Golden Age of Weimar Dates


1924: Dawes Plan and elections

In April of 1924, the newly appointed Chancellor Stresseman agreed the the Dawes Plan. Although he did not personally agree with it, he agreed to use it in order to fufill the policy of fufillment. The plan meant that reparations remained at £6.6 billion but the annual fee per year would be reduced until 1929. It also meant that Germany would receive a loan of 800 million marks from the Americans. National opposition attacked the plan, saying it reduced Germany to beggars. However, when it was accepted, it benefitted Germany hugely, as the allies finally accepted that Germanys economic problems were real, and loans added to the economic recovery

Following on from the end of passive resistance in 1923, Stresseman also enlisted the help of Schacht, who introduced the new Rentenmark to replace the now worthless Reichsmark. In 1924, the Rentenmark finally became the Reichsmark once more and tighter control was kept over circulation. Despite this, cuts had to be made to the salaries of employees and 3000 civil servants lost their jobs, and taxes were raised to make more legitimate money. For example, the number of bankrupt companies rose from 233 in 1923, to over 6000 in 1924

In December of 1924, 67% of voters voted for a pro-democratic party, and the SPD won 103 seats, compared to 14 Nazi seats and 45 KPD seats. 

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1925: Hindenburg as President and Locarno Pact

Following Eberts death in 1925, a full presidential election was called. The candidate had to win at least 50% of the vote or a second election had to be called. The first election had no outright winner with 7 candidates, the second election consisted of 3 candidates and saw Hindenburg win, over the centre party and KPD candidates, by 48.3%. Hindenburg was a source of stress for the democratic parties, he was a symbol of all things nationalist and autocratic. He was right wing, and possessed authoritarian views, meaning this was supposed to be a success for the right wing parties. However, this proved to not be as expected, as Hindenburg was a man of the army, and was determind to follow the constitution to the letter, leaving any authoritarian views behind him. He did not abuse his powers, although it meant that more anti-democratic parties were reconcilled to the idea of a republic.

In December, the Locarno Pact was signed. This was a pact suggested by Germany and considered by France, Britain and the USA. The pact consisted of the European countries involved having to respect the others Western borders. Germany had to keep its troops out of the Rhineland, and in return France agreed to stay out of Germany. Britain promised to aid the other countries, should one attack the other, and all involved agreed to solve any dispute they had through a conciliation committee, or the League of Nations.

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1926 and 1927

1926: League of Nations 

In 1926, the allies began to withdraw their troops from the Rhineland, and Germany was finally admitted into the League of Nations. 1926 also saw the Treaty of Berlin signed between the USSR and Germany. This reaffirmed the terms of the 1922 Treaty of Rapello. This meant the countries resumed trade, economic cooperation and diplomatic relations. The compensation for war damage would be dropped and Germany could develop weapons and pilots in the USSR, as well as remaining neutral in wars involving Russia. These treaties angered the Allies as the terms of the TOV were being evaded. 

1927: Social Welfare 

1927 saw the flourishing of social wefare policies. In previous years, such as 1924, public assisstance had been extended, in 1925, state accident insurance was extended to include occupational diseases and injuries, and 1927, National unemployment insurance was introduced. As beneficial as these works were, they were incredibly expensive, and hundreds of thousands of war veterens, widows and orphans had to be supported. Tax increases were not enough to pay fully for it, meaning those who really needed the help often didnt get it as they felt humiliated and this reduced their faith in the republic

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1928: Reichstag elections

The 1928 elections took place in the shadow of the 1929 Wall Street Crash. Unemployment was rising and there seemed to be no way around it. Hitler emerged, after his 9 months for the Munich Putsch, promising to end the reign of the who he considered to be the November criminals. However, the results of the elcetions that followed in 1928, 1930 and the two in 1932 showed that while people were willing to listen, it was not in the large numbers Hitler wanted. 

  • The Nazis were at their lowest point in this election; they won merely 2.6% of the vote
  • The SPD won 29.8% in comparison, showing people were still willing to show support to democracy, athough the feeling was wanning 

There were 7 coalition governments between 1923 and 1930. showing that while political stability was growing, strong democracy was not a certain outcome following elections. The Grand Coalition was also formed in June of 1928, and whilst this was to be the longest coalition of the period, it would still only last until 1930

The Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed in 1928 between 62 countries, including Germany, and agreed that the states would voluntarily renounce the use of offensive wars to resolve disputes. 

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