The Spartacist Uprising and the Weimar Constitution

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The Spartacist Uprising
Background information:
o 9 November 1918- Kaiser Wilhelm II had been abdicated and Germany
declared as a Republic with Ebert, leader of SPD (Sozialdemokatische
Partei Deutschlands/German Social Democratic Party) as Chancellor.
He announces the formation of a provisional coalition government
before elections are held to elect the new Republic's National
Constituent Assembly.
Opposing Political Viewpoints:
o As leader of the new Republic,
Ebert finds himself under attack from
a number of opposing groups, each
wishing for completely different
forms of government and wishing
to overthrow the fledging Republic.
o The aftermath of WWI seems a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the
chaos and anger and direct it into achieving a long held political aim.
o From the very beginning, the Weimar Republic faces challenges to its
Splits within Left Wing:

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A Spartacist poster created in November 1918.
Targeted at "men and women of labour!"
"The Communist Revolution has come to Germany. The soldiers, who
for 4 years were driven to the slaughterhouse of the trenches to fill rich
men's pockets, have revolted. The workers, who for 4 years were
exploited and starved, have revolted. The Kaiser has fled. Workers and
Soldiers' Councils have been formed everywhere. We call to you, `Arise
for action!'" ­ Spartacist Manifesto.…read more

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First but ridiculous attempt to overthrow Republic. This attempt
highlighted the vulnerability of Ebert's hold on power and the volatility of
Germany at that time. However, Ebert survived the first bid for his power.
It reminded people of the threat of Communism. Communism was a major
threat to Germany at that time (Russia had been taken over by
Communists in 1917) and Communists were feared and loathed by
many. Communists would remain a political force throughout the 20s
and 30s.…read more

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Each state took control of their policing and education systems etc. They
exercised considerable control over their own affairs.
President Powers
Elected every seven years.
Appointed chancellor.
Commander of Armed Forces.
Right to dissolve Reichstag.
Article 48 ­ In state of emergency he had power to rule by degree and override the
constitutional rights of the people.…read more

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Elite still remain
No reforms. There was no change to the status quo within society. Elite still remain in
their powerful positions.
Civil service.
Weimar Republic attempts to instil democracy into Germany the elites still powerful
remain loyal to the days of Imperial Rule.…read more


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