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2.2.4: The Weimar Republic 1918- The Weimar Republic The Weimar Republic was created at a time of confusion and chaos after Germany had lost the First World War. Many people felt that

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Text of 2.2.4: The Weimar Republic 1918- The Weimar Republic The Weimar Republic was created at a time of...

  • World History 3201

    November 2014

    2.2.4: The Weimar Republic 1918-

    1933

  • German Review

    As we have examined in unit 1, Germany became a major

    player on the world stage following its unification in 1871

    until its defeat in WW1 in 1918

     It was ruled by Kaiser Wilhelm II from 1890 to 1918

     It led the Central Powers in WW1 and following its defeat in

    1918, forced to accept the terms and conditions of the Treaty

    of Versailles imposed by the victorious allies USA, Britain, &

    France

  • After Germany lost the First World War, the Kaiser fled and a

    new democratic government of Germany was declared in

    February 1919 at the small town of Weimar.

     It was too dangerous to make a declaration in Berlin where

    there had just been a revolt by a Communist group called the

    Spartacists.

    The Weimar Republic was a genuine attempt to create a

    perfect democratic country.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/mwh/germany/weimarstrengthweakrev1.shtml

  • Weimar Democracy

    A Bill of Rights guaranteed every German citizen freedom

    of speech and religion, and equality under the law.

    All men and women over the age of 20 were given the vote.

    This was even better than Britain where only women over 30

    could vote.

    There was an elected president and an elected

    Reichstag (parliament).

    The Reichstag made the laws and appointed the

    government, which had to do what the Reichstag wanted.

  • Weimar Democracy Flaws Proportional representation - instead of voting for an

    MP, like we do in Canada, Weimar Germans voted for a party.

     Each party was then allocated seats in the Reichstag exactly reflecting (proportional' to) the number of people who had voted for it.

    This sounds fair, but in practice it was a disaster it resulted in dozens of tiny parties, with no party strong enough to get a majority, and, therefore, no government to get its laws passed in the Reichstag.

    This was a major weakness of the Republic.

  • Weimar Democracy Flaws

    Article 48 - this said that, in an emergency, the president

    did not need the agreement of the Reichstag, but could

    issue decrees.

    The problem with this was that it did not say what an

    emergency was, and in the

    end, it turned out to be a

    back door that Hitler used

    to take power legally.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/mwh/germany/weimarstrengthweakrev2.shtml

  • The Weimar Republic

    The Weimar Republic was created at a time of confusion and

    chaos after Germany had lost the First World War.

    Many people felt that Germany had received a very harsh

    deal in the Treaty of Versailles and they resented the

    government for signing it and agreeing to its conditions.

    Germans felt ‘pain and anger’& that it was unfair.

     It was a 'Diktat' – an IMPOSED settlement. They had not

    been allowed to take part in the talks – they had just been

    told to sign.

  • The Weimar Republic

  • Germany & The Treaty of Versailles

     Germany had to pay reparations,($33 million in war

    damages) the bulk of which would go to France & Belgium

    to pay for the damage done to their infrastructure during

    WWI

     Germany had to admit full responsibility for starting WWI

     German had to give up all conquered lands & overseas

    possessions which became League of Nations Mandates

     Germany was forbidden to unite with Austria

  • Germany & The Treaty of Versailles

    Reduction of German military

    Army reduced to 100 000 men

    Conscription was banned

    Only allowed limited naval ships

     Forbidden to have modern weapons such as armoured vehicles,

    submarines, aircraft, or tanks

  • Germany & The Treaty of Versailles

    As we have discovered, the old pre-WW1 German

    empire in Europe was dismantled at Versailles

    Germany lost national territory in Europe to

    surrounding countries including Belgium & Denmark

    with most going to the newly created Poland

  • Weimar 1919

     Germany between 1918 and 1919 was in chaos. People were

    starving, the Kaiser had fled and people hated the

    government for signing the armistice in November 1918 -

    they called them the November criminals.

     From 1919 to 1922, the republic came under attack from

    both left and right wing factions who demanded radical

    reforms.

     This spilled over into violence and unrest between the two

    rival camps. The government could not control the situation.

  • Economic Crisis

     The Weimar government's main crisis occurred in 1923,

    when the Germans failed to make a reparations payment on

    time, which set off a train of events that included:

  • Weimar Republic

     In 1924 the crisis was brought to an end by the Dawes Plan,

    which restored the value of the currency.

     One result of this was go make the German economy

    dependent on loans from America.

     When the American Stock Exchange (Wall Street) crashed in

    1929, this left the struggling German economy in chaos.

    Industries failed and unemployment rose to 6 million.

     Social unrest followed, as people starved.