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Aftermath of the WWI Essay

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Updated: Mar 28th, 2021

Primary Source

In this primary source, Duiker and Spielvogel observe that Germany was forced to pay for the damages caused during the war, which led to hyperinflation in the country. The source suggests that this affected the economy of the country because personal savings of the middle-class earners were dried up. The scholars note that companies in Germany were unable to support various employees almost in all sectors of the economy leading to massive unemployment.

This had a negative impact on the stability and peace of the continent given the fact there was an increase in social instability that destabilized the delicate Weimar Republic. Western countries seized the opportunity to marginalize Germany to an extent of cutting links with democratically elected leaders of the country. The German nation had no choice but to resort to military expansion with an aim of restoring prestige and lost glory.

In the source, it is noted that the socio-economic difficulties that ensued after the war interfered with the country’s democratic ideals and paved the way for the radical right-wing parties that believed in war. The Treaty of Versailles was irrational because it favored other European states and aimed to punish Germany for the events that had taken place globally. For instance, the source revisits Article 22 of the treaty, which suggested that a number of communities that belonged to the Turkish Empire were set free from the German dictatorship because it was believed they had reached the take-off stage of development hence they had to be independent in order to determine their own destiny.

The authors evaluate the provisions of Article 42, which suggested that Germany was to be prevented from interfering with the affairs of Rhine. Furthermore, article 45 was meant to undermine the power of Germany because the state had to pay for the destruction of the coalmines in parts of France. Again, Germany was to surrender the mining fields it owned jointly with France, as one way of compensating for the damages caused. France was to continue with the mining process without consulting Germany. The source concludes that the provisions of the treaty were unfavorable to the government and the people of Germany, something that forced the country’s leaders to respond with militarization of the state.

Secondary Source

In the secondary source, Myers notes that a number of treaties developed after the war angered German leaders and its citizens because they took away everything that belonged to the state. The author analyzes the provisions of the Paris Peace Conference, which was set by the armistice agreements and was aimed at adopting the fourteen points as suggested by President Wilson. The states agreed to form the League of Nations to prevent the occurrence of another war. Under the treaty of Versailles, the history scholar suggests that Germany lost a tenth of its territory to neighbors because it ceded Alsace-Lorraine and Saar (Myers 41).

Additionally, Germany was barred from keeping a strong military, something that exposed it to aggressive neighbors. The areas previously controlled by Germany were handed over to other western powers, such as Britain and France, which was considered an insult to Germany. The scholar talks about the treaty of Saint-Germain and Trianon whereby it was decided that the newly created state of Austrian Republic could not reunite with Germany. The treaty suggested that those speaking German language outside the state were to be ruled by foreign powers. In the last treaty of Neuilly and Sevres, Bulgaria was forced to surrender some parts of its territory to Austria and Hungary even though it was treated better.

Works Cited

Duiker, William, and Jackson Spielvogel. World History: Since 1500. New York: Wadsworth Pub Co, 2012. Print.

Myers, Denys. “Revisions of the treaty of Versailles by Waldo E. Stephens”. The American Political Science Review 34.1 (1940):146-147 Print.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Aftermath of the WWI." March 28, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/aftermath-of-the-wwi/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Aftermath of the WWI'. 28 March.

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