Weimar backround info

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  • Background Information: 1914 - 1920
    • In 1914 Germany was the greatest power in Europe
      • it had the worlds most powerful army
      • industry second to the USA
    • Wages and standard of living were high
      • Its culture was respected around the world
    • Germany at this stage was not a full democracy
      • Ruled by a Kaiser who inherited the position who then appointed a Chancellor
      • Important groups in society: land owning gentry; aristocrats; army & new rich industrialists.
    • The Reichstag was dominated by the SPD - supported by the working class.
      • SPD: wanted to abolish the monarchy and create a true democracy.
    • WW1 - two opposing sides worked together
      • as the war went badly for Germany, this unity disappeared.
    • Late 1917: Germany virtually a military dictatoryship
      • Under Field Marshall Von Hindenbury
        • & his deputy: General Von Lundendorff
        • They were in charge as the war came to an end.
          • & his deputy: General Von Lundendorff
    • A liberal government was appointed by the Kaiser to oversee the piece negotiations with the Allies
      • The government called for an Armistice or ceasefire.
        • Followed by a revolution & the Kaisers abdication
    • Germany became a republic governed by a moderate socialist government
      • Led by Friedrich Ebert.
    • A new constitution was drawn up
      • The government met to decide this in Weimar
        • Berlin too dangerous


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