Treaty of Versailles : Summary, Terms & Facts

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Treaty of Versailles was a peace document signed on June 28, 1919, between Germany and the Allied Powers. The Treaty ended the war between Germany and the Allies that had existed since 1914. The Treaty of Versailles brought World War I to an end. However, it was a big factor behind the outbreak of World War II. The Treaty of Versailles was named after the palace of Versailles.

In this article, we will be discussing the Treaty of Versailles in-depth, which is an important part of the history section of the UPSC syllabus. Gaining a proper understanding of this topic would help the UPSC aspirants to answer all the related questions to the Treaty of Versailles.

What is Treaty of Versailles?

The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand broke out during World War I. exactly five years after that, the Treaty of Versailles was signed, i.e. on June 28, 1919. The negotiations between the allied victors lasted for six months at the Paris Peace Conference and involved diplomatic delegations from 32 countries.

Treaty of Versailles UPSC Notes

  • US President Woodrow Wilson had a vision for the post-war world. The 14 points described Wilson’s plan for the overhaul of international relations.
  • Wilson called for an immediate end to the war, and he also had the goal of establishing an international peacekeeping organization, open diplomacy, international disarmament, and independence from colonial rule.
  • The 14 points elaborated by Wilson were highly influential, and they helped to shape the world for a better and more peaceful place to live.
  • In addition to negotiating the postwar, the Paris Peace Conference established the League of Nations.
  • League of Nations was an international organization with the objective of resolving disputes without involving military force.

Terms of Treaty of Versailles

Treaty of Versailles played a crucial role in establishing a blueprint for the postwar world.

  • “War Guilt clause” was the most controversial term in the Treaty that blamed Germany for the outbreak of World War I.
  • The Treaty of Versailles imposed a heavy debt payment of $5 billion on Germany. Forced to disarm and make territorial concessions.
  • US President Woodrow Wilson didn’t agree with the harsh terms, but he couldn’t do much about it.
  • The French wanted to weaken Germany to a great extent.

Consequences of the Treaty of Versailles

World War I started when Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo.

  • Gavrilo was a member of the Black Hand. This Hand encouraged the Austro-Hungarian Empire to declare war on Serbia. As a result, Serbia declared war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
  • German People were angry about the fact that Germy was made solely responsible for outbreaks of World War I.
  • Germany’s burden of reparations crossed 132 billion gold Reichsmarks. This amount was so significant for Germany.
  • Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in 1934, and he started violating many terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Hitler announced a moratorium on all debt payments and ceased making reparations. He also started building the German army in earnest.
  • It laid the ground for World War II, which was far deadlier than World War I.

Treaty of Versailles UPSC

The Treaty of Versailles finds its relevance in the history segment of the UPSC Syllabus. That’s why candidates preparing for the UPSC Exam must go through the Treaty of Versailles UPSC Notes to prepare for the topic. Apart from the notes, candidates can also take the help of History Books for UPSC and UPSC study materials to kickstart their preparation.

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