Weimar Republic

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  • Created by: Emily903
  • Created on: 12-06-16 12:58
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  • Weimar Republic
    • Kaiser Wilhelm II (German Kaiser from 1889 - 1918)
      • Ruled like a dictator as parliament had very little say in law making
      • He abdicated and fled to Holland on 9 November 1918
    • Friedrich Ebert (Social Democratic Party)
      • Took over from Kaiser and surrendered Germany on 11 November 1918
      • Elections were held and in 1910 he was elected until his death in 1929 when he was the foreign minister
      • His aims: improved living conditions (more food supplies, help for the unemployed, better housing)
        • He also guaranteed freedom of speech and religion and arranged elections for the German parliament
      • He declared Germany would be a democratic republic and not run by a Kaiser
    • Ebert's critics: Communists (Spartacus league)
      • They wanted Germany to be run by Soldiers' and Workers' councils not parliament
      • January 1919: they tried to start a revolution by firing guns and taking over important buildings
        • Ebert sent a group of 2000+ tough ex-soldiers (free corps) to attack the Spartsists
          • After 3 days of fighting the free corps recaptured buildings and arrested the Spartacus leaders. They were beaten, shot and then dumped in the street
            • Free corps: ex-soldiers who had recently returned from the great war. They hated communists as they blamed them for stirring up trouble towards the end of the war and blamed them for the German's defeat
        • Elections promised by Evert went ahead and his party got the majority of votes and he became the first President of Germany
          • This was the start of the Weimar Republic
      • Communists: Everyone is equal and everything is shared. There aren't any different classes/wealth(attracts poorer workers), no priavte property and little need for money and laws as everyone led a simple life and shared
    • 1919-33
      • The constitution made Germany one of the most democratic countries in the world, but the Reichstag had limited powers
        • Proportional representation e.g. 10% of votes = 10% of seats
          • Led to problems
          • More than 20 parties in parliament
          • Decision/law making was a very slow process
          • Many groups disliked the new democratic system such as the Nazis as they link democracy to the end of the war
            • They wanted a strong leader to rule Germany like a Kaiser


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