n 1914 a world war broke out. A war that would crush millions of lives, destroy lifetimes of work and cause hate that lasted for generations. On 1918, an armistice was signed. This did not put the blame on any of the nations for the war but just called a stop to the war until a peace treaty was agreed upon. This peace treaty was created and signed by Germany in 1919, in the hall of mirrors in the palace of Versailles. At the time of the signing of the treaty, Germany's army was ruined, its people exhausted and its government collapsing.
Three countries out of the 'big four' (The big four being the countries that drew up the treaty: Britain, USA, Italy and France.) were greatly affected by the war causing them to have a vengeful intention whilst drawing up the treaty. Germany was defeated; the treaty of Versailles was the final blow. I intend to explain and answer the question: "Were territorial changes the main reason why the Germans were angered over the treaty of Versailles" I do not think that they were the main reason. There were other parts of the treaty that affected and humiliated Germany greater. I shall prove this as we go through the essay. I am now going to give and explain certain parts of the treaty, their causes, their affects and their relevance.
There were many territorial changes to Germany after the war due to the treaty of Versailles. The most relevant one was the decision to give Poland a coastline, the Polish Corridor. This was a piece of land running through the center of Germany, splitting it in two. By separating the rest of Germany from East Prussia, Germany was severely weakened. East Prussia had been a source of great revenue and the political elite for Germany. This humiliated, weakened and angered the Germans.
Getting the land back was going to be a source of national pride for a long time. Another territorial change that the Germans did not expect (Alsace-Lorraine was original French land and the Germans expected it to be returned to the French) was that the Saar coal fields were to be given to France for fifteen years. This was a great source of coal for the Germans and losing it meant that the Germans didn't have a supply of coal and raw materials for its industries. The Germans also had to de-militarize an area of their country called the Rhineland that was in between them and France and acted as a buffer zone.
This was humiliating for the Germans as their military was not allowed in their own land. Another term of the treaty was that the Germans had to reduce the size of their army and armaments. This limited their army to 100,000 voluntary soldiers (This later was an advantage, since those 100,000 soldiers became Elite) and they had to melt down their armaments and where not allowed to have any submarines. This had the affect of making the Germans feel weak and humiliated and thirsty for revenge. This was one of the biggest reasons the Germans were annoyed and angered at the treaty of Versailles. Germany also had to pay 6.6 Billion in reparation to the winning countries; this badly affected their economy and was more money than the Germans were able to give.
This eventually led to hyperinflation, but this is irrelevant to the topic at hand. This could possibly have been the point that angered the Germans the most, it made them pay for the debts of the war even though they did not start it on their own. The other point that could possibly have made the Germans angry the most, was article 231 "The Guilt Clause" which said that the Germans were responsible for the whole first world war. The Germans could not say or do anything and just had to keep quiet as they were blamed for everything. The Germans had expected better treatment from the treaty of Versailles as they expected it too be based on Wilson's 14 points. In the end only a few of the 14 points were actually included in the treaty of Versailles which annoyed the Germans immensely.
The Germans also felt misled by the Kaiser. He started the war and then as they were looking like they might not win, he fled to Holland. The German people had changed their government from Monarchy to a Democracy and had also complied with all the allies conditions, yet they had still been treated harshly and in their eyes, unfairly. The Germans were also annoyed at the way in which they were represented at the signing of the treaty of Versailles.
The name for this is called Diktat which is the German name for dictated. Dictated peace they called it, since they did not have any say in the peace process. Altogether, looking at the different terms of the treaty and the effects and consequences of different parts of it (e.g. Reparations, polish corridor) I have come to the conclusion that the winners really bashed Germany solely because they were the biggest country in the losing side. In answer to the question the territorial changes angered the Germans although not as much as the reparations, article 231 and the way in which they were treated.