Reparations definition u.s. history ww1

World War I reparations were the payments and transfers of property and equipment that Germany was forced to make under the Treaty of Versailles following its defeat during World War I. Article of the Treaty the 'war guilt' clause declared Germany and its allies responsible for all 'loss and damage' suffered by the Allies during the war and provided the basis for reparations.

However, the actual amount of reparations that Germany was obliged to pay out was not the billion marks cited in but rather the 50 billion marks stipulated in the schedules A 12 billion marks, B 38 billion.

The actual total payout from to when payments were suspended indefinitely was 20 billion German gold marks, worth about 5 billion US dollars or one billion British pounds. Of this amount, The rest was goods like coal and chemicals, or from assets like railway equipment. The total amount of reparations was fixed in on the basis of the German capacity to pay, not on the basis of Allied claims.

The highly publicized rhetoric of about paying for all the damages and all the veterans' benefits was irrelevant to the total, but it did affect how the recipients spent their share.

Austria, Hungary, and Turkey were also supposed to pay some reparations but they were so impoverished that they in fact paid very little. Payments were suspended for one year in June as proposed by U. West Germany resumed payments on the debt in the London Debt Agreement of There was extensive debate about the justice and likely impact of the reparations demands both before and after the publication and signing of the Treaty of Versailles and other Treaties in Most famously, the principal representative of the British Treasury at the Paris Peace Conference, John Maynard Keynesresigned from the Treasury in June in protest at the scale of the reparations demands, and subsequently protested publicly in the best-selling The Economic Consequences of the Peace The Dawes Plan modified Germany's reparation payments.

The Americans Owen D. Young and Seymour Parker Gilbert were appointed to implement this plan. However, the Wall Street Crash of and the onset of the Great Depression resulted in calls for a moratorium. On June 20,realizing that Austria and Germany were on the brink of financial collapse, U.

President Herbert Hoover proposed a one-year world moratorium on reparations and inter-governmental debt payments. As a result, all German banks had to close temporarily. The worsening economic distress within Germany resulted in the Lausanne Conferencewhich voted to cancel reparations. By this time Germany had paid one eighth of the sum required under the Treaty of Versailles.

However, the Lausanne agreement was contingent upon the United States agreeing to also defer payment of the war debt owed them by the Western European governments. The plan ultimately failed, not because of the U.

Congress refusal to go along, but because it became irrelevant upon Hitler's rise to power and his refusal to pay any reparations. The Germans had paid a total of 20 billion marks and historian Martin Kitchen argues that the impression the country was crippled by the reparations was a myth. In the German public, there was little acceptance that the German army had been defeated in war.The Treaty of Versailles held Germany responsible for starting the war and imposed harsh penalties in terms of loss of territory, massive reparations payments and demilitarization.

President Woodrow Wilson had outlined in his famous Fourteen Points in earlythe Treaty of Versailles humiliated Germany while failing to resolve the underlying issues that had led to war in the first place. Economic distress and resentment of the treaty within Germany helped fuel the ultra-nationalist sentiment that led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Partyas well as the coming of a World War II just two decades later. In a speech to Congress in JanuaryWilson laid out his idealistic vision for the post-war world.

This organization eventually became known as the League of Nations. Free trade should exist among all nations, putting an end to economic barriers between countries. When German leaders signed the armistice ending hostilities in World War I on November 11,they believed this vision articulated by Wilson would form the basis for any future peace treaty. This would not prove to be the case. The Paris Peace Conference opened on January 18,a date that was significant in that it marked the anniversary of the coronation of German Emperor Wilhelm I, which took place in the Palace of Versailles at the end of the Franco-Prussian War in InFrance and its prime minister, Georges Clemenceau, had not forgotten the humiliating loss, and intended to avenge it in the new peace agreement.

He sought heavy reparations from Germany as a way of limiting German economic recovery after the war and minimizing this possibility.

Lloyd George, on the other hand, saw the rebuilding of Germany as a priority in order to reestablish the nation as a strong trading partner for Great Britain. Wilson opposed Italian territorial demands, as well as previously existing arrangements regarding territory between the other Allies; instead, he wanted to create a new world order along the lines of the Fourteen Points.

The Thorny History of Reparations in the United States

The other leaders saw Wilson as too naive and idealistic, and his principles were difficult to translate into policy. In the end, the European Allies imposed harsh peace terms on Germany, forcing the nation to surrender around 10 percent of its territory and all of its overseas possessions.

The Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28,exactly five years after the Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo, sparking the outbreak of the war.

Though the treaty included a covenant creating the League of Nations, an international organization aimed at preserving peace, the harsh terms imposed on Germany helped ensure that peace would not last for long. Germans were furious about the treaty, seeing it as a diktator dictated peace; they bitterly resented the sole blame of war being placed at their feet.

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Keynes was only one prominent critic of the Treaty of Versailles. Congress failed to ratify the treaty, and later concluded a separate peace with Germany; the United States would never join the League of Nations. Department of State: Office of the Historian. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present.

reparations definition u.s. history ww1

In Januarytwo months after the fighting in World War I ceased, a conference was convened at Versailles, the former country estate of the French monarchy outside Paris, to work out the terms of a peace treaty to officially end the conflict. Though representatives of nearly With the November 11, President Woodrow Wilson in his famous Fourteen Points. But from the moment the leaders of the In the Treaty of Paris, the British Crown formally By terms of the treaty, all conquered territory was to be returned, and commissions were planned to settle the boundary of the United States On August 5,representatives of the United States, Soviet Union and Great Britain signed the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibited the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space, underwater or in the atmosphere.

The treaty, which President John F. Kennedy signed The war had begun almost two years earlier, in Mayover a territorial dispute involving Texas. The treaty added an additionalsquare miles to The League of Nations was an international diplomatic group developed after World War I as a way to solve disputes between countries before they erupted into open warfare.

A precursor to the United Nations, the League achieved some victories but had a mixed record of success, The instability created in Europe by the First World War set the stage for another international conflict—World War II—which broke out two decades later and would prove even more devastating.

Rising to power in an economically and politically unstable Germany, Adolf Live TV.Following the ratification of article of the Treaty of Versailles at the conclusion of World War Ithe Central Powers were compelled to give war reparations to the Allied Powers.

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Each of the defeated powers were required to make payments in either cash or kind. Because of the financial situation in AustriaHungaryand Turkey after the war, few to no reparations were paid and the requirements for reparations were cancelled.

Bulgariahaving paid only a fraction of what was required, saw its reparation figure reduced and then cancelled. Historians have recognized the German requirement to pay reparations as the "chief battleground of the post-war era" and "the focus of the power struggle between France and Germany over whether the Versailles Treaty was to be enforced or revised". This figure was divided into three categories of bonds : A, B, and C. The payment of the remaining 'C' bonds was interest free and contingent on the Weimar Republic's ability to pay, as was to be assessed by an Allied committee.

Due to the lack of reparation payments by Germany, France occupied the Ruhr in to enforce payments, causing an international crisis that resulted in the implementation of the Dawes Plan in This plan outlined a new payment method and raised international loans to help Germany to meet its reparation commitments.

With the collapse of the German economy inreparations were suspended for a year and in during the Lausanne Conference they were cancelled altogether. The German people saw reparations as a national humiliation; the German Government worked to undermine the validity of the Treaty of Versailles and the requirement to pay. British economist John Maynard Keynes called the treaty a Carthaginian peace that would economically destroy Germany.

His arguments had a profound effect on historians, politicians, and the public at large. Despite Keynes' arguments and those by later historians supporting or reinforcing Keynes' views, the consensus of contemporary historians is that reparations were not as intolerable as the Germans or Keynes had suggested and were within Germany's capacity to pay had there been the political will to do so. The London Agreement on German External Debts resulted in an agreement to pay 50 per cent of the remaining balance.

The final payment was made on 3 Octobersettling German loan debts in regard to reparations. Inthe First World War broke out. In part, this speech called for Germany to withdraw from the territory it had occupied and for the formation of a League of Nations.

Most of the war's major battles occurred in France and the French countryside was heavily scarred in the fighting. Furthermore, in during the German retreat, German troops devastated France's most industrialized region in the north-east Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin.

Extensive looting took place as German forces removed whatever material they could use and destroyed the rest.Reparationsa levy on a defeated country forcing it to pay some of the war costs of the winning countries. They were meant to replace war indemnities which had been levied after earlier wars as a punitive measure as well as to compensate for economic losses. Later the meaning of the term became more inclusive. It was applied to the payments undertaken by the Federal Republic of Germany to the State of Israel for crimes against the Jews in territory controlled by the Third Reich and to individuals in Germany and outside it to indemnify them for their persecution.

There are two practicable ways in which a defeated country can make reparations. It can pay in cash or in kind a portion of the goods and services it is currently producing—that is, a part of its national income.

Alternatively, it can pay in cash or in kind some of its capital in the form of machines, tools, rolling stock, merchant shippingand the like, which is a part of its national wealth.

The payment of gold or other universal money is not a practicable method of paying reparations. The supposed consequence of reparations is a decrease in the income, and hence level of living, of the defeated country, and an increase in the income of the victor, the capitalized value of the increase being equal to its war costs.

However, there is no warrant for these suppositions in either the economics of reparations or in historical experience with them. Experience suggests that the smaller the reparations levy, the more likely it is to be paid, and conversely that large levies are unlikely to be collected.

How World War I Started: Crash Course World History 209

In both World Wars the failure to obtain desired reparations was unmistakable. Indeed, some of the victors eventually had to make payments to the defeated countries in the interest of restoring economic and political stability.

reparations definition u.s. history ww1

These costs are of two kinds: economic and social. The economic cost of war is the value of civilian goods and services which must be forgone in order that resources can be used for war production, plus the capital destruction resulting from war. The social cost is the burden created by loss of life and disorder in social institutions. The loss of life has economic implicationsbut its cost cannot be measured because the labour value of human life is not capitalized as, for instance, the income value of equipment can be.

Estimates can be made of the economic costs of war, and they are usually much in excess of the capacity of the defeated country to make reparation. This sum was more than 10 times the prewar national income of Germany at constant prices and an even greater multiple of income after the war.

reparations definition u.s. history ww1

Surprisingly, the magnitude of reparations also is determined by the ability of the victors to receive payments. Hence the size of reparations depends on three factors: 1 the national wealth or national income of the defeated country, 2 the ability of either the occupying powers or the government of the defeated country to organize the economy for the payment of reparations, and 3 the capacity of the victors to organize their economies for the productive use of reparation receipts.

The first of these three factors is most important. The political instability that usually follows a war makes it difficult to organize the defeated economy for the payment of reparations. Authority is diffuse and uncertain; there are conflicts among the victors; and the populace of the defeated country is, to say the least, uncooperative, particularly in the matter of transferring its capital or income to recent enemies.

reparations definition u.s. history ww1

Finally, the payment of reparations depends on the willingness and ability of the victorious countries to accept the new economic structure attendant upon transfers of income or capital. The paradoxes of reparations history in the 20th century occurred in this realm. Following World War I, some of the Allied powers were able to conceive of no limit to a justifiable tribute from Germany. When payments out of income began, however, the Allies found the imports competing with domestically produced goods and services and promptly took measures which prevented Germany from honouring its obligations.

After World War II the transfers of capital from Germany and Japan so threatened to dislocate the economic structure of Europe and Asia that measures were taken to reduce reparation liabilities. The payment of reparations in kind or cash out of income or capital constitutes an export surplus ; that is, the paying country sends out more goods and services than it imports.

reparation

Reparations are impossible without this surplus, and it is for practical purposes more dependent on increasing exports than on decreasing imports. The fact that reparations are possible only via an export surplus should not be obscured by the financial mechanics of reparations. The defeated country usually compensates the private owners of capital for the export of the goods which constitute reparations, and to do this it taxes or borrows from its citizens.

Reparations cannot be paid out of revenue raised internally; the revenue must be converted into income or capital for transfer to the victor or into the currency of that country. After World War I, reparations were designed to be paid mainly in cash out of income.World War I reparations were the payments and transfers of property and equipment that Germany was forced to make under the Treaty of Versailles following its defeat during World War I.

Article of the Treaty the 'war guilt' clause declared Germany and its allies responsible for all 'loss and damage' suffered by the Allies during the war and provided the basis for reparations.

Consequently their only way of paying back the debt was in foreign currency, but attempts to purchase foreign currency with devalued paper Marks led to the hyperinflation. Payments ceased when Adolf Hitler 's National Socialist German Workers' Party took power inwith about one-eighth of the initial reparations paid. There was extensive debate about the justice and likely impact of the reparations demands both before and after the publication and signing of the Treaty of Versailles and other Treaties in Most famously, the principal representative of the British Treasury at the Paris Peace Conference, John Maynard Keynesresigned from the Treasury in June in protest at the scale of the reparations demands, and subsequently protested publicly in the best-selling The Economic Consequences of the Peace The Dawes Plan modified Germany's reparation payments.

The Americans Owen D. Young and Seymour Parker Gilbert were appointed to implement this plan. However, the Wall Street Crash of and the onset of the Great Depression resulted in calls for a moratorium.

On June 20,realizing that Austria and Germany were on the brink of financial collapse, U.

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President Herbert Hoover proposed a one-year world moratorium on reparations and inter-governmental debt payments. As a result, all German banks had to close temporarily. The worsening economic distress within Germany resulted in the Lausanne Conferencewhich voted to cancel reparations. By this time Germany had paid one eighth of the sum required under the Treaty of Versailles. However, the Lausanne agreement was contingent upon the United States agreeing to also defer payment of the war debt owed them by the Western European governments.

The plan ultimately failed, not because of the U. Congress refusal to go along, but because it became irrelevant upon Hitler's rise to power and his refusal to pay any reparations.

The Germans had paid a total of 20 billion marks and historian Martin Kitchen argues that the impression the country was crippled by the reparations was a myth.

In the German public, there was little acceptance that the German army had been defeated in war. The German High Command, which could claim that the army had not been defeated in the field, evaded responsibility for the defeat, and blame was attributed by many to civilian elements, particularly Socialists, Communists, and Jews. Accordingly, there was growing resentment at the reparations, which were perceived as harsh, partly because of deliberate misrepresentation by German leaders.

The economic problems that the payments brought, and German resentment at their imposition are usually cited as one of the more significant factors that led to the end of the Weimar Republic and the beginning of the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. The British economist John Maynard Keynes in his best-selling book The Economic Consequences of the Peace argued that reparations threatened to destabilize the German economy, and hence German politics.

Keynes established that Germany could have paid all of the reparations had they wanted to, and that the problem was not the Germans were unable to pay, but rather that they were unwilling to pay.

In opposition to Keynes, Mantoux held that justice demanded that Germany should pay for the whole damage caused by the war, and he set out to prove that many of Keynes' forecasts were not verified by subsequent events.

Keynes contended that Germany would be unable to export coal immediately after the Treaty but German net coal exports were 15 million tons within a year and by the tonnage exported reached 35 million.Reparations are forms of compensation provided to those who have suffered wrongdoing or to their descendants.

The term is especially used to refer to payments made or proposed to be made in the aftermath of war, slavery, or other forms of wide-scale systemic injustice. Reparations typically consist of monetary payments, but they can also consist of goods, materials, or reparatory actions intended to account for such damages or to address ongoing injustice.

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War reparations are typically made by a defeated country to the country or countries considered the victors often ultimately to individual citizens in those countries for losses and damages that resulted from the war. In the United States, reparations have been made to certain groups and proposed for others.

Discussion of the topic often involves proposals to make reparations to people who have been the victims of brutal treatment and racist policies throughout U. Sometimes, the word reparations is thought to be inappropriate for the type of compensation sought by some groups, who may consider it a payment of an existing debt, rather than a form of restitution.

More generally, the singular form reparation is the act or process of making amends for wrongdoing.

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It can also refer to the act or process of repairing or the state of having been repaired. The first records of the word reparation come from the second half of the s. Reparations are intended to repair damages caused by war and injustice.

Of course, lives cannot be restored, so the intent of reparations is to make some form of amends for the damage that has been done and continues to affect people. Reparations commonly take the form of monetary payments, but they can also consist of providing goods, industrial infrastructure, or other monetary arrangements, such as those involving stocks or the cancellation of debt. Reparations negotiated after World War II were paid out for decades, with some payments remaining outstanding more than 75 years after the end of the war.

African organizations have called on nations in Western Europe and the Americas to pay reparations for the damages caused by their enslaving of African people. Ina U. The word reparations is frequently used in reference to proposals to address the legacy of slavery and the ongoing effects of racist institutions in the U.

Ina bill was introduced that would establish a commission to study the effects of such practices and propose reparations for them. What are some other forms related to reparations? What are some words that share a root or word element with reparations?

Reparations are most often discussed in the context of war, slavery, and other forms of injustice. Ta-Nehisi Coates on the theft of resources from the black community and what forms reparations might take. Does your country support reparations for war crimes victims?

True or False? Arguments for reparation s have moved beyond whether they should be paid.At the conclusion of World War I, Germany reluctantly agreed to pay unspecified reparations in the armistice agreement of November Later at Versailles they were required to sign a treaty that assigned full responsibility to them for causing the conflict Articlethe "war guilt clause" and called for the creation of an international reparations commission to determine the amount of damages.

Payments were to be made in cash or by such in-kind commodities as steel and coal. Representatives of the German government were extremely reluctant to shoulder this crushing debt and did so only under the full weight of international pressure. However, an economic crisis had gripped Germany, which caused runaway inflation and an end to additional installments. In MayAllied governments granted Germany a temporary moratorium on reparations payments in the hope that their economy would recover during that period and enable the resumption of regular installment payments.

France bitterly opposed the moratorium, having suffered severely from German aggression, but eventually agreed. At the end of the prescribed period, Germany was in no position to resume payments and defaulted. In Januaryan impatient France, accompanied by a token Belgian force, marched into the Ruhr Valley and set up a military occupation, figuring that control of the valuable industrial area could help force the resumption of payments.

The United States, of course, had not signed the peace treaty with Germany and had no claim to any reparations. However, hoping to avert a deepening of the international crisis, the Coolidge and Hoover administrations sponsored international plans to deal with the reparations issue: The Dawes Plan The U. The Young Plan A prominent U. The Republican presidents of the s consistently denied that any link existed between war debt payments owed to the U.

However, the fact was that the Allied recipients of the reparations payments were unable to pay the U. This self-defeating stance did little to maintain good relations between the U.

Further, the simple fact that the United States worked actively to draft the Dawes and Young plans was an acknowledgement that indeed war debts and reparations were inseparably connected. Otherwise, why would the U. However, a final accounting of damages caused by these nations was never completed and no reparations were collected.

Treaty of Versailles

See other foreign issues confronting the Harding administration. About Quizzes. Reparations At the conclusion of World War I, Germany reluctantly agreed to pay unspecified reparations in the armistice agreement of November


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