The Locarno Pact (1925)
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Last updated 19 Jan 2019
The Locarno Pact of 1925 was an agreement signed on 1st December 1925 between Britain, France, Belgium, Italy and Germany. Stresemann believed that through signing the Pact, it would increase confidence in Germany amongst her own people but also other European powers.
The Locarno Pact had three main aims:
- To secure borders of the nations of Europe after the First World War. Germany agreed to the border with France, and as a result France agreed that they would be in a state of peace with Germany.
- To ensure the permanent demilitarisation of the Rhineland. This was a key condition argued for by France. France had been invaded several times in the previous century by Germany, so France was understandably weary about German military force.
- To begin negotiations to allow Germany into the League of Nations.
Stresemann signed the Pact as he believed it would make a military conflict in Europe less likely. As a result of the work Stresemann had done for Germany in developing her foreign relations, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1926.
As well as personal glory for Stresemann, the signing of the Locarno Pact showed that Germany was starting to be treated as an equal partner in foreign affairs. The agreement was made with Germany and not forced upon it like the Treaty of Versailles. As a result, many moderate Germans had greater confidence in Stresemann and the Weimar Republic.
However, extremist parties such as the Nazis and Communists still detested the Republic and viewed the Locarno Pact as further betrayal of Germany as it confirmed many of the points of the hated Treat of Versailles.