The Weimar Republic

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  • Created by: Ke
  • Created on: 28-05-16 14:10

A New Government

1) Kaiser Wilhekm II abdicated in November 1918

2) Early 1919, Friedrich Ebert took over- Germany became republic

3) Set up in Weimar- violence in Berlin

4) Ebert- President/ Scheidemann- Chancellor

5) Ebert, leader of Social Democratic Party- democratic (people could have a say how a country should be ran) 

NO more CENSORSHIP

6) Not invited in 1919 to peace conference- no say in Treaty of Versailles

7) Refused to sign it at first, Ebert had no choice- signed- Germany too weak to risk restarting conflict

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Discontent within Germany

1) Germans poor and starving- influenza epidemic killed many

2) Germans denied they lost the war- blamed 'November Criminals' (people who signed the Armistice and the Treaty of Versailles)

3) Communists/ Government/ Jews- blamed too

4) Goverment- weak, ineffective

5) Treaty of Versailles crippled Germany- living conditions made worse

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The Weimar Constitution

Reichstag

The new German Parliament (elected by proportional representation) 

Reichstrat

Upper house ( could delay mesaures passed on by the Reichstag)

President 

Elected every 7 years/ Head of army/ Chooses Chancellor

Proportional representation- number of seats won by party is worked out as a proportion of the number of votes they win- led to lots of parties in Reichstag- harder to get laws passed.

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Problems

1) Difficult to make decisions- too many parties

2) Hard to pick Chancellor who had the most support in the Reichstag

3) New government accepted Treaty of Versailles- hated by many Germans due to loss of territory/ 'war guilt' clause/ reparations 

4) Some Germans joined paramilitary groups eg. Freikorps (right wing group made up of ex- soldiers- saw communists as a threat to peace)

5) Private organisations not under governement control- Ebert happy to use them to supress communist uprisings

6) Communsits 

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Cultural Achievements

1) Berlin- centre for culture under Weimar Republic

2) Advances in art/ architecture/ music/ literature

3) Develpments- bold and new- Bauhaus School of Design (highly influential)

4) Encouraged critical thinking- Frankfurt Uni

5) Cabaret culture- dissaproved (some thought it was immoral) 

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