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- This stream gives a good background on World War I.
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War Guilt Clause & Reparations 💰
- The treaty required Germany to assume all responsibility for the war and incur the financial responsibility of repayment to their enemies, principally France and Britain.
- The war-guilt clause inspired nationalist sentiment among German citizens as their economy was ruined by inflation. This eventually led to the collapse of the Weimar Republic.
- Further havoc occurred as France and Belgium invaded Germany's industrial center, the Ruhr Valley.
- While no longer controlled by Germany, companies kept producing goods with the profit instead going to both occupying nations.
Disarmament & Timelines 📆
- Germany was ordered to reduce the size of its military.
- However, with no set date, Germany was able to stall its military cuts.
- Disobedience of the treaty, especially in terms of military, caused major tensions between Germany and the Allies, particularly neighboring France.
Woodrow Wilson & The League of Nations 🚫
- American President Woodrow Wilson showed up to peace talks with a series of Fourteen Points he wished to implement.
- Wilson's ideas were very lenient with Germany and focused on rebuilding rather than revenge.
- As he was in poor health and lacked U.S. popular support, only one of his Points was accepted, the League of Nations.
- The League of Nations was an international peacekeeping organization, which was intended to be made up of every country involved in the war.
- Restrained by the traditional American policy of isolationism, both the U.S. public and Congress spoke out against joining, preferring instead to stay out of European affairs. The absence of the U.S. would eventually cause the League to fail.