Paris Peace Conference
Undoubtedly, the various provisions of the Paris Peace Treaty were not of benefit but rather had the intention of hurting Germany’s economy. First, the treaty acknowledged the fact that Germany was the mastermind of the destruction and damages incurred by its rival nations as well as their subjects. Besides, it can be seen that through its various provisions, the treaty’s primary purpose was to ensure that Germany’s position as a global superpower was to be destroyed. Further, the provisions of the treaty stated that Germans abroad were not allowed to keep and maintain their old relations in foreign countries and of helping Germany regain a significant share in the economic world. The treaty’s provisions also highlighted that Germany’s property abroad was to be confiscated and liquidated, and instead of being restored to the country, it would be used for reparation (“Comments of the German Delegation to the Paris Peace Conference on the Conditions of Peace,” 1919). Therefore, these perspectives underline how the provisions of the treaty impacted adversely on the economic growth of Germany.
President Wilson had earlier believed in a principle that would ensure equality among countries and unrestricted participation of countries in various international programs. An application of this principle would ensure that the solidarity of human interests is respected. In the case of Germany, had this principle been applied, it would have been treated differently as a country because it would have cooperated in the framing of the Covenant of the League of Nations. Besides, an application of the principle attributed to President Wilson would ensure that Germany becomes one of the countries to join the League of Nations, although this did not come to pass as a result of the failure to apply President Wilson’s principle.
The document in focus appeals to a higher fundamental law, which would help strengthen German assertions. This fundamental law is that which stresses and defends the right of self-determination, which would make it possible for every nation including Germany, to thrive economically and politically without interference from other countries.
Arguably, every person reading the document would be in agreement with the argument that Germany was being treated poorly. A fact which underlines Germany’s poor treatment is that Germans abroad were not allowed to maintain or keep old relations in foreign countries and that of helping Germany regain a significant share in world commerce. Besides, the confiscation and liquidation of Germany’s property, which was then used for reparation rather than being restored to the country, indicates how Germany was being treated poorly. Also, the treaty supported the cession of Alsace-Lorraine, which was part of Germany, without consulting the German population and almost two million Germans were to be forced from their land to pave the way for invasion by foreigners (“Comments of the German Delegation to the Paris Peace Conference on the Conditions of Peace,” 1919).
In response to the complaints of the authors of the document, the defenders of the treaty might have made attempts to uphold and defend the right of self-determination, which would have seen Germany, like every other free nation, thrive economically, politically, and embrace internal policies that would pave the way for harmonious and peaceful living. In essence, the peace treaty signed was against the development of Germany as it allowed interference from the governments of the Allied and Associated Powers.
Comments of the German Delegation to the Paris Peace Conference on the Conditions of Peace. (October, 1919). http://college.cengage.com/history/primary_sources/world/conditions_of_peace.htm