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Flashcards in Weimar Politics And Economic Problems 1924-9 Deck (25)
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1

When did stresemanns government collapse and who was it replaced by?

Late November 1923 to be replaced by one led by Wilhelm Marx of the centre party.

Stresemann continued as foreign minister until 1929

2

The Republic was in a state of emergency that only lifted in...

Early 1924

3

Which parties made great gains of he elections of May 1924 and why?

Nationalist and communist, cause by the uncertainty created by the economic crisis

4

What did Stresemann believe was the best course of action in dealing with the allies?

Fulfilment

I'm his view, Germany's greatest need was raw materials, new markets for its good and new sources of capital. Germany needed to be strengthened economically

5

Why was the Dawes plan called this?

Because it was put together by a committee of economists and experts chaired by the American banker Charles Dawes

6

What was the aim of the committee putting together the Dawes plan?

To find a solution to the reparations problem under the slogan 'business not politics'

7

When did the committee produce its report on the Dawes plan?

April 1924

8

What were the points of the Dawes plan?(3)

French would leave the Ruhr and further sanctions be harder to apply

Reparations would be paid over a longer period and credit would be advanced to help rebuild the German economy. In the first four years, an international loan of 800 million marks would be granted to cover four fifths of the reparation payments

The reichsbank would be reorganised under allied supervision. Reparations were to be paid in such a way not to threaten the stability of the German economy

9

What were the difficulties in passing the Dawes plan?

Many parties disliked the plan, in particular the continuation of reparation payments

10

Key points of Stresemann?

The Stresemann years 1924-9 were named after Gustav Stresemann who was reich chancellor in 1923 and foreign minister 1924-9

It was only in diplomacy, in which Stresemann excelled, that the nations situation was improved

11

What were the problems caused by the SPD.

Between 1924 and 1928 the SPD resisted becoming involved in forming workable coalition governments despite its position as the largest party in the reichstag.

The main reason for this course of action was a belief that coalition with the 'bourgeois'parties would lead to a compromise of the party's ideals.

The consequence of such action was to reduce the influence of socialists in the reichstag. This weakened the whole process of democracy as it contradicted the concept of representation and accountability

12

The election of Hindenburg:

April 26 1925 elected president of the Weimar Republic.

As the victor of the battle of tannenburg in 1914 he was much respected

Made it clear that he would not accept SPD participation in coalition governments

13

Government instability January 1926- February 1928

Jan 1926 hans Luther formed a minority coalition involving the centre party, DVP and DNP.

this didn't last, foundering on the instructions it gave to the country's diplomatic corps to use the old imperial flag

14

What legislation was passed in 1927?

Unemployment insurance

15

Election of May 1928 significance?

The left made important gains, the SPD and KPD.

the centre and the right saw votes drop

The election of hugenburg to the leadership of the DNVP in October 1928 clearly showed the anti democratic feelings of a majority of the DNVP membership.

The results of the election show a subtle but real shift away from the established parties to those of the fringes of political life

16

What is the German economist kurt borchardt's view on the economic problems of Germany?

He argued that 1924-9 were years of slow growth and 'relative stagnation' in the economy. He suggests the main reason for this was that trade union power kept wages high and therefore squeezed profits and middle class income

He believes the Weimar economy was structurally weak before 1929

17

Monetary stability: economic problems

Between 1924 and 1929 there was no monetary stability which was particularly important to those classes that had suffered because of the hyperinflation of 1923. This was due to the establishment of the rentenmark and effects of the Dawes plan.

As a result of the Dawes plan there was a significant influx of foreign capital, around 2.5 billion marks between 1924 and 30 . The majority of this came from the U.S. and enabled the reconstruction of German industry

18

Delay of reparation payments:

The growth in available capital in Germany was also due to the delaying of reparations, as suggested by the Dawes plan, allowing investment in the German economy.

The Dawes plan allowed the Germans to pay at the rate of only 1 million marks a year until 1929, where the rate would be increased to 2.5 mil

As a result, national income was 12% higher in 1928 than in 1913

19

Labour unrest

There is little evidence in the voting figures of a return of confidence in the mainstream parties of the Republic

20

Unemployment

Unemployment figures support the view that many of the economic problems may have had their roots in the supposed years of stability

E.g. In late 1928 unemployment stood at 3 million or 14.5% of the workforce

The collapse in food prices from 1922 led to widespread rural poverty

21

Industrial unrest

Mid 1920s saw increasing organised attack by employers on the rights of labour

In1923, the 1918 legislation that enforced an 8 hour day was altered to 10 in some circumstances.

Employees resisted union demand for higher wages in this period to the extent that between 1924 and1932 around 76,000 cases were brought to arbitration

22

Mullers grand coalition 1928-30

A ministry dominated by socialists was formed led by Hermann muller of the SPD.

New coalition was broad enough to include members of the SPD, DDP, DVP, BVP and centre.

Main task of the coalition was to steer the young plan through the reichstag in 1929

23

Young plan:

Emerged because Germany was to start paying the higher rate of reparations

For the first time, timescale for reparation repayment was set (2,000 mil marks a year for the next 59 years)

Responsibility for paying reparation was to be given to Germany. Transfer of payments from German marks into foreign currency was to be handled by a new institution, the bank for international settlements, Switzerland

Payments were to increase gradually and from 1929-32 Germany was to pay 1,700 mill RM less than it would've payed under Dawes

If Germany agreed to the plan, the French promised to evacuate the Rhineland by June 1930

24

Opposition to the young plan?

Opponents of the Republic were not impressed by the young plan and aimed to use the fact Germany still had to pay reparations

Under article 73 a referendum could be petitioned for. Hugenburg formed the reich committee for a referendum to oppose the plan. Raised 4 mil signatures

Campaign was important because it included, on the invitation of hugenburg, Adolf hitler.

Reich committee based their campaign on the 'freedom law'

Young plan legislation passed March 1930

By following June, French evacuated the Rhineland

25

Wall Street crash 1929

Most of the economic recovery of the mid 1920s had relied on short term loans from abroad

Those who lent money now demanded repayment

Growth in unemployment. By feb 1929, 17.7% of population were unemployed

Growing crisis was to stretch and break the grand coalition

The issue that was at the heart of the coalition was the unemployment insurance

Reich institution had to borrow from the government to pay out benefits , putting strain on the Governments budget.

The coalition partners had different ideas to address the problem:
-SPD believed that contributions to the fund to help the unemployed should be increased
-DVP disagreed, said they should not be increased
-centre party negotiated a deal whereby a decision on the issue would be put off until the autumn of 1930