FRG Federal Republic of Germany

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  • how far did the leaders of the federal republic of Germany create a stable political state in the years 1945-89 ?
    • creation of the federal republic of Germany, 1945-49
      • setting up political parties
        • political parties set up from June 1945 first ones to reform were the SPD and KPD.
          • then christian democratic union party CDU set up - christian outlook for government
            • creation of single parties.
              • the new parties were campaigning for elections in a new Germany
      • a permanent division
        • relations between the USSR and the West rapidly developed into the cold war
          • the west set up the Marshall Plan - aid for capitalist countries - anti-ussr
            • this showed itself most in germany erection of Berlin Wall 1961
              • formation of political parties soon followed a different pattern in fdr frg
      • steps to separation
        • Germany buffer zone between the communist east and captialist west
      • the federal republic of Germany (FRG)
      • elections
        • first elections to the Bundestag took place on 14 Aug 1949
          • CDU/ CSU party (the most right wing) won 31%
            • first FRG chancellor Adenauer leader of the CDU
              • USSR responded to these elections by setting up the GDR ( German Democratic Republic)
    • consolidation under Adenauer and Erhard, 1949-65
      • how far did Adenauer create a stable political base for the FRG ?
        • SPD and the FDP objected to his authoritarian style of the Bundestag others called his leadership a 'chancellor democracy'
          • the benefit of his forceful personality was that he kept FRG coalitions working together until 1957
          • some suggested Adenauer had more power than the Basic Law allowed
            • criticised for appointing weak ministers whom he treated as advisers not political equals
        • goals of Adenauer were uniting Germany and working for closer European intergration
          • seen as quickest way to rebuild the economy
          • Adenauer worked to exclude political opposition especially left- wing
            • socalist reich party banned - extreme right-wing
            • changes to vote allocations and seats in the Bundestag made it harder for small parties to gain a seat
            • KPD banned due to their attitide to democratic government
              • all KPD members of the Bundestag stripped off their seats- party was banned
                • resulted in a new seat allocation which limited small parties even more- resulted in a Bundestag that was a three-party house - shifting coalitions which all supported the status quo - ran counter to the democratic spirit of the Basic law.
      • after Adenauer
      • FRG and GDR spoke about and negotiated in relation to unifying the country - cold war hardened relations
      • restoring the civil service and government
        • ex-nazis allowed to work in civil service
        • adenauer criticised by many germans for allowing ex-nazis into gov
    • maintaining political stability under Brandt, Schmidt and Kohl, 1965-89
      • a new political alignment
        • Brandt had been critical of Adenauer's policy of allowing ex-nazis into office
          • Brandt pushed ahead with the policy of Ostpolitik - met with serious opposition
      • Brandt's struggle to survive
        • faced vote of no confidence see him replaced by Barzel of the CDU
      • h.s challenges of the 70's
      • Helmut Kohl and the fall of the wall
        • started his leadership as an unelected chancellor
          • had to manage a parliament
            • where the media was uncovering corruption scandals
              • his policies followed ostopolitik policies followed previous governments
                • faced a sustained outbreak of terrorism
                  • directed at other governments
                    • kohl's focus was stability
  • people hinted at nazi sympathies in the CDU
    • felt that allowing ex-nazis into government/ civil service was a step too far
      • Adenauer moved to limit freedom of speech
  • cause for concern
    • voiced by spd and others in W Germany
      • Adenauer supported the arrest of the journalists.
        • who criticised the performance of West German troops in NATO exercises
          • Adenauer was only able to get an SPD coalition by promising to resign in 1963
  • two more CDU chancellors after Adenauer
    • Erhard - CDU/CSU spliting between 'Atlanticists'  who wanted to carry on working with the West
      • tried to introduce EL
        • -search homes
  • SPD refused to support these measures
  • Erhard failed to form a coalition - resigned
  • the Grand Coalition
  • formed when there was
    • growing political hostility towards frg
      • some of it was violent
        • opposition came from small extremist political parties such as the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party
          • this pushed the government to be more repressive
            • spd voted with csu to introduce a emergency law in 1968
              • the coalition hoped that a shift to Ostpolitik would win the government support again
  • early election called
  • discovered that one of Brandt's advisers was a GDR spy
    • Brandt resigned
  • accused of adopting high taxation
    • welfare cuts
      • faced growing opposition for his failure to push through economic policies
        • faced opposition from a new political force the green party
          • forced to resign by Bundestag replaced by Helmut Kohl

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