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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the end of World War I, the Versailles Treaty was the peace treaty that dictated the peace terms to the Central Powers. It was very harsh towards the Central Powers and, in particular, on Germany. The treaty aimed at weakening Germany. One provision of the Versailles Treaty required the dismantling of Germany’s military so it could only have a military that was capable of defending Germany. The German military was banned from entering the Rhineland. The Rhineland is the area that borders France and Germany. The Allies imposed harsh terms to Germany because they wanted to prevent Germany from being able to start another war. Additionally, the treaty required Germany to pay $33 billion in war damages, or reparations, to the Allies. Germany, along with the other Central Powers, lost some land.

Because of the Great Depression, the Allies were preoccupied with dealing with the difficult economic times in each Allied country. When Hitler came to power and began to violate the terms of the Versailles Treaty, the Allies didn’t do much about this. This included the time when Germany moved its troops into the Rhineland, in direct violation of the Versailles Treaty. This action, along with others, led to the start of World War II.

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