AQA Democracy and Nazism 1918-1945

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On what date did Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicate?
9 November 1918
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Define the term 'republic'.
A system of government in which the Head of State, or President, is elected into office.
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Define the term 'armistice'.
An agreement to suspend fighting in order to allow a peace treaty to be negotiated.
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When did Europe celebrate the armistice?
11 November 1918
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What were President Wilson's Fourteen Points?
Devised to deal fairly with aftermath of war. Some points, such as the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France, were specific to Germany. Were also some general principles, such as the establishment of a League of Nations.
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What did Ludendorff understand was an obstacle in Germany for Wilson's Fourteen Points?
Germany's autocratic political system.
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What were the October Reforms?
Started by Kaiser, effectively ended his autocratic rule. Appointed Prince Max of Baden as new Chancellor. Chancellor became responsible to Reichstag, made up of majority parties. Armed forced put under the control of Reichstag.
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Define the term 'constitutional'.
Any established set of principles governing a state.
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On what date was the Peace Note?
3rd October 1918.
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What was the Peace Note?
Prince Max wrote to President Wilson asking for an armistice. When Wilson replied, he demanded that Germany evacuate all occupied territory, call and end to submarine warfare and fully democratise its political system.
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What did Ludendorff think of the Peace Note?
He believed that the terms set by Wilson, including the surrender of Germany and abdication of their Kaiser, were too much to accept. He tried, but failed, to gain support for a last ditch military effort to resist, he resigned and fled to Sweden.
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What did the German people think of the armistice?
The news that Prince Max's government were asking for an armistice was a shattering blow to the morale of the German people and their armed forces.
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What did the German people think of the Peace Note?
Made them understand that Germany was in hopeless military situation. Undermined their respect for Kaiser, military and political leaders. Civilians who'd borne hardships of food shortages were no longer prepared to show restraint.
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What happened on 22 October 1918?
A strike in Friedrichshafen where workers shouted things like "the Kaiser is a scoundrel" and "up with the German Republic".
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What happened on the 28th of October 1918 that began the events of the November Revolution?
Germany's high command, in one last act of resistance to humiliating peace, ordered ships from Wilhelmshaven to attack British ships in English Channel. The crews of two cruisers refused to obey orders, this caused a naval mutiny.
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Define the term 'mutiny'.
A revolt by soldiers or sailors against their officers.
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What was the November Revolution?
Unrest in the navy that spread to the main German naval base at Kiel on 3rd November 1918. On 4th November, the revolt spread to the city, and the workers' and soldiers' councils were established.
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What happened on 8 November 1918?
A republic was proclaimed in Bavaria and the Bavarian monarchy was deposed. This, according to the historian William Carr, was the 'decisive moment in the German Revolution'.
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What happened on 9 November 1918?
SPD called on workers in Berlin to join general strike to force Kaiser to abdicate. Threatened to withdraw support from Max's government unless Kaiser abdicated. Max couldn't govern without SPD, so announced Kaiser's abdication.
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After Prince Max of Baden resigned, who took over as Chancellor?
Friedrich Ebert, leader of the SPD.
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What was the Ebert-Groener Pact?
Ebert-Groener Pact was an agreement between President Ebert and Wilhelm Groener (German Army) that ensured the safety of the new Weimar Republic in its early days. In return, the Army would be able to retain its independence and not be democritised.
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What sort of person was Ebert?
Not a revolutionary, believed in evolutionary change through winning majority in parliamentary elections. But even though he had been chosen by Max as new Chancellor because he was leader of the SPD, he gained power through a revolutionary act.
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What was Ebert's struggle for power?
He was conscious that his government lacked legitimacy. He was, therefore, determined to establish a new constitution as quickly as possible. His priority, after agreeing the armistice with Allies, was to organise elections for Constituent Assembly.
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Define the term 'Constituent Assembly'.
An elected body with the specific task of drawing up a new constitution, usually in the aftermath of a revolution.
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What did Ebert encourage Germans to do prior to the creation of a new Constitution?
Keep essential services running, avoid street demonstrations, maintain law and order.
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Was Ebert successul in encouraging Germans before the creation of the new constitution?
No, his authority didn't extend much beyond Berlin, disorder becoming norm, street demonstrations and strikes became regular occurrences.
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What pressure from the left did Ebert face?
Workers' and soldiers' councils, which the USPD and the Spartacists took advantage of, had made the runnings in an early stage of a revolution.
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What was done in response to the pressure from the left under Ebert?
22 November, agreement reached between the new government and Berlin workers' and soldiers' councils whereby the government accepted that it only accepted that it only exercised power in the name of these councils. This was a temporary compromise.
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How did the USPD believe an autocratic system of government could be abolished?
Aristocratic estates were broken up; the army, civil service and judiciary were democratised; the key industries were nationalised under workers' control.
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Define the term 'aristocracy'.
The highest class in certain societies, typically comprising people of noble birth holding hereditary titles and offices.
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What pressure did Ebert recieve from the army?
Ebert's governemtn depended on support from army, but they opposedd democracy. Late 1918, political situation was highly unstable and many officers believed Germany faced danger of Bolshevik revolution. Ebert-Groener Pact signed.
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When were elections for the Contituent Assembly held?
January 1919. Women allowed to vote. SPD secured largest share of vote and largest number of seats, but didn't have overall majority. Had to compromise with other parties to establish new constitution and govern country.
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How was Weimar Republic formed?
Assemnly met in small town of Weimar rather than Berlin (unstable political situation), this was how they got the name Weimar Republic. Ebert was first president, and new government was led by Scheidemann.
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Who was Philipp Scheidemann?
Popular member of the SPD, although he supported the war he favoured negotiated peace. 9 November 1918 Scheidemann announced the birth of the Republic, and was Chancellor of the first coalition government in 1919, resigned in protest to TOV.
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What were the strengths of the Weimar Constitution?
More people able to vote, proportional representation let small parties enter government, fairest system of democracy.
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Card 2

Front

Define the term 'republic'.

Back

A system of government in which the Head of State, or President, is elected into office.

Card 3

Front

Define the term 'armistice'.

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

When did Europe celebrate the armistice?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What were President Wilson's Fourteen Points?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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