Fascism under Mussolini and Nazism under Hitler started to rise in Europe during the interwar periods. Both totalitarian governments brought great impact to their nations and international peace, which eventually led to the outbreak of WWII. The German economy suffered severe setbacks after the end of World War I, partly because of reparations payments required under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. The government printed money to make the payments and to repay the country's war debt; the resulting hyperinflation led to inflated prices for consumer goods, economic chaos, and food riots. When the government failed to make the reparations payments in January 1923, French troops occupied German industrial areas along the Ruhr.
The Treaty of Versailles had an immense significance over Germany in 1919-1939 as it would cause large political, economical, financial, geographical, and military changes for Germany and would result in the rise of the Nazis. The Treaty of Versailles was a treaty to help “settle” international conflicts after World War 1 by deciding who was responsible for the war and how they should be punished. The treaty was written up by Great Britain, France, and The United States of America. Germany was ultimately decided as responsible for the war and was punished heavily as a result. This was in large part due to the complaints of George Clemenceau about the treaty’s original leniency.
The most controversial part of the treaty was Part VIII that established Germany 's liability for war and the damages of the Allies. It set Germany 's reparations. It had Article 231 in which Germany accepted its responsibility for the Allied damages during the war. Article 231 or the War Guilt Clause raised negative sentiments from Germany 's population giving rise and emboldening the right-wing German parties. It was a precursor
As a result of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, the German population was outraged by how harsh the Treaty of Versailles was for them as a nation. Germany was expecting a victory over the Allies during World War One but as a result of them starting the war the Allies were making demands which Germany felt were too harsh. The German government were divided on whether to sign the Treaty of Versailles but in hindsight, they had no choice because Germany as a nation would be devastated if the war continued on. Many opponents of the Weimar Republic laid responsibility for the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on the November Criminals as a result of this the Weimar Republic faced negative publicity. The German army was reduced 100,000 men and they couldn 't have any tanks, submarines or planes.
The treaty was registered by the Secretariat of the League of Nations on 21 October 1919. Finally, on 11 November 1918, after four years of war, an armistice based on United States’ President Woodrow Wilson’s “Fourteen Points” was agreed to by Germany. The Fourteen Points was a statement of principles for world peace that was to be used for peace negotiations in order to end World War I. The principles were outlined in a January 8, 1918 speech on war aims and peace terms to the United States Congress by President Woodrow Wilson. Europeans generally welcomed Wilson 's points but his main Allied colleagues were skeptical of Wilson 's idealism.
The Treaty of Versailles was proven significant towards Germany for many more years after the treaty was signed due to the horrific impact these terms had on Germany. The ‘War Guilt’ clause, also known as Article 231 was the statement that shared all the blame onto Germany for having started the war. Unsurprisingly, the Germans disregarded this statement and would argue that it was considered unfair to them due to their government not being present at the Paris Peace talks and that they were being forced to accept the burden in which the treaty imposed on them without any say. ‘Diktat’ was the specific word used by the Germans at that time to illustrate this idea. What made matters even worse, however, was the fact that they also had the duty of paying for all the disaster caused by the war.
A Violation The Treaty of Versailles was a violation of Wilson’s ideals. The Treaty is one of the most important agreements (or disagreements) that shaped 20th century Europe socially and physically. Woodrow Wilson on January 22, 1917 in an address to the United States Senate called for a peace without victors, but the Treaty signed by the participating nations was everything but that. The blame for the war was placed on Germany and justified the reparations that were outlined by the treaty for the war. The terms of the treaty were very harsh to the Germans and they took on great resentment.
When Stresemann took control, the Hyperinflation was a major crisis in Germany. Stresemann had a solution for this. He thought of creating a new currency called the Rentenmark to replace the other currency. Stresemann kept the hyperinflation under control. But if the currency failed, the government promised Stresemann to exchange the money for shares in either land or industry.
The Western Allies quickly realized they couldn’t “kick a dog when its already down”, and that Germany was in desperate need of help.” Therefore, the Allies’ aim was to rebuild Germany’s economy. The Soviet Union disagreed with this plan immensely, and instead, they became busy with setting up Communist dictatorships in their conquered areas, such as the zone of East Germany. This major difference among these powers marked the beginning of the Cold War. The war was not of physical battle but of international diplomacy. Germany now became the prize struggle between enemies.