Question – “The Treaty of Versailles paved the way for World War II.” Examine critically.

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Question – The Treaty of Versailles paved the way for World War II. Examine critically. – 6 September 2021

Answer –

The seeds of the Second World War were shown in 1919 at the Paris Peace conference itself. The victorious nations had forced a humiliating treaty of Versailles on Germany. Germany faced gross injustice by this treaty. She was forcefully compelled to sign the treaty.

The role of the Treaty of Versailles in World War II:

The province of Alsace-Lorraine and the minor kingdom of Schleswig were taken from Germany, demolished by building a corridor to Poland, losing all its colonies, depriving them of the mines of the state for fifteen years and thus, several other territorial damages were inflicted.

  • Germany was deprived of economic resources and inflicted a huge amount of compensation on it and tried to recover it with great ruthlessness.
  • Germany was completely disarmed by the Treaty of Versailles. Although the Allied nations had assured Germany that they too would reduce the stock of their armaments, but they never took any step towards this.

Role of other factors in World War II:

  • The Economic Depression of 1929–30.
  • Hitler’s aggressive policy.
  • Policy of appeasement
  • Failure of the League of Nations.
  • Progress of fascist ideology.

Conclusion:

Although the Treaty of Versailles played an important role in forming the basis of the Second World War, yet the total responsibility for the Second World War cannot be given only to the Treaty of Versailles.

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