History-Early Germany

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First World War's Effect on Germany

  • Stage 1: Getting rid of the Kaiser - The only way there would be peace in Germany would be to                                                    get rid of the Kaiser and his dictatorship 
  • Stage 2: Who would control Germany? - The Social Demorcrats had the highest number of                                                                  seats in the Reichstag, so they were in charge but                                                                not in control. Germany was very unstable with the                                                                constant threat of extreme left-wing revolutionaries
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The Left-Wing Revolutionaries

  • The left-wing revolutionaries did not trust that Ebert and the Social Democrats would look after the interests in the working people
  • The Spartacus League were the main revolutionary group
  • The Spartacus's leader Rosa Luxemburg lead protests and public speeches to try and gain support from the German people
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The Social Democrats

  • Their problem now was how to control Germany and stop any further left-wing revolutionaries from taking over the unstable government
  • General Groener, the leader of the army promised Ebert the support of the army in maintaining control inside Germany and in suppressing the left-wing revolutionaries
  • He organised ex-soldiers into the Freikorps to help keep control
  • The Freikorps caused great unrest as they were very violent and dealt with and took matters into their own hands
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The Spartacist Rising: Jan 1919

  • In January 1919, some Spartacist members staged a revolution in Berlin against Eberts government. They captured the headquaters of the government's newspaper and telegraph bureau
  • The rising was crushed by the Freikorps, a hundred Spartacists were killed compared to the thirteen Freikorps
  • Rosa Luxemburg was murdered, the movement lost their leader and it never recovered
  • Over the next few months the Freikorps killed many more Communist supporters
  • Ebert had successed in dealing with the treat of left-wing revolutionaries but at a high price: He had left the government in the hands of the army and Freikorps and had undermined his position as the represenitives for the working class, therefore he lost many supporters
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The German reaction to the Treaty

  • The Treaty of Versailles greatly weakened the new government, it suited many Germans to believe that they had never really lost the war but been made to
  • Army leaders like Ludendorff encouraged this view and said that the German army would have fought on if there had not been a weak politicians
  • This then lead to a myth saying the army had been 'stabbed in the back' by weak politicians
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The Aftermath of the Treaty- The Kapp Putsch

  • This resentment caused great threat to the stability of the Weimar Republic
  • Of all the groups who were unhappy with the treaty the army was the most important: the army was reduced so many of the demobbed soldiers joined unofficial groups like the Freikorps
  • Allies were getting worried about the size of the unofficial groups, so pressure was put on Germany to dispand them
  • In March 1920 when the government tried to do this the Freikorps lead by Wolfgang Kapp marched into Berlin and declared a new national government
  • Eberts government fled to Dresden realising they had no protection from the army
  • The Government called upon the working class to help stop the revoluntion, there was a Public Strike and the Kapp Putsch collapsed
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