The Weimar Republic- shit Flashcards

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1
Q

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

A
  • 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
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2
Q

What was the German Navy’s reaction to war:

A
  • 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

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3
Q

What was Germany’s debt after the war?

A

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

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4
Q

What was the result of the British Naval Blockade?

A

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

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5
Q

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

A
  • 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
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6
Q

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

A
  • 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
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7
Q

When did Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicate?

A

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

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8
Q

Where and Why did Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicate?

A
  • 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
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9
Q

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

A
  • 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
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10
Q

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

A
  • 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
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11
Q

How did the first world war officially end?

A

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

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12
Q

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

A
  • 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
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13
Q

When was the National assembly decided and how?

A
  • 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%
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14
Q

How was the new constitution agreed and set up?

A

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
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15
Q

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

A
  • 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
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16
Q

What were the key roles in the Weimar Republic?

A
  • President
  • Chancellor
  • Cabinet
  • Reichstag
  • Reichsrat
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17
Q

What was the role of the President?

A
  • 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
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18
Q

What was the role of the chancellor?

A
  • The chancellor decided which laws should be passed

- Most only became law if the Reichstag and Reichsrat voted for them

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19
Q

What did the Reichstrat and Reichstrag do?

A
  • 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
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20
Q

What did all the Reichstrat and Reichstrag make up?

A

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

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21
Q

What happened to Local Governments after the new republic?

A
  • 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
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22
Q

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

A
  • 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
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23
Q

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

A

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
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24
Q

How were riots kept under control?

A

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

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25
Q

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

A

-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

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26
Q

What was Dolchstoss?

A

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)

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27
Q

How did the treaty of Versailles weaken Germany?

A
  • Economically
  • Politically (the people who signed the peace treaty and were governing the country were seen as November Criminals)-small support for government by people
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28
Q

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

A

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

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29
Q

What were the main moderate parties in the Weimar Reuplic?

A

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

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30
Q

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

A

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

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31
Q

What did the extreme right-wing parties want?

A

They wanted a strong government, strong army all headed by a strong leader. They supported Capitalism and tended to place the interests of the nation over the individual

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32
Q

What did the extreme left-wing party want?

A

They wanted Germany to be controlled by the people. They opposed capitalism and wanted to abolish private ownership of land and business and put it in the hands of workers.These people were internationalists who stressed coo-operation.

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33
Q

What was the threat in the Reichstag with the extremists?

A

Although the SPD, DDP and ZP had 77% of seats after the National assembly, after the election of 6th June 1920 they only had 45% of the seats. On the other hand, extremists had risen to take nearly 20% of the seats. The centre parties struggled through coalitions and attacks from the right and left wing.

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34
Q

How did the German Communist Party gain support?

A

The German Communist Party (KPD) was set up in December 1918 and was backed and well funded by the USSR. It gained 33 daily newspapers and 400,000 members. The communists were also backed by the Spartacist League.

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35
Q

What was the Spartacist league?

A

A group of extreme socialists from the USPD, the Independent Sociaist Party based in Berlin. They named themselves after the head of a slaves’ revolt in Ancient Rome-Spartacus. The were led by Rosa Luxemburg (aka Red Rosa)and Karl Liebknecht

36
Q

What was the major move that the Spartacists undertook on the 6th of January 1919?

A

After thousands of protesters were taking to the streets of Berlin after Ebert sacked Emil Eichhorn ( a police chief popular with workers) on the 4th, Spartacists saw this as their chance to undermine the government. They called for a uprising and General strike in Berlin and on the 6th and 100,000 workers took to the streets and seized government’s newspaper and telegraph offices.

37
Q

What was the Freikorps?

A

The Freikorps consisted of 250,000 men (in March 1919) demobolised from the German Army but most of them still had their weapons. Many were also right wing and against communists. Ebert ordered the Reichswehr (German Army) to organise this whole operation as they were unable to put down the Spartacist revolt in their shape so the Free Corps replaced them.

38
Q

How did the Spartacist Revolt end?

A

As the Spartacist revolt grew, Ebert turned the Freikorps on the riot driven off the streets by the 13th January. On the 16th January Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were arrested and killed.

39
Q

How did the Kapp Putsch come about?

A

The Freikorps were getting hard to control by 1920 and on March 20th, some Freikorps units near Berlin were meant to be dispanded. They feared unemployment and turned arms against the republic. Five thousand men marched on Berlin and the Reichwehr were unwilling to fire upon other Reichswehr rebels. The city was soon held by the rebels and a nationalist politician was put forward called Wolfgang Kapp.They declared a new government.

40
Q

How did the real government react to the Kapp Putsch?

A

They fled to Weimar and then Stuttgart and urged people to not co-operate with this government and go on strike. Many workers obliged as they despised the Kaiser and socialist learnings. Essential services such as gas, electricity, water and transport stopped and teh capital ground to a halt.

41
Q

What did Kapp realise after the worker’s strikes?

A

After four days, Kapp realised he could not govern so he fled but was later imprisoned where he died. The rebellion collapsed and the Weimar ministers returned.

42
Q

How many political murders were there between 1919 and 1922?

A

There were 376 political murders between 1919-1922 and most were of left-wing or moderate politicians. Not a single right-wing murderer was convicted and executed while ten left-wing assasins were. Some judges were sympathetic to the right wing.

43
Q

What key political figures were assassinated between 1919 and 1922?

A
  • Hugo Haasse (one of Ebert’s Council of People’s representatives) murdered in 1919
  • Matthias Erzberger (politician who surrendered to the Allies in 1918) was shot and killed in August 1921
  • Walther Rathenau (Weimar Foreign minister) was machine gunned to death in Berlin in June 1922
44
Q

What did all the violence (ie. spartacists and kapp putsch) trigger the formation of within parties?

A

It caused parties to set up and hire their own political armies which were mainly ex-soldiers who were unemployed.

45
Q

What armies did the KPD, DNVP and SPD have?

A

The KPD set up a private army called the Rotfrontkampfer (Red Front Fighters)
The DNVP were supported by the Stahlhelm (Steel Helmets)
The SPD had the Reichsbanner-Schwartz-Rot-Gold (Black Red Gold Flag)

46
Q

What were the partys’ armies used for?

A

The main idea for the armies was for protection but their presence often caused political meetings and marches to become violent.

47
Q

What was the economic situation in Germany 1923?

A

The Government was bankrupt, the gold reserves had been spent on the war but yet they still had to pay reparations without the help of their production land that had been stripped away in the Treaty of Versailles.

48
Q

What happened in the Ruhr coalfields of Germany in 1922 and 1923?

A

Germany failed to send coal to France `in December 1922 from the Ruhr Coalfields as decreed in the reparations agreement. France responded by sending troops into the German Industrial area on the 23rd of January. They confiscated raw materials, manufactured goods and industrial machinery. France arrested any workers who obstructed them in this process.

49
Q

What did the invasion of the Ruhr mean for Germany?

A

As the Ruhr contained many factories and around 80% of the German coal, iron and steel reserves. It increased Germany’s debt, increased unemployment and worsened the shortage of goods.

50
Q

What did the government do to combat the shortages created by the invasion of the Ruhr ?

A

They printed more money as they were not receiving enough tax. In 1923, the government had 300 paper mills and 2,000 printing shops dedicated to printing more bank notes

51
Q

What happened when the Government printed more money in 1923?

A

It raised prices so more money had to be printed. This ended up in a vicious circle. By 1923, prices had reached spectacular heights and the extreme inflation is called hyperinflation.

52
Q

What was the price of a loaf of bread in 1919, 1922 and 1923?

A
1919 = 1 mark
1922 = 100 marks
1923 = 200,000 billion marks
53
Q

What were the three main effects of hyperinflation in Germany?

A
  • Normal living became impossible
  • Everyone suffered from shortages
  • People with savings were hit hardest
54
Q

How did normal living become impossible due to Hyperinflation?

A
  • Printing presses could not produce enough money
  • Stamps were useless (money had to be pinned to letters)
  • Money had to be carried in bundles in baskets or wheelbarrows
  • Many workers were paid twice a day so they could rush out and buy goods before prices rose even further
  • Some shops refused to take money and asked for payment in kind (swapping goods)
  • Shops were raided by those who could not afford food
55
Q

Why did the Germans suffer shortages as a result of Hyperinflation?

A

Foreign suppliers refused to accept German marks for goods so imports dried up and shortages or food and other goods dried up. £1 worth of foreign goods cost 20 billion marks

56
Q

What happened to those with savings during Hyperinflation?

A

People with money in banks, insurance policies or policies were hit hard. Their saved money became worthless

57
Q

What social class was affected the worse during Hyperinflation?

A

The middle class

58
Q

What people benefitted from hyperinflation?

A
  • People with loans
  • Hoarders
  • Foreign visitors
59
Q

Why did people with loans benefit from hyperinflation?

A

The value of their money they owed went down

60
Q

Why did hoarders benefit from hyperinflation?

A

Their goods could be sold for a large profit

61
Q

Why did foreign visitors benefit from hyperinflation?

A

Foreign visitors benefitted because the value of their own currency rose against the German mark. Germans hated people who made money out of their suffering.

62
Q

What happened in August 1923 to the chancellor position in Germany?

A

President Ebert appointed Gustav Stresemann as his new chancellor and foreign secretary. Gustav resigned as chancellor in November 1923 but remained the foreign secretary

63
Q

What was Stresemann’s aim when coming to power?

A

He wanted to make the political situation in Germany Stable. He hoped that by stabilising the economy and gaining respect for Germany’s foreign affairs, Germans would feel more content with the Weimar Republic. Consequently, he thought this would reduce the support for extreme political parties like the NSDAP and Communist Party

64
Q

How did Stresemann end hyperinflation?

A

In November 1923, Stresemann set up a state owned bank called the Retenbank. The bank issued the new currency called the Retenmark which had a strictly limited supply. Their value was tied to the price of gold and they were backed by German industrial plants and agricultural land. It had real value and was trusted

65
Q

What was Stresemann’s follow up move with the Retenbank?

A

In August 1924, a newly independent national bank called the Reichsbank was given control of the new currency. The currency was renamed Reichsmark and was backed by Germany’s gold reserves. German money was now trusted abroad as well as at home. This brought an end to hyperinflation but it could not bring back the losses of those people ruined by it.

66
Q

What first step did Stresemann take to fix Germany’s economy?

A

He agreed to the Dawes plan in April 1924

67
Q

What was the Dawes plan?

A

After WWI the allies asked American banker Charles G. Dawes to resolve Germany’s non-payment of reparations. Under this pan:

  • Reparations were temporarily reduced to £5o million a year
  • US banks agreed to give loans to German industry. They loaned $25 billion between 1924 and 1930
68
Q

What did the Dawes plan fix in the Ruhr?

A

Due to the Dawes plan, Allies were reassured they would get their reparations payment and the workers were no longer resisting so the French agreed to leave the Ruhr.

69
Q

How did the Weimar Republic’s economy improve as a result of the Dawes plan?

A
  • Industrial output doubled between 1923 and 1928, passing pre-First World War levels
  • Employment, trade and income from taxation increased
70
Q

What were the drawbacks of the Dawes plan?

A
  • The extreme political parties were furious that Germany had again agreed to pay Reparations
  • Furthermore, the fragile economy recovery depended on American Loans
71
Q

What made further progress with the reparations in August 1929?

A

The Young plan

72
Q

What was the Young plan?

A

The Young plan was set up by the allies and was headed by an American banker called Owen Young. The plan reduced the total reparations debt from £6.6 billion to £2 billion and Germany were given a further 59 years to pay.

73
Q

What were the drawbacks with the Young Plan?

A
  • The annual payment was still £50 million a year
  • The payments stretched out until 1988
  • The extreme political parties were incensed. Hitler described the extension of payments was “passing on the penalty to the unborn”.
74
Q

Why was the Young plan a sensible measure in the end?

A
  • Lower reparations payments allowed the government to lower taxes on ordinary German people
  • Lowering taxes increased public spending power which resulted in a boost in German industry and an increase in jobs. The increase in jobs boosted spending power and a virtuous cycle of economic growth was formed
  • The French agreed to leave the Rhineland in 1930
  • The Weimar Republic had more support as a result
75
Q

Did the public want the Young plan?

A

Yes, they did. A referendum, held in 1929, resulted in 35 million Germans in favour of the Young plan, about 85% of those who voted

76
Q

How did Stresemann start to recover Germany’s foreign relations?

A

On December 1st 1925, Stresemann signed the Locarno Pact

77
Q

What was the Locarno Pact?

A

It was a treaty between Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Belgium. It was agreed on equal terms.

78
Q

What were the terms of the Locarno Pact?

A
  • Germany accepted its new 1919 border with France and France promised peace with Germany
  • Germany and the Allies agreed that the Rhineland would be permanently demilitarised
  • The five powers agreed to open talks about German membership in the League of Nations
79
Q

Why did Stresemann see the Locarno pact as a triumph?

A
  • It made war in Europe less likely. Stresemann was even given the Nobel Peace prize in 1926
  • Germany was being treated equal which saw a boost to the Prestige in the Weimar Republic and a increase in confidence of the moderate parties towards Stresemann
80
Q

What did some political parties think of the Locarno Pact?

A

They thought it was unacceptable as the hated Versailles borders had been confirmed.

81
Q

What happened with Germany and the League of Nations in September 1926?

A

Stresemann persuaded the great powers to accept Germany as a member. They were given a place on the League of Nations council which took the most important decisions of the League. Most saw this as a success but a few despised this as it linked to the Treaty of Versailles.

82
Q

What was the Kellogg-Briand Pact made in August 1928?

A

This was a pact signed by Germany and 61 other countries that promised states would not use war to achieve foreign policy aims. It was named after two French and US foreign ministers who worked on the Pact. America saw this as a way to assist in peace as they were not part of the League of Nations.

83
Q

Why did most Germans see the Kellogg-Briand Pact as a way forward?

A
  • It showed that Germany was included amongst the main powers and was not dictated by them
  • The Weimar Republic was now a respected and stable state
  • It increased the confidence of the people that the moderate parties could be trusted to make Germany strong
  • However, not all Germans agreed. The Pact did nothing to remove the hated terms of the Treaty of Versailles which restricted German strength with reparations, lost land and military reductions
84
Q

Was Stresemann’s aim fulfilled?

A

Yes it was, moderate parties gained votes in the Reichstag in 1928 from 1924 whilst the extremists lost votes. He also had brought the Weimar Republic and the economy to a respected and stable state

85
Q

How else was Germany’s confidence in the Weimar Republic increased after Ebert died?

A

After the president of the republic died, Freidrich Ebert, (known as the one who led the revolution against the Kaiser and signed the Treaty of Versailles), he was replaced by Paul von Hindenburg who had served for the Kaiser. This meant the Republic had a strong figurehead.

86
Q

What happened to Stresemann in 1929 and what was the devastating impact?

A

On the 3rd October 1929, Stresemann had a heart attack and died. The loss of his moderate policies were a severe blow to the Weimar Republic as well as the Wall Street Crash. A new wave of economic and political pressure had struck the Weimar Republic.