The Weimar Republic 1918-33


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  • Created by: Buffy
  • Created on: 29-04-14 19:13
At the end of the First World War
The Kaiser abdicated and a new government was set up which was led by Chancellor Ebert. This government created the Weimar Republic.
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The Treaty of Versailles
The new government had to accept the Treaty but this caused unrest. Germans called it a diktat because they were no part of the negotiations. They said that, by accepting it, the new government had given Germany a 'stab in the back'.
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German Reparations
Set at £6,600 million by the Treaty of Versailles This damaged German industry and government finance.
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German Armed Forces
Limited at Treaty of Versailles to 100,000 soldiers (with no tanks or planes). The navy was limited to 6 battleships, 6 cruisers, 24 smaller ships and no submarines. This was very unpopular
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The Rhineland
(Germany's border with France, Belgium and the Netherlands) was demilitarised at Versailles. It became a 'buffer' zone protecting those countries though it was still a part of Germany
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The Weimar Constitution
Allowed everyone over 20 to vote by a secret ballot for members of the Reichstag, which passed the laws. The Chancellor led the government. He chose ministers and proposed laws.
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The Weimar Government was Weak
The constitution shared out power but this made chancellors weak. They had to rely on collations of small parties to get a majority in the Reichstag. The second house, the Reichsrat, could delay legislation.
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Economic Problems
The Weimar government was bankrupt: Germany's gold reserves had been spent on the war. Its income was rained by reparation payments. It had also lost the land with its richest coal iron reserves. Later it faced serious inflation.
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The French occupied the Ruhr (1923)
When Germany could not pay its reparations. They took raw materials, industrial machines and manufactured goods. The Ruhr contained many factories and around 80% of Germany’s coal, iron and steel production, so Germany’s economic problem were worse
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Hyperinflation
This meant Germany money became almost worthless. A loaf of bread in 1919 cost 1 mark; in 1922, 200 marks; and in 1923, 100,000 million marks. By November 1923, it cost 200,000 million marks.
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All Germans Suffered
As vital goods were hard to purchase. Many workers became unemployed. The pensions and savings of the middle-classes became worthless. This made the government even more unpopular.
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Gustav Stresemann
Chancellor in 1923, solved the economic problems. He negotiated a French withdrawal from the Ruhr and the Dawes Plan (1924) which cut reparations; he dealt with inflation by replacing the mark with a new currency, the retenmark.
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Political problems
The new Weimar government was blamed for Versailles and the economic problems. Many German workers supported left-wing parties, like the communists (KPD). Many ex-soldiers and landowners supported right-wing parties
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Political Unrest
Over Versailles and the economic problems led to frequent strikes and protests. Between 1919 and 1922, there were 376 political murders.
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The Spartacists
A communist group, led a huge uprising in Berlin in 1919. They thought the Weimar Republic was run by the middle-class. They wanted worker's councils to run the country. The government ended the revolt violently, using the Freikorps
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The Kapp Putsch (1920)
Led by Wolfgang Kapp, was a right-wing revolt to get the Kaiser back into power: 5,000 rebels took control of Berlin. The government promoted a general strike by workers. The city was paralysed and the revolt failed.
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The Dawes Plan (1924)
Agreed by Stresemann and Dawes, a US banker, reduced Germany's reparation payments and arranged for US banks to invest in German industry. So government finances improved and German industry recovered.
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The Young Plan (1929)
Further reduced reparations form £6.6 billion to £2 billion and gave Germany 59 more years to pay them off. This made the Weimar government popular with some Germans- but not all, as repayments were still £50 million per year
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In the Locarno Pact (1925)
Germany accepted the borders agreed at the Treaty of Versailles Allied troops began to leave the Rhineland, and France promised not to invade as it had done at Ruhr. This helped improve the popularity of the Weimar Republic
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Germany was allowed to join the League of Nations
In 1926; it was even given a seat on the Council. This boosted the reputation of the Weimar Republic
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In the Kellogg- Briand Pact (1928)
61 nations promised not to go to war to resolve disputes. Germany was part of this pact. This showed the German people that the Weimar Republic was now a respected part of the international community.
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The Wall Street Crash (1929)
Set off a worldwide Great Depression. Sales of German exports fell, causing bankruptcies. Unemployment rose from 1 million to 5 million by 1932. This caused political unrest. Voters turned against the Weimar Republic again.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The new government had to accept the Treaty but this caused unrest. Germans called it a diktat because they were no part of the negotiations. They said that, by accepting it, the new government had given Germany a 'stab in the back'.

Back

The Treaty of Versailles

Card 3

Front

Set at £6,600 million by the Treaty of Versailles This damaged German industry and government finance.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Limited at Treaty of Versailles to 100,000 soldiers (with no tanks or planes). The navy was limited to 6 battleships, 6 cruisers, 24 smaller ships and no submarines. This was very unpopular

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

(Germany's border with France, Belgium and the Netherlands) was demilitarised at Versailles. It became a 'buffer' zone protecting those countries though it was still a part of Germany

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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