Flashcards in Was the Weimar Republic doomed from the start? Deck (49)
When did the Kaiser abdicate?
9th November 1918
What followed the Kaiser's abdication?
The set up of a democratic government, the Weimar Republic
Who became the first President of Germany?
Friedrich Ebert, the leader of the Social Democrat Party
What were some of the challenges faced by the new government?
-Anger at the Treaty of Versailles
-Weak coalition governments
-The threat from extreme political groups
When was the Spartacist uprising?
Who led the Spartacist uprising?
Left-wing activists Rose Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht
How did the Sparctacist uprising end?
They were crushed by the Freikorps
Who were the Freikorps?
Ex-soldiers and bitter enemies of the communists
When was the Kapp Putsch?
Who led the Kapp Putsch?
An extreme nationalist, Wolfgang Kapp, together with some Freikorps units
Why did Kapp and his supporters flee Berlin?
Kapp was not supported by the Berlin workers who went on strike, refusing to cooperate
What was Article 48?
In times of national emergency, the president could suspend the constitution and rule by decree
How was the president elected?
Every seven years by all adults over 20
Who appointed and dismissed the Chancellor?
Who appointed and dismissed the Army?
What was the position of the President in the army?
What was the Chancellor?
He appointed a team of ministers to form a government
He requires the majority support of the Reichstag
What was the Reichstag?
-Elected by all adults over 20 on a system of proportional representation
-Maximum term of a parliament was four years
-Makes laws and controls the budget
-Members can be ministers
What was the Reichsrat?
-Comprised representatives drawn from the 18 provincial state parliaments
-Could veto Reichstag laws, though this veto could be overruled by a two-thirds Reichstag vote
-Advises the Chancellor on laws
What was proportional representation?
An electoral system in which parties gain seats in proportion to the number of votes cast for them
What were the disadvantages of Article 48?
Article 48 gave too much power to the President giving the opportunity for him to act undemocratically
What were the disadvantages of proportional representation?
-Through proportional representation some extremist parties were represented in the Reichstag, giving them a voice and publicity
-Proportional representation prevented overall control by one party. This meant that coalition governments were made up of representatives from a number of different political parties
How did the blame clause of the TOV impact the Weimar Republic?
The Germans were furious at the harsh terms
Germany had to accept the blame or starting the war and therefore pay reparations, which was 2% of Germany's annual output
How did the loss of territory listed in the TOV impact the Weimar Republic?
Germany lost a lot of territory including the industrial areas of the Saar and Upper Silesia, making it difficult for them to pay the reparations
How did the reduction of the army listed in the TOV impact the Weimar Republic?
The disarmament clause was resented as it was argued that the number of soldiers in the army was too small to keep Germany safe from invasion
The clause also increased unemployment in a country already suffering serious economic problem
The Allies though that those in the Freikorps should be included in this figure
When was the first installment of reparations paid?
What happened when the German government was unable to pay reparations in 1922?
They asked for more time; the British agreed, the French did not, as they thought the Germans were bluffing
The French thus decided, together with Belgium, they would occupy the Ruhr and seize coal and iron as reparations
When did the occupation of German industry begin?
What did German worker do in retaliation to the occupation of the Ruhr?
They used passive resistance, refusing to work in the mines or accept order from the occupiers
The result was that there would be nothing to take away
How did the French react to the passive resistance by the German workers in the Ruhr?
They killed over 100 workers and expelled over 100,000 protestors
What was the affect of the halt in production on the German economy?
It caused the collapse of the German currency
The government decided to print money, causing prices to rise of control and resulted in hyperinflation.
The German currency was virtually worthless
What was the affect of hyperinflation?
People's savings became valueless and pensioners suffered as they were on fixed incomes
Prices rose faster than incomes
Shop prices were increasing almost every hour
People could not afford food and heating
When did Gustav Stresemann become chancellor?
What did Gustav Stresemann's rescue plan do for the Weimar Republic?
-ended passive resistance in the Ruhr
-stopped the printing of money in November 1923
-stabilised the currency by introducing the temporary Rentenmark
-resumed reparation payments to the Allies
-resumed production in the Ruhr
What was the Rentenmark replaced by?
What did Stesemann agree with the USA to help the German economy?
The Dawes Plan, which linked Germany's reparations payments to economic performance
Also, US loans of 800 million gold marks helped to kick-start the German economy
How did Germany benefit from the Dawes Plan?
Inflation and unemployment fell
By 1928, German industrial production was greater than -re-war levels
When was the Young Plan introduced?
What was the Young Plan?
It reduced reparations, further helping Germany's economic recovery
What was still an economic problem, even after Stresemann's rescue plans?
-Some groups, including shopkeepers, farmers and small businessmen still struggled
-Unemployment still remained too high
-The economic recovery was based on American loans, and over reliance may result in a negative outcome
How did Stresemann get Germany to be accepted back into the international community?
As part of the Locarno Treaties of 1925, Germany agreed to accept the terms of the TOV
As a result Germany was accepted internationally being admitted into the League of Nations in 1926
When did France leave the Ruhr?
What were the political achievements of the Weimar period?
-In 1929, Germany was engaging on equal terms with the major powers of the world
-Locarno Treaties placed Germany on an equal level with signatories, providing guarantees for the frontiers of Germany, France and Belgium
-In 1926, Germany entered the League of Nations
What were the cultural achievements of the Weimar period?
-The 1920s was a decade of cultural revival in Germany
-The new democratic republic was committed to civil liberties
It lifter censorship, encouraged artists, writers, film and theatre directors and designers
The rejection of traditional approaches resulted in the favouring of expressionism
-At a popular level, night clubs, dance halls, cafes and restaurants increased, affording opportunities for cabaret artists, singers and dance bands
What were the drawbacks of the new developments in the Weimar period?
They were regarded with shock and disgust by the right-wing of German politics
Artistic development was seen a sign of decadence, corruption and moral decay
Under the Nazis many artists, writers and thinkers were forced to take refuge abroad
When was the Wall Street Crash?
How was Germany affected by the Wall Street Crash?
They suffered a double blow
It had to cope with a world depression and the consequent reduction in export orders, and they had to repay substantial amounts of money to the USA
Unemployment rose to alarming levels
How many people were unemployed by 1932?