Opposition to the Weimar Republic (Left)

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  • Created by: Faolan
  • Created on: 20-09-15 14:50

Opposition from the left Essay

Intro- There were numerous unsuccessful attempts by the extreme left to try to overthrow the Weimar Republic in the period 1919–1923

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  • Spartacists 
  • Red Rising 
  • The German October
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Spartacist revolution

  • The Spartacists had opposed the First World War and were deeply influenced by Bolshevism. They opposed the creation of a National Constituent Assembly during the German Revolution and wanted to take power by strikes, demonstrations and revolts.
  • In January 1919 the Spartacists decided that the time was ripe to launch an armed rising in Berlin with the aim of overthrowing Ebert’s provisional government.
  • On 5 January 1919 they occupied public buildings, called for a general strike and formed a revolutionary committee. After three days of savage street fighting the group was easily defeated.
  • The government had the backing of the army’s troops.
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Red Risings

  • When the kapp Putsch was over the danger came from Germany's industrial heartland- Ruhr
  • In reaction to kapp Putsch the Ruhrs workers had responded to the government pleas for help amd gone on strike.
  • However even though Putsch was over many was over many communists in the workforce stayed on strike. by mid 1920 they had formed the red Army 50,000 storng in Ruhr.
  • They hoped to obtain concessions from the governemnt they had just helped. 
  • The red rising was crushed in April 9120 by the freikors 
  • This revealed the weakness of the Weimar givernment. they had to rely on a group of right wing extremists to stay in power and the Kapp putsch had shown the very same gorup would overhtrow them if given half a chance.
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Communist uprisings

  • Workers were angered by economic problems and dissilusioned by the lack of real gains from their "revolution"
  • Spring 1919- wave pf strikes occured in the Ruhr mines, central Germany and Berlin 
  • Workers demanded shorter hours, socialisation of industry and a government based on councils.
  • These strikes had little impact though as the KPD had niether strong leadership nor a tightly organised party. It lacked support and real commitment.
  • A mixture of government promises and the use of the army and freikorps stopeed the unrest.
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KPD and the "German October"

  • KPD failed to exploit the post-kapp military.
  • Then n 1921 it rushed into a poorly supported rising.
  • Mass protestes in the summer of 1923 were occuring. 
  • The KPD  reacted to this by being overcautious during the mass protests of mid 1923, then acted too late in october 1923 hoping to achieve "The German October" in places such as Saxony the revolt was crushed before it started.
  • Inadequate leadership, poor organisation internal divisions, lack of support and government repression meant that the revolts fo 1923, just like those of 1919, failed.
  • The army was used repeatedly agaisnt these "Left" uprisings.
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