The Instigator
billnumerous
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Dagolas
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The Treaty of Versailles was unfair to Germany

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/15/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,885 times Debate No: 70107
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
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billnumerous

Pro

Hello, I'm Billy. I'll show you guys that the Treaty of Versailles was unfair to Germany.

First of all, I have to tell what the Treaty of Versailles is:
The Treaty of Versailles was the treaty that ended World War I. It stated that Germany was completely responsible for this war that caused at least 17 million deaths. Germany lost a ton of its land, the government was forced to give up most of it's military, and it had to pay the equivalent of about 33 billion U.S. dollars! Why that much? Germany did not declare the war. The Austro-Hungarian Empire did (not to be oppressive to them).

Germany had no say in the Treaty. They had to sign it, or else, the Allies would invade the weakened Germany. Now don't get me wrong. Germany was partly responsible for the war, but the country did nothing that would make them deserve that much of a punishment!

The unfairness of the Treaty caused excuses to be made also. One of Hitler and the Nazis' top excuses while rising to power is that the Treaty of Versailles was unfair to Germany. That should be obvious. Hitler invaded Poland and started another world war.

At that time, World War I was considered to be the "war to end all wars". The Treaty of Versailles was partly to blame for the provocation of WWII.
Dagolas

Con

Hi Billy!

As my opponent has put forward a few points, I assume I have the Burden of Proof, and will start debating. I do accept your challenge and terms.

First I'll just go over my position as the Contender will be to explain why the Treaty of Versailles was fair, or at least not unfair to Germany.

First of all, you raise the argument that the treaty states Germany was COMPLETELY responsible. However, on inspecting the treaty you'll find it states it requires "Germany accept the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage". See here that it includes all the allies of Germany during WW1.

Your next point: "Germany lost a ton of its land". Let us consult this map: http://relay-of-revolutions.wikispaces.com... . Here we can clearly see Germany lost only Poland and it's territory on the French Border. They had wrongly conquered Alsace-Lorraine before WW1 and one of France's main reasons for declaring war on Germany was a chance to regain its lost territory. Poland, however, had agreed to the unification of the Germanic people, but had every right to be separated from Deutschland at this point. Bismarck's work was further undone as Austria-Hungary is split into several smaller countries.

"the government was forced to give up most of it's military" was one of Hitler's main excuses, as well as the main source of appeasement in the years leading up to WW2. While it is true they were limited to 100 000 men, they had absolutely no reason to have any more military men (as was shown from the German Republic that followed WW1 and worked perfectly). The only reason he needed more men was to invade other countries, which is not defending your country, unlike what Hitler and Chamberlain claimed.

"And it had to pay the equivalent of about 33 billion U.S. dollars!" this was multiplied by their involvment in World War 2. Arguably, the winners get the better end of the deal. Besides, they started it. You have to own up to the consequences.

"Germany did not declare the war. The Austro-Hungarian Empire did (not to be oppressive to them)." Though they were allies and shortly followed the Austro-Hungarians. Besides, the ones who made WW1 a global conflict were the Germs, as the Austrians only wanted to attack Serbia (and keep it to a 1 on 1) because of economic and political tension.

"Germany had no say in the Treaty. They had to sign it, or else, the Allies would invade the weakened Germany." Several incorrect facts here. "They had to sign it, or else" was neve a problem, as the main correspondent from Germany at that point refused to sign it and was replaced by another German who agreed to sign it as long as they dropped a few articles (which they did). Thus they had a say in it. It's true that they would have been invaded, but is that a problem? Again, owning up to the consequences of their actions.

"The unfairness of the Treaty caused excuses to be made also. One of Hitler and the Nazis' top excuses while rising to power is that the Treaty of Versailles was unfair to Germany. That should be obvious. Hitler invaded Poland and started another world war." Treaty or not, Hitler would have risen to power. The main excuse was not the unfairness of the Treaty, that excuse lasted a few months before the French Radical Daladier and Winston Churchill called BS. The only man who accepted that excuse was Neville Chamberlain, who is arguably a great coward in history now. It in fact gave more time for Stalin and the other Allies to make pacts and weapons to better face off Hitler. Hitler's main argument for invading the other countries was pangermanism, the unification of the German/Aryan peoples (he even invited the UK to join the Axis, since we/the English are descendants from a Germanic tribe) and his hate of Jews. He blamed the economic collapse on the Jews, Communism and Russia's power on the Jews, as well as the signing of the Treaty of Versailles (which they had little part in).

"At that time, World War I was considered to be the "war to end all wars". The Treaty of Versailles was partly to blame for the provocation of WWII." That's a matter of opinion, of course. In my opinion, it was rather ersatz and Hitler would still have provoked a Second World War as he was a madman and Aryan supremacist (the concept existed before Hitler, so you could even argue another Hitler with a different face could have risen). WW2 was also called "The Last War". A year later the Cold War started, and since then there have been more than a thousand wars.
Debate Round No. 1
billnumerous

Pro

Hi, Dagolas. Good luck, and let's have some fun.

To start, I'll talk about the different viewpoints of the Treaty of Versailles.
The Prime Minister of France, Georges Clemenceau, wanted to punish Germany harshly, for revenge after the humiliation of the French loss in the Franco-Prussian War.
American President Wilson had very different aims. He knew that if Germany was punished so harshly, At least somebody will be seeking revenge. He drew his Fourteen Point Plan for Peace, but he was overruled.

Now that you know the different viewpoints, let's list the Treaty of Versailles' 4 main states (I'll describe them more specifically in this round).

1. Germany had to pay billions of British pounds called reparations.
2. Germany had to accept full blame of starting the war.
3. Germany was forbidden to have a submarine or air force. She can only have six battleships and a 100,000-man army.
4. Germany lost much of her land.
5. Germany was rejected from the newly created League of Nations.

I hope that this shows you how harshly Germany was punished. While creating the Treaty, it is clear that it is aimed to punish and humiliate Germany, but not the rest of the Central Powers. Germans were horrified by the result. They lost 10% of its population, all their overseas colonies, 12.5% of the German population, 16% of their coalfields and almost half of their steel and iron industry. Germans were also disgraced with the fact that only their country had to disarm of any sort. Lastly, they got rejected from the League of Nations, and soon, Hitler and the Nazis tried to take their revenge; violently.

Valuable Lesson: If you punish a country too harshly, people will come seek for revenge (Hitler....).
Dagolas

Con

Did you read my arguments? I invalidated most of those points. As to Wilson's fourteen points, considering he advocated the creation of a League of Nations (which stills exists under the form of the UN), I'd say he was pretty successful. AS to the Germans losing territory, they had never truly owned it. Otto Von Bismarck, when founding Germany, got a few countries together unwillingly and blackmailed or went to war against them to make them join Germany.

If you make a jenga tower with a piece thats broken, then the tower collapses. It's perfectly normal for Germany to lose territory that had a majority of people who didn't want to be part of Germany.
Debate Round No. 2
billnumerous

Pro

Before you say my argument is fake, this is the link: http://www.ushmm.org...

The website states that WWI was one of the most destructive wars in history. Millions of soldiers and civilians were killed by the end of the war. The Allied Powers, with the UK, France, USA, and Russia (until its internal revolution), and a lot more countries, went up against the Central Powers, which included Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire.

The Treaty of Versailles aimed Germany at being the chief instigator of this conflict, when to be truthful, it really wasn't. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia after a Serbian man assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Germany just did most of the work for the Central Powers, and having 2 million Germans die. However, like I said, the Treaty deemed Germany as responsible, thus imposing harsh punishments upon this particular country. Shouldn't the punishment be distributed among the Central Powers somehow in some way?

Germany was forced to pay billions in reparations. Aware that Germany would probably not be able to pay their debts, French Prime Minister Clemenceau nevertheless still feared in Germany rising to power, thus imposing military restrictions, such as forbidding an air force and only allowing an army of 100,000 men. Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down there, Clemenceau! The Treaty is literally restricting Germany from competitions and not giving them a chance when really, the cause of war wasn't necessarily their full guilt.

One main thing why the Treaty was unfair because the Germans had no say in the conference in Paris. Treaties are supposed to be agreed over, not to punish a particular nation. With no German say, the Treaty of Versailles was a planned document to crush German chances to compete in the modern world

You still not convinced? Well, picture this. Imagine if you turned on your TV and tuned into the news, and the headlines said that your country had to pay billions of dollars after a war, give up most of its military, and 1/8 of your country's land, when not fully supported that your country was fully responsible for that war. How would you feel? That's what the Germans must've felt after news of the Treaty spread across Europe.

This is my last argument. Please vote for me if you are convinced, and I am signing out
Special thanks,
Billy
Dagolas

Con

I'd advocate to vote for myself whatever your opinion as Pro as been relishing in his not reading my arguments or actually debating them but reusing the SAME ARGUMENTS FROM ROUND 1 I've debunked. Whatever:

"Germany was forced to pay billions in reparations." Which the US paid most of, since it was free for them: giving the money to Germany meant Germany gave it to the UK and France, who then gave it to the US who they owed money to. And Germany would then pay the US reparations, giving the US a full circle of money. As a sidenote, do you realize Clemenceau was kicked out of the government in 1919 for being a "violent sociopath" in the eyes of France?

"One main thing why the Treaty was unfair because the Germans had no say in the conference in Paris. Treaties are supposed to be agreed over, not to punish a particular nation. With no German say, the Treaty of Versailles was a planned document to crush German chances to compete in the modern world" Read arguments from Round 1 and 2, they HAD a say in the matter and managed to get the Treaty changed in their favour.

"You still not convinced? Well, picture this. Imagine if you turned on your TV and tuned into the news, and the headlines said that your country had to pay billions of dollars after a war, give up most of its military, and 1/8 of your country's land, when not fully supported that your country was fully responsible for that war. How would you feel? That's what the Germans must've felt after news of the Treaty spread across Europe." TV's didn't exist though. And I think they were too busy living in a peaceful, democratic republic. Hell, at first Hitler was a bozo with 0% of votes in Parliament who went to jail and was risible. He only even had any influence after the Great Depression, which also was I think the main concern of the Germans. An eighth of the country's land? If you're Heinrich Liebenhunt in Bavaria, I don't think you give much of a damn if the Reich just lost a colony in Africa or whatever. Again, the US contributed to most of the billions since it ultimately came back to them (with interest). As for interest, you'll notice the Weymar Republic was a peaceful and working thing up until a loaf of bread cost 20 000 000 000 Reichmarks (money became so worthless they used it to light fire).

Was the treaty fair on the Germans? On paper, it's harsh but fair. After all, Germany AND ITS ALLIES (as said in the treaty, don't know why you keep saying they're the only ones to get the blame. That's like saying Mussolini got away with it, did you read my map? Austria got absolutely f-cked in the treaty!) had started a war since they wanted revenge and money. In the end, they didn't even end up doing most of the things that were on the list, as the reparations weren't repayed in full, and also heavily helped by the US, but also since no country had any wish to attack them. So submarines? Not very useful, especially since they only have one coast. Planes? The first thing Germans did with planes was throw bombs at people, it's arguably probably not a military advantage you want to give them. 100 000 soldiers was far, far enough to protect from any country around it, but those countries didn't even have a wish to attack them (and haven't since 1919). As I said in the first few rounds, the territory it lost was never "theirs" arguably.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by KOMMIES 2 years ago
KOMMIES
I think the treaty of Versailles was not unfair to Germany because although not the main country behind WW1 they pushed buttons to purposely annoy countries so they were trying to test the Triple Entente and split them apart
Posted by Dagolas 2 years ago
Dagolas
Heh, this is actually one debate that might get split votes... Usually it's something like "I fink anarchy is kool" where one side always wins. Here I'm actually not sure who will, though I do believe what I'm arguing.
Posted by Atheist-Independent 2 years ago
Atheist-Independent
I agree with you Pro.
No votes have been placed for this debate.