Was the Treaty of Versailles fair or unfair?

2 Answers
May 15, 2017

It could be called unfair for the harsh conditions it imposed upon Germnay


Germany was humilliated by the Treaty of Versailles and the harsh conditions it imposed explains much the resentment towards the winners of WWI which made Hitler's victory possible.

Germany was imposeda reduced army, a demilitarized zone close the border of France, its mines had to be plundered by France and massive inflation was caused by the debt they had to pay. Their currency became worthless and people had to sell many of their belongings to tourists who had flocked to Germany to enjoy the low cost of living. People had to take wheelbarrows to go shipping.

May 16, 2017

The question would be better phrased was the Treaty of
Versailles wise or unwise.


The Treaty was fair in the sense that it could be justified by the Allied powers. It was not wise in that the harsh conditions of the treaty set the stage for world war II.

Germany had declared war on France Russia and England after Russia declared war on the Austrian Hungarian Empire. This provided a legal justification for the harsh terms of the treaty.

Germany had been guilty of executions and harsh treatment of the civilian populations in Belgium and the parts of France under German control. This provided a moral justification for the harsh terms of the treaty.

France and England had suffered huge loses during world war I of both property and lives. Large parts of the French country side had been destroyed by the trench warfare that took place in France. This provided a monetary justification for Germany being forced to pay for the loses incurred by the Allies.

The treaty could be justified but that did not make the treaty just. By imposing such harsh treatment of their opponent in world war I, the allies ensured that Germany would continue to be their enemy in world war II.

The Marshall plan after World War II took the opposite tack. The treaty were designed to heal the wounds of World War II, not to punish the German people for Germany's part in starting world war II. Instead of creating the conditions for another war with Germany, the Marshall plan brought peace and created an ally of Germany.

The Treaty of Versailles was justifiable given the actions of the German government during World War I but it was unwise because of its punishment of the German people it created the conditions for World War II.