Treaty of Versailles Facts

Treaty of Versailles Facts
The Treaty of Versailles was the treaty that officially ended World War I, which was for the most part imposed on the Germans. At the Paris Peace Conference where the treaty was formalized and finalized on May 7, 1919, German Foreign Minister, Count Brockdorff-Rantzau, was presented with the document and told to sign. The German military told the government to accept, which it did on June 28, 1919 in the famous palace of Versailles. The terms of the peace were quite harsh on Germany. Germany lost 13% of its territory overall, including some areas in the west going to Belgium, Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France, the city of Danzig and the "Polish corridor" were given to a newly reconstituted Poland. The Rhine Valley was also occupied by French troops. The Germans were also forced to pay 132 billion marks in reparations, fixed in 1921 to prevent payment with inflationary marks. The Germans had sixteen billion marks in overseas assets seized and German rivers were forced to be open to international traffic. Finally, the German army, the pride of the nation, was all but disarmed. The army was capped 100,000 men who were on long-service contracts and all training schools were closed. The conditions of the treaty became one of the primary campaign points Hitler and the National Socialists used to come to power in Germany.
Interesting Treaty of Versailles Facts:
The French name of the treaty is "Traité de Versailles.
The Palace of Versailles was used by the French royal family as their palace until the monarchy ended in the late eighteenth century. The palace was then used for state banquets and other occasions during the nineteenth century.
Besides the United States, United Kingdom, and France, Japan and Italy were also present during the conference in Paris. Perhaps somewhat ironically, Japan and Italy were Germany's two primary allies in World War II.
The reparations part of the treaty was one of the primary factors that led to Germany's hyperinflation cycle of 1921-1923.
In terms of the major countries involved, France wanted to punish Germany even more heavily than the treaty did. The British agreed with the French to some extent, while the Americans, led by President Wilson, favored an easier peace and the reintegration of Germany back into the European economy.
Although President Wilson negotiated the treaty on America's behalf, under American law the Congress needed to pass the treaty. Due to isolationist Republicans and the large number of German-Americans, who still had ties to Germany, and Irish-Americans, who had no love of anything British, the U.S. Congress never ratified the Versailles Treaty.
Although the Americans never ratified the Versailles Treaty, the French and British still imposed most of its key points on the Germans.
After Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers' Party came to power, they abolished the treaty one point at a time.
First, Hitler told the victors of World War I in no uncertain terms that Germany was done making reparations payments.
Next, Germany began rearming its military and finally, in 1935 a plebiscite was held in the Saar region where 90% voted for union with Germany. On March 7, 1936, German troops marched into the demilitarized Rhineland, which combined with the previous actions officially negated the Versailles Treaty.


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