West Germany 1949-63

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  • West Germany 1949-63
    • Bonn Republic
      • Occupation Statute
        • still under control of occupying Western powers
      • Basic Law (new constitution)
        • emphasis on civil rights (above constitution and inalienable)
        • Federal president/ head of state
          • limited power (ceremonial); elected by parliament + only 1 re-election
        • Parliament
          • Bundestag
            • lower chamber/federal parliament; approved by Chancellor; controlled gov w 'constructive vote of no confidence'
          • Bundesrat
            • upper chamber/federal council; participated in legislation in approving acts + election of federal court judges
        • Federal gov
          • strong position (Chancellor responsible to Bundestag; removed with no confidence vote + needed majority for new gov)
        • Electoral system
          • party pluralism (constitution essential to functioning democracy)
          • mixed-member PR + 5% hurdle (fewer parties + more stable)
          • plebiscites + referendums banned
    • Party politics
      • CDU + Adenauer
        • problems
          • recession despite currency reform (unemploy. 13%)
          • millions of houses needed to accommodate refugees + expelles
          • still under Occupation Statute (only allies could provide some gov aspects e.g. trade)
        • aims
          • Western integration
          • GR question (thought reunif. had to be on Western capitalist terms; magnet theory as beacon of liberal democracy)
          • economic policy
          • social unity to counter threat of comm.
      • KPD banned 1956
      • SPD
        • Marxist socialism until 1959
          • Bad Godesberg conference (new programme based on liberal economy but focused on social justice + freedom in capitalist democracy)
      • 1949
        • coalition CDU, FDP + others (31%)
      • 1953
        • coalition CDU + FDP (45%)
      • 1957
        • CDU majority (50%)
      • 1961
        • coalition CDU + FDP (45%; FDP + SPD peaked)
      • FDP
        • liberal, balance between CDU + SPD in coalition govs
      • minor parties gradually integrated into major
    • 'Economic miracle'
      • Erhard + 'social market economy'
        • neo-liberal theory (relatively free from gov control)
        • 'father of the economic miracle'
        • 'third way' between capitalism and socialism
      • initial recession
        • prices outstripped wages despite currency reform and abolition of price controls
        • shortage of resources led to balance of payments deficit
        • not enough demand + 13% unemployment
      • economic boom
        • 1951 Korean war acted as stimulus (new markets for goods)
        • by 1952 economy improved
          • average growth of 8% GNP/year (im./exports profits)
          • 1954, 3rd biggest trading power
          • 1950-55 GNP almost x2
          • increased production linked to massive growth of motorisation
          • full employment until 1970s (expansion led to creation of jobs)
          • farmers had mixed results
            • employment fell from 23-13% (but mechanisation increased production by 25%)
        • advantages
          • inherited extensive resources from Ruhr
          • limited wartime damage + no reparations
          • Marshall Aid ($1.5b)
        • other key factors in 1951-66
          • world trade
            • US reduced tariffs, Korean war, Marshall aid helped OEEC open European markets (helped integrate)
            • ECSC + EEC gave further support
          • refugees
            • supply of qualified + motivated employees from GDR (satisfied w moderate incomes)
          • industrial peace
            • laws encouraged TU ownership + led to better relations (20y)
          • consumption demand
            • increasing prosperity due to rising confidence (incentives e.g. subsidised saving programmes)
          • financial stability
            • 1947 restructured to federal bank (Bundesbank) to control circulation
          • gov expenditure
            • no reparations + little defence costs (more social spending to increase stability)
    • FRG Society
      • social policies
        • social redress
          • Wiedergutmachung
            • compensation to survivors w/i GR capacity (needed to achieve respect from West)
              • but claimed 'moral obligation> responsibility'
          • 1951, Law 131 (restore employment + pension rights to civil servants)
            • helped middle-classes but re-employed Nazi sympathisers
        • integration of TU
          • 1951 co-determination law gave workers rep. on managerial boards + work council
          • 1949 GR Fed. of TU (DGB); umbrella organisation to co-ord union activies
        • welfare
          • reinst. Weimar model but expanded
            • unemployment benefits, insurance, pensions (60% of final earnings), family welfare (1954 child benefits)
          • subsidised building sector
            • 6m flats built 1949-61 (1/2 social housing)
      • women
        • legal status increased (Basic Law + 1957 Law of Equality of the Sexes furthered emancipation)
        • workforce seen as advantage in admin sectors
        • but patriarchal ethos
          • 40% less pay, social welfare focused on preserving family>equality
      • education
        • allies couldn't agree on common policy + regional authorities rejected proposals
        • 1949 responsibility passed to Landers
          • system not significantly changed but practical issues
            • lack of buildings and appropriate teaching meaterial, large classes (many teachers killed)
        • 1950 no clear procedure (schulchaos)
          • limited changes e.g. 1958 fee abolition
        • limitations due to
          • economic prosperity disguising edu. weakness
          • anti-comm. suspicions (didn't want to replicate GDR)
          • Lander unable to overcome differences + create national policy
      • social changes
        • consumers' society
          • 1955, 20% lived on subsistence level + 11% owned fridge
            • rise in wages + living standards led to material prosperity (63% owned fridge 1962)
        • desire for stability
          • 'without me' mentality (wanted normality to make up for lost time)
            • somewhat rejected military, politics etc. (e.g. controversy over re militarisation) in favour of family life, work etc.
        • US influence
          • traditional culture + class divisions declined w rise of US mass culture during occupation
        • modern industrial society
          • booming economy + tech led to social mobility away from rural areas (agricultural sector declined)
            • expansion in transport + more jobs
          • homogenisation of middle classes > classless society
    • Foreign relations
      • economic integration
        • Petersberg Agreement
          • allowed to join IRA
            • limited Allies dismantling industry
            • right to est. diplomatic relations
            • join European Council 1950
        • ECSC
          • 1950 Schuman plan led to foundation of ECSC w 6 members
            • common policies + lifted restrictions
          • French saw benefits of co-op (overtook IRA)
        • EEC
          • ECSC success (coal + steel production 44% increase)
          • 1957 Treaty of Rome integrated futher
            • customs union to harmonise trade + prices (common market)
        • other organisations e.g. GATT, OEEC, IMF
      • military and political integraion
        • European Defence Community
          • resopnse to comm. China + Korean war
          • Adenauer would agree if gained sovereignty
            • Paris Treaties
              • sovereignty 1955
              • WEU (Western Euro. Union) allowed for armed forces
              • 1955 joined NATO
              • France agreed Saar return to GR
                • 1963 French-German treaty (basis for political co-op)
          • US wanted Europe to contribute more to own defence
        • accepted by West but discontent at remilit. + lost reunification
      • relations w GDR + USSR
        • Stalin notes
          • during EDC negotiations
          • offered to settle GR question allowing for peace treaty + united GR, removal of foreign troops (neutral state)
          • Adenauer + US rejected ('weak state=comm. power')
        • Hallstein doctrine
          • FRG wouldn't est. diplomatic relations w any country recognising GDR as a state
      • international context
        • Cold war tensions (Korean war, Soviet atomic bomb) + FRG at centre
      • Adenauer's aims
        • establishing sovereignty, united Europe protected by US, mistrusted Soviets
      • problems
        • Occupation Statute, Inter. Ruhr Authority, status of Saar
    • Adenauer's final years
      • 1961 TV dispute
        • set up national TV company but controlled by federal gov
        • SPD claimed it a threat to media freedom
          • declared unconstitutional and dissolved
      • 1961 election and new coalition
        • misjudged mood during Berlin Wall erection and cont. campaigning over visiting
        • CDU won but w/o majority so needed FDP coalition
          • agreed if Adenauer resigned w/i 4 year period
      • Der Spiegel affair 1962
        • LW magazine criticised CSU leader Strauss
        • published article at time of CMC on planned NATO manoeuvres
        • offices raided and closed and charged w treason and corruption
        • saved coalition by sacking Strauss but accepted no personal responsibility
      • foreign relations and differences with Erhard
        • inflexible towards eastern bloc (e.g. not recognising GDR, Hallstein doctrine etc.)
        • suspicions towards US and GB intentions claashed with FDP and pro-US faction led by Erhard ('Atlanticists')
      • Oct 1963 resignation with Erhard as successor after CDU lost votes and SPD coalition suggested
        • remained CDU leader until 1966 (died 1967)
        • 'chancellor democracy'
          • framed by personality and transient phase/circumstances of 1950s
          • 1960s position in decline especially after Der Spiegel and no longer in tune with socio-economic developments

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