Treaty of Versailles and World War II

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World War I had been arguably the most devastating conflict in human history to that point. Following the defeat of Germany and its allies, the victors began plans to reap the spoils of war. A peace conference was held Versailles, outside Paris, presided over by Georges Clemenceau of France, Woodrow Wilson of the United States, and David Lloyd George of England.


Designed to ensure peace, the psychological effects on the German people as a result of these terms produced the opposite effect as Germany was tossed into economic ruin. The conventional wisdom has always been that it was the outcome of the Treaty of Versailles that created a political situation in which another war was almost inevitable. This conclusion is an example of the desire of humanity as a whole to reduce the most complex situations down to the simplest explanation. By insisently focusing on this one aspect of the history between the two world wars of the 20th century, the multiple lessons to be gained that could reduce that possibility of such a thing happening run the risk of not only being discounted but even denied. The complex mechanism of history that served to foment the unique conditions that led to World War II include factors as varied as the stock market crash of 1929 and its impact on the willingness of many to embrace extremist answers to crushing economic uncertainty, as well as unexplained reluctances of the part of governments to recognize and control the growing threat of fascist authority and Germany's blatant violations of many tenets of the treaty.
The substantial impact of the Treaty of Versaille should not be ignored, but under different circumstances it alone would probably not have been enough to create a si ...
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