Share
Explore BrainMass

The Treaty of Versailles and World War 2

This is a discussion of how exactly the Treaty failled in its quest to curtail a World War 2 And more importantly, did the British public's displeasure of the Treaty of Versailles play a role in the budding of the appeasement policy of the 1930's? And, did Britain demoralize the cause of the Treaty? These questions will serve as the focal points for this discussion.

Solution Preview

This is a discussion of how exactly the Treaty failled in its quest to curtail a World War 2 And more importantly, did the British public's displeasure of the Treaty of Versailles play a role in the budding of the appeasement policy of the 1930's? And, did Britain demoralize the cause of the Treaty? These questions will serve as the focal points for this discussion.

Further we will examine how the failure of the treaty and adoption of the policy of appeasement led to the signing of the Munich Agreement which strengthened Germany's position on the road to a new war. Also in this lesson will discuss how these events led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and lastly examine the failure of the League of Nations. As a conclusion, this we will discuss the limitations of the peace treaty.

To answer these questions it is important to point out some noteworthy events that were taking place at the time, post 1919.

Failure by malice to the framers of the Treaty of Versailles, the actions of Mr. Lloyd George in blowing up the repatriation demands of Germany and the actions of the United States of America in withdrawing from any involvement with the rest of the world are key arguments that many historians have brought forward as key causes of World War 2.

The war can be attributed to the deprivation of the League of Nations of half of its influence for peace and that Germany alone is to blame because she made no effort to fulfill the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Although there is some element of truth in all these statements this lesson shall not dwell on uncovering the facts instead settles on how the Treaty of Versailles started a domino effect that eventually led to WW2.

Behind the signing of the Treaty of Versailles were three prominent personalities, David Lloyd George - Prime Minister of Britain, Woodrow Wilson - President of the United States of America and Georges Clemenceau - Prime Minister of France. While on one hand Wilson inclined towards a treaty based on a 14 point plan to bring Europe to peace, Clemenceau on the other hand wanted revenge asserted on the Germans. Lloyd who was caught in the middle tried to strike a balance between the two divergent approaches to end the war.

In the background, Germany had been expecting to sign a peace treaty based on Wilson's 14 points and became unhappy with the new terms of the treaty but had no choice but to oblige and sign. Germany's rearmament of the Fatherland, the remilitarization of the Rhineland, the Anschluss with Austria and the occupation of the Sudetenland were all significant attacks on the Treaty of Versailles on the road to WW 2.

What was taking place post 1919: Firstly, Anglo-French relations had significantly deteriorated and this tended to foster an increasingly sympathetic attitude towards Germany.

Secondly, Britain realized it needed its former partners in Central Europe for her own prosperity and had a compromising desire to soften the features of the peace settlement which might have impeded Germany's recovery.

Thirdly, both the British and the French were aware of Adolf Hitler's actions in Germany but ignored the situation because they were more concerned with holding back the "domino effect" or rise of communism.

To Britain and France, Germany building its defenses was essential to prevent the rise of communism in the West. Fourthly, and perhaps the most significant factor was the lifting of "war guilt" on Germany: There was no more reason to blame Germany for standing by Austria than to blame France for supporting her ally, though Germany should not have given Austria a blank check.

The German attack on Belgium was merely the "occasion" for Britain's entrance into the war; the reason was her ties to the entente and her fear of the consequences of a German victory. The real cause of the war was the division of Europe into two armed camps. Given the case, the actions of each state were "natural." None were guilty of desiring war, and all were guilty of failing to correct the "international ...

Solution Summary

This is a discussion of how exactly the Treaty failled in its quest to curtail a World War 2 And more importantly, did the British public's displeasure of the Treaty of Versailles play a role in the budding of the appeasement policy of the 1930's? And, did Britain demoralize the cause of the Treaty? These questions will serve as the focal points for this discussion.

Further we will examine how the failure of the treaty and adoption of the policy of appeasement led to the signing of the Munich Agreement which strengthened Germany's position on the road to a new war. Also in this lesson will discuss how these events led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and lastly examine the failure of the League of Nations. As a conclusion, this we will discuss the limitations of the peace treaty.

To answer these questions it is important to point out some noteworthy events that were taking place at the time, post 1919.

Failure by malice to the framers of the Treaty of Versailles, the actions of Mr. Lloyd George in blowing up the repatriation demands of Germany and the actions of the United States of America in withdrawing from any involvement with the rest of the world are key arguments that many historians have brought forward as key causes of World War 2.

$2.19