November 1923 - Hitler wanted to seize control because conditions in Germany were very poor. The government was weak and very unpopular, and the Nazis felt that this would be a good time to take control by force and replace them.
Hitler wanted the support of the republic's army, and thought that he would get it as high ranking General Ludendorff support Nazi ideas.
600 storm troopers invaded a beer hall in munich and Ludendorff managed to persuade Bavarian leader Gustav von Kahr to support the putsch
The next day however, Kahr changed his mind and alerted the police to what the Nazi's had done.
As the Nazi's marched into the centre of Munich, they were stopped by a police barricade and 16 Nazi's were killed, as well as 3 of the policemen. Hitler and other Nazi leaders were arrested. Hitler's trial helped him put forward his ideas and he became a recognised figure
the Weimar republic
Workers and troops revolted in early 1918 against the governments refusal to end the war. The Kaiser abdicated so Friedrich Ebert set up a new (temporary) government. The new parliament met in Weimar in Feb 1919 and set up Germany as a democracy.
The Reichstag and the Reichsrat were the two houses of parliament. Ebert was elected as the first president of this new republic.The republic was unpopular with many Germans. It was blamed for the defeat of the Germans and the signing of the treaty of Versailles.
The republic had too many political parties and many weak coalitions which collapsed easily were formed over the years the Weimar Republic was in place.
Political extremists such as communists (left wing) and nationalists (right wing) attempted to take over from the republic by force.
The chancellor - appointed by the president from the Reichstag, had to have a majority of seats in the Reichstag. Each member of the Reichstag was elected by proportional representation, making it difficult to win the majority of votes.
The treaty of Versailles
The treaty of Versailles was agreed upon by Britain, USA and France. The terms of the treaty were that:
- Germany had to pay reparations of 6.6 billion to pay for the damage towards other countries
- The war guilt clause was signed - Germany had to take all blame for the war
- German armed forces were reduced to 100,000 men
- Germany lost all their colonies
- Germany lost their airforce, and most of the navy
- no import/export of weapons was allowed
- Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France
- Germany lost a lot of other territory
German citizens were angry about the treaty of Versailles, and the reparations had a huge impact on the German economy.
invasion of the Ruhr and hyperinflation
In 1922 Germany were unable to pay the reparations. As a result of this, in January 1923 France and Belgium invaded the Ruhr, as it was Germany's main industrial region. The government ordered passive resistance, and all the workers in the Ruhr to go on paid strike. As a result of this, Germany was producing no industrial goods and the economy suffered greatly. They were not getting any money from the Ruhr, but still had to pay the workers. They began printing money.
This led to the hyperinflation of 1923. All foreign investors took any money that they had invested in Germany away. Restaurant menus weren't printed as there was no point, workers were paid by the hour, fixed income pensions and life savings became worthless, the rich did not suffer, people carried wheelbarrows of money, burning money for heat, bartering (as was common in the middle ages), long queues for food. The mark had become worthless.
A new chancellor was appointed, Gustav Stresemann. He called of passive resistance and the strikes. A new currency was introduced to replace the mark, the rentenmark.