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World War I reparations

From Academic Kids

The reparations were a series of payments the German state was forced to make following its defeat during World War I, under Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles.

The total sum due was decided by an Inter-Allied Reparations Commission. In 1921, this number was officially put at $6,600,000 (or 32 billion marks), a sum that many economists deemed to be excessive. Reparations came in a variety of forms, including coal, steel and agricultural products.

The impact of the reparations was widespread. The economic depression that they created in Germany helped to pave the way for the end of the Weimar Republic and the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler, which in turn eventually led to the outbreak World War II. In Britain meanwhile the large amounts of free coal flooding the market undercut the native coal industry. This also caused massive economic hardship, which was probably the principal cause of the 1926 General Strike.

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