Treaty of Versailles
What were the terms?
What was the Treaty of Versailles?
The Treaty of Versailles was the peace document which officially ended the First World War between Germany and the Allied Powers.
When was the Treaty of Versailles signed?
The Treaty of Versailles was signed on 28th June, 1919.
What were the terms of the Treaty of Versailles?
There were various terms Germany had to agree to, including taking the blame for the First World War, military reductions, territorial losses and financial payments (reparations) to the Allies.
What was the Spartacist Revolt?
Where was the Spartacist Revolt?
Why did the Spartacist Revolt occur?
What were the key events of the Spartacist Revolt?
- The Spartacist Revolt, or Spartacist uprising, was an attempted revolution to overthrow the Weimar Republic by an extreme left-wing group called the Spartacists.
- The Spartacist Revolt took place in Berlin.
There were 3 key reasons why the Spartacist Revolt occurred:
It took place because Chancellor Ebert sacked the chief of police of Berlin, Emil Eichhorn, on 4th January, 1919.
The workers supported Eichhorn so there were protests.
The Spartacists used this as an opportunity to stage an uprising on 5th January.
They wanted Germany to be run by small councils of soldiers and workers similar to what was set up in Russia in the February Revolution of 1917.
There were 7 main events of the Spartacist Uprising:
-The party launched a bid for power on the 5th of January 1919, led by both Liebknecht and Luxemburg.
- They were soon joined by resentful soldiers and sailors and there was a mass demonstration of 100,000 other workers.
- The Spartacists took over key buildings, including the newspaper and telegraph offices, and the government lost control.
- However, some anti-communist soldiers formed another group called the Freikorps who were not supportive of the Spartacists.
- Ebert made an agreement with the Freikorps, so long as they crushed the Spartacists along with the help of the army.
- The two sides fought on the streets, and there were resulting high losses. The Freikorps were victorious, and Luxemburg and Liebknecht were murdered.
- The Spartacist uprising had failed, however other revolutions soon followed.
What was the Kapp Putsch?
Where was the Kapp Putsch?
Why did the Kapp Putsch occur?
What were the key events of the Kapp Putsch?
-The Kapp Putsch was a right-wing uprising against the Weimar Republic.
-The Kapp Putsch happened in Berlin.
-A group of anti-communist ex-soldiers called the Freikorps had grown by 1920 and President Ebert could not control them. In March 1920, the Weimar government announced the Freikorps would be disbanded.
- The leaders of the putsch wanted to take over the country, make the army strong again and then recover the lands Germany had lost in the Treaty of Versailles.
- They wanted their empire once again.
- They deeply resented the Treaty of Versailles for their crippled economy.
- Some wanted the kaiser to return from exile.
-The Freikorps reacted to the government’s disbanding of the group by marching into Berlin with around 5,000 men.
- Members of the army refused to fire on them as they were ex-soldiers.
- The rebels took control of Berlin and they looked to be successful. However, the government was saved by the industrial workers of Berlin who went on strike - as a result, the capital came to a halt.
- With no power, water or resources, it became clear to Dr Kapp that they could not succeed. He fled the country and later died before coming to trial.
THE WEIMER CONSITUTION ESTABLISHED
There were 5 key strengths of the new constitution which prevented any one person or group from gaining too much power:
❖All Germans aged 21 and over, men and women, were allowed to vote so it was very democratic.
❖The Reichstag was elected using proportional representation which meant a party was given a certain number of seats according to how many votes it gained in the election. This was considered fairer for smaller parties.
❖The constitution was written in such a way that the power of one person or institution would be limited and therefore, they would not have too much power.
❖The chancellor introduced new laws, but they only became laws if the majority of the Reichstag and Reichsrat voted for them.
❖The Reichstag had more power but the Reichsrat could delay passing laws.
Proportional representation often meant no single party won enough seats to form a government on its own, so several parties had to form a coalition governments which often fell apart.
❖Article 48 of the constitution gave the president the power to take emergency measures, by-passing the Reichstag. This could effectively create another dictatorship, in all but name.
❖Many judges and civil servants did not want the Weimar Republic and so did not fully support it.
❖The leaders of the army wanted the kaiser back and did not support the Weimar Republic.
What was the Ruhr Occupation?
When was the Ruhr Occupation?
Why did the Ruhr Occupation occur?
What actions did France and Belgium take during the Ruhr Occupation?
The Ruhr Occupation was a period of military occupation by France and Belgium of the Ruhr region in Germany. It happened because Germany failed to pay the reparations instalment at the end of 1922.
The Ruhr Occupation took place between 11th January, 1923 and 25th August, 1925.
The Ruhr Occupation occurred because of 4 main reasons:
❖By the end of 1922, Germany stated that they would miss the next reparation payment that was due.
❖In response, the French and Belgians took control of the area because it was Germany’s main industrial area.
❖They were then able to take goods or resources from the Ruhr as a form of reparations.
❖The terms of the Treaty of Versailles meant this was legal.
KEY ACTIONS OF FRANCE AN BELGIUM
France and Belgium took 6 main actions:
❖Sent in 60,000 French and Belgian soldiers.
❖Took over factories, mines and railways.
❖Took food and goods.
❖Arrested Germans and 100 Germans were killed.
❖Threw 15,000 Germans out of their homes.
❖They forced over 100,000 protesters to leave the area.
What caused the hyperinflation crisis in Weimar Republic?
What were the economic consequences of the hyperinflation crisis in the Weimar Republic? (7)
What was the solution to the hyperinflation crisis in the Weimar Republic? 3 KEY WAYS
To pay reparations and the workers striking in the Ruhr, Germany printed more money. This led to hyperinflation and had a disastrous effect on the economy. The value of the German mark fell and the prices of goods increased.
MAIN ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES
There were 7 main economic consequences of hyperinflation.
❖With prices rising by the hour, people began to buy goods as soon as they were paid. A loaf of bread in 1922 cost 200 marks. By 1923 it cost 200,000 million marks.
❖Many people used a barter system and traded items instead of paying with money to get around the problems of hyperinflation.
❖As money became worthless, those with savings lost their money. This especially affected the middle classes.
❖People used the money in other ways, such as burning it for fuel. Children would also play with it, while some even made dresses from it!
❖People on fixed incomes could not renegotiate their earnings and the elderly on fixed pensions received no increases. This meant their incomes became almost worthless.
❖Many small business owners went bankrupt.
❖Foreign businesses would not accept the worthless currency which led to shortages of imported goods.
The hyperinflation crisis was solved in 3 key ways:
❖Stresemann, as chancellor, replaced the worthless currency with a temporary one called the Rentenmark in October 1924.
❖Eventually the Rentenmark became the new Reichsmark in 1924. This was a stable currency that remained for the next 25 years.
❖Stresemann, as foreign secretary, signed the Dawes Plan in 1924 which organized American loans to German banks and businesses and temporarily lowered annual reparation payments to help the German economy recover.