How did the Treaty of Versailles lead to WWII less than 20 years later?

The Treaty of Versailles led to World War II because its terms punished Germany too severely. The treaty stripped away Germany's land acquisitions, required Germany to pay billions in reparations, and forced them to accept responsibility for World War I. The damaging and lasting effects of the treaty contributed to a economic, social, and political climate that made many Germans receptive to Hitler and the Nazi party's plans to restore Germany to its former glory.

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There is little doubt that the Treaty of Versailles had a profound influence in drawing Germany towards World War II. To put it simply, many Germans found the treaty an insult and a burden imposed upon them. Germany had lost territory and colonies. It had limitations placed upon its military and was forced to accept responsibility for the war (not to mention the onerous reparations payments it would be forced to pay). With these factors alone, it should not be surprising that, in the years that followed, Germany would be the site of numerous extremist groups and parties and that an ideology like Nazism would be able to establish itself, push Germany towards an aggressive, militaristic policy, and bring about a second war.

And yet, perhaps the effects of the treaty (and the context surrounding it) were even more pernicious than the above analysis suggests. The key thing to keep in mind is this: the nation state of Germany was originally created as a monarchy, with the King of Prussia...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 889 words.)

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