1919-23: Politics in the Weimar Republic

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Article 22 of the Weimar Constitution
The delegates are elected by universal, equal, direct and secret suffrage by all men and women over twenty years of age, in accordance with the principles of proportional representation
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Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution
If public safety and order in the Federation is materially disturbed or endangered, the National President may take the necessary measures to restore public safety and order
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What were the potential problems of proportional representation?
It encouraged the formation of many new, small splinter parties (ex. the Nazis), its virtually impossible for one party to form a majority government, encouraged the emergence of political extremism
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The President's power were seen as amounting those of who?
An Ersatzkaiser, a substitute emperor
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What was the significance of the Treaty of Versailles?
Economic consequences from the payment of reparations, in the minds of German's it was the real cause of Germany's problems, the Weimar Republic took the blame for it aswell as defeat in WWI
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What exaggerated the 'Red Threat'?
The Bolshevik revolution in Russia, right-wing propaganda
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Why was the extreme-left never likely to gain power?
Bad co-ordination, detached from political realities, repression, poor leadership, the Weimar governments played on the differences within the extreme left by making concessions
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What happened in the communist uprising of March 1920 in the Ruhr?
A Ruhr Army was formed by 50,000 workers to oppose the Kapp putsch, it was crushed by the German Army and Friekorps
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What happened in the Communist uprising of March 1921 in Merseburg and Halle?
Called the 'March Operation', there was an uprising of strikes organised by the KDP, it was put down by the police
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What happened in the Communist uprising of summer 1923 in Saxony?
Called 'German October', a wave of strikes and the creation of an SPD/KPD state government, it was overthrown by the German army
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What did the extreme right stand for?
Anti-democracy, anti-Marxism, authoritarianism, nationalism
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Which was the largest party in the Reichstag on the extreme right?
DVNP; it polled 15.1% in the 1920 election
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How many paramilitary units were there in Germany by 1919?
200
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When was Matthais Erzberger assassinated?
26th August 1921
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When was Walter Rathenau assassinated?
24th June 1922
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In the years 1919-22 how many political murders were there? and how many of these were by the right?
376, 354
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What happened in the Kapp Putsch?
In March 1920, Kapp and General Lüttwitz marched 12,000 disbanded troops on Berlin and seized the main buildings of the capital unopposed
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How could the Kapp Putsch be viewed as a major success for the Weimar Republic?
The Republic retained the backing of the people of Berlin during the 6 days of crisis
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How did the Kapp Putsch highlight the weaknesses of the Weimar Republic?
The army leadership revealed its unreliability
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How many of those prosecuted for the Kapp Putsch were found guilty?
1
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Out of the 354 right-wing assassins how many were found guilty and punished?
28 (none were executed)
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Out of the 22 left-wing assassins how many were sentenced to death?
10
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When was the Munich Beer Hall putsch?
8-9 November 1923
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What was the Munich Putsch inspired by?
Mussolini's March on Rome
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What happened in the Munich Putsch?
the Nazis attempted to take Munich and from there march on Berlin, but the Bavarian police crushed them before they took Munich
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Why was the result of the Munich Putsch encouraging for the Weimar Republic?
It withstood the threat amidst the crisis of hyper-inflation, the army did not support the Nazis
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What was the combined support for the three main democratic parties in the 1919 elections?
76.1%
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What was the combined support for the three main democratic parties in 1920?
48%
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How did the support for the SPD decline from the 1919 elections to the 1920 elections?
from 37.9% to 21.7%
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How did support for the KPD increased from the 1919 election to the 1920 election?
from 7.6% to 20%
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How did support for the DVNP increase from the 1919 election to the 1920 election?
from 10.3% to 15.1%
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What was significant about how politicians overestimated the threat from the extreme-left?
They came to rely on the forces of reaction for justice, law and order
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What was significant about the Conservative behaviour of the Republic's judiciary?
It sent a message to the public that challenges to the Republic had a semi-legal status, one bolstered by numerous prosecutions of pacifists, Communists and other people of the left for treason
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How much of Hitler's 5 year prison sentence (from the Munich Putsch) did he serve?
10 months
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How was the Munich Putsch a failure for the Nazis?
Failed to achieve objectives, Hitler given a criminal record
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How was the Munich Putsch a success for the Nazis?
Hitler's trial was covered by National Press giving Hitler the exposure to present his nationalist, anti-Republican views, Hitler was showed as a man of action, the 14 Nazis killed became martyrs for the cause
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What percentage of the vote did the extreme right win in the elections of December 1924?
20%
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When was the best chance for establishing communism in Germany gone?
By summer 1919
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What were the aims of the Spartacist uprising?
An armed uprising in Berlin to overthrow the provisional gov. and create a soviet Republic
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What happened in the Spartacist uprising?
Over 100 were killed over 3 days of street fighting in which the extreme-lefts most able leaders, Liebknecht and Luxemburg, were killed, eventually suppressed by the army and Friekorps
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When was a soviet republic created in Bavaria?
March 1920
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What happened to the Bavarian soviet republic?
It was crushed by Freikorps
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How did the extreme right use the Treaty of Versailles?
To fuel their propaganda, because many Germans were convinced WWI was fought defensively, it was seen as a 'diktat' the right played on this gaining support out of mutual hatred
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What was the impact of opposition to the Weimar Republic?
It weakened the Republics legitimacy, convincing people that something else was needed in its stead
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Why was the extreme-left lesser threat to the Republic than the right?
Because the army were supportive in putting down uprisings
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What were the psychological effects of hyper-inflation?
decline in 'morality' contributed to lack of faith in democracy, widespread cynicism made people long for the return of idealism, self-sacrifice and patriotic dedication, such nationalist ideals were at the core of the extreme-right
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Article 25 of the Weimar Constitution.
The President of the Federation may dissolve the Reichstag, but only once for any one reason. The general election shall take place not less than 60 days after the dissolution.
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By which article was the judiciary allowed to maintain its independence?
Article 54
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What was the political response to Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau's assassination?
The Law to Defend the Republic was passed to set up special courts to deal with terrorists and assassins
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Give an example of judicial bias?
Erzberger was charged with fraud and corruption in 1920, the decisions of the judge was dubious at best, it resulted in his resignation which was a blow to the political scene
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Who opposed the Law for the Protection of the Republic (passed after Rathenau's death)?
The DVNP, BVP and KPD
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What was Hitler's sentence for high treason?
5 years imprisonment
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What was the name of the German army between 1921-35?
The Reichswehr
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Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution

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If public safety and order in the Federation is materially disturbed or endangered, the National President may take the necessary measures to restore public safety and order

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What were the potential problems of proportional representation?

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Card 4

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The President's power were seen as amounting those of who?

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What was the significance of the Treaty of Versailles?

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