Reparationswas a key part of Versailles and heavily impacted Weimar’s upbringing, growthand eventually fall. Repaying debts to other nations impacted the Weimar in thelong run as it caused workers in the Ruhr to stop working which allowed forFrance to occupy it (as Clemenceau wanted) and eventually causedhyper-inflation leading to an economic collapse. Thetheory of a possible back-stab grew among former soldiers due to the Weimarsociety becoming unstable due to hyperinflation and mass unemployment. Therewas also a belief that the war was lost not because of the army but because ofthe politicians. This theory eventually resulted into the fall of the Weimarrepublic and the beginning of the Nazi government.
Due to the outstanding debtWeimar had to pay, they fell into economic recession, causing the public toassign blame for the loss of the war and Versailles to the government.Versailles use of reparations caused a chain of events that would force theRepublic to the Nazi government. Themotives of France and Britain heavily shaped the treaty so it would punish theGermans heavily whilst benefiting the Allies. Clemenceau wanted Germany to payfor the war by stripping them of all resources, have France occupy, Rhineland andoverall punish the Germans. Lloyd George wanted to punish the Germans but nottoo much as he wanted to re-establish the trade links with Germany that hadbeen present before the war. He also wanted to gain Germany’s colonies acrossthe world in places such as Africa. Whilst Woodrow Wilson wanted his “14point plan” to be the basis of a League of Nations that would ensurepolitical communication and peace throughout the world.
He didn’t want todestroy Germany but instead wanted to rebuild it. Wilson hated the blame clauseof the Treaty as he believed Germany wasn’t the sole offender of the war. TheTreaty of Versailles was heavily based upon France and Britain’s motives as Germanyhad been stripped of many of its political rights as Clemenceau wanted. Germanywas stripped of all colonies (as Lloyd George wanted), banned from the Leagueof Nations and its military shrunk to just 100 000 men as well as reparationsof 6.
6 billion as well as 12% of Germany’s territory was taken away. Thereparations, loss of land and the fall in army heavily benefited France as theywere seen as a more superior nation compared to Germany. Furthermore, thetreaty heavily effected the Weimar negatively whilst benefiting France andBritain. Due to the treatynot incorporating Wilson’s 14 point plan and being set to only benefit Franceand Britain, it set the Weimar up for failure. This is because they were forcedto repay debts that were nearly impossible for Germany to repay in the set deadline.
Furthermore Germans had expected afair agreement based on Wilson’sFourteen Points. Instead, they were handed a treaty that was not negotiated between both sides but was forced on awar-ravaged and starving people. This sparked German Nationalism, rise ofdifferent ideology groups and eventually the fall of Weimar.