How Did The Treaty Of Versailles Lead To World War Ii?
The Treaty of Versailles helped lead to World War II due to the conditions it created for Germany. Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles would be known as the "War Guilt Clause." Germany was forced to accept guilt for causing World War I and was forced to pay reparations for the war. This was considered a humiliation for many German people, as well as extreme economic depression as they attempted to pay reparations.
Germany would also lose a significant amount of territory due to the Treaty of Versailles. The territories of Alsace and Lorraine would be of particular note due to their industrial value. Germany also lost significant territory for the creation of Poland. As a result of territorial losses, there were many ethnic Germans who would now be living in territory that was no longer a part of Germany. This would lead to a desire by Adolf Hitler to reunite the German people during World War II.
Germany also would have extreme limitations placed on their military. Germany's navy was significantly limited, and they were not permitted to maintain submarines. The German army was not permitted to use tanks or heavy weapons. Germany was also prohibited from maintaining an air force.
Hitler's rise to power can be traced to the situation in Germany at the time. The German people were experiencing an extremely poor economy, and humiliation for their WWI defeat. Hitler promised to improve Germany and restore it to its greatness. Hitler also argued that the Versailles Treaty needed to be destroyed for Germany to rise again. Hitler would go on to reclaim lost territory, such as the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. Hitler also violated the Treaty of Versailles by building Germany's military. It is often also noted that the inaction on the part of countries like France and Britain enabled Nazi Germany to gain strength, which made them very difficult to defeat when World War II began.
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