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Word Count: 384
The Treaty of Versailles of 1919 was the peace treaty that put an official end to World War I The treaty required that Germany accept responsibility for the war and was thus obliged to pay large amounts of compensation known as war reparations Like many other treaties it is named for the place of its signing the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles The treaty provided for the creation of the League of Nations a major goal of US president Woodrow Wilson The purpose of the organization was to arbitrate conflicts between nations before they lead to war Other provisions included the loss of German colonies loss of German territory eg Alsace-Lorraine to France northern Schleswig at Tondern in Schleswig-Holstein to Denmark and parts of Pomerania Silesia and Posen West Prussia at the Baltic Sea to Poland This area later became known as the Polish Corridor The German city of Danzig and Danziger Land at the Baltic Sea was made the Free City of Danzig under the League of Nations and Polish authority Article 156 of the treaty transferred German concessions in Shandong China to Japan rather than returning sovereign authority to China Chinese outrage over this provision led to demonstrations and the cultural movement known as the May Fourth Movement The treaty of Versailles also greatly restricted the German armed forces The treaty established a commission which was to determine the exact size of the reparations to be paid by Germany In 1921 this number was officially put at 33000000000 a sum that many economists deemed to be excessive The economic problems that the payments brought are cited as one of the causes of the end of the Weimar Republic and the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler which inevitably led to the outbreak World War II The United States never ratified the treaty The elections of 1918 had seen the Republicans
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