener says it won’t work, so treaty is signed
What was the policy of fulfilment?
To outwardly comply with the terms in order to negotiate changes to it.
Who did policy of fulfilment alienate?
People who had been happy to accept the new Germany but didn’t want to support a government with politicians who had betrayed them.
What was the public’s reaction to the treaty of Versailles?
The gains of the revolution felt unimpressive and associated the centre of government with failure.
Why was the treaty so difficult to accept for the right?
- the military defeat
- establishment of a new republic
What revolutionary ideas did the right have about the Republic?
- politicians lacked legitimacy as they had betrayed the fatherland many times
Who were the ‘november criminals’ ?
The politicians who had agreed to the treaty of Versailles as they had ‘stabbed in the back’.
Why did army officials stir up this rumour and promote it?
It took the blame off the army for the failure of the war.
How did Britain feel about ToV?
- public satisfied that Germany had lost it’s overseas empire
- Lloyd George felt Germany shouldn’t be so weak as he wanted them to resist USSR
- many public felt that it was too harsh and France had been greedy
- economist, Maynard Keynes ‘one of the most serious acts of political unwisdom’
How did France feel about ToV?
- had suffered the most in war
- their key territory demands and reparations had been met
- Clemenceau was criticised for being too lenient
- he lost his next election because of it
- Marshal Foch, wartime military commander said ‘this is not peace. it is an armistice for 20 years’
How did USA feel about ToV?