One of the peace treaties signed to end World War I was the Treaty of Versailles penned on June 28, 1919. Ironically, it was also the fifth anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, the precursor of WWI. There were several provisions included in the treaty, part of which was for Germany to admit to the atrocities during the conflict as well as the devastation it brought to the world and the most controversial of all. Although the peace treaty was an indication that the battle among powers is over, there were criticisms thrown at it and contentious arguments have surfaced. Here are some of the views of pro and anti-Treaty of Versailles.
List of Pros of the Treaty of Versailles
1. German Military Power Immobilization.
Proponents of the Treaty of Versailles claim that with the signing of the peace treaty, the military power of Germany which had taken over many parts of the world was depleted. After that day, Germany was stripped off its power to start another conflict and conquer or damage other nations. Part of the compromise was its disarmament and the reduction in the number of its soldiers. This included an army of measly 100,000 men as well as limiting cavalry and infantry divisions to just three and seven, respectively.
2. Liberty to Invaded Countries.
Advocates for the peace treaty posit that with the curtailed power of Germany and the stringent regulations included in it imposed the concession of Germany to return the territories to its rightful owners such as France and Bulgaria. This also gave the assurance to the people that there will be no more war and that they will live in peace.
List of Cons of the Treaty of Versailles
The signing of the treaty hit Germany so hard that critics argue that this might be a bit too much for the defeated country. For them, Germany deserved to be punished, along with its supporters but it should not be dictated upon and forced to admit and take full responsibility for the war.
2. Germany Was Bullied.
People who were not in favor of the Treaty of Versailles argue that it was not solely Germany that should take all the blame and that the imposition on them to follow the articles of the peace treaty and pay all the damages done to the civilian population of the Allied Forces was a significant sign that Germany was targeted by its enemies.
3. Treaty Was Weak.
Critics also say that it took years to negotiate on the reparations Germany was supposed to make and at the end, it was not imposed. This was also the reason why the military power of German was again empowered and resentment was fired up which encouraged aggression from Germany that had influenced World War II.
Although the Treaty of Versailles was penned to end World War I and make Germany and the countries that supported it make reparations, the cons outweigh the pros. Critics were right to say that the treaty was flawed because it was not able to stop the occurrence of a second world war which brought devastation as the first one.