Problems faced by the Weimar Republic (1918-1923)

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  • Problems faced by the Weimar Republic (1918-1923)
    • The Treaty of Versailles
      • Land
        • Germany lost 13% of the land, some of which contained coal which was needed for the industry
        • Germany was split into two to give Poland access to the sea.
        • Germany's overseas colonies were given to the Allies
      • Blame
        • Germany was blamed for the war
        • The Allies could claim compensation from Germany for the damage caused by the war
      • Army
        • The German army was reduced to 100,000
        • The navy was cut to 15,000 and only 6 battleships were left
        • Germany was not allowed an air force, any tanks or submarines
      • Money
        • Reparations had to be paid by Germany to France and Belgium who were devastated by trench warfare
        • They had to pay reparations of £6600 million
    • Political Violence
      • Extreme Left Wing Parties
        • The Spartacist League - A Communist group who did not trust the government and did not think it would improve worker's lifes
          • The Spartacist Revolt- They tried to turn the workers' protest into a revolution but they did not have enough support.
            • The German army and the Freikorps stopped the uprising and 100 workers were killed
        • The Communist Party - German workers who were angry about bad pay & conditions, they wanted more rights,
          • The Red Rising in the Ruhr- A communist 'Red Army' of 50,000 workers occupied the Ruhr and took control of raw materials
            • The German army and the Freikorps stopped the uprising and 1000 workers were killed.
      • Extreme Right Wing Parties
        • The Freikorps - anti-communist, nationalist ex-soldiers. They helped the army against communist uprisings
          • The Kapp Putsch - As the government disbaned the Freikorps, 12000 Freikorps marched into Berlin to overthrow the government
            • They got into Berlin. However, Berlin workers protested against them and stopped work.This made it impossible to rule, they flew after four days and the government returned to power.
        • The Nazi Party - Led by Adolf Hitler. They believed that democratic government was weak and wanted one political party and leader.
          • The Munich Putsch - The Nazis burst into a meeting and forced the leader of Bavaria to support their plan to seize power.
          • The next day he withdrew his support. The German army defeated the Nazis easily and Hitler was sent to jail.
    • Invasion of the Ruhr
      • Germany was struggling to pay reparations which led to the French invading the Ruhr in January 1923 - they took was was owed to them in the form of mines factories and railways
        • In response, the German government told their works to go on strike leading to passive resistance - they paid the workers even though there was no money coming into the economy from sellinng goods and raw materials - this contributed to hyperinflation
          • Hyperinflation
            • Impact of hyperinflation
              • Farmers did not want to sell their food for worthless money so there were major food shortages
              • People who were saving carefully for years, their money became worthless
              • Some people died from starvation and others turned to crime
              • People in debt gained because their loans were worth much less than they had been
            • - The German government runs out of money
              • - It prints more money to pay workers and repay its debts
                • People don't trust the money and they spend it quickly
                  • Shops and suppliers put up prices - people have to be paid more and the government needs more money
                    • Prices rise at an incredible rate e.g. 1 stamp costs 1 mark in 1919 and 1 stamp no costs 22 million marks in 1923
  • Depression and Division - Before the war, Germans were proud and ambitious. the war made them bitter and disillusioned
  • Germany lost 13% of the land, some of which contained coal which was needed for the industry
  • Germany's overseas colonies were given to the Allies

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