To What Extent Was the Treaty of Versailles Responsible for the Political and Economic Instability in Germany Between 1919 and 1923

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To What Extent was the Treaty of Versailles Responsible for the Political and Economic Instability Between 1919-23? 1919 saw the armistice and the official ending of world war one. Germany signed the treaty of Versailles and accepted all guilt for the war as well as the agreement to territorial losses and 132billion gold marks worth of reparations. This crippled the German economy and destabilised the Weimar government’s position. However Germany’s weak economic and political position between 1919 and 1923 cannot purely be put down to the Treaty of Versailles. Other factors such as the nature of the Weimar constitution and the threat from the right and the left of the political spectrum also played a role in the inevitable collapse of the Weimar republic and rise of the Nazi party in 1933. Nevertheless I feel that the Treaty of Versailles was the main blow to the Weimar Republic’s legitimacy as well as the most significant cause of Germany’s hyperinflation during the 4 year period. The Treaty of Versailles was signed in November 1919 by officials from the Weimar government. These men went on to be known as the November criminals, a clear sign of the resentment the German people had for the men that had effectively gave in to the allies as they saw it. Though in truth they had no choice, the treaty’s vindictive terms and unreasonable reparations resulted in a shattered German economy; hyperinflation ensued with the price of everyday necessities skyrocketing, millions of the population went into poverty and unemployment levels hit 25%. Though the treaty of Versailles was not totally to blame for the economic crisis, as the Kaiser had borrowed huge amounts of money to pay for the war effort, it was the most significant cause, it not only led to economic troubles but also much of the political instability that led to the republic’s downfall who used the treaty and the
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