Was the Weimar Republic doomed from the start? Flashcards Preview

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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?

January 1919


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?

March 1920


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?

The President


Who appointed and dismissed the Army?

The President


What was the position of the President in the army?

Supreme Commander


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?

January 1923


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?

August 1923


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
Industry expanded
Exports increased
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?

October 1929


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?

6 million


What happened politically after the Wall Street Crash?

-Support for the moderate parties that made up the coalitions of the Weimar governments began to decline
-Support for the two extreme parties, the Nazis and the communists, rose from 13% in 1928 to 52% in 1932