Weimar Germany 1919-23

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  • How Germany emerged from its defeat in WWI
    • Social
      • Monarchy was preserved as a result of the revolution from above.
      • the average German citizen was on fewer than 1000 calories per day
        • 750,000 died of starvation and malnutrition
      • electricity supplies were cut off, public transport stopped operating and businesses were forced to close
      • 2 million soldiers had died, and over 5 million ad been wounded
      • creation of worker's and soldier's councils which led t strikes, mutinies and left-wing uprisings
    • Economic
      • Economic disruption had been cause by the war effort and the British blockade of German ports
        • industrial and grain production had been reduced
        • Worsening of the economic situation led to death by starvation, worsening of the social situation, and political upheaval.
        • The bad economic situation eventually led to the SPD's need to take over
    • Political
      • by 1918 the military was running the government almost single-handedly
      • Revolution from above:
        • To avoid blame for the defeat the Army High Command passed power to Prince Max von Baden
        • This allowed to preserve the monarchy by creating a broad political base in which the parliament could play a major role.
      • Revolution from below:
        • Worsening economic situation led to political upheaval.
          • Worker's and soldier's councils were established, which brought a series of strikes, mutinies and left-wing uprisings inspired by the Russian Bolshevik revolution.
        • Prince Max of Baden  was unable to restore order, so the SPD acted and persuaded Wilhelm to abdicate. Power was given to Friedrich Ebert.


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