West Germany

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What were the terms of the new constitution for a West German State drafted at the London Six Power Conference?
·was to remain under strict control of the Western Occupying Powers ·was to be drawn up by a parliamentary council of 65 delegates form the Lander
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Who was the head of state and how were they chosen?
·federal president ·chosen by the Bundestag ·powers were diminished to mainly representative functions ·reduced term from 7 to 5 years
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What was the structure of parliament?
·two-tiered ·Bundestag (federal parliament) ·Bundesdrat (federal council) ·chancellor had a clear line of authority as he was selected by the Bundestag
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How did the electoral system work?
·upheld the pluralism of political parties ·maintained concept of proportional representation ·5% hurdle for elections
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Was the BRD genuinely democratic?
·5% hurdle ·banned left and right wing parties
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What problems did Adenauer's government face?
·economic: 1949-50 = recession, unemployment rose to 2 million ·social: millions of refugees needed housing ·political: BRD did not have sovereignty
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What four major issues were Adenauer's aims in the 1950s shaped by?
·Western Integration: (mistrusted & feared Soviets) ·The 'German question' (believed reunification of BRD & DDR needed to be on Western capitalist terms) ·Economic Policy (Korean War spurred economy into boom) ·Social aspects:
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How did the SPD respond to Adenauer?
·Schumacher mocked him as 'chancellor of the Allies' ·was suspended form parliament for 20 days
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What were the limitations of the SPD in the 1950s?
·economic recovery led to steep fall in unemployment ·exacerbated mistrust & fear of communism meant people sympathised with Adenauer ·SPD reposed German rearmament whilst Adenauer offered protection through Western allies & integration
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What happened to the SPD after the Party Conference in Godesberg in 1959?
·rejected the traditional Marxist line with its demand for nationalism & a neutral Germany ·adopted a more liberal economic course ·acknowledged the Western integration & remilitarisations necessities
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How did the SPD portray itself from 1959?
·in electoral terms it opened itself to a much boarder electorate that could embrace the middle classes ·a mass movement rather than a class-based workers' party
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What is the social market economy?
·The CDU quickly drew back from its tentative ideas of nationalisation & came to uphold a new form of economic liberalism ·principally put into practice by Ludwig Erhard (minister of trade and industry) ·aim lay in rising consumption & economic growth
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How strong was the West German economy up to 1966?
·steep rise of prices was not matched by the rate of wage increases ·1949-50: recession, unemployment, rising prices ·1951: Korean War, exports rose
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How can the economic success by 1952 be described?
·economic growth was high (annual growth rate of 12%) ·from 1950-55 the GNP nearly double ·balance of trade turned positive from 1952 ·by 1954 the BRD was 3rd biggest trading power behind Britain & the USA ·full employment form 1955-70
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Why did the BRD become an 'economic giant'?
·had access to extensive resources e.g. coal & iron from the Ruhr ·country's population was well educated ·By 1951 was given $1.5bill of Marshall Plan
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West Germany and world trade?
·after 1945, USA used influence to reduce tariffs globally ·early 1950s: Korean War led to real growth in World Trade ·OEEC creation opened up European markets & speed up reintegration of German trade into world market ·1951 ECSC boosted German expo
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How did the government try to establish peaceful industrial relations?
·1951: Co-determination Law ·1952: Works' Constitution Law ·number of strikes fell dramatically ·real industrial peace for 20 years
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Consumption demand in West Germany:
·6 million houses were built up to 1961 ·increasing demand for consumer goods e.g cars, televisions, refrigerators & vacuum cleaners
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Financial Stability in West Germany:
·in 1957 the Bank Deutscher Lander (created join 1948) was restructured to officially become the Bundesbank (federal bank)
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Government Expenditure in West Germany:
·1952: BRD signed agreement in London to pay debts from Marshall Plan credits & Dawes Plan ·didn't have to pay reparations & had limited defence costs ·limited gov expenditure so Erhard could be more generous with social spending
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What steps were taken by the German government to guarantee social peace after the war?
·The passing of the 'Equalisation of Burdens Law' ·131 law
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How did West Germany integrate the trade unions?
·simplified system in 1949 ·German Federation of Trade ·Co-determination Law ·Works' Constitution Law
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How was the system of social security expanded in West Germany?
·unemployment benefit ·accident insurance ·sickness insurance ·public assistance ·family welfare
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How did West Germany's social welfare budget change from 1950- 1970?
·1950= 17.1% of GNP ·1960 = 20.7% of GNP ·1970 = 25.7% of GNP
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Why was the German education system not improved after the war?
·lack of school buildings ·shortage of appropriate teaching materials ·many large classes (low proportion of qualified teachers)
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When was responsibility for education passed to the Lander and why was this an issue?
·1949 ·Western Allies could not agree on common educational policy
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How did West Germany attempt to develop education?
·1955 Dusseldorf Agreement ·1958- Abolished fees ·1959: Rahmenplan (overall draft of the commission from the Lander for a new modern school system
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What can the limitations of the BRD educational system in the 1950s be put down to?
·economic prosperity disguised educational weaknesses ·the conservative atmosphere of the BRD ·anti-communists didn't want to mimic reforms of the DDR ·inability of the Lander to overcome their difference for more national educational policy
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Were German women emancipated in West Germany?
·Article 3 of 1949 Basic Law gave women equal rights ·1957 Law of Equality of the Sexes ·3 Ks prevailed widely until mid-1960s
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What was the ethos towards women in the 1950s and early 9160s?
·conservative (even patriarchal) ·working women could usually not expect equal pay for equal work ·average women's wage was about 40% less than average man's ·in higher education, number of female students only rose from 19% in 1950 to 30% in 1968 ·
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How far was West German society changed in the 20 years after the war- up to 1955?
·20% of households had little more than mere subsistence level ·Only 11% owned a fridge ·Over half of the population had no more than a one-bedroomed flat to live in
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How far was West German society changed in the 20 years after the war- after 1955?
·marked rise in living standards ·intro of five-day working week (reduced hours too) ·By 1962: increase in household goods owned ·increase number of privately owed houses due to tax relief programmes
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What was the 'without me' mentality?
·a phrase used to describe the tendency of many West Germans in the 1950s to put politics to one side (enjoyed freedom of individual choice) ·in the end the trust in Adenauer's alliance with the West was stronger than the scepticism & fear
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What was the population growth between 1951 and 1965?
·47.5 million in 1951 to 58.6 million in 1965 ·growth in number of cars from 2 million (1950) to 12.1 million
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Was West Germany a modern industrial society?
·shift in labour force from countryside to towns
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What were Adenauer's foreign policy aims in the international context?
·wanted to maintain peace & freedom of BRD during Cold War tensions ·it was geared to establish sovereignty & fully integrate BRD to exploit economic, political & military strength of the free Western World
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What was Adenauer's foreign policy aim and how did aim to reach this ideal?
·a united west Europe led & protected by the superpower USA ·it was essential for the BRD's principles to be stability, reliability & close co-operation
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In what ways was the BRD economically integrated into Western Europe by 1963?
·The Occupation Statute of April 1949 ·International Ruhr Authority (gave France, Belgium, Netherlands & Luxembourg the rights to control the distribution of the area's natural resources) ·the status of the Saar
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How did the ECSC benefit West Germany?
·Laid basis for Franco-German understanding after generations of hostility ·production of steel & coal within community increased by 44% from 1952-1957
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How successful was Adenauer's policy of integration with the West?
·The EDC was met by major resistance to German rearmament so he had to renegotiate & create the Paris Peace Treaties to settle openly all the major political & economic disputes between Germany & France
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When did the BRD become a fully sovereign state?
May 1955
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What was the West European Union?
·a defensive pact ·allowed the BRD to create the Bundeswehr (the German army created in the BRD)
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Did Adenauer miss the chance to reunify with Germany in the 1950s?
·no official international diplomatic relations between the BRD & the DDR ·BRD referred to East Germany as 'Soviet occupation zone' ·didn't recognise DDR's peace treaty with Poland in 1950
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What was the Hallstein Doctrine?
Upon his return from Moscow Adenauer stated that his own government would refuse to have diplomatic relations with any state that officially recognised the DDR
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What was the 'TV dispute'?
·Adenauer had set up a national TV company ·in Feb 1961 it was declared 'unconstitutional' and dissolved
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How was Adenauer able to secure such a powerful position for himself?
·combined the role of chancellor & foreign minister and oversaw foreign & defence policies ·
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What happened to Adenauer's support during his final few years?
·his political instinct waned ·criticism got much stronger
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Who was the head of state and how were they chosen?


·federal president ·chosen by the Bundestag ·powers were diminished to mainly representative functions ·reduced term from 7 to 5 years

Card 3


What was the structure of parliament?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


How did the electoral system work?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Was the BRD genuinely democratic?


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