Why Was Germany such an Important Country By 1918?
· Fertile land and rich natural resources
· Since 1871 Germany became extremely powerful and this power increased
· In the years before WW1 German Industry quickly developed to produce lots of Iron and Steel and as much coal as Britain.
· German countries dominated the EU market for electrical goods
· Germany increased over sea exports by 400%
· Military potential- Lots of men and growing metal industry
· Kaiser’s personality- obsessed with military strength and the British Navy, he wanted to make all the decisions but lacked concentration for the details he should have based decisions on
· Kaiser’s ambitions- wanted to improve Navy and make Germany a World Power
What effect did WW1 have on Germany?
· Farming disrupted as farmers went to war- by 1918 Germany produced only 50% of the milk and 60% of the butter and meat that it had
· It could not make up for this shortage by importing food because a British blockade had prevented this for the last 2 years
· In the winter of 1916-17 potatoes ran out leaving only Parsnips
· Civilians became weak and vulnerable to disease
· ¾ million Germans died of sickness and starvation
· The Reichstag had always been weak and verging on dictatorship.
· During the war the Kaiser seized full control, opposition leaders were imprisoned and the country was run as a military dictatorship with him and his two army leaders Ludendorff and Hindenburg
· The treaty of Versailles caused Germans to lose 10% of their industry and 13% of their land including the Rhineland
· Reparations of $6,600 million lead to hyper inflation
· War guilt
Why was the Weimar Republic so unpopular 1919-23?
· People were bitter that the war had ended, they felt they could have won
· June 1919 the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and the stab in the back theory
· The Weimar Republic and the people believed that the treaty would be lenient because the Kaiser had been overthrown and a new Government created. They believed it was a war of self defence. They had to sign because of the blockade
· This was not the case. Germany was force to accept war guilt (231)
· The Weimar Republic was considered weak because the country was used to a dictatorship. The 5 party coalition was often ineffectual
· Germany was forced to pay £6,600 in reparations. As the treaty also took away 10% of Germany’s industry and 13% land, and Germany had its own damages to pay for, tax went up massively and Germany entered a recession. Lack of money, disruption of farming and the military blockade led to starvation which the Government was expected to fix but could not
· Germany could not keep…