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Truth And Consequences: Taking Advantage Of The Loser Of WWI

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Although the costs and strain that World War I placed on the
countries involved in it were unimaginable, the peace treaty Germany was
forced to sign was neither fair nor just. Millions upon millions of men
lost their lives or were wounded and women and children suffered from not
having and positive male influence and being forced into manual labor on
the homefront. The cost alone to the United States was $27,729,000,000 and
the Americans killed numbered 53,407. Illness and other causes brought the
total number of deaths to about 126,000. There were 204,002 wounded which
were not fatal. When Allied leaders decided that it was time to end
everything, they made the right decision. After rapid troop deployment by
the United States and the successful Allied counterattack, Germany was on
the run. Eventually, they surrendered and were forced into a peace
agreement. The leaders of the major allied powers, Clemenceau of France,
Geroge of Great Britain, Orlando of Italy, and Wilson of the United States,
were supposed to draw up a document for long lasting peace based on
Wilson's Fourteen Points, but the other leaders were vengeful. They wanted
Germany to pay in a big way for their losses and costs incurred. Instead
of choosing to aim for long lasting peace by basing their treaty on the
Fourteen Points, Clemenceau, George, and Orlando drew up a treaty that
would cause Germany to go into a nation-wide depression and suffer for a
whole generation. This treaty became known as the Treaty of Versailles.
In looking at the treaty, one would think that the writers were
completely biased against Germany... and they would be right. Because
France, Great Britain, and Italy were the three main countries involved in
the creation of the Traety of Versailles, they used every minute detail of
the treaty to work to their advantage. The only positive detail of the
treaty was the League of Nations. The League was planned to reduce the
chances of another war. This Covenant of the League of Nations was made the
first part of the Treaty of Versailles. Further on in the treaty Germany
was forbidden to create any new or maintain any old fortifications on the
left and right banks of the Rhineland and Germany was forced to renounce
the government of the Saar in favor of the League of Nations as trustee.
France went so far as to take German coal mines in the Saar Basin as
compensation for destroyed French mines during battle. France also got
back the territories of Alsace and Lorraine and they had any territories
ceeded to Germany returned. Germany was forced to go against their views
and acknowledge the complete independence of Austria, the Czecho-Slovak
State, and Poland. Any overseas possession belonging to Germany was
renounced and the German military force was demobilized. In addition to
losing much of their land and goods, it was decided on April 27, 1921 that
Germany would be forced to pay in ...

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