Weaknesses of Stresemann's Weimar Republic

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  • Weaknesses of Stresemann's Weimar Republic
    • Foreign Policy
      • Nationalists attacked Stresemann for joining the League of Nations and Signing the Locarno Pact.
        • Saw signing the Locarno Treaty as an acceptance of the TOV.
      • Communists attacked Locarno
        • Saw it as a plot against the Communist government in the USSR
    • Economy
      • The US loans could be called in at short notice, which would cause ruin in Germany
      • Main economic winners were big businesses (steel and chemical industries)
        • Controlled about half of Germany's industrial production.
        • Other winners were big landowners
          • The value of land in Berlin rose by 700% in this period
          • Workers in big industries gained as well
      • Unemployment began to rise
        • 6% of population by 1928
      • Main losers were peasant farmers and sections of the middle classes
        • Peasant farmers found themselves overproducing in peacetime (as they had increases during war)
          • They had mortages to pay but not enough demand for the food they produced.
        • Small business owners became disillusioned then saw their businesses threatened by large department stores (many owned by Jews)
        • University lecturer earned 10x as much a coalminer whereas it was only 2x as much in the 1920's
          • These people began to feel the Weimar Government offered them little
    • Politics
      • Both the Nazis and Communists were building up their party organisations
      • Even during these stable years there were 4 different Chancellors
        • Only influence of party leaders held the party coalitions together
      • Worryingly 30% of the vote regularly went to parties that opposed the Republic.
      • Right-wing organisations (the greatest threat) were quiet rather than destroyed
        • The right-wing Nationalist party (DNVP) and the Nazis began to collaborate closely
          • Make themselves appear more respectable
      • German people elected Hindenburg as President in 1926
        • He was opposed to democracy
    • Culture
      • The culture of the cities seemed to represent a moral decline in many German villages and towns
        • This was made worse by American immigrants and Jewish artists and musicians
        • Encouraged immigrants
      • Bauhaus design college was only based in Dessau because it was forced out of Weimar by hostile town officials
      • Organisations such as the Wandervogel movement were a reaction to the culture.
        • They wanted a return to simple country values and wanted to see more help for the countryside and less decadence in towns.
          • A powerful feeling which the Nazis later harnessed


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