Germany

AS Germany- Edexcel

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Impact of WW1

Background

  • German empire created in 1871
  • Prissia= Dominant State
  • German parliament= Reichstag - limited power
  • Political power= Kaiser

Impact of War:

Germans= Support  for War           Support break downd =early 1917

  • 'Turnip Winter' 1916-17 (Potatoe fail) Food & Fuel Shortages
  • High Civilian Deaths: Infant mortaility rate up 50%+
  • Inflation= (prices double) Long hours dont cover rise
  • Heavy Casualties: War
    • 2m Germans Killed
    • 6m wounded


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Defeat by 1918/October 1981 reforms

Defeat

  • No rapid Vic-Summer 1914-failure of Schlieffen Plan
  • War on Two fronts:
    •  Russia (surrendered March 1918)
    •  Western Front -March-July 1918 (by August -German Forces Retreat)
  • Allied Naval Blockade- limited imports/supplies
  • USA-Mobilised 2m men -April 1917
  • German Eco- not prepared prolonged war -gov/finance

Reasons for Reform

  • Hindenburg& Ludendoff -puched peace/change =
  • Ludendorff- W: Best possoble peace terms- Allies
  • Change= no revolutionary outbreak
  • Responsibility not on miltary= 'Stab in the back'myth =Protect rep of Army
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October 1918 Reforms/Revolution

3rd October 1918 Reforms: - From ABOVE

  • Max Baden= Chancellor = Parliamentary democracy:
  • Kaiser= Army & Navy power to Reichstag
  • Chancellor & gov now acountable to Richstag- Not Kaiser
  • Armastice negotiations opened- Allies

Revolution -1918

  • 28 Oct Admiral Scheer - no authority= German fleet to sea = Strike on Britain
  • 29 Oct Munity (Crew turn V Captain)= Kiel
  • 2 Nov 20,000 sailors &workers control Hamburg & Kiel
  • 6 Nov = Workers & Soldiers Councils= Berlin, Hamberg, Cologne, Stuttgart
  • 8 Nov- Bavaria= Socialist republic
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Revolution - Why/Reaction

Why:

Reactonary backlash to October Reforms: Want Abdication of Kiaser & peace:

  • Soldiers  & Workers = Know war is lost
  • Defeat= Great shcock (propaganda)
  • Anger=Socia/Eco Conditions

Reaction:

  • Kaiser believe= no changes = Kaiser obsticle to peace
  • 9 Nov = kaiser would rennounce throne= Coalition Gov- Friedrich Ebert = Germany Republic
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Ebert & Coalition Gov

Ebert= temporary Gov = elections at National Constituent Assembly=

The Ebert- Groener Agreement (10 Nov)

  • Groener agreed= army troops to support Gov
  • Ebert Return= oppose the spread revolutionary socialism - preserve authority=army

The Stinnes- Legien Agreement (15 Nov)

  • Karl Legien= Leader of trade unions
  • Hugo Stinnes= leader industril empoyers
  • Sgreement: Trade unions not intervine= private ownership, free markets
  • Retun: Workers committees & 8 hr Days
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Challenege form the Left- 1919

Spartacist Revolution:

  • 5 Jan- launch armed uprising in Berlin= Overthrow temp Gov & create Soviet Republic
  • 6-11Jan='Spartacist Week'- Wanted: denounce Gov, called for General strike
  • 100 killed by Army- Supported by Freikorps
  • Karl Liebknect & Rosa Luxemburg= Brutally murdered
  • Kreikorp acting on behalf of: SPD & KPD

Berlin- March1919

  • KPD called General strike
  • Workers angered by Eco problems= Called for shorter hours
  • Freikorps crushed them=
    • 1,500 Killed
    • 10,000 wounded
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Spartacist Revolt Jauary 1919

Bavaria (April 1919)

  • Declared: independant Soviet Republic
  • Crushed By Friekorps: 700 Killed

Why did the challenge from the 'Left' Fail?

  • Feared by middle & upper classes
  • Lacked strong leaderhip= Divided over tactics
  • No strategy/organisation
  • Lacked popular & commited support
  • Repressed: Freikorps, Army, Police
  • SPD &KPD determined to oppose
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Weimar Costitution 1919

  • New national Assembly Met- Feburary 1919- Wiemar=Draft up new constituion (Security 7,000)
  • July 1919- Reichstag i favour of New constitutuion
  • 11August: confirmed by President Ebert

Structure: Germany Democratic Rpublic

  • 17 regional states
  • Federal Structure: Power shared between central/regionalgov
  • 20+= Right to vote
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Weimar Costitution 1919

  • Reich ressident:
  • Elected every 7yr
  • Could disole reichstag
  • Appointed the Chancellor ( usually from Largest Party)
  • Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces
  • Capacity to rule by decree= through Article 48

Chancellor: Appointed by Presidner BUT must have support of Reichstag

The ReichStag:Deputies elected every 4 years- basis of Prortional Representation

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Weimar Costitution - controversy

  • 35 equal electoral distriact
  • 29m voters (1m p/area)
  • 60,000 votes= 1 deputy in Reichstag
  • Encouraged formation of small splinter parties (NSDAP)- hard to form gov= Political Instibility
  • 4 partys to form colatition for win Majority
  • Political & Eco crisis 1929-33 = growth of political extremism
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Article 48

  • Consitution designed to ensure chacks & balances - between President and Reichstag
  • President= Substitute Kaiser- Leadership 'above parties' & limit power of Reichstag

Article 48:

  • Massive power to President
  • Upset balence or power between Reichstag & President= Uncertainty
  • Suspend Civil Rights
  • Restore Law & Order: Presidential decrees
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Fatally Flawed?

Traditional Institutions

  • Civil service = conservative values- Imperial Germany
  • Judiciary -Biased in favor of right-wing groups
  • Army-Considerable influence= unsympathetic to democratic Germany

 

Fatally Flawed

  • Constitution = represented a dramatic improvement
  • Constitution- no control conditions & circumstances in which it operated
  • Constitution weakness= more serious and fundamental problems within Wiemar Republic- burdened with authoritarian tradition in Germany
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Treaty of Versailles 1919 (ToV)- Fail

Schmachfrieden- Sch/mac/h/fried/en (Shameful peace) = FAIL

  • Draft terms(Non-Negotiable)=Shock and outrage
  • 1st Weimar Gov=Resigned in Protest
  • Germany=No military capacity to resist
  • Naval Blockade- until signed (18 June 1919)
  • People blamed Weimar Reublic
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ToV The 'Diktat'

The 'Diktat' (Terms of Treaty)= unfair:

  • Self-Determination =loss: Austria, Danzigm Posen, West prussia, Memel, Upper Silesia, Sudaten Land & Sarr= Excluded from Germany & Loss of Colonies
  • War Guilt Clause - denied responabillity for the war
  • Reparations- Forced to sign a blank cheque-£ 6,600,000
  • Disarmament- Britain  & France maintained arms - no future commitments to disarm
  • Treatment= Excluded from LoN - Forced to sign treaty in 5 days- no negotiation -Germany not invited= no 'part ownershiip' of terms
  • Poland- Loss of teritory to poland= resented:
    • 1m Germans=now under Polish rule
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Significance of The Treaty

  • Fudementally weaken the ceonomy
  • Germany had considerable economic potential- extensive resources & industry
  • Germany= Politically Stronger- empires of Russia, Austria-Hungary and Turkey gone= power vaccume- German Power could be stablished in Central Europe.
  • Undermined democrats and catylist for collapse of Weimar Republic - TOV= Resentment-gov blamed= 'Stab in back myth'
  • Poisoned political atmosphere- Wiemar Republic accepted terms of ToV= Made appear weak 
  • Allowed Radial right to gain support: inspiring two challenges: 1920-1923
  • Reparations=issues lead to financial system of dependence= loans form USA- loand recalled= German economy collapsed 1929 
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Threat from The Right

United through opposition to Wiemar Repubic

  • Anti-Democracy-aimed to destroy democratic constitution- weak- contributed to Germanys problems- Dispised Liberals Socialists & Catholics
  • Anti-Communism-Fear of communism- threat to traditional values, ownership of property & wealth- regarded anti-German
  • Auhoritairian-Supported dictorial regime
  • Nationalism- Stab in the Back Myth & November Criminals (Signed armistice) - war lost due to betrayle of german Pasaficts not Military defeat
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Kapp Putch (March 1920)

Kapp Putch (March 1920)

  • First attemt to seize power:
  • 350,000 regualr army troops
  • 250,000 in Freikorps ( ToV= armed forcesx to 100,00= Freikorps disbanded)
  • General Kapp & Luttwitz= encourage 12,000 march on Berlin & ocupy capital
  • German Army= No resistance failed to support Wiemar Republic
  • SPD= General Strike parylised Berlin- (No coal, gas, lectricity, transport, water) -After 4 days= Kap & Gov= no authority & fled Sweden

Aftermath:

  • Kapp Putch= SUCCESS for Weimar Republic- retained support of the people & Working class= ralied defence to withstand threat from right.
  • Kapp &Luttwitz=support of minority right wing only
  •  ButFriekorp - think Putch=Ill timed
  • Army lacked any sympathy for Republic= Unreliability
  • Army became a 'State Within a State'
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