Q:

How did the Treaty of Versailles punish Germany?

A:

The Treaty of Versailles punished Germany by taking away territories and overseas colonies, reducing the size of the nation's army and forcing Germany to pay reparations. Essentially, Germany was forced to take the blame for World War I.

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Under the treaty, Germany had to give up land to France, Belgium, Czechoslavakia, Denmark and Poland, including West Prussia, Alsace-Lorraine, Northern Schleswig, Eupen and Malmedy. Germany's overseas colonies, furthermore, were surrendered to the control of the League of Nations.

The "War Guilt Clause," or Article 231, placed blame for the war on Germany. Thus, Germany had to take responsibility for reparation payments, especially to France and Belgium. The German Army was limited to 100,000 men, submarines and the Air Force were banned and the German Navy could not consist of vessels weighing over 100,000 tons. Germany was also forced to hold war crime trials.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What was the purpose of the Treaty of Versailles?

    A:

    The purpose of the Treaty of Versailles, outside of establishing guidelines for continued peace, was to put strict treaty obligations on Germany in hopes of preventing further war and make the country pay reparations for the damages caused during the war. One of the key points of the treaty was the War Guilt Clause, making Germany accept that they held complete responsibility for initiating World War I.

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  • Q:

    Why did the United States reject the Treaty of Versailles?

    A:

    The United States rejected the Treaty of Versailles due to the opposition of a group of senators called the Irreconcilables, who believed that under the terms of the treaty, the United States would lose too much of its autonomy to the League of Nations. All of the Irreconcilables were enemies of President Woodrow Wilson, who originally advocated for the League of Nations and helped compose the details of the treaty.

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  • Q:

    What nine new nations were created by the Treaty of Versailles?

    A:

    The Treaty of Versailles created nine new nations: Finland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The treaty was written by the Allies without German help starting in January of 1919 and ending in June of 1919.

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  • Q:

    Why did the United States Senate reject the Treaty of Versailles?

    A:

    Resistance to a United States Senate ratification of the Treaty of Versailles was based on several arguments, but the greatest degree of opposition concerned the Treaty's League of Nations Covenant Article 10. This article gave the League of Nations the power to pursue war as a remedial action without the need for a prior vote of consent by the U.S. Congress. The leader of the Senate opposition to ratification, Henry Cabot Lodge, viewed Article 10 as an infringement upon American sovereignty because it would allow foreign powers in the League of Nations to hold the U.S. to a defense of the Collective Security Agreement without a prior congressional vote on a declaration of war.

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