Hammond History-ESSAY, Weimar and Foreign Policy(Revisionworld)


How successful was the German Weimar Republic in Foreign Policy?

Paragraph One

  • 2 objectives post 1919: restore German sovereignty lost at Versailles; selective recovery of land lost at Versailles
  • 1924-32 Stresemann &successors recovered most of sovereignty lost in 1919
  • But – no return of territory
  • World depression post 1929 aided treaty changes
  • But also assisted in destroying Weimar revisionists and brought Hitler to power
  • His objectives went well beyond restoring 1914 borders

Paragraph Two

  • Germans shocked by 1919 ‘diktat’
  • Germany demilitarised (details)
  • Lost her colonies (details)
  • Article 231 – war guilt clause accepted by Germany
  • By 1921 reparations fixed at £6,600 million
  • Lost 1/8 of territory and 6 million people
  • East Prussia separated from Germany - ethnic Germans under Polish rule
  • Lost large reserves of coal, zinc, iron-ore to France and Poland
  • This aggravated weakness of German economy

Paragraph Three

  • German anger that 14 Points advocating peace without vindictiveness had not curbed French demands for reparations and annexations
  • Conservatives vowed to regain eastern lands even though the Corridor and Posen had Polish majorities
  • Reason – historic heart of Prussia and by extension Germany
  • Some senior army officers ready to resume the war to this end
  • Reluctantly had to accept that signing the treaty was unavoidable
  • The Republic’s democrats were later vilified for accepting the ‘shameful peace’

Paragraph Four

  • In fact the democrats were as determined to revise the settlement as were monarchists and other conservatives
  • Wanted to restore German sovereignty and regain…


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