1919-1923: Early Weimar Germany Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in 1919-1923: Early Weimar Germany Deck (28)
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Who became leader of the Republic of Germany?

Friedrich Ebert


What did Ebert promise the German people from the new Republic?

Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, better working conditions


Who did Ebert face opposition from on the right?

The Kaiser's former advisers who held positions in the army, judiciary, civil service and industry


Who did Ebert face opposition from on the left?

Communists who wanted a revolution like the one experienced in Russia in 1917


What was the 'stab in the back' myth?

Many Germans believed that Ebert and those in his government had stabbed Germany in the back and caused them to lose the war


What was the result of the free elections in January 1919?

Ebert's coalition party won a majority, and Ebert became the President of the Weimar Republic


Why Weimar?

Berlin was too unstable and violent, so the new government met in the small town of Weimar and became known as the Weimar Republic


What was the Weimar Constitution?

A new democratic system set up to limit the amount of power a single person or group could have


What was the role of the President?

The President was elected every 7 years. They appointed the Chancellor, judges in the courts and controlled the Armed Forces


What rights did the people have?

Voting age was lowered to 20, and the German people were able to vote for the members of the Reichstag (Parliament) and the President


What was proportional representation?

Parties would receive the amount of seats equal to the percentage of votes they achieved i.e. if a party received 20% of the vote, they would get 20% of the seats in the Reichstag


What were the advantages of proportional representation?

It enabled smaller political parties to gain seats this allowed the country to be more equally represented in the Reichstag.


What were the disadvantages of proportional representation?

There would likely never be a majority and therefore there would be a coalition parliament. It lead to lots of small parties having seats and so many different opinions on how to handle situations or what to do. This meant that in an emergency it would be hard to come to a decision quickly.


What was Article 48?

It gave the President the power to rule the country directly without the involvement of the Reichstag. It was to be used in a time of crisis, but it could be easily exploited (see Hitler's rise to power)


When was the Treaty of Versailles signed?

June 1919


How was Germany impacted by the Treaty of Versailles?

BRAT - Blame (article 231 - War Guilt Clause), Reparations (ordered to repay £6.6 billion), Armed Forces (army and navy significantly reduced - 100,000 soldiers, conscription banned, only 6 battleships), Territory (lost 10% of its territory including overseas colonies)


What was the land that was demilitarised to provide protection to France?

The Rhineland


What and when was the Spartacist uprising?

January 1919 - Communists in Germany led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg seized control of Berlin. - The Weimar Government stopped the rebellion by using the Freikorps. - Liebknecht and Luxemburg murdered


Who were the Freikorps?

Ex WW1 soldiers who were right wing and anti-communist


What and when was the Kapp Putsch?

March 1920 - Dr Wolfgang Kapp led a Freikorps takeover in Berlin in response to the Treaty's impact on the German army and the disbandment of the Friekorps.
The regular army refused to attack the Freikorps; Kapp was only defeated when the workers of Berlin went on strike and refused to cooperate with him.


Which political party formed in 1920?

National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party)


What were the key points in the Nazi Party's 25-Point Programme?

Abolition of the Treaty of Versailles, union of Germany and Austria, only 'true' Germans to live in Germany, nationalisation of large businesses and industries, formation of a strong central government


What three key events happened in 1923?

Invasion of the Ruhr, Hyperinflation, Munich Putsch


What benefitted from hyperinflation?

People who owed money i.e. borrowers and those with mortgages who could pay back loans easily with worthless money.


Who suffered the most from hyperinflation?

People with savings as they became worthless, those who lent money out as the value hugely decreased, People on fixed incomes, like students, pensioners or the sick as their incomes did not keep up with prices.


What and when was the Munich Putsch?

8-9th Nov 1923 - failed revolution in Munich led by Hitler and Ludendorff Kahr and Lossow. Hitler and 600 SA hijacked a meeting in a Beer Hall led by Kahr and Lossow. - He forced them to agree to rebel after calling off the rebellion the previous month. 9th Nov - Hitler and the SA arrived in Munich to lead a march, but were stopped by the police and army reinforcements called in by Kahr. - -16 Nazis were killed, Hitler and other leading Nazis were arrested


What was the short-term impact of the Munich Putsch?

Hitler miscalculated the support from the German people
The Nazi party was banned, and Hitler was prevented from speaking in public until 1927.
Hitler was tried for high treason (betraying his country) and sentenced to five years in prison.
Hitler gained huge publicity and he impressed the judges who set sentences far more lenient than expected


What was the long-term impact of the Munich Putsch?

Hitler only served a few months of his sentence (April-December 1924)
Used this time to write Mein Kampf which millions of Germans read, promoting Nazi ideology
Lenient sentence showed authority had sympathy for Hitler and what he was trying to achieve
Showed Hitler he would have to use democratic means to gain power, so he reorganised the party to enable it to take part in elections.