Threats to the Weimar Republic

Unit 4 Mindmap for Edexcel Germany Course looking at the early years of the Weimar Republic

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  • Threats to the Wiemar Republic
    • Wiemar Constitution
      • 1919 National Assembly elections had 85% turnout and 38% support for the SPD
      • Constitution a compromise between SPD and the Centre
      • 18 Lander states
      • Reichstag main legislative chamber - could over-rule Reichsrat with a 2/3rds majority
        • Reichstag elected by Proportional representation and universal suffrage
          • This meant most governments were Coalitions - weakening the republic
      • Cabinet answerable to the Reichstag
      • Article 48 gave the President significant powers
      • Parties acted as interest groups for small sections of society
      • Bill of Rights and Welfare enshrined in the Constitution
    • Treaty of Versailles
      • Lost lots of land including to France, Belgium and Poland
      • Lost 20% of Coal Production and 15% of Agricultural resources
      • Army limited to 100,000 men
      • No Airforce or Submarines
      • Article 231 - The War Guilt clause
      • Colonies were confiscated
      • Rhineland demilitarised and occuied for 15 Years
      • Anschluss Forbidden
      • Caused Schidemann's government's resignation in protest
    • Political Divisions
      • Spartacus Uprising 1919
        • KPD established as the Communist Party  Jan 1st 1919
        • Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebnicht led an uprising seizing newspaper offices in Berlin
        • Was put down easily by the Army and the Friekorps
      • Red Bavaria 1919
        • USPD Bavarian leader assassinated
        • Socialist Republic of Bavaria declared in April
        • Confiscation of wealthy properties began
        • People's Red Army set up but was beaten by the regular army and Friekorps
          • Friekorps summarily executed 800 Socialists
      • Ruhr Revolution 1920
        • Red Army was set up against the Friekorps and govt. declared in Essen
        • Army and Friekorps put it down (Days earlier they had been rebelling
      • June 1920 Elections
        • Wiemar Coalition lost 6 Million votes - only 45% of vote
        • Polarisation of politics beginning with 18% USPD and 15% DVP
      • Kapp Putsch 1920
        • Brigade of Friekorps ordered to be disbanded in coordination with Versailles
        • Lutwitz refused and led an Uprising, capturing govt. district of Berlin
        • Army wouldn't retaliate, government sent into exile and Kapp declared Chancellor
        • Government ordered workers to strike - Regime collapsed after 4 days
      • Munich Putsch 1923
        • Bavarian government refused to arrest Nationalists - Hitler saw this as an oppertunity
        • Led an uprising to capture Bavarian government power
        • Army initially refused to fight but was put down by police
        • Left 17 dead and Hitler was jailed for 5 Years (released after 18 months)
      • Views of the Judiciary
        • Were not replaced from pre-war classes
        • Anti-republican and sympathetic to the right (Hitler only got 5 years for High Treason)
        • Rathenau's  Assassin only given a short prison sentence
          • Foreign Minister Rathenau assassinated after Treaty of Rappello
        • Harsh on the left (for a socialist breaking press laws he got 11 years)
        • Didn't fully implement the Law to defend the Republic
          • Law to Defend the Republic set up special courts to deal with assassinations
      • Political Violence
        • Friekorps disbanded but most members joined other extremist groups
        • 374 Assasinations 1920-22 (356 from Right wing organisations
        • Foreign Minister Rathenau assassinated after Treaty of Rappello
        • Law to Defend the Republic set up special courts to deal with assassinations
    • Economy
      • Debt tripled 1919-1922
      • Borrowed and printed money to pay Reparations
      • Germany defaulted on Coal and Timber payments of 1922
        • France Invaded the Ruhr with 60,000 troops
          • Germany couldn't fight them - paid workers to passively resist
            • Printing money to do this caused Hyperinflation
              • Bread rose from 250 marks (Jan) to 1.5 Billion (Sept.) and 201 Billion (Nov.)
              • Economic meltdown and banking collapse - Banks closed for 3 weeks
              • 70% of union members unemployed
              • Middle class savers hit the worst
    • Reparations
      • Economy
        • Debt tripled 1919-1922
        • Borrowed and printed money to pay Reparations
        • Germany defaulted on Coal and Timber payments of 1922
          • France Invaded the Ruhr with 60,000 troops
            • Germany couldn't fight them - paid workers to passively resist
              • Printing money to do this caused Hyperinflation
                • Bread rose from 250 marks (Jan) to 1.5 Billion (Sept.) and 201 Billion (Nov.)
                • Economic meltdown and banking collapse - Banks closed for 3 weeks
                • 70% of union members unemployed
                • Middle class savers hit the worst
      • Article 231 - The War Guilt clause
      • Reparation Commission decided that Germany had to pay 226 milliard marks in Jan 1921
        • This was revised to 132 millard marks (£6.6 billion) in April
      • Agreed to pay 2000 million marks a year to follow a policy of fulfillment

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