World War I

Start Your Free Trial

How did the Treaty of Versailles punish Germany after WWI?  

The Treaty of Versailles punished Germany by forcing them to pay war reparations, admit culpability for the start of the war, and cede territory. The Treaty of Versailles also required Germany to cap the size of their armed forces.

Expert Answers info

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The presence of the desire to punish Germany was evident from the start of the process in drafting the Treaty of Versailles.  On one hand, President Wilson actually sought to create a set of terms which was more benevolent to Germany.  Yet, in order to secure the support of Britain and France, there had to be more of a punitive tone in the terms of the treaty.  Since Wilson needed their support, and this was their price, he ended up acquiescing.  The terms of demanding war reparations from Germany, preventing future rearmament, and ensuring that there was a significant land loss as a result helped to punish Germany, as it was seen as a step to prevent Germany from exercising such aggression in the future.  In reality, what ended up transpiring was that the Treaty helped to solidify and consolidate German resentment to the point where the Treaty became a symbol of all who stood against Germany, and, in the process, starting the Second World War.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jasmin Ritchie eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write775 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Law and Politics

The Versailles Peace Conference was dominated by President Wilson, George Clemenceau of France, and Vittorio Orlando of Italy. While the conference held discussions on the creation of a League of Nations and the principle of self determination for individual nations it was clear that many European nations wanted the aggressor Germany punished. During the conference President Wilson found out that there were secret treaties made between several European nations at the start of the war indicating that the European powers upon their victory had already decided upon...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 526 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

brettd eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write4,576 answers

starTop subjects are History, Social Sciences, and Literature

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ask a Question