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What were the main impacts of World War one on the people and soldiers?

-11 million German soldiers fought in World War One (28th July 1914- 11th November 1918)
-Nearly 2 million died with 4 million wounded (55% casualties)
-Cost of war trebled Germany's debt to 150 billion marks
-750,000 German civilians died due to food shortages as a result of the British Naval Blockade
-Spanish Influenza caused the death of over 1 million civilians and some soldiers


What was the German Navy's reaction to war:

-They were not happy at all:
-October 1918, some crews in the German Navy mutinied (refused to follow orders) in the ports of Kiel and Hamburg


What was Germany's debt after the war?

Cost of war trebled Germany's debt to 150 billion marks


What was the result of the British Naval Blockade?

-750,000 German civilians died due to food shortages as a result of the British Naval Blockade


What happened in the German State of Bavaria right before the first world war officially ended?

-7th November, In Munich (Capital of the south German state of Bavaria) workers declared a general strike and protested in the streets.
-The were led by Jewish communist Kurt Eisner.
-Announced they were separate from the rest of Germany


What happened in the German cities of Stuttgart and Hanover and to most cities after WW1?

-At the Daimler plant in Stuttgart, workers went on strike and demonstrated in the streets
-In Hanover, soldiers refused to stop controlling the people in riots.
-Generally, in most places, local people set up worker's and soldier's councils to take over their cities and to replace the Kaiser's officials whith their own


When did Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicate?

The Kaiser abdicated on the 9th November and he went into exile in Holland in the early hours of the 10th November


Where and Why did Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicate?

-The Kaiser was in the army headquarters of Spa (700km away from Berlin) on the 9th November
-His ministers told him the only way to restore order in Germany was to abdicate but he refused
-General Wilhelm Groener, the army's second-in-command, told the Kaiser he had lost support from the German Army as the officers refused to support him
-He had no choice but to abdicate


What happened in Berlin, inside and outside the Reichstag on the 9th November?

-Inside Parliament (the Reichstag), members were told that armed rioters were preparing to announce a communist government
-Philipp Scheidemann, a leading member of the Social Democratic Part (SPD) didn't want this so he rushed into an open window and exclaimed, "The Hohenzollerns (German Royal family) have abdicated......Long live the German Republic"
-There was now a new German Republic in charge


What did the SPD do after Scheidemann announced the new republic and to keep control of Germany?

-On the 9th November, Max von Baden (the Kaiser's chancellor) handed his office to Friedrich Ebert (leader of SPD)
-On the 10th November, Ebert and Groener made an agreement so the army worked with the government to stop the communists
-Ebert also suspended the old Reichstag and named six moderate politicians to form the Council of People's representatives until a constitution (rules to run a country) could be agreed
- This prevented an anarchy or takeover by communist extremists


How did the first world war officially end?

-Ebert's representative, Matthias Erzberger, signed the armistice on the 11th of November


How did Ebert keep control of Germany from November 1918 to July 1919?

-He kept the civil servants under the Kaiser in office and they worked alongside the workers' and soldiers' councils to keep the state running
-He assured Groener the army would not be reformed and that officers would maintain their ranks
-Ebert won the support of trade unions by promising their leader Carl Legien to try and achieve an eight hour working day
-He promised private companies would not be nationalised to keep the economy going
-Riots remained common in cities but Ebert kept enough of a hold to form a new constitution


When was the National assembly decided and how?

-On the 19th January 1919 elections took place to select the National Assembly to decide on the constitution
-Moderate parties gained the most seats: the SPD won 40% while the Centre Party won 20%


How was the new constitution agreed and set up?

Set up by the National Assembly who took six months to agree on a new constitution
-On the 31st July, a constitution was agreed by 262 votes to 75.
-The new republic, now governed by the constitution agreed in Weimar (250 km away from Berlin and riots), became known as the Weimar Republic


What political ideology was the Weimar republic and how was this realised?

-It was a democracy as decreed in Article 1
-Women were now allowed to vote (became electorate) and the voting age was lowered to 21 from 25
-Every party was elected one representative to be in the Reichstag for each 60,000 votes in their favour


What were the key roles in the Weimar Republic?



What was the role of the President?

-He had the power to choose the chancellor (usually the leader of largest party)
-He could dismiss the Reichstag, call new elections and assume control of the army
-The electorate could change the president every seven years


What was the role of the chancellor?

-The chancellor decided which laws should be passed
-Most only became law if the Reichstag and Reichsrat voted for them


What did the Reichstrat and Reichstrag do?

-The Reichstrag was the more powerful house in Parliament, it controlled things such as taxation
-The Reichsrat had the ability to delay new laws by the Reichstrag unless the Reichstrag overruled them with a two-thirds majority


What did all the Reichstrat and Reichstrag make up?

-They made the central government which was now more powerful than it was under the rule of the Kaiser


What happened to Local Governments after the new republic?

-Each of the 18 regions of Germany (including Prussia and Bavaria) kept its own local government called a "land"
-These controlled key services like police, courts and schools


What was the result of the coalition governments and why did this happen?

-As a result of proportional representation, many small parties won seats and often no single party had a majority so coalitions were formed
-This resulted in disagreements and lack of clear policies so many fell apart
-There were nine coalition governments between 1919 and 1923 and 29 parties with seats in total throughout the 20's


What happened when coalitions disagreed and decisions needed to be made?

Article 48 of the constitution was activated (in a crisis, the chancellor could ask the President to pass a law without support from the Reichstag)
-By 1930, the chancellor relied heavily on the president
-It encouraged people to think a single, all powerful leader was better


How were riots kept under control?

-The Government had to use the army to subdue public riots


Why was the Weimar republic especially unpopular (ie. stab in the back + TOV)?

-Most the politicians who surrendered at the end of the war and agreed to the terms of the treaty of Versailles, set up and ran the Weimar republic. Therefore, the Republic was always linked to the surrender and harsh peace treaty terms


What was Dolchstoss?

One of the many reasons why the Treaty of Versailles was hated by the Germans.
They believed the German Army had not been defeated. Critics of the treaty said the army was betrayed by politicians and that they were "stabbed in the back" (dolchstoss)


How did the treaty of Versailles weaken Germany?

-Politically (the people who signed the peace treaty and were governing the country were seen as November Criminals)-small support for government by people


What was the main far-left wing party in the Weimar republic?

KPD-Communist Party-Opposed Weimar Republic-Supported by workers and some middle classes


What were the main moderate parties in the Weimar Reuplic?

SPD-Social Democrats-Supported Weimar Republic-Supported by workers and the middle classes
DDP-Democrats-Supported Weimar Republic-Backed by intellectual middle classes
ZP-Centre Party-Supported Weimar Republic-Conservatives,originally part of the Catholic church
DVP-People's party-Sometimes supported Weimar Republic


What were the main right wing parties in the Weimar republic?

DNVP-National Party-Grudgingly accepted Republic-Backed by landowners, the wealthy and big businesses
NSDAP-Nazi Party-Opposed Weimar Republic- Founded in 1920