Immediately following the passage of the Treaty of Versailles, French voters followed a continent-wide trend in overwhelmingly sending a right-wing coalition, known as the Bloc National, to the legislature. This trend likely reflected a general fear of bolshevism, the desire for economic stability and a strong, nationalist foreign policy. Strikingly, the leaders of the Bloc National condemned the Treaty of Versailles as being "too lenient", and campaigned on the promise that they would make Germany pay its reparations in full. Additionally, the majority-Catholic coalition promised to make peace with the Church.
The Bloc National's main effect on continental politics was its commitment to enforce the Treaty of Versailles to the letter, demanding payment of reparations in full, with payments due regularly. The French needed the reparation payments in order to pay for expensive reconstruction of the Western Front as well as the war debts owed to the United States. However, due to Germany not having been present at the negotiations where the reparation amounts were set, the sum owed by the German government was nearly impossible to pay.
Nevertheless, the Bloc National government pushed forward, forcing the Germans to pay the full amount of installments, under threat of invasion. In order to pay, the German government was forced to take out massive foreign loans and print huge amounts of paper money. These factors caused disastrous inflation, resulting in a near-worthless German Mark, the total collapse of the German middle class, and massive unemployment. As we'll see later, all of these developments led directly to the rise of Adolf Hitler.
Eventually, the Bloc National's hardline enforcement of the Treaty led to the French invasion of the Ruhr Valley, which only increased the tension that would lead to WWII. Additionally, France's heavy handedness with Germany led to further alienation of the British, who saw the French position on reparations as far too extreme, and tended toward the forgiving of some of Germany's debt. This alienation resulted in Britain's increased skepticism of the French and increased sympathy toward the Germans.
Finally, a slow but steady decline of the franc begun under the Bloc National government which, ironically, ensured the conservatives' return to power in 1926. Poincare's successful handling of the situation then ensured a general prosperity which lasted until 1931, two years longer than most countries worldwide.
Image: Raymond Poincare, a conservative leader during the first decades of the 20th-century. As Prime Minister, he made the decision to occupy the Ruhr.