Flashcards in Weimar Republic 1919-23 Deck (54):
When was the Kapp Putsch?
When do French and Belgian troops invade the Ruhr?
When does Stresemann become Foreign Minister?
When is Hitler sentenced to 5 years imprisonment?
When does Hitler leave prison? (early)
December 1924 (only 10 months)
When does Stresemann die?
When do the Nazis do surprisingly well in the elections?
When does unemployment peak at 6 million?
When did the Nazis become the largest party in the Reichstag, with 37% of the vote?
When does Hindenburg appoint Hitler as Chancellor?
In what way was the Second Reich Semi-Absolutist?
Because although there was an elected parliament (the Reichstag) it did not control the government. The Kaiser was born into power and the Chancellor was appointed by the Kaiser.
But they had to cooperate because the Reichstag had to agree with laws for them to be passed
What was the Proletariat?
The rapidly expanding industrial and urban working class, increasingly supporting the SPD
How did the creation of democracy come about?
General Ludendorff persuaded the Kaiser to transform the Second Reich into a virtual parliamentary democracy by handling over power to a civilian government that had the support of the Reichstag.
What were Ludendorff's motives behind encouraging democracy?
1. Hoped it would get better peace terms from the allies
2. Hoped the new democracy would be blamed for Germany's defeat because it would have to end the war. This would preserve the reputations and positions of the generals
What was the significance of the 'stab-in-the-back' myth?
The idea that Germany's brave army had been betrayed by unpatriotic Socialists was used to criticise the democratic Weimar Republic.
Weimar was associated with Germany's 'undeserved' defeat
What was the Ebert-Groener agreement?
A secret deal between the government and the army; the government would maintain the authority of the existing officers, and the army would defend the new government. They both shared a fear of Communism and so would need each other to crush it.
When was the Spartacist Uprising?
What were the 4 main issues with the Weimar Constitution?
1. Executive power was excessive - potential to undermine parliamentary democracy, e.g Hindenburg revolution from above, Ebert crushing Munich uprising (positive)
2. Proportional Representation - Led to coalition governments which didn't last long (longest lasted 18 months) and led to political instability
3. Conservative Institution remained - the republic didn't have the support of private institutions.
4. Individual states had too much power and often ignored the government, weakening the stability of the Republic.
From the Left, what parties supported the regime?
The SPD - wanted reform without revolution, accepted Versailles (working class support)
From the Left, what parties rejected the regime?
USPD/KPD - wanted revolution without reform (working class support)
From the Right, what parties supported the regime?
From the Right, what parties rejected the regime?
DNVP (wanted Kaiser back, rejected democracy)
What were the main events of the Spartacist Revolt?
- Dismissal of radical army officer, Eichorn
- Communist Spartacists tried to take over the govt.
- They took control of the Communist centres
- SPD govt. ordered army and Friekorps to suppress the revolt
- Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were shot when captured, and over 1000 workers were killed.
Why was the Spartacist Revolt suppressed so harshly?
Strong fear of Communist Revolution across Germany, as seen in Russia by the Bolsheviks.
The SPD were afraid they would suffer the same way that the Mensheviks and the Social Revolutionaries did in Russia.
In 1917, how many strikes were there and how many workers were involved?
1.5 million workers
What were the names and dates of the 2 major challenges to the Regime coming from the Right 1919-23?
Kapp Putsch - 1920
Munich Putsch - 1923
Why did the wave of Left-wing protests/strikes fail to overthrow the government?
- Uncoordinated (lack of strong leadership)
- KPD had no strong leadership nor a clear strategy nor an organised party structure (unlike the Bolsheviks).
- The left lacked support, both in terms of numbers and in level of commitment
- They didn't have the support of the army and so the government (Ebert-Groener agreement) were generally able to crush them.
What occasion saw the only temporarily successful left wing uprising?
Overthrow of the Bavarian monarchy and the creation of a soviet republic on November 7th 1918.
But in May 1919 it was crushed by the Freikorps with over 700 killed. Right wing govt. established in its place.
What were the workers' intent behind wanting a revolution?
They felt their gains from the Revolution of 1918 (especially the 8 hour day) were threatened and that the revolution needed to be extended.
What were the main terms of the Treaty of Versailles?
- Demilitarisation of the Rhineland
- The Saar was controlled by the League of Nations
- Alsace-Lorraine was lost to France
- The Polish Corridor meant over 1 million Germans were lost to Poland
- Reparations initially set at £6.6 billion (but estimated that Germany only paid 1/8 of original sum)
- Abolition of conscription and army reduced to 100,000 men. No tanks/military aircraft/submarines, and navy limited to 6 battleships.
- War Guilt (Article 231)
How much territory and population did Germany lose through Versailles?
13% of its territory
12% of its population (6.5 million, half of which were ethnic Germans)
In what way were the Germans looked down on for complaining about Versailles?
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, initiated by the Germans in 1918 to get the Russians out of the war, was argued to have harsher terms than Versailles.
In what way did Hindenburg show his hypocrisy with Versailles?
First he advised the government that Germany was in no state to resist an Allied invasion if Versailles was rejected.
Later he backed right wing parties by saying Versailles was a 'dictated peace'
How did the anti-republican right benefit from Versailles?
They didn't blame the military for the failures and exploited popular resentment of the treaty.
e.g. DNVP's vote increased by nearly 5% in a year
What were the causes of the Kapp Putsch?
February 1920, the Socialist government ordered two Friekorps brigades to disband (12,000 men) to conform to Versailles and because they weren't needed. Army officers refused and ordered Ebert's resignation
What were the main events of the Kapp Putsch?
- Night of March 12th 1920, Luttwitz and Freikorps brigade seized the government district in Berlin.
- Defence Minister, Noske, ordered to army to respond but von Ceeckt (head of general staff) said "troops do not fire on troops".
- Luttwitc made Kapp chancellor and the govt. fled, but asked the workers to strike in defence of the Republic before it left.
- This paralysed the capital and the rebels failed to win support/recognition so after 4 days it ended.
What were the consequences of the Kapp Putsch?
- Showed that the army was reluctant to support the Republic, and that the Friekorps couldn't be trusted.
- Reinforced that the Republic relied on unreliable forces to maintain 'order'.
What was Article 54 of the Weimar Constitution and what were its implications?
It meant that the Judiciary maintained independence, and resulted in the judges (Right) showed bias against the republic in the court
e.g. Erzberger case in 1920: he argued in favour of signing Versailles, and so was accused of corruption and fraud. The court found him guilty.
How long did the Weimar Republic last?
Who were the main people who were assassinated by the radical right, when were they killed and what were their positions?
-Walter Rathenau: 22 June 1922
Foreign Minister of the Republic. (he was a Jew and was hated for his commitment to the Republic and was said to have betrayed Germany)
-Mathias Erzberger: August 1921
Head of Centre Party (hated for signing the armistice and supporting the republic)
What was the significance of the assassinations done by the radical right? What statistics prove this?
Reinforced the power of the right as the conservatism of the judiciary meant were lenient to the assassins.
e.g out of the 356 assassinations, 326 went unpunished with only 1 life sentence. The left assassinated 22, and 18 went punished.
How did the right refer to the 'stab in the back' from the 'November criminals'?
What was the main right wing terrorist group called?
What was the main advantage of the right in terms of opposition?
It had well established connections amongst Germany's leading institutions and had a large support base.
How did the SPD and the USPD do in the June 1920 elections compared to the Conservative groups? Why was this?
SPD: 6 million votes
USPD: 5 million votes
Conservative groups: averaging 3 million each
Conditions were favourable to the left; high unemployment and lack of food meant more radical voting.
How did Left wing opposition benefit geographically? What examples are there?
There was widespread strike action and Communist street violence throughout Germany.
e.g Communist govt. took power in Bavaria in 1919, and Red Army rebellion in the Ruhr and Saxony in 1923.
What weaknesses did the Left wing have in terms of their opposition to the Republic?
- Split in their aims (moderate socialists committed to democracy, KPD wanted workers revolution, SPD wanted socialist society with democratic framework).
- No support of the army (Ebert-Groener Pact of 1918)
- Other parties united over their fear of Communism, so groups with contrasting ideas were cooperating in order to crush left-wing rebellions.
How did left-wing opposition help right-wing opposition?
The left detracted from the more dangerous right and in the long term helped the Nazis come to power.
What is a statistic showing how proportional representation was a weak system?
There were 28 separate coalition governments 1919-33, with the longest lasting only 2 years.
How did proportional representations benefit extremist parties?
It made it easy for them to win seats in the Reichstag, giving them credibility that they otherwise wouldn't have had.
How many French and Belgian troops occupied the Ruhr in January 1923?
How many marks were in Germany by August 1923 as a result of hyperinflation?
663 billion marks
What was the effect of hyper inflation on the popularity of the Republic?
Because the middle class lost their savings and the working class lost their income, all was blamed on the Republic, and many pervious supporters began to resent it. It damaged the govt.'s legitimacy.