Essay notes: '1930s were a period of political calm'

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Political - For

  • SPD strongest party till 1932 - support for democracy.
  • Although right-wing, Hindenburg did not abstruct Weimar.
  • There were fewer political riots during this period.
  • Despite adversities, govt. still managed to stay in power.
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Political - Against

  • No maturing of the political system - concept of democracy very new.
  • Only calm compared to unrest of 1918-23.
  • Clashes between the left and right wings.
  • Party divisions prevented legalisation being passed.
  • Inherent sectionalism - DNVP refuse coalition with SPD in 1926.
  • Referendum of Freedom Laws (Art 73) in May 1926 - led by Alfred Hugenberg (DNVP) and Adolf Hitler (NSDAP) - wanted to refuse Young Plan + retract Clause 231 (war blame) -- FAILED.
  •  1925 Heidelberg Programme established principles for SPD; issues with opposing views - reduced SPDs influence, weakening democracy.
  • SPD behaviour worsened; refused to form viable coalitions.
  • Worsened by Hindenburg - adamantly against SPD; insists on inclusion of DNVP in govt.
  • Unemployment high in 1929 - 3.6million unemployed; compromise suggested by Muller's Grand Coalition refused by SPD -- COLLAPSE.
  • May 1928, lots of small extremist parties gain votes - DNVP lose votes so move towards the right.
  • Fall out over imperial flag caused collapse of coalition - incredibly unstable.
  • 5 chancellors between 1929 and 1930.
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Economic - For

  • Wage rates rising annually.
  • Production rates returned to rate of 1913.
  • Stresemann brought GER out of depression incurred from 1923 hyper-inflation.
  • New currency of the Rentenmarke.
  • Dawes Plan - lower rates of payback on reparations.
  • Currency stability + some economic growth.

 

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Economic - Against

  • Recovery rather than development.
  • Still 15% unemployed.
  • Deflation - better than inflation but not good.
  • Borchardt - 'Fundamentally sick' -- DOOMED.
  • Holtferich - 'Off the rails' -- DISASTER COULD BE AVERTED.
  • Stresemann - 'Dancing on a volcano' -- MATTER OF TIME.
  • Dependant on foreign affairs - high in debt.
  • Collapse in food prices in 1923; severe rural poverty.
  • Industrial strikes.
  • Employers experienced a loss of power around 1923 - raised working hours from 8 to 10.
  • 76,000 cases between 1926 and 1932 went to Court of Arbitration.
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Social - For

  • Unemployment insurance introduced - covered 17 million people.
  • Improved health care - lowered death rates.
  • Increased need for welfare state.
  • 1929 - 33 times more people on housing support than in 1913 -- BETTER STANDARD OF LIVING.
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Social - Against

  • Govt. agreed compensation but couldn't afford to pay it.
  • Paying for social prevented money from going into economy.
  • Wouldn't survive due to lack of funding.
  • Econony couldn't pay the increased amount of housing benefits.
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Cultural - For

  • German people benefitted from freer culture and less censorship.
  • Neue Sachlichneit encouraged new developments e.g. Bauhaus movement.
  • Functionalism influenced painters like Kandinsky.
  • Top European film industry.
  • Cultural developments popular with left-wing.
  • Escapism.
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Cultural - Against

  • Right-wing against 'cultural communism'.
  • Preferred to look back to GERs traditional past.
  • Right and left polarised due to cultural divides; reflected political divisions.
  • Both unhappy with democracy and Weimar.
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