The Treaty of Versailles was signed in June of 1919, and laid the foundations for the postwar (or interwar) years.

The Treaty of Versailles was signed in June of 1919, and laid the foundations for the postwar (or interwar) years. 

In this assignment, you will be asked to read two excerpts from the Treaty of Versailles and respond to the questions below. 

Excerpt #1: Article 231

“The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies.”

Excerpt #2: Article 235

“In order to enable the Allied and Associated Powers to proceed at once to the restoration of their industrial and economic life, pending the full determination of their claims, Germany shall pay in such installments and in such manner (whether in gold, commodities, ships, securities or otherwise) as the Reparation Commission may fix, during 1919, 1920 and the first four months Of 1921 , the equivalent of 20,000,000,000 gold marks. Out of this sum the expenses of the armies of occupation subsequent to the Armistice of November 11, 1918, shall first be met, and such supplies of food and raw materials as may be judged by the Governments of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers to be essential to enable Germany to meet her obligations for reparation may also, with the approval of the said Governments, be paid for out of the above sum.”

Questions

  1. What is stated here in the first excerpt, and how does it relate to the war? 
  2. Do you think Article 231 of the treaty was fair? What were the potential consequences of this “war guilt” clause? 
  3. Article 235 addresses reparations. What are reparations and what is their moral purpose? 
  4. What spirit of resentment did these articles of the Treaty have the potential to create with Germany?
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