The Traty of Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles, signed at the Paris Peace Conference by the victorious nations, stated
that Germany and its allies were primarily responsible for the initiation of World War I. In light of their
decision, I believe that the major representatives made a fair and just verdict. Germany seemed to
continually push the buttons of the other countries. I feel that Germanys hostility and disrespect of the
other countries is one of the major reasons that the war was actually started. I also feel that the treatys
decision to make Germany responsible for the reparations of the other countries was very suitable.

Germany and its allies displayed quite a bit of hostility right from the beginning. A particular
German ally, Austria-Hungary, was technically the first country who declared war. Austria-Hungary had
been involved in a disagreement with Serbia over the annexation of two smaller countries. One of these
smaller countries, Bosnia, happened to be mostly populated by ethnic Serbs. The Serbs wanted to be
united as one nation, much like other ethnic groups in Europe. Serbia challenged this annexation, and
called upon Russia for support. Germany decided to get involved, and basically told Russia to recognize
the annexation and turn the other way. (The Twentieth Century: A Brief Global History, p.99) I believe
this is a prime example of how forcefully aggressive Germany was. Germanys involvement might have
been expected due to their alliance with Austria-Hungary. However, it had to be their hostility and thirst
for control that drove them to persuade Russia so much in their favor.
Another good example of Germanys aggression that points to their responsibility for causing
WWI, is their war plans. Germany had developed a plan of how to be victorious against Russia and
France if they should ever be at war with each other. Germanys disrespect for other countries, and
especially their disregard of a neutral country, was adequately shown in this plan. Germany declared war
on Russia, and later France. Germany had to invade neutral Belgium to get to France. When Great
Britain heard of the invasion of Belgium, they decided to take action against Germany. (The Twentieth
Century, p. 102) Germanys actions to this point pulled in countries that were more, or less uninvolved.
Thus the alliance system started to play its role.
Germanys continual encouragement of hostility fueled the war. In addition, I believe that the
fragile economic state of the world after the war can be directly blamed on Germany and its allies.
Germany and Austria-Hungary increased their military expenses almost double of what they had in
previous years. Due to their increase in armament the Allied forces were forced to increase their
expenditures, just in order to keep up. Russia, France, and Great Britain were among some of the ones
that were spending billions of dollars on a better armament for their country. These high increases put a
major strain on the economy, and it can all be related back to the initial expenditures of the Central
forces. I absolutely agree with the councils decision to name Germany and its allies as being
responsible for World War I, and I support what the treaty stated about the reparations. Germany was at
fault, and its completely fair that they were branded as the instigators, and made to give something back
to each of the countries involved for their losses.

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