The Weimar Republic


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By Almudena Corrales

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The Weimar Republic

  1. 1. Almudena CorralesSocial Sciences
  2. 2. Introduction:• The WW1 had destroyed much of old Germany.• The proud German Army was defeated.• Also a flue epidemy was sweaping the country, killing thousands of people already weakened by rations.
  3. 3. It was named after Weimar, the city where the constitutional assembly took place.• Germany was in state of chaos.• The Allies offered Germany peace, but under strict condition: GERMANY SHOULD BECOME DEMOCRATIC• November 1918, the Kaiser abdicated his throne and left Germany for the Netherlands.• Ebert became the new leader of the Republic of Germany.• A new Constitution was drawn up. (Students Book, page 139).• The reaction of the politicians in Germany was unenthusiastic. He had opposition from both right and left.
  4. 4. • Despite this opposition, in January 1919 free elections took place for the first time in Germany’s history.• Ebert’s party won majority and he became the President of the Weimar Republic.
  5. 5. POLITICAL OPPONENTS: LEFT RIGHT Communists Freikorps, Nazi• Communist revolucionaries lacked • Lacked support of people support • Had no outstanding leaders• They never gained more than 15% in elections • Army suspicious of extreme• Leaders: groups such as the Nazis in 1923.RosaLuxemburg• Most working people supported Ebert’s SPD
  6. 6. ECONOMIC DESASTER • The Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to pay reparations to the Allies. • The reparations bill was announced in April 1921. Here is a summary. Germany lost: 10 per cent of its land All of its overseas colonies 12.5 per cent of its population 16 per cent of its coal and 48 per cent of its iron industry • In adition: Its army was reduced to 100,000; it was not allowed to have an air force; its navy was reduced. Germany had to accept blame for starting the war and was forced to pay reparations.
  7. 7. ECONOMIC DESASTER The Ruhr: • Ebert try to did his best to negotiate concessions from the Allies. • They had war debts to pay to the USA • January 1923, French and Belgian troops entered the Ruhr and began to take what was owned to them in form of goods and raw materials. • The results of the occupation were disastrous for Germany: this was the most important economic region. • The government ordered the workers to carry out passive resistace  strike. • French reacted harshly, killing over 100 workers.
  8. 8. ECONOMIC DESASTER Hyperinflaction: • Because it had no goods to trade the government printed money • Prices rose dramatically • Money was worthless • Poor people suffered, also middle class and pensioners
  9. 9. • 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
  10. 10. The Dawes Plan (as proposed by the Dawes Committee, chaired by Charles G. Dawes) was an attempt in 1924 to solve the reparations problem, which had bedeviled international politics, inthe wake of the Ruhr occupation and the hyperinflation crisis. It provided for the Allies to collect war reparations debt from Germany. Intended as an interim measure, the Young Plan was adopted in 1929 to replace it.•Germany’s reparations paid over a longer period• America lent money to German industry and also to theGovernment to pay reparations• German currency reorganised
  11. 11. Stresemann showed real skill in foreign policy – 19251. Locarno Treaties – 19252. 1926 – Germany joined the League of Nations3. Young plan - 1929 After a number of years in the wilderness Germany was accepted back into the international community
  12. 12. Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Poland met at Locarno in Switzerland.Signed a number of treaties to settle disputes between themselves1. France, Belgium and Germany agreed to accept borders as drawn up by Treaty of Versailles2. Rhineland stayed demilitarised3. France would protect Poland and Czechoslovakia if attacked by Germany4. Germany would not use force to settle disputes with neighbours
  13. 13. • Golden age of German cinema• Night life, cabaret POSITIVES n• Removal of censorship e• Unemployment and poverty still high g at• Growing prosperity based on USA loans – iv eswhat would happen if USA wanted the money back ?
  14. 14.  Draw a table summarizing the next aspects of the Weimar Republic under Stresemann: ACHIEVEMENTS PROBLEMSECONOMY CULTURE POLITICS FOREIGN ECONOMY CULTURE POLITICS FOREIGN POLICY POLICY