History GCSE (1)

Germany 1919-39

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  • Created by: Ese Twala
  • Created on: 21-06-11 17:02

The Origins of the Weimar Republic

What were the early political problems faced by the Weimar Republic?

Most of the political parties were opposed to democracy. The Weimar Republic faced threats from the Left. The left wanted a revolution like the one that had happened in Russia and they also wanted more power for the workers. The new Communist Party (KPD) organised marches and strikes in Berlin during the winter of 1918-1919. They took hold of government buildings in what was called the Spartacist Rebellion. Eventually it had to be put down by the Freikorps who were demobilised soldiers from World War 1. This showed that the Weimar Republic as incapable of dealing with its own problems without calling upon the army.

There were also threats from the Right. They did not want a left wing revolution and wanted a return to authoritarian (non-democractic) rule. In March 1920 Dr Wolfgang Kapp marched on Berlin to overthrow the Weimar Government and bring back the Kaiser. This was called the Kapp Putsch. For a while this seemed as though it might succeed as the government fled and the army did little to stop the takeover of the city. However, eventually many workers did not co-operate and the putsch was defeated. Unrest continued until 1923 and there was another failed right-wing uprising led by the Nazis in the Munich Putsch.

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