World War I is considered to be the most harmful and disastrous war in the history of humanity. The use of chemical weapons has officially made the WWI the cruelest war. Many believe that the way in which World War I was completed by the European countries resulted in World War II several years after.
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According to the authors of Germany’s complaint, how will various provisions of the treaty hurt Germany’s economy?
According to the authors of Germany’s complaint, the economy of the country is ruined and turned into bankruptcy by the provisions of the treaty. The economy is wrecked in several ways. First of all, Germany is to pay a significant indemnity, while there is no currency left in the country. Secondly, an international body gets control over the German waterways. Thirdly, researchers note that, on the initiative of foreign authorities, such strategic objects as canals and railroads are to be built on German territory (“Comments of the German delegation,” n.d.) The fourth thing is the annexation of the property located abroad. The fifth point is the prohibition for German citizens to participate in international business affairs. Generally speaking, as a result of the WWI, Germany is deprived of its monetary resources and of its right to supervise natural resources and its territory. Germany’s position in the international relationships is utterly destroyed.
In Germany’s view, how would the country have been treated differently if the principles they attribute to President Wilson had been applied?
The League of Nations was aiming at establishing peace on the European territory, but the understanding of this condition was not in favor of Germany. Instead of sharing the responsibility for the consequences of the war and creating an efficient and effective international legislative body capable of solving the economic, social, and political issues of the whole of Europe, the League of Nations put all the blame on starting the war on Germany. President Wilson had a profound vision of the subject and foresaw the outcome of the situation. He suggested writing the treaty keeping in mind the collective guilt and collective responsibility. President Wilson warned that restraining Germany from European policy might lead to a new war. Germany would have been treated differently if it had not had to pay the war indemnity, had been invited to join the League of Nations, and had not been solely accused of WWI and its results. In reality, nothing of this happened.
To what higher “fundamental laws” does the document appeal to in order to strengthen German assertions?
To strengthen German assertions, the document appeals to higher “fundamental laws” that are similar to inalienable rights in people. The authors of the document stress that neither a person nor a state can be deprived of those rights. Among those rights are the subsistence right, freedom of the will, self-sufficiency, and self-control (Luckau, 1945).
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Do you agree with the authors of the document that Germany was poorly treated?
I agree with the authors of the document that Germany was badly treated by the Treaty of Versailles. Germany was not the only country fighting this war. It was not the only country to lose it either. However, all the blame for the war was put on Germany. The provisions of the treaty ultimately ruined the economy of the country and a sense of national pride. Defending their interests, the European countries forgot the rules of mutual respect, and universal laws were pushed aside by material reasons. Dealing with the post-war consequences, it is hard to determine who was treated poorly and why. Nevertheless, it is absolutely clear that the Allies treated Germany most unwisely.
What response to their complaints might defenders of the treaty have made?
The defenders of the treaty are aware of their complete, unquestionable power, so it is not difficult to answer this question. The possible response could be as follows: “The war is not about equality of rights. The war is about the survival of the nation. The postwar experiences give every nation time and resources to heal itself. The resources are usually scanty, but the responsibility of the officials before the citizens and the state is limitless. It is this responsibility that empowers the state representatives to act in the best interest of the nation they belong to”.
The Treaty of Versailles ruined the German economy. The society was depressed. As a result, Nazism was welcomed to the country because the ideology boosted national pride. It is hard to imagine that WWII could have been avoided if the signing of the treaty was about establishing the peaceful relationship between the states, but not the dominance of one nation over another.
Comments of the German delegation to the Paris Peace Conference on the conditions of Peace. (n.d.). Web.
Luckau, A. (1945). Unconditional acceptance of the treaty of Versailles by the German government, June 22-28, 1919. The Journal of Modern History, 17(3), 215-220.