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Explain the importance of the Spartacist Revolt 1919 in challenging the government of the
Weimar Republic. (9)
The Spartacists were German Communists who were aiming to achieve a revolution in
Germany following on from the revolution in Russia. They were a left wing group, led by Rosa
Luxemburg and Karl Liebneckt who wanted to take over Germany after having got rid of the Weimar
They attempted to take power in January 1919, but the plan was unsuccessful as it was badly
organised. The government called on the Freikorps (ex-soldiers), who took control of Berlin and shot
the two leaders. The Freikorps had a deep mistrust for the communists, and after the event, the
government promised not to change the army leaders.
The revolt was significant for a number of reasons. Although the Weimar Government
survived the attack, it revealed that there were groups who opposed the new constitution, as well
as showing the instability of the Weimar Republic; they had had to rely on the army to solve the issue
by force instead of being able to negotiate with them.
The Spartacist Revolt was also significant because it demonstrated that there was growing
resentment within Germany from different political parties towards the Weimar Government;
revealing that it couldn't last long.
In conclusion, the importance of the Spartacist Revolt in challenging the Weimar Government
was that it revealed that the Weimar Government was weak and relied on the army far too much, as
well as being demonstrative of the fact that there was a large amount of opposition towards the
Weimar Republic, but the Weimar Republic had ultimately survived.
Explain the Importance of the Kapp Putsch 1920 in challenging the government of the Weimar
After the Treaty of Versailles, the Weimar Government was forced to cut down on their
army, meaning that the Freikorps were axed. These ex-soldiers were furious, and so Doctor
Wolfgang Kapp led an uprising, known as the Kapp Putsch. In March 1920, the Freikorps attempted
to seize power of Berlin and set up a new government there. The old government, which was led by
Ebert, was forced to flee Berlin, but they asked the Trade Unions to inspire a general strike.
Despite the fact that the army had refused to turn on the Freikorps and Kapp, the Kapp
Putsch failed because of this strike; it was impossible for the new government to function without
the transport and emergency services, meaning that it was impossible for Kapp to take over, and he
was forced to flee.
The Kapp Putsch showed that the workers generally supported it. However, it did reveal that
the Weimar Republic did have certain negative features, in that when the army turned against them,
they had absolutely no way of defending themselves and were forced to flee.
In Conclusion, the Kapp Putsch was the army rebelling after the Treaty of Versailles due to
the arms terms dictated by the Treaty. Their plan to take control of Germany ultimately failed, but it
revealed certain weaknesses within the Weimar government, such as the fact that the government
were forced to flee when they lost the support of the army.