Weimar Germany

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  • Created by: Olivia27
  • Created on: 22-04-15 20:24

The Treaty of Versailles - its terms and effects

-Forced to sign the Treaty as it was a diktat.

-Had to pay 136,000 million marks to Allies in reparations.

-Germany lost all its colonies.

-Military forces were cut to 100,000 men in the army.

-Germany lost land e.g. West PrussiaAlsace and Lorraine etc.

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Reasons for Germany resentment of the treaty

-Seen has defeat and humiliation.

-Disliked by most Germans and political parties.

-Weakend new republic.

-Dolchstoss- stab in the back.

-Harmed Germany's economy.

-Politicians who signed the treaty were known as 'November Criminals'.

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The Constitution

-Democratic government.

-Proportional representation.

-All men and women over 20 years could vote.

-Reichstag= -members elected every 4 years, majority to pass a law.

-Reichsrat= -could delay new laws unless overruled by a two-thirds majority in Reichstag.

-Chancellor= -elected by the president, chose ministers to run country, needed majority support  in Reichstag to pass laws.

-President= -Elected every 7 years, Article 48 (pass laws by decree, suspend constitution).   

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Economic Problems

-Bankruptcy= gold reserves spent in war, has to pay reperations, after 1923 Germany could no  longer pay reperations.

-Occupation of the Ruhr= Germany no longer pay reperations=French take over Ruhr, factories  and 80% of coal and iron was there, increased debts, unemployment and shortage of goods.

-Inflation= The rate that the general level of prices for goods is rising and purchising power is  falling. Governmant printed more money to deal with issue. 1918, £1=20 marks; by 1923, £1=20 billion marks.

-Hyperinflation=happened from 1923 onwards, extreeme inflation, savings, pensions and debt became worthless.


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Spartacist Uprisings (Left wing)

-Led Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht.

-6 January 1919100,000 communists demonsted in Berlin and took over keybuildings e.g.  newspaper offices etc.

-Government used Freikorps (demobalised soliders, who numbered 250,000 by March 1919).

-By early 1919 the Spartacist uprisings were put to rest and both Rosa Luxemburg and Karl  Liebknecht were killed by Freikorps. 

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Kapp Putsch (right wing)

-1920, 5000 right wing supporters of Dr Wolfgang Kapp marched into Berlin to overthrow  the Weimar republic and bring back the Kaiser.

-Government fled and urged people to not co-operate and go on strike.

-Many workers obliged as they did not want Kaiser back.

-Essential services (e.g. gas etc.) stopped and the capital ground to a hault.

-Kapp realised he could not govern and fled, he was caught and put in prison where he later died.

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Munich Putsch (Right wing)

-Led by Adolf Hitler.

-Uprising due to hyperinflation ruining lves, Gustav Stressemann would soon have things under  control (Hitler did not like it), and Stressemann's government was cracking down on extremist groups.

-Hitler went into Beer Hall on the 8 November 1923 where 3000 officials of the Bavarian government were meeting.

-He burst in with 600 SA and Hitler shot the ceiling declaring he was taking over the Bavarian government.

-Kahr, Seisser and Lossow eventually agreed to support his uprising however the next day they changed their minds, 

-SA had far less weapons than police forces, SA marched into Town Centre where 14 of Hitler's supporters were shot and 4 police were killed.

-Hitler and three others were put on trial and were found guilty og treason and sentenced to 5  years in gaol. NSDAP was banned but it was lifted in 1925

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Super Stressemann (His first adventure)

-Dawes Plan=American banker (Charles Dawes) helped to resolve Germnay's non-payment to the  allies. Annual payments were reduced, American banks invested in German industry.

-What happend? = Industrial output doubled between 1923-8, imports and exports increased,  employment went up, government income from taxes improved.

-Young Plan=Committe set up by Allies put forward a plan to help Germany. Reduced total  reperations debt from £6.6 billion to £2 billion, they were given 59 further years to pay.

-What happend? = Lower taxes, released spending power boosting German industry and  employment.

-Locarno Pact=Pact between Germany and Britain, France, Italy and Belgum. Germany agreed to keep its new 1919 border with France and Belgum. In return; last Alied troops left the Rhineland, France promised peace with Germany, powers agreed to open talks about German membership of the League of Nations.

-What happend? = Idustry and economy in Germany was getting better, Germany was treated as  an equal.

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Super Stressemann (A new path for Germany)

-League of Nations=Stresseman agreed that Germany should be part of the League  of Nations, so in September 1926 Germany became a member.

-Kellogg-Briand Pact = International agreement in which states promised not to use war to  achieve their foreign policy aims.

-The Rentenmark = New currency set up instead of old currency and so hyperinflation was no  longer. Also the Reichsbank was set up and was given control of this currency. Restored  confidence in Germany. 

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The Wall Street Crash

-Share prices began to fall on the Wall Street stock exchange in New York. Falling shares  meant  that investors were losing money.

-Economic effects = Banks were major investors and lost lots of money, German people rushed  to banks to retrieve their money but some banks ran out of money, Americans wanted the loans  that Germany depended on back.

-What happend? = Unemployment rose, industrial output fell, economy=bad

-Social and Political effects = middle classes lost savingsraised taxes to pay the cost of unemployment benefitreduced unemployment benefit to make payments more affordable.

-What happend? = Bruning's coalition collapsed, he had to rule by decree1930=5 decrees,  1931=44 decrees; 1932=66 decrees. In 1932 Bruning resigned leaving a dangerous power  vacuum.

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