Text of Lesson 18 & 19: The Weimar Republic Agenda Objective: 1.To understand life in the Weimar...
Lesson 18 & 19: The Weimar Republic Agenda Objective: 1.To understand life in the Weimar Republic. 2.To understand how life in the Weimar Republic was a time of social change in Germany. 3.To understand how Germans conceptualized the causes and consequences of the social changes. Schedule: 1.Weimar Discussion! Homework: 1.Read Excerpts from Mein Kampf Due: L20 (Mon 4/1) 2.Continue to work on pre-writing (1&2): Rolling Deadline 3. NEW DATES: Unit Test: Thurs 4/11 Last Day to Turn in Working Paper: Fri 4/12 Final Paper: Mon 4/29
Our Focus/Goal for the Next Two Days What was life like in the Weimar Republic (in our six dimensions)? Where do we see social change in each of these dimensions? Who was most likely to be effected by these changes? What did some Germans view as the cause of these changes? What did some Germans view as the consequences of these changes? Thesis about Weimar? (How would we describe it and how people felt about it?)
The Weimar Republic The new government created out of the German Revolution of 1918, was the Weimar Republic. August 1919-1933 Democracy (Parliamentary) Led by members of the Social Democrats, Catholics, and Democratic parties. First democracy in Germany
The Weimar Republic Democracy was new to Germany. Germany had been ruled by an emperor and was semi- autocratic. This system had virtually no democratic elements thus the introduction of democratic ideals (universal suffrage, political parties) was a radical change for Germany. Emerges in the shadow of Germanys defeat in World War One. Germany embarks on its experiment in democracy at an unfavorable movement: a moment when the political and social system was already cracking
Politics in the Weimar Government Structure of the Government How is the government built according to the Constitution Strengths? Weaknesses? What are the challenges that the government faces towards its legitimacy?
Politics & Economics At the same time Germany is trying to establish itself as a new democracy, it is also facing a major economic crisis.
Hyperinflation in Weimar Germany To understand the effects of hyperinflation, we need to some math. Consider the following: Assume that in July 1922 a stove cost 100 German marks. By November 1923 that stove cost 726,000,000,000 marks. How is this possible?
Rate of Hyperinflation in Weimar Germany Take out a calculator Monthly rate of hyperinflation (Divide by 15) = Daily Rate of Hyperinflation (Divide by 30) = Hourly Rate of Hyperinflation (Divide by 24) = Rate of Hyperinflation per Minute (Divide by 60) = With this rate of hyperinflation what happens to wages? With this rate of hyperinflation what happens to the price of goods? What is everyday life like under this sort of inflation?
A million mark note being used as notepaper
Economics in Weimar Germany Who lost the most from hyperinflation? Did anyone gain from hyperinflation? How does the hyperinflation crisis invert the social and economic structure in Germany? During this time, how did Germans envision their future? The future of the nation? How did the hyperinflation crisis make some Germans view the past?
Modernization, Industrialization, and Urbanization in Weimar Germany How was Germany industrializing after World War One? How was Germany urbanizing after World War One? What does it mean to say Germany was modernizing? How was Germany at a cross-roads during the Weimar era?
Sex, Gender, and Demographics in Germany What demographic shifts did Germany experience in the Weimar Era? What is the concept of volkstod? Who/What did the public tend to blame for these demographic shifts? How did some Germans want to see gender roles restructured to combat these demographic trends?
Arts & Culture in Weimar Germany What were German arts and culture like in the Weimar Era? What were the fears around Americanization? What were the fears around mass culture? What were the fears around rationalization? Who did some Germans blame for these cultural shifts?
Foreign Sentiment & Anti-Semitism in Weimar Germany How was foreign sentiment linked to the Treaty of Versailles? What was the view of Jews in the Weimar Republic?
The Dagger-stab-in-the-back Legend: Austrian caricature of a Jew stabbing the German Army in the back with a dagger. (1919)
Germans, consider this!: A German cartoon of the dagger-stabbing-in-the- back of the German Army by the politicians Phillipp Scheidemann (Social Democratic Party), who proclaimed the Weimar Republic, and was the second Chancellor; and the anti-war militant Matthias Erzberger (Centre Party), who signed the Armistice with the Allies. Note the caricatured Jews in the background.
Putting it all Together What was life like in the Weimar Republic (in our six dimensions)? Go back and look at all of the graphs in the reading. What do you notice? Where do we see social change in each of these dimensions? Who was most likely to be effected by these changes? What did some Germans view as the cause of these changes? What did some Germans view as the consequences of these changes? Thesis about Weimar? (How would we describe it and how people felt about it?)
Crisis of Modernity Modernity is simply the sense or the idea that the present is discontinuous with the past, that through a process of social and cultural change life in the present is fundamentally different from life in the past. This sense or idea as a world view contrasts with tradition, which is simply the sense that the present is continuous with the past, that the present in some way repeats the forms, behavior, and events of the past. The crisis of modernity is the sense that modernity is a problem, the traditional ways of life have been replaced with uncontrollable change and unmanageable alternatives. The crisis itself is merely the sense that the present is a transitional point not focused on a clear goal in the future but simply changing through forces outside our control.