What were the economic impacts of WW1?
- Inflation of the Mark (value decreased 75% from 1913-18)
- Food shortages due to ineffective agriculture
- Taxation only contributed 16% of the cost of the war
What were the social impacts of WW1?
- 2 million solider killed
- 6.3 million soldiers injured
- Living standards fell 20 - 30%
- Coal shortages - these worsened the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918
What were the political impacts of WW1?
- Germany became authoritarian and militaristic, Generals Ludendoff and Hindenburg essentially ran the country
- 1915 saw the formation of the Communist Spartacist League
- 1917 saw the split of the SPD with 42 members creating the USPD
- Strikes in 1917 and 18
What was the impact of the Germany’s impending defeat in WW1?
- Shock amongst Germans who thought they were winning
* The ‘Stab in the Back’ myth was invented, branding the new government the November Criminals
Who was elected after the Kaiser abdicated?
Friedrich Ebert, leader of the SDP
When did Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicate?
9th November 1918
This ended the second reich and an imperial Germany
What was armistice day?
11th November 1918- The day that the Germans made an agreement with the Allied forced thus ending WW1
How did the new government differ from the old political system?
- The new system was a democracy
- The President was elected every 7 years
- The Reichstag (central government) gained more power
- Women were allowed to vote
- Voting age was reduced from 25 to 20
- The voting system worked under proportional representation
- The Bill of Rights ensure freedom of expression, association and speech
- There was now a constitution
What elements of the new Weimar Government were similar to that of the Second Reich?
The President has similar powers to the Kaiser
• Could dismiss Reichstag and call an election
• Could dismiss Chancellor
• Power to rule by decree under Article 48
• Was the Supreme Commander of the armed forces
Also the Reichstag was still the main legislative body
What elements of the Weimar Constiution posed challenges for the Weimar Government?
The power of the President over the Reichstag
The continuity of traditional institutions (army, judiciary, universities)
Why did proportional representation pose challenges to the government?
- It allows for there not to be a clear majority therefore laws not passed or weak laws being passed
- It also allows parties with extremist ideologies into the Reichstag
When was the Treaty of Versailles signed?
28th June 1919
How did the power d the President over the Reichstag pose challenges for the government?
Under Article 48 the President could rule by decree in a crisis. This clause allowed for the President to become a dictator if he wanted to
What were the terms of the Treaty of Versailles that Germany had to follow?
- Pay £6.6 billion in reparations
- Had to accept will responsibility for the war
- The Rhineland was to be demilitarised
- Saarland was taken over by the League of Nations
- A German airforce was prohibited
- Only 100,000 people were allowed in the German Army
- Germany were only allowed 6 battleships
- Union with Austria was prohibited (Anschluss)
How did the hyperinflation of 1923 occur?
- The economic impacts of the war (inflation, introduction of benefit systems) lead to mass debt.
- worsened when the TOV set out £6.6 billion in reparation for Germany to pay.
- governments response - borrow and print more money making the value of the mark worse. Also couldn’t pause rep. payments and failed to meet them in 1923
- due to rep. payment failure French and Belgian invaded the Ruhr seizing raw materials and goods
- Gov stopped all payments to France and ordered passive resistance, paid wages of striking workers and compensated business owners. Still had to import fuel which added to debt. They printed more money
What happened during the hyperinflation crisis
- Confidence in the mark was lost and the currency collapsed
- marks were now worthless
- Germans had to resort to black markets and bartering to get goods
Name the 5 key events of political opposition that took part during the early Weimar years
Spartacus Uprising Kapp Putsch Communist Uprisings Political Assassinations Munch Putsch
Spartacist Uprisings • Date • Event • Why did they oppose the Republic • How to the government end it?
- 6th January 1919
- Thousands of armed workers went to central Berlin to demonstrate, important buildings/offices taken over (train stations and newspaper offices). A strike was called by KPD AND USPD to which half a million workers responded
- Police chief (who was also SPD), Emil Elchorn was dismissed)
- The Friekorps were deployed to put down rebellion
Kapp Putsch • Date • Event • Why did they oppose the Republic • How to the government end it?
- 12th March 1920
- Attempt to overthrow government by Wolfgang Kapp and Friekorps leaders. They took over Berlin and declared themselves the new government
- Kapp and pro-miltary leaders aimed to restore a German empire with strong gov. and overturn the TOV
- However the Weimar gov had signed the Stinnes Legien Agreement in 1918 with Trade Union leaders who called a strike demanding the end of the Putsch thus preventing Kapp’s movement maintaining power in 4 days
Communist Uprisings • Date • Event • Why did they oppose the Republic • How to the government end it?
- From 1919 to 1922
- Communist governments were set up in Bavaria (1919), the Ruhr (1920), Saxony (1921) and Thuringia (1922) in attempt to take over the regions
- extremist parties opposed gov. due to the TOV, democratic nature, failure to produce strong and decisive government
- On Nov 10th 1918 Ebert and the leader of the Army signed the Ebert - Groener Pact which said the army would stop all left wing uprisings
Political Assassinations • Date • Event • Why did they oppose the Republic • How to the government end it?
- Between Jan 1919 and June 1922
- 376 Political assassinations : 354 done by right wing Organisation Consul, 22 by left wing. One assassination was of Walter Rathenau the foreign minister who was Jewish
- Organisation Consul set up after failed Kapp Putsch by disbanded Friekorps
- people were tried. Very biased judiciary, 326/354 right wing assassination plots were unpunished (only 1 life sentence) whilst 18/22 left wing went punished (10 death sentences, 3 life sentences)
Munich Putsch • Date • Event • Why did they oppose the Republic • How to the government end it?
- 8th Nov 1923
- The SA surrounded a beer hall in Munich where Gustav von Kahr and officials were meeting. Hitter declared he and General Ludendorff now ran Bavaria
- Nazi Party membership had grown from 6000 to 23,000 in 1923, a weak and growingly unpopular government and Ludendorff’s support gave Hitler the confidence to attempt the putsch
- The prisoners escaped and demanded a resistance to the putsch. Hitler was arrested and imprisoned for 9 months of his 5 year sentence. NADAP disbanded till 1925
What key groups had an influence over the state of Germany?
Trade Unions - Stinnes Legien Pact
Army - Ebert Groener Pact
Judiciary - remained independent and right wing supporting
What were the three main consequences of the Treaty of Versailles?
Oppositions and Rebellion against in the Weimar Government
How did the continuity of traditional institutions pose challenges for the government?
- The power of the Army threatened to turn Germany into a military state and undermine democracy
- The judiciary were independent and more right leaning
- Universities who favoured old political ideas could have prohibited social change spreading
Name the 8 political parties of Weimar Germany (from most left to most right)
German Communists (KPD) Independent Social Democrats (USDP) Social Democrats (SPD) German Democrats (DDP) Centre Party (Z) German Peoples’ Party (DVP) German National Peoples’ Party (DNVP) National Socialist German Workers’ Party (The Nazi’s/NSDAP)
What were the main ideologies of Left Wing parties in Weimar Germany
Supported democracy (apart from KPD) Some wanted massive political and social change (KPD, USPD) whole others were more focused in reform (DDP) The Centre party (Z) had views on democracy in line with left than the right
What were the main views of the Right Wing parties in Weimar Germany?
Anti republic, pro monarchy
How did the voting alignment change from 1919 to 1920?
• Saw a shift towards the right - DNVP went from having 10.3% to 15.4% - DVP went form having 4.4% to 14% • Nazis did not have any seats • However more extreme left win parties gained influence in the Reichstag - USPD went from having 7.8% to 17.9% - KPD went form 0% to 2.4%
What happened to voter turn out from 1919 to December 1924?
It went from 83% turn out to 78.8%
When did voter turn out reach it’s lowest in the Weimar Period?
1928 it was only 75.6%
What happened to voter turn out from 1930 to November 1932?
It went from 82% (a big improvement on the 75.6% seen year before) to 80.6%
What happened to the percentage of votes going to pro constitution parties?
This was a decrease but still larger than the support for anti-constitution parties
What happened to the percentage of votes going to anti construction parties?
A rise but still 30.3% less votes than pro constitution parties
Why did the Weimar government not have to deal with more opposition movements between 1819 and 1929?
There was a popular support for democracy seen by still a very high voter turn out and more votes going to pro constitution parties
What were the Golden Years?
The time period between 1924 and 1929 of economic and political stability in Weimar Germany
It saw co operation between Germany and other European nations and
Who was Gustav Stresemann?
He was the Chancellor of Germany for 102 days in 1923 and Foreign Minister from 1923 to 1929
How did Stresemann help contribute to the Golden Years’ success?
- Increased political stability in Germany by urging parties to work together
- Increased Germany’s international reputation
- Created greater economic stability
What was name of the temporary and permanent currency introduced?
Temporary : retenmark
Permanent : reichmark
People exchanged their worthless marks into retenmarks which could then be exchanged for reichmarks
What successful actions helped to re-stabilise the German economy from 1924 -1929?
- Introduction of new temporary and permanent currency
- Germany was more accepted by world community (e.g The Locarno Pact 1925)
- International loans helped
- Dawes Plan (1924) and Young Plan (1928) improved international trade (increase of 34%)
- There was an improvement if German industry and business (production improved by 1/3 from 1920 -30)
What economic problems did the government still face from 1924 -1929?
- Popularity remained low due to the inability to recover savings lost during hyperinflation
- Germany became reliant on loans especially form the US
- Although exports improved, imports always exceeded exports. Exports were also hindered by high tariffs from other nations due to the war
- There were always disputed between business owners and workers. Unemployment did not go below 1.3 million
- The gov. didn’t increase taxes but didn’t lower spending (social welfare, grain production subsidies). Those in the lowest tax band rose form 47% to 62% from 1913 to 1926.
Give evidence for political stability in the Golden Years
- No putsch or political assassinations in this time period
- President Hindenburg (right wing leaning) upheld the constitution and in 1928 chose Müller (SPD) to be Chancellor
- Grand Coalition of 60% majority composed of DVP, Z, SPD and DDP
- Support for extremist and anti-constitution parties declined
- Only 6 coalition gov. which was less than the no in 1918-1923
Give evidence of remaining political instability in the Golden Years
- Coalition governments broke down over trivial issues (eg 1926 - what the flag would look like destroyed a gov)
- President Hindenburg was obstructive of working with the SPD ore 1928 and insisted the DNVP being included in government despite other parties gaining more votes
What was the economic impact on Germany of the Wall Street Crash and Depression?
- Germany was loaned 25.5 billion marks to aid in economic recovery
- When the USA recalled all its loans Germany had to pay them back
- Banks could not give out money to businesses and they couldn’t sustain production or pay workers
- Unemployment Increased and people were poker. Demand for goods dropped
- Businesses and workers couldn’t pay loans/mortgages and lost properties
- Banks collapsed and Germany spiralled into an economic depression
What were the economic impacts of the Depression?
- 5 major German banks collapsed
- 1/3 of population were unemployed
- 50,000 businesses went bankrupt
- National income shrunk 39% from 1929-32
- On averages wages fell 20-30%
- Industrial production declines 40%
- 6 million were unemployed by 1932
What were the political effects of the Depression?
- Grand Coalition fell apart
- System saw a shift towards the right
- 44 emergency decrees passed under Article 48 1930-32 (compared to 5 in the previous year)
- 4 elections in the space of 5 years
- 461 riots in Prussia
- As the economy worsened so did the political situation voting for more extreme parties
What were Chancellor Brüning’s policies to try to reduce the effect of the Depression?
- Deflation (decreasing the price of food and services to decreasing gov spending)
- Wage and rent cuts
- Tax increases
- He believed that if state revenue declined state expenditure needed to be cut
What did Brüning’s policies do for the country?
Worsened the depression : 1930-32 industrial production, product prices and exports all fell around 50%. Unemployment rose to its highest level ever in 1932
But it meant that the preparation payments were frozen as the situation got so bad
What did Chancellor Von Papen do to try and combat the Depression?
- Introduced some tax concessions and business subsidies
- These lead to the creation of some new jobs and improved the economy but the country had now gotten into big political problems
What were the Nazi’s policies in 1920s and who would have supported them?
- Increase old age pensions - old people
- Rearm Germany - soldiers and nationalists
- Detroit Marxists - the right wing
- Remove Jews from positions of power in Germany - antisemites
Why did the Nazi’s fail to get into power in 1928?
- Lacked support of the working class - most voted for the left due to a want of change
- 1924 -1929 was a prosperous time - economic stability isn’t good for extremist parties
- The Nazis were too extreme for most people - anti- semetic and violent
How was Hitler able to become chancellor by 1933?
- Nazi’s won power through actions and organisation
- Wall Street Crash and the Depression brought Nazis into power
- Widespread fear of communism
- Actions of powerful politicians
How did the Munich Putsch end up benefitting the Nazis?
- Gained publicity for Hitler and the NSDAP through trial and Hitler’s Mein Kampf
- Hitler didn’t serve his full sentence
- Hitler showed his political and speaking skills
- Showed party was supported by Ludendorff - a war hero
What were the 4 key reasons for the collapse of the Weimar Republic
- Economic problems (eg 1918-1923 and 1929-1933)
- The rise of extremist parties (eg Nazi’s)
- Political Opposition
- Hatred of the Treaty of Versailles/ Impacts of WW1