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Invasion of the Ruhr - 1923                                                                                    Background: Reparation figure set in 1921. Totally £6,600 million until 1987. German government failed to pay installment in 1922.

Jan 1923 - French & Belgian troops entered the Ruhr (legal under Treaty) - took what was owed to them in raw materials & goods. (Hoped they could force German workers to work and produce goods for the French)

Reaction - German Government (outraged) ordered workers to carry out PASSIVE RESISTANCE (not fight but not help). French responded by shooting workers and forcible removing workers from homes.

CONSEQUENCES - The German Gov. now had to bear the cost of the homeless as well as the loss in income from the Ruhr. Did not have enough money so printed more - Leading to HYPERINFLATION in 1923. (the value of money fell and prices rose). 

People blamed the Weimar Government as they had agreed to sign the TREATY and pay REPARATIONS.

 

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STRESEMANN - foreign minister 1923-1929: ECONOMY                                      Ruhr - Sept 1923: Stresemann called off PASSIVE RESISTANCE and resumed REPARATION PAYMENTS. This sparked off protests eg. MUNICH PUTSCH (Nov.)

Economy - Nov 1923: Introduced a new currency - RENTENMARK. Inspired confidence by holding collateral in the form of German land and industry.

Dawes plan - 1924: New reparation scheme. Large American loans (800 million gold marks) made avaliable (from private businesses) to help economy recover by building more factories - providing jobs = wealth. Exports and employment rose. Reparations - based on what Germany could afford, first 4 years smaller, becomming larger as the economy recovered. DEPENDANT ON LOANS.

Young plan - 1929: Helping reparations by extending time period to 1988. Reduced reparation costs to £2.2 billion. NATIONALISTS opposed both Dawes and Young plan - By agreeing to pay reparations - admitting casused the war. Intentions of this destoryed in WALL STREET CRASH 1929. (1932 reparations cancelled). Stresemann died Oct 1929. 







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Stresemann - development in international relations 1924-1929:

Locarno treaties - 1925: signed by Germany, France, Belgium, Britain and Italy. Agreed to accept boundries of WESTERN EUROPE set by Treaty. (Meant France would not invade Ruhr again and the Rhineland would remain demilitarised). Nothing was said about Germany's eastern boundries - Poland.

League of Nations - 1926: Germany allowed to become a permanent member of its council. Major move for league. Angered many Germans who felt league was simply upholding the Treaty of Versailles.

Kellogg-Briand Pact - 1928: Over 60 countries incl. Germany agreed not to use war against each other in future. Marked high point of idealism in 1920's. Nothing said about what would happen if a country did not keep to this.

Politically - Weimar appeared stable (extremist parties eg Communists getting less support in REICHSTAG). Economy - appeared to be recovering. Culture - Berlin rivalled Paris (pre-war cencorship removed).



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UNDERLYING PROBLEMS - WEIMAR:

POLITICALLY - Still many opponents of republic and democratic system-Many wished for the return of the Kaiser. Shown when 1925 (Ebert died) Field Marshal Hindenburg elected President. Support for communism increased and in local elections (small victories) for Nazis.

ECONOMICALLY - Relied heavily on American loans which could be withdrawn at any time. Imports rising faster than exports (Germany was trading at a loss). Still much unemployment. Food prices fell worldwide in 1927, farmers' income reduced - increased debts.

CULTURALLY - many people criticised new artistic developments for being unpatriotic. Percieved decline in moral standards (cabaret shows and nightclubs).


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