Those who had fought against the Allies suffered heavy casualties as well:
The Paris Peace Conference opened on Jan. The delegations of 27 nations harassed the Great Powers with their various and conflicting complaints and demands. Woodrow Wilson to arrange a general armistice in Octoberit declared that it accepted the Fourteen Points he had formulated as the basis for a just peace.
The first three in particular made the important decisions. None of the defeated nations had any say in shaping the treaty, and even the associated Allied powers played only a minor role.
The German delegates were presented with a fait accompli. They were shocked at the severity of the terms and protested the contradictions between the assurances made when the armistice was negotiated and the actual treaty.
The population and territory of Germany was reduced by about 10 percent by the treaty.
In the west, Alsace and Lorraine were returned to France, and the Saarland was placed under the supervision of the League of Nations until In the north, three small areas were given to Belgiumand, after a plebiscite in Schleswignorthern Schleswig was returned to Denmark.
The war guilt clause of the treaty deemed Germany the aggressor in the war and consequently made Germany responsible for making reparations to the Allied nations in payment for the losses and damage they had sustained in the war. Although economists at the time declared that such a huge sum could never be collected without upsetting international finances, the Allies insisted that Germany be made to pay, and the treaty permitted them to take punitive actions if Germany fell behind in its payments.
The Big Four, especially Clemenceau, wanted to make sure that Germany would never again pose a military threat to the rest of Europe, and the treaty contained a number of stipulations to guarantee this aim. The German army was restricted tomen; the general staff was eliminated; the manufacture of armoured cars, tanks, submarines, airplanes, and poison gas was forbidden; and only a small number of specified factories could make weapons or munitions.
All of Germany west of the Rhine and up to 30 miles 50 km east of it was to be a demilitarized zone. The forced disarmament of Germany, it was hoped, would be accompanied by voluntary disarmament in other nations. Economic sanctions would be applied against any member who resorted to war.
The league was to supervise mandated territories, the occupied Saar Basin, and Danzig and to formulate plans for reducing armaments. Numerous concessions were made to Germany before the rise of Adolf Hitlerand by only the territorial settlement articles remained.
Many historians claim that the combination of a harsh treaty and subsequent lax enforcement of its provisions paved the way for the upsurge of German militarism in the s.
The huge German reparations and the war guilt clause fostered deep resentment of the settlement in Germany, and when Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland in a violation of the treatythe Allies did nothing to stop him, thus encouraging future German aggression.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:The Treaty of Versailles brought an end to World War I, making peace between Germany and the Allies.
However, its treatment of Germany laid the foundation for many of the problems that led to World War II. The negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles had much to do with the views that Woodrow Wilson.
The Treaty of Versailles contributed greatly to the alienation many Germans felt about their civilian, democratic government.
Combined with the actions of the military, this provided rich material Hitler used to gain the support on the right. The Treaty of Versailles was the peace settlement signed after World War One had ended in and in the shadow of the Russian Revolution and other events in alphabetnyc.com treaty was signed at the vast Versailles Palace near Paris – hence its title – between Germany and the Allies.
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was among the statesmen who gathered in France in June to sign the Treaty of Versailles, an agreement that did little to heal the wounds of World War I and set the stage for World War II. The Treaty of Versailles (French: Traité de Versailles) was the most important of the peace treaties that brought World War I to an end.
The Treaty ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. Article , often known as the War Guilt Clause, was the opening article of the reparations section of the Treaty of Versailles, which ended the First World War between the German Empire and the Allied and Associated alphabetnyc.com article did not use the word "guilt" but it served as a legal basis to compel Germany to pay reparations for the war.