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What were the lasting effects of the Treaty of Versailles?

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Kale Emmerich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Treaty of Versailles was essentially an attempt to weaken German's industrial and military machine following their attempted conquest in World War 1. The harsh sanctions and impositions put in place by the Treaty enraged the nation of Germany and eventually led to Hitler's uprising. Hitler used what he and the majority of Germany considered the harsh and unfair penalties levied against Germany to galvanize the nation and direct their ire towards the Allied nations and the Jewish people.

The Treaty eventually led to World War 2, but that was in large part due to inaction on the part of the Allies. The lackadaisical attitude towards Germany's efforts to repair and rebuild their navy, as well as their industrial complex, allowed them to get a significant head start on creating a new military, and they eventually invaded and captured Poland before the Allies did anything to seriously prevent their expansion. By that time it was too late, and World War 2 broke out.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The lasting effect of the Treaty of Versailles was World War II.  This was the most important effect that this treaty had.

The treaty led very directly to WWII because it made Germany very unhappy.  Germans were angry because they had been made to claim all the guilt for the war and because they had territory taken away from them.  They were angry because they were prohibited from having a strong military.  These things made the Germans bitter and resentful.  Then, added to this, there were the reparations the Germans were forced to pay.  This helped cause economic hardship in Germany.

All of these things led to a situation in which a person like Hitler could come to power.  Hitler promised to avenge the wrongs done to Germany and Germans were willing to listen because of how unhappy they were with the treaty.  In this way, the Treaty of Versailles led to WWII.

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