It is often debated which of the great wars had a greater impact on the course of history in regards to domestic and foreign affairs. In such a debate one simply cannot escape the legacy of WWI. This first war, with its innumerable casualties and changing tides, set the stage for WWII and made all future events possible. On January 8, 1918, then president Woodrow Wilson introduced his famous Fourteen Points, guidelines that were created to prevent future conflicts between other nations, and outlining the method by which Germany should repay for the damages incurred during the War. One of these guidelines, and in fact the most important, was the creation of the League of Nations.
By French and British standards, the Fourteen Points were not sufficiently harsh on Germany. These two nations had suffered a great deal more during the War than had America and were interested in punishing the Germans monetarily for the immense destruction they had caused (Keylor 127). Consequently, the majority of the Fourteen Points were discredited, discounted, and generally not accepted by the French and British. These nations did, however, uphold the sanctity that was the League of Nations.
[...] On the other hand, the League placed such an enormous financial burden on Germany, forcing them to put their faith in a tyrannical leader, who, under more favorable circumstances, would have gained little popularity among the people. Had Wilson's Fourteen Points been accepted as they were originally written, albeit quite lenient to Germany in the eyes of Britain and France, perhaps Hitler would never have been given the opportunity to rise to power in attempts to resurrect his nation from the ashes of economic burden. WORKS CITED Keylor, William R. The Twentieth Century World: An International History. New York: Oxford, 2001. [...]
[...] One of these guidelines, and in fact the most important, was the creation of the League of Nations. By French and British standards, the Fourteen Points were not sufficiently harsh on Germany. These two nations had suffered a great deal more during the War than had America and were interested in punishing the Germans monetarily for the immense destruction they had caused (Keylor 127). Consequently, the majority of the Fourteen Points were discredited, discounted, and generally not accepted by the French and British. [...]
[...] The people were an unhappy people, looking for a hero to rescue them and restore their once prosperous and thriving nation. For the German people, this hero was Adolf Hitler (127). Hitler had served in the first World War and, although slightly awkward in appearance, gained immense popularity in a short amount of time. The populous revered him, inspired and awed by his passionate speeches. Perhaps this was the man who would rescue Germany from poverty and desperation. While his motives and intentions often seemed a little skewed, the people were eager to follow a man with such driving ambition. [...]
[...] Not only did the League of Nations lay the groundwork for how major governments would conduct foreign policy in the future, it is also rumored that it may have played a role in initiating the necessity of a second World War. It is undeniable that the Treaty of Versailles placed enormous burden on Germany as a government and as a people. There was little hope that they could ever pay off the war debts owed to both Britain and France. In this period of economic struggle and what some would define as sheer desperation, a second war seemed almost inevitable. [...]
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