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Treaty of Versailles : Fair or Unfair?

             World War One was a devastation to Europe, which Germany was wrongfully held accounted for. The Treaty of Versailles wasn't a treaty at all, it was actually Germany's punishment. In my opinion, there were very few aspects of The Treaty of Versailles that were fair. The War Guilt Clause, which Germany was forced to sign, places all blame on Germany and its allies, but with the emphasis on Germany. Reparations and demilitarisation were taken too far, and Wilson's theory of self-determination wasn't put to practise as thoroughly as he had hoped.
             The War Guilt Clause is a prime example of why the Treaty of Versailles was unfair. The War Guilt Clause, also known as Article 231, holds Germany one-hundred percent responsible for the outbreak of World War One. Wether all the nations agreed on this or not, without the War Guilt Clause, there could be future legal difficulties with the reparations. Germany didn't want war, but along with all the other nations, was forced into one. If anything, Russia was the key instigator, because they had given Serbia much encouragement to fight against Austria. Germany entered the Austro-Serbian conflict backing Austria, their only ally. If Austria were taken, Germany would be left open for attacks from Russia and France, two hostile countries at the time (Fenton 181). It was Russia's secret, but aggressive, military plans and mobilization while negotiating that made Germany nervous, forcing them to mobilize and to declare war (Fenton 183). With the system of alliances that was put in place, Germany had no other choice but to first cripple France, then to proceed fighting Russia.
             By the time the war was over, the northern regions of France were basically laid in ruins. They demanded compensation. An obvious attempt to avoid scaring Germany out of the Treaty of Versailles, they didn't decide on an amount for Germany to pay until after they had signed the War Guilt Clause, which was an injustice in itself.

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