John Maynard Keynes
English economist who denounced the Treaty of Versailles in his influential work, The Economic Consequences of the Peace
The Economic Consequences of the Peace
written by Keynes; expressed his negative view towards the treaty
keynes' attack "exploded like a bombshell and became very influential"
"astronomical reparations and harsh economic measures would impoverish Germany and also increase economic hardship in all countries"
what Germany needed to pay after their loss; money to help rebuild other countries and pay off war debts
the German government began to print money to pay its bills (in response to the striking Ruhr workers and their employers); this resulted in _______. money rapidly lost value, unemployment grew
French prime minister; under his leadership, French armies moved out of the Rhineland and began to occupy the Ruhr district (heartland of industrial Germany) creating the most serious international crisis of the 1920s (all in an effort to paralyze Germany and force it to accept the treaty)
Assumed leadership of German government in 1923 in which he called off passive resistance in the Ruhr and agreed in principle to pay reparations but asked for a re-examination of Germany's ability to pay
Hero of peace; fought to preserve German unity, peace through a mutually advantageous compromise→Dawes Plan
In 1928, 15 countries signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact, initiated by French prime minister (him) and US secretary of state: "condemned and renounced war as an instrument of national policy"—settle international disputes peacefully
Political settlement (led by Stresemann): Gave Europeans a sense of growing security and stability in international affairs
o France and Germany pledged to accept their common border
o Britain and Italy agreed to fight either France or Germany if one invaded the other
o Settled boundary disputes with Poland and Czechoslovakia by peaceful means
o France promised those countries military aid if Germany attacked them
Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch, 1923
Proclaimed a "national socialist revolution"→plot to seize control of gov was pporly organized and easily crushed→sentenced to prison where he wrote Mein Kampf (My Struggle)
Dawes Plan, 1923
German's yearly reparations were reduced and depended on the level of German economic prosperity, and they'd receive large loans from the US to promote their recovery→They could then pay reparations to France and Britain, enabling them to repay large sums owed to US
The Great Depression, 1929-33
Economic downfall; shattered the fragile optimism of political leaders in the late 1920s
Crash of the stock market→people lost money→bought fewer things→production slowed down→unemployment rose
How did France feel about Germany's reparations (relative to the Treaty of Versailles)?
Wanted to stress harsh elements in treaty because they needed a lot of money to repay war debts and such
Believed that massive reparations from Germany were a vital economic necessity
Saw this treaty as France's last hope: gain security from Germany, who would be "held down indefinitely"
How did Britain feel about Germany's reparations (relative to the Treaty of Versailles)?
Prosperous Germany appeared to be essential to British economy
Impoverished Germany=economic hardship in other countries
Suspicious of French army and foreign policy
How would Germans feel about the government on whose "watch" the economic crisis occurred?
gov made bad decisions; betrayed; hated and blamed Western governments→ready to follow radical leaders in a crisis
Why might some call Stresemann the most important German leader between Bismarck and Hitler?
-"his insistence on the necessity of peace in the east as well as the west was prophetic" (knew what was needed for future success)
-fought to preserve German unity, and succeeded
-enduring love of nation in his defense of German interests-peace through mutually advantageous compromise
-without him, the issue surrounding the reparations would not have been sorted out so successfully
-not hostile, but made smart decisions, looking to benefit the nation