Weimar republic

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Weimar republic

  1. 1. Weimar Republic  Allies offered peace to Germany, but Germany had to become democratic.  Kaiser refused, but there was a sailors’ revolt, so on Nov 9th 1918 he abdicated.  Friedrich Ebert became the new leader.  There was to be a new constitution and new laws and right for the people.
  2. 2.  1st act was to sign the Versailles Treaty  Named for the city in which the constitution was developed
  3. 3. Problems  The threat from the left  The Treaty of Versailles  The threat from the right  Economic problems
  4. 4. Threat from the left  Spartacists (communist party) under Liebknecht and Luxemburg  They followed Russian model  They incited the Communist revolution  A second revolution in Bavaria.
  5. 5.  Ebert worked together with the Freikorps to crush the revolts.  This caused tension between Ebert and his party (SPD)  Most Germans were agreed however, they feared a bloody civil war, like in Russia.
  6. 6. Freikorps
  7. 7. Treaty of Versailles  Many Germans felt they had been btrayed (“stabbed in the back”) by Ebert and his government.  This divided the politicians and caused political unrest  Until Hitler rose to power in 1933, the Treaty was still a much hated topic.
  8. 8. The threat from the right  Strong nationalism, many people who supported the kaiser were still in place.  1920: Kapp-putsch. 5000 Freikorps soldiers into Berlin. Situation saved by a general strike.  Kapp was prosecuted, but the rest of the leaders not.
  9. 9. Kapp putsch
  10. 10.  Many political murders  1923: Munich putsch (Beer Hall Putsch). Hitler tried to take over Bavaria. Weimar troops responded.  Hitler was held responsible and put on trial.  He received a very light sentence.
  11. 11. Leaders of the Beer Hall Putsch
  12. 12. Economic problems  Reparations: 6600 million pounds, annually.  In 1922 Germany didn’t pay.
  13. 13. Occupation of the Rhineland  1923, Germany fails to pay reparations to France and Belgium too.  France and Belgium occupy the Rhineland to force payments  Germans launch a general strike of non- cooperation with the occupiers  Govt. pays strikers to strike
  14. 14. Hyperinflation  Payments to strikers forces Weimar government to print money to fund it.  Far too much is printed compared to what it is worth.  In 1914 there were four marks to every dollar.  In 1924 there were 4,000,000,000,000,00 marks per dollar.
  15. 15. Stresemann Miracle  Gustav Stresemann served as the prime minister and stabilized the mark by following the advice of Hjalmar Schacht  Germany stabilizes and begins to grow again without inflation  Finally, Stresemann settles the western border with France with the Locarno Treaty.
  16. 16. THE FACTS Stresemann was Chancellor in 1923 only. His main role was as Foreign Minister from 1924 He was a right-winger and more able than Ebert He built up Germany’s prosperity again although all of Europe was recovering He signed Germany up to the Dawes Plan in 1924
  17. 17. Treaty of Locarno  Perhaps the high point of the Weimar Republic  Germany agrees to respect its western border with France and Belgium.  This allows Germany to enter the League of Nations and removes Germany from diplomatic isolation
  18. 18. Golden Era 1924-1929  Economy grows quite well  Culture become famous for its plays, art, etc., though decadent.  “Americanization” as some parts of culture look to America for guidance.  Movie industry become world famous, esp., the “Mountain films” like a US Western.
  19. 19. Crisis years 1930-1933  Great Depression hits as unemployment goes to record levels.  Governments fall as no one can solve the problem of the Depression  Private armies of political parties battle in the streets as public loses faith in the Republic to solve problems.

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