The Weimar Republic

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The Aftermath of World War One

  • World War One had caused devastation
  • Millions dead or injured
  • People wanted Germany to take the blame
  • Germany- weren't allowed to take part in talks
  • Results of Treaty were severe
  • Treaty- signed June 1919
  • Land- lost its empire- put under control of countries in the league of nations
  • Army- reduced to 100,00 men, no armoured vehicles, aircraft or submarines and only 6 warships.- army was banned from Rhinelands
  • Money- pay reparations of £6600 million
  • Blame- War guilts clause (Article 231)- take blame for war. 
  • Germany hated the Treaty of Versailles
  • Couldn't afford reparations, lost industrial areas and couldn't rebuild, lost pride without army, didn't accept defeat, didn't accept guilt, suffered an economic crisis, lost colonies, often now lived under foreign rule in new countries.
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The Weimar Republic

  • A new government took over when the Kasier abdicated
  • Kaiser Wilhelm ll ruled Germany as a monarch.
  • Forced to abidicate im 1918 because of violent unrest.
  • 1919- new government took over- Fredrich Ebert- republic
  • Ebert- leader of the Social Demoncratic Party- people should say how country is run
  • New government- wasn't invited to peace conference (1919)- no say in treaty
  • Had to agree- Germany was to weak to risk conflict
  • The Weimar constitution made Germany a republic
  • Reichsrat- upper house could delay measures passed by Reichstag
  • Reichstag- New German Parliament (elected by proportional representation)
  • President- elected every 7 years, head of army and choses chancellor
  • Proportional representation- number of seats a party wins in parliament is in proportion with the number of votes- lot of polictical parties in Reichstag- hard to get laws passed
  • Weimar republic had many problems
  • Hard to pick chancellor who had support of most of Reichstag
  • Too many parties
  • Had to accept treaty- were hated
  • Violent unrest- formed Freikorps to keep the peace
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Years of Unrest- 1919-1923

  • Reasons for discontent:
  • Thousands of people- poor and starving
  • Germans denied they had lost the war- blamed November Criminals who signed the Armistice and Treaty of Versailles
  • Others were blamed for losing war (Comminists, Government and Jews etc.)
  • Government seemed weak and ineffective
  • Soon there were riots and rebeliions
  • 1919- Spatacist Revolt- take over Berlin- defeated by Freikops
  • 1920- Kapp Putsch- took over Berln- Workers staged a general strike so they gave up
  • 1922- Walter Rathenau was assasinated (Foreign minister and Jewish)
  • Many Germmans were now anti- Semiti
  • 1923- Germany couldn't pay reparations
  • France and Belgium invaded the Ruhr
  • Workers refused to work
  • Hyperinflation- German Mark became worthless
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Stresemann and Recovery

  • Stresemann wanted International Cooperation
  • September 1923- told workers in Ruhr to return to work
  • Accepted Dawes plan in 1924 and inroduced new German mark (Rentenmark)
  • 1925- French and Belgian troops left the Ruhr
  • October 1925- agreed to Locarno Treaty- western boarders were agreed
  • 1926- Germany joined the League of Nations
  • 1928- signed Kellogg Briand Pact- no violence to settle disputes
  • 1929- Young plan replaced the Dawes plan- Reparations reduced
  • Big industries began to recover
  • Germany had begun to recover but relied on US money
  • 1929- Stresemann died
  • Wall Street Crash
  • The Weimar Republic had many cultural achievements
  • Berlin- centre for culture
  • Advances in the arts
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Stresemann and Recovery song

1923, Ruhr workers returndy,

1924, Dawes plan and monor (money),

1925, Ruhr troops left, goodbye

1925, Locorno Treaty, decide,

1926, League nations, joined to fix,

1928, Briand Pact, no violent debate,

1929, Youngs plan, just divine.

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