Was the Weimar Republic a success 1924- 1929? Weekly wages Industrial production Proportional Representation The Establishment Stresemann Reichstag USA The Economy Foreign Affairs Municipal life League of Nations Political opposition
130 120 110 100 90 80 70 60 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 Real weekly wages in the 1920s. This graph shows the buying power of workers’ wages. Real weekly wages (1925=100)
100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1920 1922 1924 1926 1928 Industrial production in Germany in the 1920s Industrial production (1928=100)
Proportional Representation [ P.R. ] Proportional Representation (PR) was causing problems. One aim of PR was that no political party would dominate the Reichstag. Parties would have to form Coalition governments and co-operate with each other. The parties did form coalitions, but were not very keen to co-operate. The governments broke down. The longest government lasted for only two years. People got so fed up with so many elections and squabbling politicians. This damaged their faith in democracy as a system. You may want to visit the section on ‘Reichstag’ next.
Coalition? Twenty years of Labour rule in Birmingham look certain to be brought to an end by a Conservative-Liberal Democrat power-sharing pact on the city council. Senior Labour figures have all but given up hope of remaining in charge of Britain's largest local authority following last week's elections, which left the party eight seats short of a majority in the council chamber. Although Labour remains the largest group, with 53 members, its leaders appear to have been outflanked by an emerging deal between the 39-strong Tory group and 28 Liberal Democrat councillors. Conservative and Lib Dem councillors met separately yesterday to discuss the merits of an informal coalition, which could see the two parties share Cabinet seats and the chair-manships of the main scrutiny committees. Although details are yet to be confirmed, the deal Take a look back to an article from 2004 – showing how ‘coalition’ happened in our local council
The Establishment The Army, Civil Service, Judiciary and other officials all co-operated with the government
Curriculum Vitae Name:- Gustav Stresemann Born:- May 10 th , 1878 Died:- Oct 3 rd , 1929 Place of Birth:- Berlin Political Party:- German People’s Party. [ DVP ] Liberal-Nationalist. Education:- Berlin & Leipzig University. Philosophy and Literature degree. Received a doctorate in economics. Married:- Kate Kleefeld in 1903, a daughter of a wealthy Jewish businessman. Political Experience:- Member of National Social Association. 1906 elected member of Dresden Town Council. Leader of Saxony town council. 1907 elected to the Reichstag. Founded the German-American Economic Association. Returned to the Reichstag in 1914 and was exempted from War service due to ill health. Weimar Republic:- Appointed Chancellor on Aug 13 th 1923. Awards:- Reconciliation with France led to the Nobel Peace Prize in 1926
Construction of the building began only well after 1871. Previously, the parliament had assembled in several other buildings in the Leipziger Straße in Berlin; but these were generally considered too small, so in 1872 an architectural contest with 103 participating architects was carried out to erect an all-new building. Work did not start until ten years later though, due to various problems with purchasing property for the new building and arguments between Wilhelm I, Otto von Bismarck, and the members of the Reichstag about how the construction should be performed. In 1882, another architectural contest was held, with 189 architects participating. This time the winner, the Frankfurt architect Paul Wallot, would actually have his plan executed. On June 9, 1884, the foundation stone was finally laid by Wilhelm I. Before construction was completed in 1894, Wilhelm I died (in 1888, the Year of Three Emperors). His successor, Wilhelm II, objected to parliament as an institution to a much greater extent. The original building was most acclaimed for the construction of an original cupola of steel and glass, an engineering masterpiece of the time. After World War I had ended and the Kaiser had abdicated, during the revolutionary days of 1918, Philipp Scheidemann proclaimed the institution of a republic from one of the balconies of the Reichstag building on November 9. The building continued to be the seat of the parliament of the Weimar Republic (1919-1933), which was still called Reichstag . Reichstag
<ul><li>Germany’s recovery was totally dependent on American loans. </li></ul><ul><li>These loans were for a short period only. </li></ul><ul><li>The American banks could demand their money back at a very short notice if they wanted. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1924, Germany was helped via the Dawes Plan . </li></ul><ul><li>This gave Germany huge loans (800 million marks). </li></ul><ul><li>The USA also reorganised Germany’s reparation payments. </li></ul><ul><li>This gave Germany economic stability. </li></ul>
The Dawes Plan The Dawes Plan was the result of negotiations between Germany and the US Government. The plan allowed the co-ordination of reparations repayments, making these more manageable. This involved paying reduced payments until 1929, when the situation would be reappraised. The scale of the reassessment is worthy to note, reparations payments in 1922 had been some $2 billion, the figure for 1914 was set at $50million. This large reduction in reparations payments was accompanied by a loan of $200 million from the US government which would allow for heavy investment in the German infrastructure. Linked to this agreement was the introduction of the new Reich bank and the replacement of the old German Mark with the Rentenmark . The Dawes plan also provided for the gradual removal of French and Belgian troops from the Rhineland.
Economy <ul><li>Following the Dawes Plan Germany saw economic stability </li></ul><ul><li>Wages for workers rose </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial production went up </li></ul><ul><li>Big business, like chemicals and steel, did well </li></ul><ul><li>So did the big cities where these industries were based </li></ul><ul><li>However…farmers found it hard to sell their goods at a decent price </li></ul><ul><li>Small businesses (such as local shops) suffered from competition from big business (i.e. department stores) </li></ul><ul><li>The wages of people working in public services did not go up as fast as wages for industrial workers </li></ul><ul><li>As a result many of these people felt bitterness, and resentment, towards the Weimar Republic </li></ul>
Foreign Affairs <ul><li>Stresemann was a foreign affairs expert </li></ul><ul><li>He built good relations with Germany’s former enemies </li></ul><ul><li>In 1925, Stresemann signed the Locarno Treaty </li></ul><ul><li>This meant that Germany agreed to accept the borders between Germany, France and Belgium which had been set out in the Treaty of Versailles </li></ul><ul><li>The Locarno Treaty improved Germany’s relations with France, Britain and the USA </li></ul><ul><li>The Locarno Treaty left Poland and Czechoslovakia feeling a bit nervous. It did not say anything about their borders with Germany </li></ul>
Foreign Affairs Stresemann ... worked hard to rebuild his shattered country and for peace and co-operation abroad. Because of his leadership Germany is now prospering and has an important place in the affairs of Europe. The Times 4 th October 1929
League of Nations <ul><li>In 1926 Germany was invited to join the League of Nations </li></ul><ul><li>Being invited to join the League of Nations showed that Germany was accepted by the rest of the world again </li></ul><ul><li>Being part of the League helped Stresemann to negotiate some of the other terms of the Treaty of Versailles. </li></ul><ul><li>Stresemann agreed the Young Plan with the USA </li></ul><ul><li>This reduced Germany’s reparations and spread out the payments to make them easier to afford </li></ul><ul><li>Some groups of extremists (including the Nazis) accused Stresemann of being a traitor for co-operating with Britain, France and the USA </li></ul>
Municipal life <ul><li>In the late 1920s, if you walked down the streets of Berlin there was much to see </li></ul><ul><li>Cafes were full </li></ul><ul><li>Shops and theatres were doing good business </li></ul><ul><li>Architects were creating exciting new buildings </li></ul><ul><li>Film-makers were producing successful new films </li></ul><ul><li>The economy was clearly recovering from the crisis in 1923 </li></ul>
Political opposition Stresemann arranged a 'Great Coalition' of the moderate pro-democracy parties (based around the SDP, the Centre party and Stresemann's own 'German people's Party', the DVP). United together, they were able to resist the criticism from smaller extremist parties, and in this way, he overcame the effects of proportional representation - the government had enough members of the Reichstag supporting it to pass the laws it needed