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It was neither a vindictive harsh peace nor a lenient one desdigned to reconcile How far does this description of the Treaty of Versailles explain why it contained the seeds of the Second World War In 1919 the major world powers met at the Paris peace conference to determine the fate of Europe at the end of World War 1 Europe was in turmoil Five empires had disappeared millions of people were dead both military and civilians and revolution fuelled by the forces of nationalism and socialism seemed ready to destroy the hopes of a future and lasting peace The major world leaders were hoping to accomplish a miracle at Versailles peace Nevertheless the conditions that they were faced with made that hope only more difficult not only in the writing of the treaty but also in reaching its objectives The dream of a Settlement to satisfy both winners and losers was both impossible and contradictory For Germany the outcome in years to come was the exact objective that the Treaty had tried all along to impede - domination of Europe What went wrong Why These questions have plagued historians for years If only the players had acted in a different fashion would the future outcomes have been different Or was the situation of Europe such at the time that the future was fated no matter what What did the leaders want to do The Council of Five Britain the US Italy Japan and France wanted to destroy Germanys power in Europe and to make her pay for the costs of war They wanted peace but Germany was to pay for that peace not only by reducing its army reducing its fishing fleet and relinquishing part of its heavy shipping fleet but also by ceding land sending coal livestock machinery and money to those countries who had suffered by the war Germany was pronounced to be the sole aggressor of the
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