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Treaty of Versailles information sheet

The Treaty of Versailles was signed on 28 June 1919 and consisted

of 440 Articles setting out the terms for Germany's punishment.
The treaty was greeted with shock, disbelief and anger in Germany.
The most important of these articles can be grouped into four
categories to help with your revision.
Attempt to use the
words in blue.
Remember, the
examiner will be
impressed with key
words and



terminology which
will help you get
higher marks!

(Territorial provisions)
Article 42: the Rhineland was demilitarised (the German army
was not allowed to go there)

Article 45: the Saar, with its rich coalfields was given to
France for 15 years

Article 80: Germany was forbidden to unite with Austria

Article 87: lands in eastern Germany- the rich farmlands of

Posen and the polish corridor between Germany and eastern
Prussia ( part of Germany) was given to Poland

Article 100: Danzig was made a free city and was under the
league of nations control

Article 119: ALL of Germanys colonies were taken away and

given to France and Britain.

(Military provisions)
Article 160: the German army was restricted to 100,000 men

Article 181: the Germany navy was restricted to six battleships

and no submarines. Britain and France offered to take most of
Germanys naval forces but Germany refused. They instead
broke the ships up for its useful metal or allowed them ships to
crash in sea instead of giving them for free to the British and

Article 198: Germany was not allowed to have an air force

(War guilt clause)

Article 231: Germany had to agree that they were responsible

for causing all the loss and damage in the war and it was their
fault that the war had started.

(Financial or economic provisions)
Article 232: Germany had to pay reparations- to be decided
after the treaty- eventually set to 6.6 billion dollars

German reaction:
Many ordinary Germans felt the treaty was too harsh and unfair. For
example, they did not understand why Germany should have its lands
taken away and its army reduced when other nations such as France
and Britain did not have to. They felt threatened and weak, and were
scared they may be attacked in the future. Germans referred to the
treaty as Diktat (dictated or forced peace) as Germany was not
allowed to argue against the treaty.
On 8 January 1918, United States President Woodrow Wilson issued
a statement which became known as the Fourteen Points. This
speech outlined a policy of free trade, open agreements, democracy
and self-determination. Many Germans thought that the treaty of

Versailles would be based on these fourteen points and never

expected it to be as harsh as it was.
They never expected any government representing Germany to agree
to such terms. Despite this, however, the newly elected Weimar
republic agreed to the provisions set out in the Versailles treaty.
This angered German citizens who were already calling the Weimar
government, the November criminals for signing the armistice
(ending the first World War in 1918) and made them even more

Treaty of Versailles FAQ- frequently asked questions:

Where is Versailles?
It is a place near Paris where the big three made Germany sign the

Who is the big three?

Representatives of the three nations who won the war:
Britain - Lloyd George
France Georges Clemeneau (also known as the tiger)
United States Woodrow Wilson
What did the big three want?
Britain wanted to ensure it retained its naval supremacy and make
Germany pay justly
France wanted to punish Germany and crush it economically and
militarily. They wanted Germany to pay for the damage caused to
France and make sure Germans could never go to war again.
United States wanted to create the League of Nations and promote
free trade and democracy in Europe. They wanted to be lenient with

Why should I care about the treaty of Versailles?

It is a major event in the history of Germany between 1918-1939.
You need to know it! It is one of the reasons why there were so many
revolts and uprisings in Germany between 1919-1924. Also, a reason
why the Weimar republic was so unpopular.