How effective was the new Christian Democratic Union of Konrad Adenauer and the reconstituted SPD in shaping the new federal republic from 1949 to 1960?

  • Created by: becky.65
  • Created on: 07-05-18 14:33

June 1945 - CDU was established, led by Konrad Adenauer and it was predominantly centre right in its ideology

The party aimed to unite Catholics and Protestants through the values of 'Christian Socialism'

Adenauer aimed for the CDU to unite a variety of class, religious and ideological groups from across Germany

CDU found favour with the Western occupying powers in the late 1940s due to Erhard's economic policies and Adenauer's strong anti-Communist policies

Adenauer was opposed to East Germany and any form of German unification that would require compromise with the German Communist Party in East Germany

It was for this reason that the CDU also enjoyed the support of the Catholic Church - crucial to the CDU as West Germany was now 45% Catholic

14 August 1949 - first FRG election:

  • CDU won with 31% of the vote
  • SPD came second with 29.2% of the vote
  • the election had been fought on the issue of the nature of the FRG's economy
  • the SPD proposed a more socialist, government-controlled economic system
  • the CDU proposed a 'social market economy'
  • the CDU's victory shaped the FRG's economic system for the next 40 years
  • the CDU formed a coalition with the Free Democratic Paty and the German Party

15 September 1949 - Reichstag elected Adenauer as Chancellor

He remained as Chancellor until 1963 and the CDU remained in power until 1969

The CDU's values and Adenauer had a large impact on shaping the structure of the FRG

Adenauer's policies:

  • Adenauer believed the future and prosperity of the FRG and West Europe required greater economic and political co-operation 
  • 1951 - ECSC
  • 1957 - EEC
  • Forged a stronger relationship with France and set the basis for the EU
  • The economic system and insurance policies led to greater social mobility in the 1950s but meant the FRG was quite a gender-structured society 
  • 22 November 1949 - Petersberg Agreement; FRG would stick to maintaining demilitarization 
  • However, the Cold War and events in Korea made Adenauer believe that East Germany might try to replicate the actions of North Korea
  • 1950 - controversially proposed the formation of an FRG army of 150,000 men
  • He faced opposition from the SPD, churches and trade unions
  • However, he had the support of the West German people, who feared communist aggression 
  • 1953 election - CDU won with 45.2% of the vote
  • Thus, with this support, Adenauer had the mandate to push ahead with his plans for an FRG army
  • 5 May 1955 - 'General Treaty' - complete foreign policy sovereignty to the FRG within its membership of NATO; FRG would be able to have its own military; Allied troops would still be in the FRG; Berlin was unchanged
  • It established the FRG as a key member…


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