Creation and Collapse of Weimar Republic 1918-33


Democratic Revolution, 1918

  • After Soviet Uprisings & Navy mutiny, the Kaiser abdicated. On the same day, the SPD led by Ebert formed government - German Republic.
  • 11th Nov - Armistice - agreed ceasefire with new govt.
  • This matters because it attracted more support as majority of Germans accepted democracy, not communism. 
  • Ebert Groener Agreement = with head of army, General Groener, that elite/army would protect/defend new republic against socialism in exchange for the army maintaining its privileged position.

HOWEVER: This did suceed in avoiding revolution, but the limited revolution meant that the struggle between autocracy and democracy was never solved, just postponed. 
e.g: The Spartacist Revolt, 1919.

  • 1917 USPD split from SPD - communist party who belived SPD were not communist enough.
  • Spartacists (radical militant wing) split from USPD to form KPD
  • Ebert responded with the Freikorps (private army of ex-army who were reduced in Treaty)
  • Jan 5th, KPD began uprising to seize power
  • Jan 15th, Freikorps crushed uprisings and executed leader and 800 communists
    • Helps show that the Weimar Republic survived and legitimises Ebert, the Republic and democracy.

Parties: Pro/Anti republic

SPD: pro-republic
- Working class with divided opinions (many strongly supported demoracy, others saw it as 'bourgeois democracy'. Supported social reforms and extension of social welfare. Supported the policy of fulfilment
DDP: pro-republic
- Middle class who supported republic and served in nearly every cabinet of the Republic. Supported constitutional/social reform and favoured policy of fulfilment
Centre Party: centre
- Catholics who were initally supportive but less supportive from 1930s. Supported social reform but also sociall conservative looking to protect Churchs intered. Supported fulfilment
DVP: centre/anti-republic
- Business interests.White-collar workers who were indifferent. Recognised Republic but would prefer a more autocratic system. Pro business policies, hostile to Treaty
DNVP: centre ish/anti- republic
- Conservatives, nationalists, upper middle class who were consistently hostile to Republic and whished for return to Imperial Reich. Cons policies and heavily rejected Treaty
USPD: anti-republic
- Industrial workers disilludioned with SPD policies. Wanted to replave democracy w/ workers' soviet. Divided so split later. Opposed war and Treaty. 
NSDAP: anti-republic
- Ex-servicemen, radicals who were extremely hostile to Republic. Against Treaty
KPD: anti-republic
- Communist revolutionaries, ex-USPD, working class members who were hostile to Republic that expolited the working class. Committed to overthrowing republic with revolution. Supported violence.

National Assembly, 1919

Key Evidence to show that people were for democracy

Massive turnout - 85% = shows wanting to participate, healthy, strong democracy

WINNER - SPD - 37.9% (Landslide victory = triumph for those supported democracy, 76% voted for SPD, Centre Party, DDP coalition)
LOST - DVP - 4.4%

Ebert officially President of Weimar Republic.

Threats to the Weimar Republic, Left Wing

Left Wing Threats:
Spartacist Revolt, 1919 - KPD failed attampt to take control of Berlin - 10 days
Red Bavaria, 1919 - Student killed USPD leader, lasted 8/9 months. Ebert tackled with Article 48
Communist Invasion of Ruhr, 1920 - KPD workers took…


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