The Role Of The Versailles Treaty In The Nazi Rise To Power In 1933

The development of the modern global community from the perspective of the evolvement of various spheres of human endeavor provides people with an opportunity to analyze the events of the past. The stage of evolvement of the contemporary globalism enables people evaluating the impact of various factors on the social realm in the specific historical timeframe. The legacy of World War I significantly affected Germany from political, economic, and sociological perspectives. Nonetheless, there is a limited amount of relevant evidence that empowers to claim that these historical events enabled the Nazi Party to gain power. The Treaty of Versailles led to the modifications within German society characterized by economic instability, people`s fear of invasion, the hyperinflation, and public frustration that empowered the political group to take the leading position and focus the public`s attention on the ideology.

The significant external factor that contributed to the rise of the Nazis in 1933 was the legacy of World War I, and particularly the Versailles Treaty. The importance of the contribution of this factor to the increased power of the Nazis cannot be neglected. Nonetheless, the statue does not remain the single external factor that provided the Nazi Party with opportunities to take a leading position within the boundaries of the social realm. However, there were several other factors that enabled the Nazi Party creating an influential method to spread the ideology across the globe with the use of relevant tools due to the specifics of the historical timeframe. 

The impact of the legacy of World War I on the rise of Nazism requires an analysis of political, economic, and sociological characteristics of German society. The end of World War I formed a solid basis for the evolvement of extremist political groups due to political and economic instability within the boundaries of the country. The legacy of World War I remains a significant external factor that weakened Germany from various perspectives. The inability of the country to overcome the consequences of World War and the need to follow the requirements presented in the Versailles Treaty formed a solid basis for the evolvement of extremist political parties. Therefore, it cannot be stated that the Versailles Treaty is the single reason for the Nazi rise to power. They are rather external forces that highlighted the weaknesses of the society after the complicated historical period and demonstrated the inability of the society to manage the existing issues that require the selection of a leading group that takes responsibility for managing the problems during the crisis period. 

The Versailles Treaty led to the occurrence of public fear, frustration, and uncertainty regarding the capacity of the country to overcome the existing difficulties. The public attitude towards the political situation formed a solid foundation for the evolvement of extremist political parties that were capable of shifting responsibility for the evolvement of the country in the future from the public to the Party. 

The Treaty was signed with Germany on 28 June 1919. The Germans had not been allowed to send any delegates to negotiate the terms of the agreement, and it was necessary to accept the created terms with no regard to their impact on the country`s evolvement. The treaty consisted of five major points. Germany had to accept the blame for starting World War I by Clause 231. The second point of the Treaty made Germany reduce military power to decrease the capacity of the country to contribute to the development of any military conflicts in the future. According to the treaty, Germany could not have submarines and an air force. The allowed size of the country`s army could not exceed 100 000 men and a nave of six ships. Furthermore, the country was not allowed to place any troops in the Rhineland. 

According to the third main point of the treaty , Germany has to pay £6,600 million ‘reparations’ to cover the damage. The fourth point of the treaty provides information regarding Germany`s loss of the territories. According to the peace agreement, the Saar coalfield was given to France for 15 years, and Alsace-Lorraine was given back to France. Poland was provided with a “corridor” to the Baltic Sea10. Danzig became a free city. France and England were provided with colonies that belonged to Germany in the past. Moreover, the point also prohibited Germany to unite with Austria. The fifth point of the treaty prohibited Germany joining the League of Nations. The limitations and regulations presented in the Treaty of Versailles aimed to reduce the power of Germany on the international arena. It aimed to present the concerns of the international community regarding safety across the globe. It also enhanced the capacity of the international alliances to implement measures with an intention to the communities that represent a threat for the global society. The Treaty of Versailles also tried to weaken Germany to prevent the potential intentions of the nation to organize the evolvement of new military conflicts.

This negatively affected Germany from various perspectives by making it weaker in several domains than it was before World War I. Furthermore, the statue imposed financial obligations on the country that limited the capability of the nation to invest into development of the core branches of human endeavor to gain stability after the war. The country lost a vast amount of territories. The treaty resulted for Germany in 10% loss of the country`s land, 12% of its population, and 16% of its natural resources. From the economic perspective, the change remained disadvantageous for the country since it lost resources, workforce, and taxes. The limited options for the cooperation with other countries prevented Germany from the contemplation of an opportunity to gain resources from other territories. The statue resulted in the unequal power distribution from the standpoint of Germans since the main resources were given to the country`s enemies. The measures were implemented to make Germany less powerful and resourceful that would limit the capacity of the country to remain a significant player in the international arena. 

The treaty led to the increased public frustration and fear within the country. The population did not obtain resources to recover from World War I when it faced a set of regulations, restrictions, and penalties. Furthermore, the land distribution among the country`s enemies significantly affected people`s psychological wellbeing since it formed a solid basis for challenges in communication among family, friends, and members of social groups. The regulations regarding armed forces also negatively affected people`s perceptions of the surrounding since the limitations increased the fear and frustration among the public regarding the ability of the country to remain independent. The population of the country experienced a feeling of insecurity and unsafety since the main resources were distributed among the country`s enemies. Furthermore, the country lost the capacity to protect the territory and the population due to the reduction of the armed forces. The regulations regarding armed forces also negatively affected the power of the country in the international arena. The frustration and fear among the population were also increased since the country could not join the League of Nations. The public experienced a fear that the state cannot defend itself, and it also cannot resort to the use of the help of any alliances. The fear and frustration among the population were also increased since the country might not be capable of paying the reparation payments that might serve as a ground for invasion from the perspective of other countries. 

The Treaty of Versailles also negatively affected the economy of the country since it lost valuable resources, the workforce, and the territories. The negative impact of the agreement on the country also relied on the need to pay for the damage of the war. The need to pay £6,600 million remained a devastating, pressuring factor for the economy and the population. The external factor resulted in the hyperinflation of 1923. It also undermined the capacity of the population to resist the pressure of the external factors due to the limited resources of the public to handle the responsibility. 

The analysis of the legacy of World War I and the Treaty of Versailles demonstrates the negative consequences for Germany. Nonetheless, there is a lack of evidence to claim that these historical events led to the increased power of the Nazi Party. The application of cause and effect approach demonstrates that the negative outcomes for the country that rely on the Treaty of Versailles created an environment within the country that contributed to the evolvement of extremist political groups. The increased power of the Nazi Party after World War I relies on economic instability, people`s fear, public frustration, and the inability of the society to handle the responsibilities and obligations after the war. 


  • Bendersky, Joseph W. A Concise History of Nazi Germany. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2014. 
  • Bosworth, R. J. B. The Oxford Handbook of Fascism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 
  • Eichengreen, Barry. “Versailles: the Economic Legacy.” International Affairs 95, no. 1 (January 1, 2019): 7–24.
  • Neiberg, Michael S. Treaty of Versailles: a Concise History. Oxford University Press Inc, 2017. 
  • Sharp, Alan. Consequences of Peace: the Versailles Settlement: Aftermath and Legacy 1919- 2015. London: Haus histories, 2015. 
  • Tampke Jürgen. A Perfidious Distortion of History the Versailles Peace Treaty and the Success of the Nazis.
  • Melbourne: Scribe, 2017. “Treaty of Peace with Germany (Treaty of Versailles).” Accessed September 20, 2019. 
16 August 2021
Your Email

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and  Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

close thanks-icon

Your essay sample has been sent.

Order now
Still can’t find what you need?

Order custom paper and save your time
for priority classes!

Order paper now